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20 Things to Watch for in Week 17 (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

by Dennis Sosic | @call_me_sos | Featured Writer
Jul 31, 2022
Jacob deGrom

Welcome, fantasy friends and foes, to Week 17 of the 2022 fantasy baseball season.

We are approaching the Aug. 2 MLB trade deadline when many playoff tickets are punched. Fantasy managers must keep an eye on the completed moves as the fantasy pendulum continues to swing.

Speaking of keeping an eye on things, here are 20 things to watch for in Week 17:

1. Week 17 Schedule Highlights

Week 17 is highlighted by three teams playing eight games, including the Colorado Rockies (all road games), New York Mets, and San Diego Padres. Three teams will also play at home all week, including the Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals, and Texas Rangers.

2. Yankees acquire Benintendi

The New York Yankees made the first splash as we headed toward the MLB trade deadline. The Yankees acquired outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals for three minor league pitching prospects. The left-handed hitting outfielder was hitting .320/.387/.398 with a .785 OPS through 93 games, along with three homers, 39 RBI, and four stolen bases. The Yankees are getting their new offensive asset in the lineup by hitting Benintendi leadoff on Thursday against his former team, the Kansas City Royals. Benintendi is a safe option for the Yankees as they try to improve their offense and guard against outfield injuries. He provides lineup depth and is an elite contact hitter who is only striking out in 12.5% of his at-bats. He is also a Gold Glove left fielder who will be an upgrade over either Aaron Hicks or Joey Gallo. His lack of power (three home runs) should improve with the short porch in right field. It’s a sneaky acquisition for the Yankees but not a difference-maker for the rest of the season.

3. Tyler Naquin traded to the New York Mets

The Cincinnati Reds traded outfielder Tyler Naquin to the New York Mets for two prospects. His arrival to the Mets is somewhat puzzling considering their roster, but along with Daniel Vogelbach, each left-handed hitter should provide much-needed pop against right-handers. Naquin is a serviceable outfielder with power and speed who owns a .472 SLG and .802 OPS this season against righties. He can play all three outfield positions but is horrible defensively and will not be a late-inning replacement except for pinch-hitting duties. Unfortunately, this move makes Naquin not fantasy-relevant for the remainder of the season.

4. Luis Castillo traded to the Mariners

The most coveted starting pitcher rumored to be moved was traded this past weekend. The Cincinnati Reds continue their fire sale by trading Luis Castillo to the Seattle Mariners for three of the Mariners’ top five prospects. Castillo isn’t a free agent until the end of the 2023 season, so the Reds maximized his trade value. A shoulder injury delayed the start of his season, but Castillo resumed his place among the best starters in the league by producing a 2.86 ERA across 85 innings this season. Castillo has gone at least seven innings in each of his last four starts. The Seattle Mariners are currently holding the second A.L. Wild Card spot and upgrading the starting rotation that includes Robbie Ray and Logan Gilbert. The Castillo acquisition should propel the Mariners to make their first playoff appearance since 2001.

5. The Rays acquire OF David Peralta

The Arizona Diamondbacks traded outfielder David Peralta to the Tampa Bay Rays for catcher prospect Christian Cerda. Peralta was the longest-tenured player with the Diamondbacks and has spent his entire nine-year career with Arizona. He was due to become a free agent after this season, and with the Diamondbacks currently 22 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the N.L. West, it was time to plan for the future. Peralta owns a career.283/.340/.463 slash line and was hitting .248/.316/.460 with 12 homers across 87 games this season. He was acquired to bolster a Rays lineup missing plenty of bats due to injuries, including shortstop Wander Franco and outfielders Kevin Kiermaier and Manuel Margot. The move to Tampa Bay boosts his value and Peralta should be considered a waiver wire option immediately.

6. Trade deadline rumors

The Aug. 2 trade deadline is quickly approaching. Who will be the next player dealt? We have yet to see Juan Soto moved, but the interested teams are still the same, with the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Diego Padres listed as the front-runners. Which team will sell the farm to get the player(s) they want? Yankees? Astros? Mets? Cardinals? With the MLB playoffs expanded, the race to get ammunition to fight in September and October has never been more critical.

7. Jacob deGrom will make his season debut

The New York Mets announced that two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom would make his 2022 debut on Tuesday in Washington. He will pitch the day after Max Scherzer takes the mound, and it will be the first view of the starting rotation that the Mets were projected to have when they signed Max Scherzer this offseason. The one-two-three punch of Scherzer, deGrom, and Chis Bassitt seems highly daunting to opposing lineups. Tuesday’s projected start will mark deGrom’s first MLB start since July 7, 2021. DeGrom has spent the entire season rehabbing from a stress reaction in his right scapula after missing the second half of last season due to right elbow inflammation. His latest rehab start for Triple-A Syracuse was his fourth of the season. The right-hander allowed four earned runs on two hits while striking out six on 69 pitches, his longest stint this year. The return of deGrom could go a long way in determining the N.L. representative in the World Series.

8. Max Meyer is out for the season

Max Meyer abruptly exited his July 23 start after only 10 pitches with elbow discomfort. The worst-case scenario for Meyer was diagnosed after an MRI was completed. The MRI revealed that Meyer has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Meyer will have Tommy John surgery, with the maximum recovery time being two years. The 23-year-old right-hander was the third overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft and threw only 89 total pitches across six innings for the Marlins. Meyer was promoted this season after striking out 82 batters while allowing only 25 walks and 45 hits across 68 innings at Triple-A Jacksonville. This is devastating news for Meyer and the Marlins, who continue to produce elite arms from their farm system. Hopefully, Meyer will have a speedy recovery, and we will see him live up to his immense potential.

9-11. Two-Start Recommendations

Domingo German (SP – NYY)

German looked shaky in his first start after his minor league rehab stint. However, his second start against the New York Mets gave the Yankees and fantasy managers optimism. German went 5.2 innings, surrendering two runs on five hits while producing a 7/2 K/BB ratio. This week, his matchups are against the Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals, some middle-of-the-pack offensive teams. The belief is that German builds upon his last outing and provides fantasy managers quality starts.

Andrew Heaney (SP – LAD)

Heaney looked great in his return with a four-inning outing in which he gave up only one hit and struck out four. He takes on the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres in Week 17. Neither team makes me hesitant to pull the trigger on inserting the veteran southpaw in weekly lineups.

Keegan Thompson (SP – CHC)

Keegan Thompson has been a pleasant surprise in the Chicago Cubs’ rotation. He has pitched to an 8-4 record with a 3.26 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. This week, Thompson will take on the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins. The Cardinals are one of the top hitting teams in the league, but the right-hander faced off against the Cardinals on June 2 and got the victory, going 5.1 innings and allowing three runs. His second start sees Thompson face the Marlins at Wrigley Field, where he is 5-2 with a 2.50 ERA. I like the odds of Thompson putting up two wins this week.

12-14. Full Stream Ahead

Johnny Cueto (SP – CWS)

Cueto is not a dominant pitcher, but he has kept the White Sox in games by not allowing more than three earned runs since May 28. The veteran right-hander gets the Texas Rangers this week, and with the way he is pitching, Cueto is worth a speculative start this week.

Eric Lauer (SP – MIL)

Lauer is coming off a victory against the Boston Red Sox in which he surrendered one earned run on four hits while striking out four across five innings. Lauer takes the mound against the Pittsburgh Pirates this week, a bottom-five hitting team in the league. The southpaw just faced the Pirates in early July, struck out seven, and allowed two earned runs in five innings. Lauer is worth a look in deeper formats.

Joe Ryan (SP – MIN)

Joe Ryan got rocked in his last start to allow 10 earned runs and eight hits to the San Diego Padres. In his next start, Ryan will take the mound against the Detroit Tigers, who are only hitting .229 as a team. More importantly, Ryan has won both of his matchups this season against the Tigers. He has only allowed one earned run and six hits while striking out 16 across 13.2 innings.

15-20. Hot or Not

Hot

Matt Chapman (3B – TOR)

Chapman has been on fire since returning from the All-Star break. Chapman hit .474/.583/1.053 with three dingers, six RBI, and seven runs scored.

Aaron Judge (OF – NYY)

Judge continued his monstrous season with an enormous week. Judge slashed .462/.567/1.115 with five home runs, 12 RBI, six runs scored, and two stolen bases. He is the front-runner for A.L. MVP.

Martin Perez (SP – TEX)

Perez started the season unhittable, then came back to earth until this past week. The southpaw had two wins and two QS while striking out 12 across 14 innings.

Not

C.J. Cron (1B – COL)

Cron has had an excellent season, but he disappointed fantasy managers this week by having only two hits in 26 at-bats while striking out nine times.

Seiya Suzuki (OF – CHC)

Here’s another player who started hot this season but returned to earth a little. But Suzuki did experience an injury that set him back. As a result, Suzuki hurt fantasy managers this past week by getting only two hits in 25 at-bats.

Gerrit Cole (SP – NYY)

We rarely see Gerrit Cole get bombed like he did this past week. Cole surrendered eight earned runs on 16 hits across 12 innings in his two starts and didn’t factor in the decisions.


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Dennis Sosic is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Dennis, check out his archive and follow him @CALL_ME_SOS.

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