Late Round Points League Targets

The four best late round targets for fantasy baseball points leagues

When it comes to points leagues, I think it’s pretty apparent that there’s just not enough coverage. For arguably the fastest-growing format, it can be difficult to lock down just how to go about drafting a team. Even when you think you have an idea, knowing what players to snag early can be easy. Knowing what players to go after late becomes a problem.

You see, the traditional “He’s going to hit so many home runs” theory doesn’t always play well in the points league format. There are multiple reasons a late-round player is a late-round player. One of those reasons very often is a high strikeout rate with batting average troubles. In a format where strikeouts are one of the only negatives for hitters, that can become a problem when trying to identify those points league difference makers.

When focusing on those late-round guys, there are a few things I key in on. First is strikeout rate, for obvious reasons. The less they strikeout, the more they stand out to me. Next would be OPS and IPA%. There’s a strong correlation between IPA% and points league success. Finding those sneaky good IPA% guys later in the draft is going to set your team apart from the others right out of the gate.

For the sake of keeping this to “late round” guys, we’re going to focus on guys going pick 200 or later based on their consensus ADP. Keep in mind, I’m leaving ESPN’s ADP out of this because it’s so incredibly wonky it doesn’t deserve a seat at this table. At least not at the moment.


Lars Nootbaar

2023 Stats (503 PA): .261 | 14 HR | 74 R | 46 RBI | 11 SB


Lars is someone who has had himself a bit of a hype train for the better part of the last two years. We all remember the video of him at Driveline taking hacks in his underwear prior to the 2023 season. He was hitting absolute tanks. Fresh off a season which had put many people on notice. 33XBH and a 14.7% walk rate in just 108 games will do that.

The thing that makes Nootbaar so enticing in the later rounds is that mix of power and plate discipline. In fact, he’s been so good that he’s one of only three players since 2022 to have a walk rate of 13.9% or more, a strikeout rate of 20% or less, and an OPS over .750 (minimum 800 PA).

Juan Soto 19.5% 16.4% .893
Lars Nootbaar 14.5% 20% .786
Yordan Alvarez 13.9% 18.7% 1.006

Lars is one of those guys that feels like he will forever be underrated. No matter how much you hear people mention his name, or see people sharing the pepper grinder GIFs from the WBC, Nootbaar always finds a way to silently produce. Now, he does need to stay healthy. He’s played just 108 and 117 games in his first two full major league seasons, but if he can there’s a lot to like for 2024.

With the game totals climbing steadily each season, he’s also seen a steady increase in a ton of other great indicators as well.

Swing% Z-Contact% Contact% SwStr% Whiff%
2021 39.6% 80.1% 73.8% 10.4% 26.2%
2022 39.2% 81.7% 76.1% 9.4% 23.9%
2023 35.5% 86.3% 81.5% 6.6% 18.5%

His swing decisions have taken massive strides in terms of progress the more time he’s spent in the majors. The big jump in both contact and dip in swinging strike rate. The major dip in whiff rate. All while swinging less. Granted, his game could probably benefit from swinging a bit more in the long run, but he’s essentially doing what you tell every little league hitter to do…he’s literally waiting for “his pitch”. With an ADP just north of 200 at the moment, he seems like a lock to outproduce that number.


Jarren Duran

2023 Stats (362 PA): .295 | 8 HR | 46 R | 40 RBI | 24 SB


Jarren Duran did things in the 2023 season that Red Sox fans thought they’d only be able to see in their dreams. The once top prospect had a very so-so first 91 career games at the big-league level and was starting to be written off by many. He did a good job silencing the doubters in 2023.

In points leagues, things like doubles and triples mean a lot more than they do in a categories league. With points being accrued for every total base, doubles can add up very quickly. Targeting guys with big doubles numbers later in drafts is a clever way to find those guys who’ll make even a small impact. Lucky for you, Duran was able to become a doubles-hitting savant last year.

In fact, few in baseball hit doubles at the rate of Duran. Amongst hitters with fewer than 110 games played, he had a sizeable lead over the rest of the pack.

Games Doubles
Jarren Duran 102 34
Jarred Kelenic 105 25
Charlie Blackmon 96 24
Adam Duvall 92 24
Brandon Belt 103 23
Mike Yastrzemski 106 23
Edward Olivares 107 23

Nine more than the next best, and he did this with a good mix of plate discipline, plate aggressiveness, and great contact ability. He’s kind of like the anti-Nootbaar. For as often as Lars doesn’t swing, Duran finds himself picking up the slack, even when pitchers give him very little to hit. Despite that, Duran still found ways to excel.

As you can tell, as the year went on, Duran started to take a more aggressive approach at the plate. With that aggressive approach came a lot more contact, all while his pitch hittability fell off an absolute cliff. With that increased swing aggressiveness there was quite a jump in his chase rate, but he paired that chase rate with a 92% zone contact rate over his final 17 games and a .217 BABIP, something that would point towards a bit of bad luck. To get this unlucky while also rarely striking out is a testament to just how improved Duran’s contact rate was.

Should Duran stay healthy, as well as stay in Boston, it feels like the sky may be the limit for him. His doubles per plate appearance (1 every 10.64 PA) was way ahead of Freddie Freeman and his league-leading 59 doubles (1 every 12.37 PA). He has the skills to do it, he plays in the perfect park for it, and he’s in a lineup that should generate runs. Look for an even bigger breakout from Duran this season.


Luis Campusano

2023 Stats (174 PA): .319 | 7 HR | 27 R | 30 RBI


I am a firm believer that the catcher position will be the deepest it’s been in years once the 2024 season is all said and done. With all the hype currently on youngsters like Cal Raleigh, Adley Rutschman, and Bo Naylor, it’s very easy for someone like Campusano to slip through the cracks.

We’re just two years removed from Campusano being a top prospect in baseball. A top prospect who put up some of the best numbers in the minor leagues you’ll see from a catcher. In 1452 minor league ABs he hit .300 with an .842 OPS. That success finally found a way to translate to the big leagues in 2023.

He flashed both his game power and his hit tool in limited playing time. His uber-aggressive approach at the plate led to some impressive contact numbers. Something that can bode well for guys that have a little pop in their bat. Especially the ones who don’t strike out much (12.1%).

The success may have come in a small sample size, but there’s reason to believe it wasn’t a fluke. Campusano led all of baseball in Ideal Plate Appearance % in 2023. A metric that measures just how often you’re getting quality results at the dish.

Luis Campusano 38.5%
Luis Arraez 36.3%
Ronald Acuña Jr. 36.1%
Bo Bichette 35.8%
Freddie Freeman 35.1%
Corey Seager 34.7%

As you can see from the list it’s a real “who’s who” of names. The one that stands out the most would obviously be Campusano. One, because his name is on a list amongst that caliber of players. Two, because he’s leading that list by a significant margin. The gap between Campusano and second place is bigger than the gap between second place and sixth.

The Padres’ catcher position is Campusano’s to lose at this point heading into the season. I do have my concerns over where he’ll hit in the order (likely at the bottom) which can hinder his output a bit. Even so, his profile as a hitter is too good to pass up. Especially for someone with a consensus ADP of 258.


Brendan Donovan

2023 Stats (371 PA): .284 | 11 HR | 48 R | 34 RBI | 5 SB


Brendan Donovan transformed in 2023 and turned himself into the textbook definition of a solid points league option. When you think points league standout, you think low strikeout rate, high OBP, great contact, and the ability to sneak in a few XBH above average. Donovan is all of those things, with a little sprinkle of a high IPA% in there as well.

Now, we mentioned that high IPA% with Campusano and spoke to its significance. In 2023, Donovan’s IPA% was 31.8. Good for the 96th percentile, or 12th best in baseball. His improved swing can likely be traced back to every baseball analyst’s favorite place: Driveline. He went before the 2023 season and saw an uptick in both his exit velocity numbers, and his Ideal Contact Rate (ICR).

With Donovan’s already elite decision-making and bat-to-ball skills, adding Driveline into the mix meant a huge bump in hitter performance. Honestly, that may be the best hitter performance chart I’ve seen from a player thus far. This should come to be expected moving forward. He’s proven to be someone who strikes out just 15% of the time while sporting a career .283/.381/.398 slash line.

Keep in mind he did end the season early and have surgery on his left elbow, but he’s on track to be back in time for Spring Training. In the 14 games before he was done he hit .288 with a .839 OPS, an 8.8% strikeout rate, and six XBH. Monitor Donovan in Spring Training, but there’s a real chance he can perform like that this coming season. We may end with Donovan putting together a Steven Kwan-esque season with the ability to make a run at 20 home runs. Something we’d all love to see.

There are plenty of other guys who could be on this list, but I felt it was important to mainly focus on the guys I think you should key in on first. The guys who you’re drafting late and have a real chance at putting up mid-round value. Duran and Nootbaar both have OF3 upside. Campusano could very well make a run at being a top-12 catcher if the power can translate over 100 games. Donovan can hit his way into the hearts of America and become the super utility we have all dreamt of. These are the guys who can help you the most when you’re looking to lock down the later rounds of your draft and pull your team ahead.

Blake Meyer

Father of 3 youngsters, writer of words, enjoyer of tequila, horror movie connoisseur, guitar hero savant Current featured fantasy baseball writer for Pitcher List & FantasyPros The Fake Baseball Podcast co-host Overly optimistic Mariners fan

One response to “Late Round Points League Targets”

  1. Bob Loucks says:

    Cut the crappin’ spam…

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