by Will Overton
Fantasy Baseball players are always quick to jump on someone replacing a recently DLed player, and they should be. On the other side of that, though, fantasy baseball players should always be keeping a close eye on the players on the DL who are available in your league and may be returning soon. If you can add a guy to your roster who is a week or so away, you have just jumped the gun on the rest of the league who may not notice their return until they are actually back.
There are some really solid names of players who are unowned in a lot of leagues. If you have room on your bench for them temporarily they could be big assets to you for the final few weeks of the season:
A.J. Pollock – OF, Arizona Diamondbacks: This is the crown jewel on this list. Pollock has been out for the entire season with an elbow injury, but word is he could be making his return later this week. As of right now Pollock is still available in half of ESPN leagues, but that number is going to go up daily as owners realize how imminent his return is. He has been destroying the ball so far in the minor leagues during his rehab appearances and looks to be healthy and ready to roll. He is coming off a season where he had 20 HR and 39 SB, so he could be a huge boost down the stretch if you can still grab him. Read more
by Will Overton
Sometimes the best way to approach things on the waiver wire is to look for the hottest players and ride out the streak. Ideally you want a long-term option, but sometimes there just aren’t any available. With just over six weeks left in the season the hot player may be the long-term player and there is no time to waste to wait for someone else to come around (instead just hopping from hot hand to hot hand).
We’ll even do the work for you here at RotoProfessor and tell you who out there is streaking. Here are some of the hottest bats available in a majority of fantasy baseball leagues at the moment. I’ll give my take on their value and the possibility that their hot streak can last. Let’s get to work:
Paulo Orlando – OF, Kansas City Royals: The Kansas City Royals have fallen off this season and there aren’t many positives, but Orlando is one and he’s never been hotter than right now. He has multiple hits in six of his last 10 games and for the month of August he is hitting .418 while flexing a little power (a pair of HR in his last 10 games). More legitimate is his speed where he has swiped three bases in these last 10 games, bringing him to 10 for the season. We know the Royals like running and Orlando could see the green light a fair amount. It’s also extremely beneficial that he’s being used as the leadoff hitter recently. He won’t likely stay this hot, but he could continue to be useful to fantasy teams for the remainder of the season. Read more
by Will Overton
Stolen bases aren’t quite as easy to come by as they once were, but if you look close enough you can still find speed on the waiver wire. We’re going to focus on the stolen bases category today and try and help you find the guys who can get you further up the standings, or stand pat if you’re already ahead there.
I preach this a lot, but fantasy baseball owners need to be diligent in knowing and recognizing their standings when heading to the waiver wire for help. You can’t just add the highest rated player available, you need to fill your specific needs. If you are in striking distance of three teams in stolen bases, you need to load up there and make a run for those points. With this in mind let’s look at some prime stolen base targets floating out there on the wire:
Travis Jankowski – OF, San Diego Padres: One of the hotter hitters in all of baseball right now, he should be a hotter add than he is. Chances are he isn’t as popular of due to the fact that he plays for the Padres and their not so impressive offense. Jankowski is on a seven game hitting streak that includes going 13 for his last 27, along with 7 SB. he Padres know their offense isn’t very good and if Jankowski is getting on base they will be giving him the green light often to manufacture runs. There really isn’t a better add out there for stolen bases. Read more
by Will Overton
The trade deadline has come and gone and we’ve gotten a lot of analysis on who was traded that has improved their fantasy value and who has seen it drop. That stuff is important, but it’s been covered so I am going to look elsewhere.
Instead I am going to look at the ripple effects of the trades and who that is left behind that may be a good grab off the waiver wire with a sudden change in playing time coming their way. The esteemed Professor covered this alittle bit yesterday when talking about Tyler Thornburg, but I have a few other names of guys I think are waiver worthy coming out of this year’s deadline period. Let’s get to breaking this down:
Scott Schebler – OF, Cincinnati Reds: The Cincinnati Reds sent Jay Bruce off to New York and in a subsequent move they sent down Jose Peraza, much to the dismay of some fantasy owners, and brought up Scott Schebler. It’s interesting because at the beginning of the season the 25-year old Schebler was thought to be the front runner for the final outfield job now occupied by Adam Duvall. In fact Schebler got the first crack and failed before Duvall took it and ran , never bothering to look back. Now Schebler is getting another shot on the other side of the outfield, filling the spot vacated by Bruce. Read more
by Will Overton
One of the more debated topics in fantasy baseball circles is the strategy of streaming pitchers. There are some who swear by the strategy and others who are adamantly opposed to it (only participating in leagues where there are rules in place to prevent it). Then there are those who just don’t think the potential loss you take in ERA and WHIP is worth the potential gain in Wins and K’s.
No matter where you fall on the topic one thing is for sure, one of the more difficult things to know is when a guy goes from streaming material to mainstay material. We’ve all done it where we stream someone a couple times and drop him only to watch someone else grabs him and enjoy a great rest of the season. Knowing when a guy has gone from streamer to regular roster guy is not easy. I am going to take a stab and give my opinion on some currently popular streaming options:
Jeremy Hellickson – Philadelphia Phillies: I think there is just something about Hellickson that fantasy owners have a hard time trusting, but he’s earned you’re good faith at this point. He has six quality starts in his last seven outings, including five starts with one run allowed or fewer. Also consider that he has pitched six innings or more in nine straight starts. Hellickson appears to have turned a corner in with phenomenal control and a 1.12 WHIP showing that he is far better at keeping guys off base. He also consistently brings enough strikeouts to help you there. At this point it doesn’t seem to matter if he is home or on the road, he’s just about matchup proof in my opinion. Read more
by Will Overton
The trade deadline is less than two weeks away and one thing we know is that it creates a whole new wave of waiver worthy players. One popular target that contending teams always seem to be in the market for is bullpen help. With that in mind we can expect to see a couple of closers moved (as we always do).
The trade deadline can be a big time for those in need of saves. It can also be a costly venture to add one of the new closers, as you won’t be the only one bidding on him. However, maybe you can get ahead of the curve and add one or two closers in waiting from teams with closers who are for sale. Here is a list of a few guys you might want to consider adding who could be closing for their team in the next two weeks:
Brad Boxberger – Tampa Bay Rays: Gone is the idea that Boxberger can come back from the DL and take over the closer role from Alex Colome. Colome has been far too good to give up the job, but what happens if he isn’t there? I could see Colome being a very popular name at the deadline given how well he has been pitching this season, and if he gets traded the closer job will be wide open. Boxberger is starting a rehab assignment this week and should be back soon. I could absolutely see the Rays giving Boxberger a chance to win his old job back if the job become vacant. Read more