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Fantasy Baseball Category Analysis: Week 22

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Aug 29, 2019

Mark Canha is pretty close to being a must-own player right now in fantasy baseball.

If you’re hoping to make up ground in your roto league at this point, good luck. If you’re looking at counting stats, there is still time, but your ratio stats (ERA, WHIP, average) are going to be tough to move the needle that much.

So what we are going to do going forward is take a look at players who can help you in general across categories instead of just focusing on players who will make a drastic difference from a roto sense.

Here are some players who can help you in the traditional 10 roto categories who are rostered in 50 percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

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Home Runs

Mark Canha (1B/OF – OAK) – 50% 
Has any player flown under the radar more than Canha has? He’s up to 22 homers on the season now, and he’s a mainstay in the Oakland lineup. Yeah, the same Canha who fantasy managers perceive to be a guy who is in and out of the lineup has played in just about all of the A’s games since the All-Star break. 

I prefer Willie Calhoun to Canha, who is still rostered in a laughable 37 percent of leagues, but Canha is pretty damn close to being a must-own player right now.

Average

Gavin Lux (SS – LAD) – 17%
Will he or won’t he? That’s been the question with Lux and the Dodgers. Do they really need Lux, as the clear favorite from the National League? But they are the same team who has lost back-to-back World Series, so yeah, they could use him. He’s batting .400 in Triple-A (it’s the PCL, but still) and that’s after hitting .313 in 64 Double-A games.

If he gets called up, it will be in September as part of the minor league call ups. But more importantly, if he gets called up, he’s going to play. This could be a Yordan Alvarez-type league winner.

Runs

Freddy Galvis (2B/SS – CIN) – 47%
Galvis is having a career year, and with Jose Peraza getting optioned, it seems like he will have a clear path to playing time going forward. He’s shown quite a bit of power of late, which will obviously translate into runs. Galvis and the guy we’ll talk about in a minute are guys I like to target – players who are on a non-contending team who will get every opportunity to showcase their skills as the team evaluates where they stand with them in the future.

RBIs

Josh VanMeter (1B/2B/3B/OF – CIN) – 18%
VanMeter has been overshadowed by Aristides Aquino lately, which is totally understandable. But he’s had an impressive rookie season in his own right. What I’ve loved is that he’s played against lefties lately and, as mentioned above, he’s going to get a lot of run on a team that is trying to figure out its key pieces for 2020.

Stolen Bases

Harrison Bader (OF – STL) – 18%
Unless you’re going with a Jarrod Dyson-type player who will only help you in one category, you’re not going to make up a lot of ground in steals. But, it’s worth noting that Bader has improved since getting recalled by the Cardinals. Before the season, he was a breakout pick by a lot of fantasy players, and 20 steals was one of the areas he’d help you in. He may only get two or three the rest of the season, but he can be a five-category contributor when he’s right.

Wins

Mike Foltynewicz (SP – STL) – 50%
I hate to have any faith in Foltynewicz after he’s burned us so many times. To be transparent, I’m writing this before he takes the mound in Toronto Wednesday, so he could burn us again. But he’s shown signs of life lately, especially in his last outing against the Mets where he went seven innings and allowed just one run while striking out seven. Give me an upside pitcher on a great team if I’m chasing wins.

ERA

Adam Ottavino (RP – NYY) – 37%
Again, we are looking at stabilizers right now or guys who can help you in your week-to-week battle. In the offseason, we are going to look closer at the strategy of rostering a lot of Ottavino-type pitchers instead of chasing upside starting pitchers. 

WHIP

Pablo Lopez (SP – MIA) – 11%
Lopez returned Monday from the IL, and it wasn’t a great start. But did you really think I’d not take the opportunity to talk about a returning Marlins pitcher? Wrong. On the season, Lopez has a cool 1.13 WHIP and a 4.00 K/BB ratio, which would be 21st in baseball if he qualified. The wins will be hard to get with Lopez in his last few starts of the season, but he’ll help you everywhere else. 

Strikeouts

Jesus Luzardo (SP – OAK) – 18%
Speaking of help, Luzardo will provide help to the A’s and fantasy manager. Oakland has patched together a better-than-it-should-be rotation once again, featuring castoffs like Homer Bailey, Tanner Roark, and Mike Fiers. Luzardo could be the ace that they need to compete in the playoffs. He’s returning from injury but has taken his time on a rehab assignment in the minors. When he gets called up, he should have no restrictions on him. 

Saves

Matt Magill (RP – SEA) – 30%
Magill looks to be the guy for the Mariners… until he isn’t. He’s converted four of the five save opportunities in the past two weeks and escaped his four converted unscathed. Until Magill blows back-to-back opportunities or is barely escaping with the save, he’s the guy to roster for the Mariners and if you’re desperate for saves. 

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

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