Fantasy Baseball Category Analysis: Week 13

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jun 27, 2019

Brian Dozier has rebounded from a rough start.

Don’t play scared. If you’re playing fantasy baseball, you can’t be afraid to make a bad deal or add/drop move. That’s the biggest piece of advice I give to new fantasy players. It’s OK to look at a trade, hit submit, and think that you might be losing this deal on paper. This game is about taking chances and putting yourself in the best position to win. 

Yahoo’s Scott Pianowski wrote about this recently regarding the Blue Jays’ Eric Sogard. I won’t rehash everything he wrote, since you can read it here, but his main takeaway was don’t be afraid to look stupid by picking up Sogard. Yes, we know he’s been bad his entire career. So was Tommy La Stella.

It’s a good reminder to fantasy players of all experience to take a shot on a hot streak regardless of the player’s past performance. I’ve tried to include a few of those players in this week’s edition of category analysis. They may be on the waiver wire when the All-Star break hits, or they may just be legit enough to stay on your roster for the stretch run as we march toward the fantasy playoffs.

Here as some guys who can help you out in the traditional roto categories who are owned in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues or fewer.

Import your team to My Playbook for instant Waiver Wire advice >>

Home Runs

Brian Dozier (2B – WAS): 37%
Forget, if you can, Dozier’s dreadful start to the season. When Washington called up Carter Kieboom following Trea Turner‘s injury, there was speculation that he’d take the starting job at second base if Dozier didn’t turn his season around. Kieboom didn’t work out in his first big league stint, but Howie Kendrick is absolutely mashing for the Nats. 

Quietly, though, Dozier has turned his season around of late. In June, he is slashing .277/.338/.585 with five home runs, 13 runs, 12 RBIs, and a 131 wRC+. He’s upped his fly-ball rate to 60.0 percent on the month while cutting his ground-ball rate from 35.4 percent to 22.0 percent.

It’s been a rough two years for those with Dozier shares, but he’s worth giving another shot to at second base.

Average

Harold Ramirez (OF – MIA): 4%
Ramirez was always a fringe prospect with a limited ceiling. To give you an idea of how he was viewed, the Pirates sent him to the Blue Jays, along with Reese McGuire and Francisco Liriano, three years ago as part of a salary dump.

He’s now an everyday outfielder for the Marlins. While the Marlins aren’t attractive outside of their amazing pitching staff (weekly mention, folks), there is value in regular playing time for bad teams. In 38 games this year, Ramirez is hitting .315 with 20 runs. He does have two steals and two homers, but he’s basically an empty average player. If you need to catch up, you could do worse than Ramirez in deeper five-outfielder leagues.

Runs

Bryan Reynolds (OF – PIT): 37%
It’s probably time to take Reynolds a little bit more seriously, folks. With Gregory Polanco back on the injured list with a shoulder injury, Reynolds is continuing to get regular at-bats for an offense that could use a punch. 

He’s produced thus far in every category except stolen bases, and to give you an idea of just how good he’s been, take a look at what Pirates announcer Joe Block dug up.

Is anyone tired of seeing Bryan Reynolds stats yet? No? Good, because here’s another:

RBIs

Chris Taylor (2B/SS/OF – LAD): 40%
Since Corey Seager went down with a hamstring strain, Tayor has been the Dodgers’ regular shortstop, and boy has he produced. Since May 1, Taylor is hitting .291 with seven home runs, 28 RBIs, 22 runs, and five stolen bases in 47 games. 

Even with Seager due back shortly after the All-Star break, you have to think Taylor has earned steady playing time going forward. Well, at least as steady as one can get with the Dodgers.

Stolen Bases

Eric Sogard (2B/SS – TOR): 16%
Ah, the poster boy for this week’s article. I’ve liked Sogard ever since Oakland fans got behind him in an All-Star push a few years ago.

When the Jays sent Lourdes Gurriel down a few weeks into the season, Sogard was called up to be a temporary stop-gap until Gurriel got over his yips. Well, Gurriel is back and on fire, but that hasn’t stopped Sogard from producing for an anemic lineup.

In 52 games, Sogard is slashing .301/.369/.495 with eight home runs, 32 runs, 23 RBIs, and six stolen bases. That’s a five-category contributor, folks. 

Is it fool’s gold? Possibly. He has improved his launch angle, exit velocity, and barrel percentage from last year, though, so it’s not a total fluke.

Wins

Dinelson Lamet (SP – SD): 5%
I wrote a lot about Jorge Polanco coming into this year. He had all kinds of helium coming into the 2018 season, but he got suspended 80 games for a PED violation. He came back after the suspension and was the same Polanco. Heading into 2019, though, the hype wasn’t there. I wondered why not. 

The same holds true for Lamet. Yes, it’s Tommy John surgery and not a suspension, but Lamet was a big breakout pick heading into 2018 drafts. He’s due back within weeks for the Padres, and he needs to be owned in more than five percent of leagues 

Strikeouts

Trent Thornton (SP – TOR): 6%
I found myself in a deep Thornton hole this week. I received an offer of Thornton for Brandon Nimmo in a 20-team points dynasty league, where pitching is impossible to come by. I was watching his clips on Baseball Savant, and out of the 11 random ones played, he missed his spot in nine of them by a substantial amount.

He is, though, in the 92nd and 90th percentile in spin rate on his curveball and fastball, respectively. He made easy work of the Red Sox and the Astros in his past two starts heading into Wednesday’s game with the Yankees, and he’s averaging more than a strikeout per inning.

You won’t get a lot of help in your ratio categories, but Thornton is a deep-league target where you need strikeout help.

ERA

Brendan McKay (SP – TB): 2%
I usually don’t like to write about players in back-to-back weeks, but I made an exception this week with Yahoo releasing the pitcher version of McKay Tuesday. 

He’s worth spending one-third of your remaining FAAB budget on if Jesus Luzardo is gone. If not, he’s my top pitching prospect stash.

Tyler Glasnow is shut down for three weeks, which could mean a promotion soon for McKay. There is a chance, though, that the Rays use McKay in a variety of roles, including as a starter, opener, or as a long-relief pitcher to maximize his two-way ability.

WHIP

Dylan Bundy (SP – BAL): 13%
Like Dozier, Bundy has been quietly good of late. He had a 3.46 ERA since the start of May before surrendering five runs to the Padres on Wednesday. What’s more, he has lowered his walk rate since a rough April, issuing 17 in 56 innings along with 56 strikeouts. That’s good for Bundy. 

There are some signs here as a matchup streamer in deeper leagues. 

Saves

Liam Hendriks (SP/RP – OAK): 42%
It looks like my wish of Carlos Martinez becoming the closer for the Cardinals is happening, but it’s unfortunately at the expense of Jordan Hicks. Instead of talking about Martinez again, let’s pivot to Hendriks, who is taking over the role after Blake Treinen hit the injured list with a right shoulder strain.

Hendriks hasn’t been good in his career as a starter, but like Ian Kennedy recently, he’s taken off in the closer’s role. With a 1.42 ERA and 1.08 WHIP, Hendriks is someone to pick up for ratio and saves help as your RP2.

Import your team to My Playbook for instant Waiver Wire advice >>


SubscribeiTunes | Google Play | SoundCloud | Stitcher | TuneIn

Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

What's your take? Leave a comment

1Dalvin Cook (MIN)RB
2Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
3Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
4Chris Carson (SEA)RB
5Derrick Henry (TEN)RB
6David Johnson (ARI)RB
7Le'Veon Bell (NYJ)RB
8Julio Jones (ATL)WR
9Aaron Jones (GB)RB
10DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
 View all Flex Rankings 
11Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
12Cooper Kupp (LAR)WR
13Mark Ingram (BAL)RB
14Phillip Lindsay (DEN)RB
15Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
16Saquon Barkley (NYG)RB
17Michael Thomas (NO)WR
18Sony Michel (NE)RB
19Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
20Tyler Lockett (SEA)WR
21Kerryon Johnson (DET)RB
22Devonta Freeman (ATL)RB
23Joe Mixon (CIN)RB
24Adam Thielen (MIN)WR
25T.Y. Hilton (IND)WR
26Julian Edelman (NE)WR
27Travis Kelce (KC)TE
28Tevin Coleman (SF)RB
29Robert Woods (LAR)WR
30Melvin Gordon (LAC)RB
1Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)LF,CF
2Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
3Mookie Betts (BOS)CF,RF
4J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
5Trevor Story (COL)SS
6Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
7Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,CF
8Trea Turner (WSH)SS
9Alex Bregman (HOU)3B,SS
10Jacob deGrom (NYM)SP
 View All Rankings 
11Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
12Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
13Gerrit Cole (HOU)SP
14Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B
15Javier Baez (CHC)2B,3B
16Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
17Aaron Judge (NYY)RF,DH
18Juan Soto (WSH)LF
19Anthony Rendon (WSH)3B
20Bryce Harper (PHI)CF,RF
21Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
22Xander Bogaerts (BOS)SS
23Starling Marte (PIT)CF
24Walker Buehler (LAD)SP
25Manny Machado (SD)3B,SS
26Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B
27Kris Bryant (CHC)3B,RF
28Whit Merrifield (KC)1B,2B
29George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
30Paul Goldschmidt (STL)1B
1Anthony Davis (LAL)PF,C
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
3Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
4Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
5Kevin Durant (BKN)SF,PF
6LeBron James (LAL)SF,PF
7Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
8Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
9Damian Lillard (POR)PG
10Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
 View All Rankings 
11Russell Westbrook (HOU)PG
12Paul George (LAC)SF,PF
13Joel Embiid (PHI)PF,C
14Kawhi Leonard (LAC)SG,SF
15Chris Paul (OKC)PG
16Kyrie Irving (BKN)PG,SG
17Kemba Walker (BOS)PG
18Jimmy Butler (MIA)SG,SF
19Ben Simmons (PHI)PG,SF
20Jrue Holiday (NOR)PG,SG
21Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
22Donovan Mitchell (UTH)PG,SG
23John Wall (WAS)PG
24Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
25Andre Drummond (DET)PF,C
26Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
27Khris Middleton (MIL)SG,SF
28Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C
29Draymond Green (GSW)PF,C
30LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
Follow the Pros!

Follow us on Twitter @FantasyPros for exclusive advice and contests