It may be “Back to School” time, but not for us fantasy enthusiasts. You might be looking past your baseball leagues now with the fantasy football season just over a week away. Don’t! There’s still time to make a playoff run or play spoiler if you’re out of the race, and there are still many players worth a look if you want to win your league or knock your rival out.
Note: Ownership shown as (Yahoo!, ESPN).
Owned in 30%-50% of Leagues
Adam Eaton, OF, CHW (43%, 40.4%)
Eaton came off the DL yesterday, so scan your waiver wire if he was dropped when he went on the DL. In 372 AB before his stint, Eaton had scored 55 runs and swiped 12 bags before going down with injury. He was also hitting .302 with 32 RBI and a .370 OBP. He makes the White Sox offense truly click. He’s not a power threat, but he should put up runs and steals in spades while hitting over .280. He’s like Kole Calhoun-Lite.
Luke Gregerson, RP, OAK (26%, 35%)
With Sean Doolittle on the DL recently, Gregerson has assumed the closing role in Oakland. The Athletics have lost their division lead, ceding the A.L. West to the rival Angels. Gregerson is a lefty, but has shown he can be a reliable reliever (48 K in 58 IP, 0.98 WHIP, 2.17 ERA, 3 saves). Relievers go quickly, so if you’re in desperate need of saves, simply want to add depth, or block another owner, call Greggers’ number before he’s gone.
Update: Per news dated August 25, it appears Eric O’Flaherty is the guy to own in Oakland!
Other Names to Know: Nick Castellanos, 3B/OF, DET (32%, 37.1%); Scooter Gennett, 2B, MIL (28%, 34.6%); Drew Stubbs, OF, COL (26%, 40.1%); Oswaldo Arcia, OF, MIN (15%, 35.2%); Trevor Plouffe, 3B, MIN (19%, 31.9%); Chris Young, SP, SEA (47%, 35.4%); Jacob deGrom, SP, NYM (44%, 31.2%); Mike Leake, SP, CIN (43%, 26.5%); Bartolo Colon, SP, NYM (43%, 37.3%); Aaron Harang, SP, ATL (42%, 33.8%); Collin McHugh, SP, HOU (40%, 37.8%); James Paxton, SP, SEA (41%, 44.9%)
Owned in 15%-30% of Leagues
Jorge Soler, OF, CHC (27%, 8.1%)
The guy’s not going to last too long with these numbers, especially if he’s on fire out of the gate. Soler has actually been called up before rosters expand in September, so maybe the Cubbies wanted to give him as much playing time as possible. He did start the season hurt, but he’s been on fire lately — .415/.494/.862 over his last 22 games at AA Tennessee. He also crushed 8 homers in 32 games at AAA Iowa. He has serious power and the Cubs are a team trending in the right direction for once. First it was Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez. While Alcantara has cooled off, Baez is for real, and I think Soler will end somewhere in between – -not Puig June 2013-ish, but still a solid contributer.
Tsuyoshi Wada, SP, CHC (24%, 26.5%)
First it was Kyle Hendricks, but Wada has been almost as impressive in his big league stint this year. The second Cub in a row, you say? Yes, Like Lloyd Christmas said about the elderly, “They can still serve a purpose.” Wada has 41 K in 45 innings and sports a 2.56 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. He hasn’t allowed more than 2 ER since July 23 and he’s fanned 5 or more in 5 of his last 6 starts. If you lost Cliff Lee, Homer Bailey, or Yu Darvish (like I did all on one team), than Wada could be a serviceable replacement.
Other Names to Know: Oscar Taveras, OF, STL (24%, 16.3%); Avisail Garcia, OF, CHW (19%, 9.4%); Connor Gillaspie, 3B, CHW (18%, 16.4%); Mark Reynolds, 1B/3B, MIL (16%, 15.7%); Seth Smith, OF, SD (15%, 21.1%); Jorge De La Rosa, SP, COL (26%, 14.4%); Carlos Carrasco, SP, CLE (23%, 18.4%); Wade Miley, SP, ARI (21%, 11.5%); Jonathon Niese, SP, NYM (21%, 11.8%); Jeremy Hellickson, SP, TAM (19%, 14.4%); Tom Koehler, SP, MIA (17%, 6.6%); Kevin Gausman, SP, BAL (16%, 6.7%)
Owned in Fewer Than 15% of Leagues
Ender Inciarte, OF, ARI (2%, 4.1%)
Just like David Peralta, Inciarte has mostly gone under the radar this summer. He has 7 hits in his last 6 games and his numbers –42 runs and 10 steals — would be rather enticing if drawn out over a full season. He has slightly more power than guys like Adam Eaton and Michael Bourn, but he’s young and not as injury-prone. His .260 average might be a turn off, but as a bench outfielder with the potential to fill in if you lost Gregory Polanco or Shin-Soo Choo, he could be a nice gamble down the stretch.
Miguel Gonzalez, SP, BAL (5%, 3.4%)
Ubaldo Jimenez now resides in the bullpen as Gonzalez nailed down a permanent home in the rotation. He’s allowed 4 or fewer runs in each of his last 10 starts, and he’s allowed 2 or fewer runs in 6 of those 10 starts. His K:BB ratio is approximately 2:1, but his ERA is 3.75 and he’s lasted 6 or more innings in 6 of his last 7 starts. He’ll toe the mound on Friday against the Twins, so he could be good for K as well this week. He’s going to be key down the stretch as Baltimore hopes to lock up their first division title since 1997. Let him be key down the stretch for you as well.
Other Names to Know: David Peralta, OF, ARI (8%, 11.4%); Matt Dominguez, 3B, HOU (8%, 4.6%); Josh Rutledge, UTIL, COL (8%, 5.6%); Dayan Viciedo, OF, CHW (7%, 10.4%); Rymer Liriano, OF, SD (4%, 0.6%); Joc Pederson, OF, LAD (5%, 0.6%); Chris Taylor, SS, SEA (3%, 3.8%); Mookie Betts, SS/OF, BOS (9%, 1.9%); Shane Greene, SP, NYY (12%, 8.6%); Jimmy Nelson, SP, MIL (12%, 3.7%)