Chris Archer fantasy sleeper
Photo courtesy: Joe Smith/TampabayTimes
Chris Archer saw improvement in his 2014 campaign, in which he recorded a 10-9 record with a 3.33 ERA in just under 200 innings. The Rays, and new manager Kevin Cash are counting on Archer to be one of the aces of their staff heading into 2015.
With an average draft position around 160, Archer is being drafted in the mid-to-late rounds of most fantasy baseball drafts, making him a must-consider sleeper on draft day.
Since his debut in 2012, Archer has improved his strikeout rate, and more impressively has become more of a ground-ball pitcher, keeping the ball in the yard allowing only 12 HRs in 2014, compared to 15 in 2013 in only 128 innings. The Rays team is not expected to compete for an AL East title this season, but that does not mean Archer cannot put up solid fantasy numbers this season.
Here are three projections of Chris Archer in 2015.
Site GS IP H K W L ERA
MFST-Myfantasysportstalk.com 32 202 175 190 15 10 3.33
CBSSports.com 33 200 188 182 11 12 3.60
Rotowire.com 31 193 168 174 13 9 3.22
Three pitchers drafted before Archer in ADP.
Pitcher-(ADP) GS IP H K W L ERA
Justin Verlander-(49) 32 206 223 159 15 12 4.54
Jonathan Papelbon-(51) 0 66 45 63 2 3 2.04
Doug Fister-(54) 25 164 153 98 16 6 2.41
It is hard to compare relief pitchers to starting pitchers in fantasy baseball. Most of it will depend on the type of league you are in; however in this case I would never draft an aging Papelbon on a terrible Phillies team over an up-and-coming young starting pitcher in Chris Archer. Justin Verlander is clearly past his prime, but could still have a decent season in Mo-town. Doug Fister makes the best-case to be drafted before Archer, but durability and injury issues may not be worth the risk.
When comparing these pitchers who are drafted BEFORE Archer, it is a no-brainer the Tampa Bay pitcher shows more promise and potential heading into the season. Archer is currently being drafted just outside the top 60 of all pitchers, but do not be surprised if he ends the season inside the top 30. Great value for his draft position.
Dan Schalk is the head writer for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @ffsportstalk