Each week I will look at the best targets for AL-NL Only and very deep leagues (think 30 teams). While the following players may not be of interest to those in standard leagues, extremely deep leagues are becoming more and more popular. As I do every week, I sincerely recommend playing in this type of league, especially if you’ve played fantasy baseball for a long time.
Let’s take a look at the players I recommended last week:
Matt Albers, RP, Chicago White Sox: It looks like my recommendation paid off, as Albers has seen his ownership levels double across the board since last week. He’s thrown 7 straight shut out appearances with 5 holds for good measure. If you got in last week, nice job!
Cory Luebke, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates: You win some, you lose some. My Luebke recommendation was the kiss of death as the Pirates left-hander finds himself on the DL with a hamstring injury. This was purely a speculative add suggestion, and I wouldn’t blame anyone for letting him go and trying the next hot free agent.
Dae-Ho Lee, 1B, Seattle Mariners: Lee hasn’t found playing time any more forthcoming, even after hitting two home runs, including his pinch-hit walk off home run last week. With just three at bats since then, and the fact that Adam Lind is slowly coming around, forecasting anything more than 200-250 AB for Lee this year doesn’t sound reasonable. I wouldn’t blame anyone for holding on a little longer, but early indications aren’t good.
Luis Sardinas, SS, Seattle Mariners: Sardinas was stuck waiting for an injury to get some more playing time, but the poor play of Ketel Marte means he’s worth stashing just a little bit longer. He’s seeing spot starts already at shortstop, but hasn’t helped himself with the bat to force more playing time. In a 30-team league you could do worse on your bench; I’d hold for now.
Here’s a look at this week’s targets:
Jemile Weeks, 2B, San Diego Padres
Currently owned in 1% of Fantrax, 0% of CBS & 0% in Y! leagues
Adam Rosales, 3B, San Diego Padres
Currently owned in 2% of Fantrax, 0% of CBS & 0% in Y! leagues
Alexi Amarista, SS, San Diego Padres
Currently owned in 7% of Fantrax, 1% of CBS & 1% in Y! leagues
I’m lumping these three Padres infielders together with the injuries to Cory Spangenberg and Yangervis Solarte. With Amarista and Rosales, you know what you’re getting: not a lot, with the exception of some steals from Amarista. Weeks, the switch-hitter, is a bit of a wild card, and might be my first choice of the three. Amarista bats left-handed, and Rosales bats right-handed meaning they could split at bats at third with Weeks getting the lions share at second base. These are short-term adds, but at least in the case of Weeks, there’s a chance to catch lightning in a bottle.
Vidal Nuno, RP, Seattle Mariners: Nuno had a 3.74 ERA last year with nearly a strikeout per inning, but has been relegated to the bullpen in 2016. In most leagues he’s been dropped, but I’m taking a flier on him. So far this year, he has taken over for the injured Charlie Furbush as the late-inning lefty, resulting in some good holds. He’s still striking out a batter an inning, and in some cases it’s nice to have a SP-eligible reliever. There’s no reason to think Nuno can’t finish the season with a healthy ERA and K rate along with a very good number of holds. I strongly recommend this pick up.
Currently owned in 9% of Fantrax, 1% of CBS & 1% in Y! leagues
Ryan Buchter, RP, San Diego Padres: Buchter, a LHP in the Padres pen, has the ability to put up high strikeout numbers – as he’s shown through his 10 years in the minor leagues. Now, ten-year minor-league veteran relievers aren’t generally what you look for as far as top new arms, but the 29-year-old finds himself in a good situation in San Diego. With Rodney, Quackenbush, and Maurer all throwing from the right side, Buchter may end up getting some HD opportunities, especially if he continues to throw well.
Currently owned in 0% of CBS, 0% in Y! & 2% in Fantrax leagues
Jose Alvarez, RP, Los Angeles Angels: It’s left-handed reliever week apparently, and I’d rank them just as they’re listed as far as waiver priority goes. Alvarez had some success last year, and I couldn’t fault one for feeling that he’s the safest of the three. I like the K upside of the other two more, and if I’m going to use a loogy I’d like a little more than just holds. Alvarez has done well reducing the free passes this year; something that’s been a problem for him in the past. If he can keep that improvement up, he will provide a lot of holds at the very least.
Currently owned in 7% of Fantrax, 1% of CBS & 1% in Y! leagues
Socrates Brito, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks: Brito finds himself in Reno after posting just a .613 OPS in 13 games for Arizona this year. The demotion was a little bit of a surprise to me, after Brito had been starting in center field against right hand pitchers and Drury hadn’t hit really any better. Drury seems to have heated up since given a bigger role though, and Brito owners may find themselves looking to free a roster spot. I’d gladly take a shot at the 23-year-old outfielder whom ZIPs likes to hit 9 HR and steal 18 bases from this point forward. Obviously he can’t do that from the minors, but if you want a shot at a future double-digit HR and SB guy at a rock bottom price, this is your chance.
Currently owned in 15% of CBS, 2% in Y!, and 30% in Fantrax leagues
Dalton Pompey, OF, Toronto Blue Jays: While I like Brito, I love Pompey; he adds tremendous plate discipline to the potential for 8-10 HR and 20+ SB. Bautista, Pillar and Saunders are all healthy for the Blue Birds, but Ezequiel Carrera and Chris Colabello are hitting a combined .105 backing them up. Pompey meanwhile is crushing it in AAA and just waiting for another opportunity. It won’t be long so this could be the last chance to get a steal on the man with the wheels.
Currently owned in 6% of CBS, 1% in Y! & 26% in Fantrax leagues
Michael Chavis, 3B, Boston Red Sox: Chavis was a first round pick in 2014, showing a nice combination of power and speed. He hit 16 HR in 2015 but batted just .223 with a 31% K rate. So far this year, he’s hitting .367 with an OPS over 1.000, while cutting the strikeouts to a more manageable 18.5%. Chavis is a few years away, but I like him for leagues that roster 200-250 prospects because of his upside. If the early returns are any indication, he may not be available for much longer.
Currently owned in 9% of Fantrax and 1% of CBS & 0% of Y! leagues
Michael Reed, OF, Milwaukee Brewers: As soon as you see a prospect in the upper minors change position, it means a promotion can’t be far behind. Reed is now playing centerfield in AAA, where the Brewers are currently playing Ramon Flores. Reed offers some pretty good speed, OBP skill, and is hitting .371 in AAA. There won’t be any power, and the strikeouts might be an issue, but Reed can be a suitable active OF in deep leagues as soon as he’s called up. There is no huge upside here, but with a promotion imminent, Reed will be just good enough.
Currently owned in 8% of Fantrax and 1% of CBS & 0% of Y! leagues
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