Fantasy Baseball Category Analysis: Week 15

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jul 11, 2019

A.J. Pollock is set to return from the IL.

What a show.

Maybe it’s recency bias, but that was the most I’ve been into the Home Run Derby in a long time. I was playing MLB The Show and had to pause it to give the Derby my full attention.

Ninety-one home runs by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Are you kidding me? 

Now, say what you will about the baseball and the rise in home runs throughout the league, but it was still exciting watching Guerrero and Joc Pederson go head-to-head in overtime. Not to discredit Pete Alonso, because his power is legit as it gets, but sign me up for a Guerrero and Joey Gallo faceoff next year in Los Angeles, please.

Now that we are unpacked from the break, it’s time to make that playoff push. Next week, I am going to look at players you should add to help in different categories who may be affected by the trade deadline. But for this week, I am sticking to the script with 10 players who can help you in each of the traditional 5×5 roto categories who are rostered in 50 percent or fewer leagues on Yahoo.

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

Average

Luis Arraez (2B/3B/OF – MIN): 3%
I’m very, very interested in Arraez and his profile for future purposes. With Jonathan Schoop on a one-year deal, I think Arraez takes over as the everyday second baseman in 2020. For this year, however, he’s more of an empty average guy, which is more than useful in deeper leagues. He’s hitting .393 through 26 games so far, but with a .413 BABIP. Although it will come down, expect a .300-plus average going forward.

Runs

A.J. Pollock (OF – LAD): 47%
Remember Pollock? He’s on his way to Boston to meet up with his teammates after completing his rehab assignment. Now, you never know what the playing time will look like with a Dodgers player, but he was the team’s big offseason free-agent acquisition. With Pederson playing more first base, Pollock looks like a regular going forward.

It’s hard to value Pollock since he struggled in 28 games before going on the IL and hit only .077 (1-for-13) in his five-game rehab assignment. In this lineup, though, you have to think he will at least provide counting stats.

RBIs

Jose Martinez (1B/OF – STL): 25%
Martinez really needs a trade to an American League team. With that said, he’s playing every day for the Cardinals. While the power hasn’t been there like it has in the past couple of years, he’s still hitting .285 with a .343 OBP. The Cardinals are sliding, and while their players locked into long-term contracts seem cringe-worthy, Martinez is one bright spot for this year and beyond.

Home Runs

C.J. Cron (1B – MIN): 48%
Cron is on the IL now, which is why his rostered percentage is less than 50 percent. The Twins lead all of baseball in home runs, and Cron is a big reason for that. He is on pace to match his 30-homer output from 2018, and he’s doing it with a better batting average (.266) and lower strikeout rate(19.3%). 

He’s the perfect corner infielder or utility player for your category-based squad.

Stolen Bases

Luis Robert (OF – CHW): 6%
Quietly, Robert was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte. If you’re a step away from getting to the majors in Double-A, you’re a knock away from debuting in Triple-A. Robert has crushed the minors this year to the tune of .349/.401/.618 with 16 dongs, 53 RBIs and, most importantly, 29 steals. 

His teammate, Eloy Jimenez, is the more impressive long-term asset for dynasty owners, but Robert isn’t far away. The speed can make him a big difference-maker in fantasy, even as early as the second half of this season.

WHIP

Sam Dyson (RP – SF): 7%
I know we are going to be looking at #TradeSZN next week, but it’s worth getting out ahead of your league mates on players who are about to become big-time assets. Will Smith is as good as gone from San Francisco, which means either Dyson, Mark Melancon, or Tony Watson will get the ninth-inning duties.

My money is on Dyson, who is sporting a 0.88 WHIP in 43 innings pitched this year. Saves and WHIP help? Sign me up.

ERA

Danny Salazar (SP – CLE): 21%
Now, Salazar may not help in ERA as a specialty, but I couldn’t put him anywhere else on this list. With the Indians aggressively looking at offers for Trevor Bauer, a rotation spot could be open soon enough for Salazar. He hasn’t pitched since 2017, but he had two straight seasons of a sub-4.00 ERA in 2015 and 2016. 

He’s worth monitoring at this point and stashing if you’re in desperate need of pitching. 

Wins

Sean Manaea (SP – OAK): 8%
Speaking of working their way back, it looks like Manaea is making good progress from his shoulder surgery. Shoulder injuries, especially labrum injuries, always give me pause with pitchers, so I’m not fully buying back in yet. The fact that he is on track to return this year, though, is encouraging after 2019 initially appeared to be a lost season for him.

With Jesus Luzardo‘s status unknown after his lat injury and Frankie Montas suspended for the majority of the season, Manaea could be a sneaky addition to the A’s and your fantasy roster barring any setbacks.

Strikeouts

Dinelson Lamet (SP – SD): 20%
We never know how the Padres are going to use their pitchers, but it’s safe to expect many five-inning outings and few two-start weeks for Lamet as he makes his way back from Tommy John surgery. He had a lot of buzz heading into the 2018 season before going under the knife. 

In those five innings, Lamet may give up three to four runs, but he’s going to get you seven or eight strikeouts, too. That’s how last week’s return went against the Dodgers. If you need to catch up in strikeouts and can afford to take a slight hit in ERA and WHIP, add Lamet now.

Saves

Emilio Pagan (RP – TB): 37%
With Jose Alvarado out longer than expected (six-eight weeks), Pagan and Diego Castillo will compete for ninth-inning work. The Rays haven’t committed to one player as a true saves source this year, but I favor adding Pagan, who has been lights out with a 1.75 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and 47 strikeouts in 36 innings.

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
5Saquon Barkley (NYG)RB
6Derrick Henry (TEN)RB
7David Johnson (ARI)RB
8Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
9Aaron Jones (GB)RB
10Julio Jones (ATL)WR
 View all Flex Rankings 
11Le'Veon Bell (NYJ)RB
12DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
13Mark Ingram (BAL)RB
14Phillip Lindsay (DEN)RB
15Cooper Kupp (LAR)WR
16Sony Michel (NE)RB
17Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
18Josh Jacobs (OAK)RB
19Joe Mixon (CIN)RB
20Michael Thomas (NO)WR
21Kerryon Johnson (DET)RB
22Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
23Travis Kelce (KC)TE
24Devonta Freeman (ATL)RB
25Tyler Lockett (SEA)WR
26Melvin Gordon (LAC)RB
27Tevin Coleman (SF)RB
28Adam Thielen (MIN)WR
29T.Y. Hilton (IND)WR
30Marlon Mack (IND)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