Well folks, you’re either just starting your playoffs or fighting like hell in the final week before your league’s playoffs start. Whatever the case, there are always hidden gems that can get you an edge in any instance. If you lost players to injury or have a non-stud that has slumped lately, than there are players waiting for your call.
Note: Ownership shown as (Yahoo!, ESPN).
Owned in 30%-50% of Leagues
Kolten Wong, 2B, STL (33%, 47.3%)
He didn’t play in the last two games, but in his previous 4 games, he has a steal, 4 runs, 2 HR and 5 RBI. It took a while, as well as some time back down in the minors, but Wong has showcased numbers that I thought we would see before the season started — 11 HR, 37 RBI, 19 SB, and a .252 average. What’s he’s done has been comparable to Jason Kipnis in nearly 100 fewer at-bats, and Kipnis was in the discussion for top 5 2B status to enter the season.
Carlos Carrasco, SP, CLE (38%, 48.6%)
Carrasco has had a brush with relevance over the past few years, but they were only in spurts. Well, he’s currently in one of those spurts again for the Indians. In his last 5 starts he’s gone 5 or more innings in each while posting 34 K and only 4 BB. He also has a 3.01 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 86 K. I’m not sure how long this spurt will last, but you might as well profit from it as long as he’s hot.
Other Names to Know: Jason Castro, C, HOU (39%, 30.7%); Trevor Plouffe, 3B, MIN (29%, 48.8%); Arismendy Alcantara, 2B/OF, CHC (12%, 34%); Nick Castellanos, 3B/OF, DET (33%, 43.3%); Dexter Fowler, OF, HOU (33%, 18.4%); Danny Salazar, SP, CLE (45%, 25%); Jose Quintana, SP, CHW (44%, 25.8%); Brandon McCarthy, SP, NYY (43%, 46.9%); Mike Leake, SP, CIN (43%, 27.9%); Jacob deGrom, SP, NYM (48%, 47.4%); Collin McHugh, SP, HOU (43%, 33%); Jake Odorizzi, SP, TAM (41%, 35.7%); Wei-Yen Chen, SP, BAL (38%, 49.8%); Jason Vargas, SP, KC (37%, 32.3%); Marcus Stroman, SP, TOR (32%, 13.9%); Tsuyoshi Wada, SP, CHC (29%, 31.4%); Jake Petricka, RP, CHW (21%, 36.4%)
Owned in 15%-30% of Leagues
Gregory Polanco, OF, PIT (28%, 27.1%)
Quick, scour your waiver wire to see if an impatient manager dropped Polanco after his demotion. With his ownership numbers so low, chances are strong that someone sent him packing. Travis Snider is, well, Travis Snider, so the outfield job was never really in massive jeopardy, and now that the Pirates have recalled the high-upside slugger, he’s definitely worth an add.
Tom Koehler, SP, MIA (18%, 6.4%)
Koehler has given up more than 4 ER in only 1 of his last 9 starts, and he went more than 5 frames in each of those games. His Ks aren’t elite, but 126 K from a guy not many banked on before the season is pretty helpful. And he plays for the Marlins. Yeah, those Marlins who actually have been in the playoff hunt for most of the last few months. His other numbers — 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and 17 quality starts — aren’t that bad either. Also consider this: His ERA is better than that of Gio Gonzalez (3.89), Gerritt Cole (3.86), C.J. Wilson (4.46), Hiroki Kuroda (3.88), and Shelby Miller (4.19).
Other Names to Know: Dioner Navarro, C, TOR (26%, 17.2%); Oswaldo Arcia, OF, MIN (11%, 24.8); AJ Pollock, OF, ARI (17%, 3.7%); Mookie Betts, SS/OF, BOS (18%, 10.2%); Jonathon Niese, SP, NYM (21%, 13.4%); Wade Miley, SP, ARI (22, 15.2%)
Owned in Fewer than 15% of Leagues
Chris Owings, SS, ARI (6%, 2.2%)
I was a huge Owings fan to end last year, but he has been in the minors and/or hurt for the better part of the year. We’ve seen that Didi Gregorius may be great defensively, but defense doesn’t do anything for us fantasy nerds. Owings is the better offensive option for the Diamondbacks and for you. He didn’t light the world on fire, but in only 239 at-bats, Owings has 7 steals, 6 HR, 21 RBI, 27 R, and a .277 average.
Josh Collmenter, OF, ARI (11%, 3.2%)
In his last 10 starts since joining the rotation, Collmenter has allowed 3 ER or fewer seven times while never walking more than two. He doesn’t fan a ton, but he’s collected 4 or more strikeouts in 9 of his last 10 starts. He has benefited from facing the Rockies, Mets, Padres, and Cubs, but you play the hand you are dealt.
Other Names to Know: Matt Dominguez, 3B, HOU (8%, 4.2%); David Peralta, OF, ARI (7%, 8.8%); Joc Pederson, OF, LAD (8%, 1.4%); Ender Inciarte, OF, ARI (5%, 8.8%);Roenis Elias, SP, SEA (9%, 5.9%); Miguel Gonzalez, SP, BAL (9%, 3.5%); Derek Holland, SP, TEX (10%, 0.7%); Andrew Heaney, SP, MIA (5%, 1.6%)