The Atlanta Braves have a loaded real life team and are loaded with fantasy options that can help you win your league.
We know all about the star power at the top. According to Fantasy Pros, the Braves have four players in the top 30 overall. Ronald Acuna Jr. (1st), Austin Riley (22nd), Michael Harris II (26th), and Spencer Strider (30th).
Travis d’Arnaud – T.D.A has been a reliable source of offense from behind the plate since 2019. He plays the game with joy and is a part of a brotherly duo (Chase d’Arnaud) to both have donned the Braves uniform.
This offseason, the Braves traded for Sean Murphy and then signed him to a six-year extension. He is the clear future of the franchise at catcher. d’Arnaud has one-year left on his deal with the Braves and appears to be headed for a timeshare.
While Murphy brings the defensive prowess, d”Arnaud is coming off of two of his best seasons in terms of defensive runs saved, posting 10 Rdrs over the past two seasons, despite playing in just 60 games in 2021.
Travis d’Arnaud is currently ranked 268th in Fantasy Pros pre-season roto rankings. The addition of Murphy may eat into his playing time behind the plate but remember, he only started 99 games behind the plate last year. The emergence of William Contreras not only gave TDA plenty of time to rest the legs on defense, but it also gave the Braves a consistent option at DH in Contreras.
This offseason, the Braves traded Contreras to the Brewers.
Why Travis d’Arnaud Could be a Late-Round Sleeper
Being ranked so low this early, it is very likely d’Arnaud will go undrafted in many drafts this season. Many of the reasons causing his value to drop could be the reasons you want to snag him at the end of your drafts.
He should be well rested this season while splitting duties with Murphy, possibly even losing primary catching duties. The Braves have a few holes on offense this season.
There are still question marks at shortstop and leftfield. The logical option at DH right now is Travis d’Arnaud. Over the past three seasons, d’Arnaud has a 162-game pace of 36 doubles, 26 homers, and 92 RBI while slashing .266/.324/.462. Those numbers are good for a 111 OPS+.
A 111 OPS+ is also a great number for a catcher you could potentially grab at the end of the drafts. Should d’Arnaud hang onto a full-time role between catcher and DH, he could be a real steal.