Fantasy Baseball Category Analysis: Week 21
No, this isn’t one of those turn-back-the-clock night promotions that teams do every year. There are a lot of names of former fantasy glory who are making differences again down the stretch for fantasy managers.
But yet, we are reluctant to buy in.
Below, you’ll see names like Kyle Seager, Mark Melancon, Marwin Gonzalez, and Nick Ahmed. You can add in someone like Jason Kipnis, too, but we are just waiting for the hot production to come to an end.
We love chasing the touted prospects who come up for the upside, which makes total sense to take a shot on the mystery box. It’s a lot harder to buy in on players who we have a long enough recent sample from to see that their better days are behind them.
But as we enter the playoffs and the end of roto seasons, every game and hot streak matters. Age be damned.
Here are some players — young and old — who can help you in the 10 traditional categories who are rostered in 50 percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.
Kyle Seager (3B – SEA) 40%
Over the past 14 days, Seager has seven home runs. Yes, he went by “Corey’s Brother” during last year’s Player’s Weekend, but he’s been the standout Seager of late. Up until 2016, Seager was a top-10 third baseman who offered a high-floor output each year. Third base is crowded, but you can find room for Seager until he cools off.
Nick Ahmed (SS – ARI) 35%
Very quietly, Ahmed has been a big-time fantasy contributor since the All-Star break. On the year, he has a .273 average with 17 home runs, which will play in almost any league. His versatile skill set should help you down the stretch across all five hitting categories. He’s a player to watch in the final few weeks to see how he finishes and how it will affect his 2020 value.
Jake Fraley (OF – SEA) 4%
Somewhat surprisingly, the Mariners called up one of their top prospects in Fraley, who for the longest time was a singles-hitting speed asset. In the minors this year, though, across two levels, Fraley hit .298/.365/.545 with 19 home runs to go along with the 22 steals. He’s going to play every day, and while he’s hitting toward the bottom of the lineup as he starts out in the big leagues, don’t be surprised if he works his way to the top of the lineup. That would increase his runs scored even more.
Marwin Gonzalez (1B/2B/3B/SS/OF – MIN) 49%
Gonzalez isn’t going to repeat his 2017 season. Let’s just get that out of the way. But he’s proven that he can be a fantasy contributor, and the extra position eligibility only helps his case to crack your lineup. He’s better in a daily lineups league where he can be your only bench hitter so that you can plug him in when applicable. He’s in the middle of another good stretch, and the Twins’ lineup is still really, really dangerous despite having cooled off a bit.
Greg Allen (OF – CLE) 2%
As a part-time player, it’s hard to invest too much into Allen. But he’s been getting more and more at-bats as of late, and he was a fantasy darling of those in the industry during the preseason with the playing time that he was supposed to get. He’s a deep-league guy, but his speed makes him worth rostering.
Adrian Houser (SP/RP – MIL) 30%
Spoiler alert: This is being written before Houser takes the mound on Wednesday night. In his past two starts, he’s allowed two combined runs in 13 innings while striking out 10. It’s the time in the year where fantasy players are checking out and focusing on football, but 30 percent seems like a low ownership number. He’s lined up for two starts next week, with games against the Cardinals and Cubs. Beat the rush and add him now.
Chris Bassitt (SP – OAK) 50%
The A’s have done it again by taking an average pitcher and getting the most out of him. This time, it’s Bassitt. He has a 3.61 ERA on the year, but he also has a 4.49 FIP. I’m OK grabbing him with the state of pitching and using him in the right matchups, but be prepared for some regression to hit.
Nick Anderson (RP – TB) 19%
Since arriving in Tampa Bay, Anderson has faced 26 batters in eight innings. He’s allowed three hits, no walks, no runs, and he’s struck out 18 of them. Yes, 18 of the 26 batters he’s faced. He’ll be a great WHIP help down the stretch, and he’s a good ratio stabilizer in head-to-head matchups.
Logan Webb (SP – SF) 24%
Webb has pitched in Rookie ball, Single-A, Double-A, Triple-A, and the Majors this season, making his debut last Saturday against the Diamondbacks. He’s averaging more than a strikeout per inning across all levels this year, and there’s been no guarantee that he’s going to get another start (he’d be on turn Saturday against Oakland) with Shaun Anderson nearing a return, but he’s worth rostering for his upside.
Mark Melancon (RP – ATL) 50%
There are a lot of other pitchers who I’d rather have, but this is where we are right now. Melancon seems to be the guy — for now — in Atlanta to get the saves as he shut down the Dodgers twice last weekend. Shane Greene could get the job back when Melancon inevitably fails down the stretch, but every save counts. Take them while you can.