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8 Players to Buy Low & Sell High (Fantasy Baseball)

Apr 19, 2022

Trading is as critical to your squad’s success as drafting is. This is especially so when you gain undervalued players who end up producing at a level that far exceeds the cost to acquire them. The inverse is true as well, as getting a massive haul for an overachieving athlete can heavily tip the scales in your favor come September. The season is still young, but we’re starting to see some trends emerge that can help you find an edge in the trade market. That is what our featured analysts aspire to do today, as they share their favorite buy-low and sell-high candidates.


Q1. What one MLB player are you trying to buy low and why?

Zack Wheeler (SP – PHI) 
“I am buying low on Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Zack Wheeler. The 31-year-old is off to a rough start in 2022, posting an 0-2 record with a 9.39 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, and 6:4 K: BB across 7 2/3 innings. Some fantasy managers might not be patient enough to wait for the Phillies ace to turn things around. His season debut was delayed due to right shoulder soreness, and he was on a pitch count for his first two starts. Wheeler was fantastic last season, owning a career-low 2.78 ERA and leading the National League with 247 strikeouts. After being lit up recently, the buy-low opportunity for Wheeler is there for managers to get a potential ace at a discount due to his early struggles. If you can trade a pitcher outside the 25 in the latest FantasyPros ECR or a hitter outside the top-50, the gamble could pay off immensely as Wheeler rounds his way back to form.”
Brad Camara (RotoBaller)

Marcus Semien (2B/SS – TEX) 
“Marcus Semien, 2B/SS Texas Rangers. With a change from one of the best slugging situations in the majors playing for Toronto in 2021, some regression was to be expected in 2022 and we saw that concern reflected in Semien’s #30 ADP, but a .128 Batting Average and .190 OBP is not where his 2022 is going to finish. He slugged 27 and 33 home runs in Oakland before his breakout for Toronto, so the home runs are coming and he already has two stolen bases, the one category there is always reason to fear could meaningfully regress. He isn’t quite the hitter Bo Bichette is, and I wouldn’t trade Bichette for Semien one for one, but it isn’t THAT far off. I would easily trade established stalwarts like Ketel Marte (a fantasy darling name in some circles), Julio Urias or Sean Manaea to acquire Semien, or, if you could convince a fish in the barrel who is buying into the small-sample size red herrings like Owen Miller, Seiya Suzuki or Connor Joe, take those managers for a ride with a smile. Ozzie Albies and teammate Adolis Garcia are also good targets if Semien isn’t available.”
Chris Mitchell (FantasyData)

Max Muncy (1B/2B – LAD) 
“Max Muncy. The 31-year-old veteran is off to a sluggish start, as he is hitting just 5-for-30 (.167 AVG, .675 OPS) in the early going. But most importantly, he has appeared healthy and has been entrenched as the cleanup hitter in the most potent lineup in baseball, hitting behind Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Trea Turner. Muncy is a near lock to hit 30 homers each season and offers tremendous positional value being that he is 2B-eligible in most formats. I would gladly trade away Brandon Lowe, Cedric Mullins, Jazz Chisholm, or Jared Walsh in a deal for Muncy.”
Lucas Spence (Pitcher List)

Trevor Rogers (SP – MIA) 
“Trevor Rogers of the Marlins is coming off back-to-back bad starts to start the 2022 season. His fastball velocity is still fine, so it appears it’s merely a case of Rogers getting on track after a delayed spring training that’s clearly effected some major league arms. Rogers was dominant last season, striking out 157 hitters in 133 innings. Even if he struggles again this week against a tough Braves lineup, I would still buy.”
Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Check out our trade values for all players in our weekly Fantasy Baseball Trade Value Chart >>

Q2. What one MLB player are you trying to sell high right now and why?

Alek Manoah (SP – TOR) 
“Alek Manoah, SP Toronto Blue Jays. C.J. Cron is an easy sell-high. So easy that you should expect some reluctance in the market to buy in high enough to justify shipping him out this early in the season, so I’m going with Alek Manoah. He had steam in draft season, finishing with an ADP of #88, only seven and five picks after FAR superior pitchers Dylan Cease and Carlos Rodon. That’s fertile ground to sell high. A player many fantasy managers were bullish about a breakout season and after two starts, THEY WERE RIGHT. Not buying it. Rookies are inconsistent, their workloads are often monitored and rationed in the second half, and his early performance has been deceptive. Two quality starts already, two wins and an ERA of 1.50 with a WHIP under 1.00 (.92). The K/9 is far from filthy (13 strikeouts in 12 innings), but the rest of the categories are. SELL now. I would trade Manoah for slow-starting pitchers like Aaron Nola, Freddy Peralta, or aim for the moon and target Shane McClanahan. For hitters, target Marcus Semien, Adolis Garcia, or try to put together a package and aim high for Ozzie Albies while the BA and OBP look so heinous. Albies has five home runs but he is actually a buy-low, not a sell-high right now.”
Chris Mitchell (FantasyData)

Connor Joe (1B/OF – COL) 
“I am selling high on Colorado Rockies outfielder Connor Joe. The 29-year-old is off to a blistering start, slashing .361/.465/.667 with two home runs, four RBI, eight runs, and a stolen base over nine games in 2022. Seven of his nine games have been at hitter-friendly Coors Field. Joe is a solid contributor, but fantasy managers can’t expect the Rockies outfielder to keep up this production. Last season, he didn’t steal a base and slashed .285/.379/.469 with eight home runs, 35 RBI, and 23 runs across 63 games. The return for Joe? Fantasy managers might not be patient enough and move on from struggling outfielders Eddie Rosario, Akil Baddoo, Austin Hays, Julio Rodriguez, and Jared Kelenic, who were all ranked ahead of Joe entering the 2022 fantasy drafts. Joe is a decent fantasy contributor, but managers could get a solid return while he’s wielding a hot bat to start the year.”
Brad Camara (RotoBaller)

Sean Manaea (SP – SD) 
“Sean Manaea. Acquired from the Athletics in a trade just prior to the start of the season, the 30-year-old southpaw was terrific in his debut with the Padres, blanking the lowly Diamondbacks over seven shutout innings. Manaea (1.38 ERA, 0.54 WHIP with 13 Ks in 13 innings) followed that up with a quality start against the Giants his next time out. Manaea is a six-year veteran and owns a career 3.82 ERA. He’s a solid starter and worthy of a spot in your fantasy rotation, so I would not recommend selling him for less than market value. But at the same time, it’s hard for me to envision Manaea finishing the season as a top-15 fantasy starter, especially in a division where he will face the Dodgers mighty lineup regularly and have to make occasional trips to Coors Field. Manaea has a tasty upcoming matchup against the Reds, so I would hold until then, after which I would send out some trade feelers. I would target underperforming starters such as Aaron Nola, Charlie Morton, Zack Wheeler, or even somebody like Shane McClanahan in a potential deal if you can capitalize on Manaea’s hot start.”
Lucas Spence (Pitcher List)

Tommy Edman (2B/OF – STL) 
“Tommy Edman has three HRs already in one week after hitting just 11 homers in all of 2021. Ironically, he has zero stolen bases, which is what you drafted him for initially. Edman has value with his speed and position flexibility, but this unexpected power surge makes him a potential sell to someone who thinks Edman is experiencing a ‘breakout.’ It’s just a hot start.”
Joe Pisapia (FantasyPros)

Thank you to the experts for naming their trade candidates. Make sure to give them a follow on Twitter for more great advice all season and check out our Leading Off Podcast every single day for quick-hitting takeaways and advice.

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