2022 draft targets from the NL East

Our fantasy baseball analysts jump into each MLB division and reveal the player they’re targeting in drafts from each team. Here are Scott Pianowski, Dalton Del Don and Andy Behrens’ picks for the NL East.

-In drafts in which I’ve taken John Soto or Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at the top, I absolutely love coming back with Starling Mars in the second. He pairs perfectly with any of the non-running maulers. Ideally, you’ll get your steals from someone who’s an asset in various other categories. We’re in an era in which you’re basically set in stolen bases if you simply land one guy who’s good for 35 or more. —Behrens

-Just once, I want to see the baseball gods smile on Brandon Nimmo. He has a career .266/.393/.445 slash and he’s parked at the top of a loaded lineup. He’s one of my favorite targets after the 20th round. I’m also grabbing some Jeff McNeill, understanding he might not stick in New York. He lost his way last year, but all this guy did is rip off hit after hit for the three prior seasons, to the tune of .319/.383/.501. He’s hit 23 homers in a season before. Someone will find a room for him. — Pianowski

James McCann is cheap at draft tables coming off a rough first year in New York after signing a big offseason contract. But he posted a 142 wRC+ the season prior, and it’s safe to expect a bounce back after experiencing a year of NL pitching. McCann should quickly move up New York’s lineup should he return to hitting like he did from 2019-2020. — From the Don

charlie morton should be drafted as a top-20 starting pitcher, yet it rarely happens. He’s been extremely useful over multiple seasons and he’s coming off a year in which he whiffed 216 batters and posted a 1.04 WHIP. I’m not sure what else you’re looking for in an early round starter. —Behrens

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-I’m on board with the Morton love too, but I also wouldn’t mind drafting dansby swanson. The former No. 1 overall pick took a small step back at the plate last season but was a big help to fantasy managers anyway by staying healthy and producing 36 homers/steals and 88 RBI from the shortstop position. Swanson is just entering his prime at age 28 and capable of reaching another level with his bat. After hitting lower in Atlanta’s lineup last season, Swanson is projected to hit leadoff in 2022. — From the Don

Will Dansby Swanson live up to his fantasy baseball potential in 2022? (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

-I can’t stand Jethro Tull but I’ll happily draft into Ian Anderson. This Atlanta lineup is going to score a ton of runs. Anderson gets better than a strikeout per inning, and if he can trim his walk rate just an eyelash, he’ll likely be an All-Star worthy or perhaps a down-ballot Cy Young candidate. Somehow I have received Rookie of the Year consideration in two straight seasons, which is a pretty nifty trick. And I also give him some credit for playoff performance: Over 35.2 innings, he’s posted a 1.26 ERA and 1.037 WHIP, dominating the highest levels of competition. — Pianowski

-Fantasy managers are paying stupid draft prices for reliable locked-in closers, yet you can still land Corey Knebel well outside the top-100 picks in any draft. I’m not gonna try to convince you he’s a Hader-level relief ace, but he’s better than serviceable and he’s in line for 30-plus saves. There’s no need to reach for a luxury closer when guys like this are available at reasonable draft cost. —Behrens

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-Ignore Aaron Nola‘s 4.63 ERA last season and pay more attention to his 223:39 K:BB ratio and 1.13 WHIP. He’s clearly one of the game’s best pitchers and hopefully sees more fortunate luck in 2022. I strongly believe in drafting pitchers aggressively earlyso Nola is a favorite target of mine. — From the Don

-Andy and Dalton hit on the interesting players here. I don’t see a lot of values ​​on this roster and the second half of the lineup looks ugly. This is a team I’m going to be underweight on. I’ll sign off on the reasonable Knebel and Nola takes — Nola’s bad luck is going to be mentioned by 1,000 analysts, though who’s to say if Philly actually has a decent defense this year — but otherwise, keep me away from this roster. (Zack Wheeler and Bryce Harper are obviously stars, but there’s nothing sneaky about their value.) — Pianowski

Washington Nationals

Keibert Ruiz hit 21 homers at Triple-A last season while slashing .310/.377/.616 and he didn’t appear overmatched in his 96 big league plate appearances (3 HR, 9 K, .273 AVG). He’s among the best mid-to-late draft options for those of us who refuse to take catchers in the early rounds. —Behrens

lane thomas received a 35-game trial in the lead off spot at the end of last year. The results: .253/.343/.487 with 29 runs, seven homers, 24 RBIs. That plays. And he’s got the catbird seat, hitting in front of John Soto. — Pianowski

Cesar Hernandez has traded steals for power, as he hit a career-high 21 homers at age 31 last season. He remains awfully cheap in drafts for a second baseman who just hit 20+ homers and recorded 80+ RBI, especially one now slated to bat second in front of John Soto. Hernandez had 18 homers over just 374 ABs before struggling after the trade to Chicago last season, but he should be locked in as Washington’s starting second baseman in 2022. Nationals Park typically increases power as well. — From the Don

Miami Marlins

-Literally any Miami starting pitcher is a reasonable name for this feature. But instead, I gotta go with Jazz Chisholm, a dual-eligibility middle infielder who just gave us an 18-homer, 23-steal season at age 23 in only 124 games. Chisholm is the player I’ve bumped up my ranks the most in recent weeks, based on my aggressiveness in drafting him. —Behrens

[Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | OF | SP | RP]

Jazz Chisholm is the guy I want. He’s still learning the nuances of the game, but the category juice arrived early, and he always plays. And if you want a cheap 12 homers and 14 steals or so, Miguel Rojas will be waiting for you in the late rounds. — Pianowski

Anthony Bender has emerged as one of baseball’s best relievers, but he’s still plenty affordable at draft tables with Miami’s closer role up for grabs. Dylan Floro is often drafted higher after finishing last season closing for the Marlins, but Bender is the far superior pitcher. — From the Don

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