20 Things to Watch for in Week 17 (2022 Fantasy Baseball)
Welcome fantasy friends and foes to Week 17 of the 2022 fantasy baseball season.
The MLB Trade Deadline passed with a bevy of moves with teams positioning themselves for the dog days of August and beyond. Find out what fantasy managers should be aware of in Week 18 as we look at 20 things to watch for in Week 17 in Fantasy Baseball.
1. Week 17 Schedule Highlights
Week 17 brings fantasy managers only six teams playing seven games this week, including the Kansas City Royals playing all seven games at home at Kauffman Stadium. Instead, 20 teams are playing six games this week, with three having the advantage of playing all six games at home, including the Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, and the Houston Astros. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, and the Tampa Bay Rays all play only five games in Week 17.
2. Trade Deadline Impact
WOW! What an impressive 2022 MLB Trade Deadline! We finally saw Juan Soto get moved in a colossal trade along with Josh Bell to the San Diego Padres. Most contending teams pulled out all the stops to make a second-half splash and get to the postseason. The Houston Astros got themselves a power bat in Trey Mancini and catcher Christian Vazquez. The Seattle Mariners were able to sway the Cincinnati Reds to move ace right-hander Luis Castillo. You knew the New York Yankees would move to position themselves to bring another World Series Ring. The Yankees got another starter in left-hander Frankie Montas and reliever Lou Trivino from the Oakland A’s. That trade allowed the Yankees to move southpaw Jordan Montgomery to the St. Louis Cardinals for Gold Glove outfielder Harrison Bader. The Yankees and the Padres seemed primed for a deep playoff push.
3. Dylan Cease to Amaze
Those Dylan Cease truthers, please stand up. Long excited as a breakout pitcher, Dylan Cease HAS broken out, and he has been excellent. Cease has won Pitcher of the Month in both June and July. The right-hander has not allowed more than one earned run in a start since May 24. According to STATS, he is pitching at a record pace with 13 consecutive starts allowing one or no earned runs. Cease has a .174 opponents average during his record streak and allows .198/.285/.302 slash on the season. Cease is 12-4 with a 1.98 ERA and 166 strikeouts, ranking second in the American League. His 12.18 strikeouts per nine innings and 4.1 WAR leads the AL. Cease has established himself as the White Sox ace with the team 17-5 in his starts this season. Cease is the current front-runner for the AL Cy Young Award this season.
4. Lowe and Behold
Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe returned from his back injury after being out for two months and is making opposing pitchers pay. Lowe is slashing .328/.386/.547 with a .933 OPS. Lowe slugged three homers, knocked in 12 runs, and scored eight with a .375 BABIP. After struggling to start the season, hitting only .212/.293/.415, some fantasy managers may have moved on him from Lowe. Hopefully, fantasy managers could stash the second baseman on their bench.
5. Julio Rodriguez is expected to return this week
Seattle Mariners rookie outfielder Julio Rodriguez is scheduled to return to the team on August 10, when he is eligible to return from his 10-day injured list stint with a right wrist contusion. Rodriguez is enjoying a Rookie of the Year season, hitting .271/.334/.482 with 18 homers, 57 RBI, and 21 stolen bases. Thankfully, Rodriguez was only forced to make a minimum stay on the injured list.
6. Fernando Tatis is rehabbing
The San Diego Padres will soon have another high impact back in their daily lineup, with shortstop Fernando Tatis beginning his rehab assignment after suffering a broken wrist. A definite timetable has yet to be determined, but seeing Tatis in between Juan Soto and Manny Machado could be a reality before the end of August. Fantasy managers have drafted number one overall heading into the season, so having Tatus available for the last month of the season has to elate fantasy managers.
7. Alex Kirilloff to have season-ending wrist surgery
The 24-year-old outfielder will undergo season-ending wrist surgery this week. His wrist has been a consistent issue in his short big league career. Kirilloff was placed on the injured list twice this season due to wrist issues and had a similar procedure last July that ended his 2021 season. The outfielder/first baseman was limited to only 45 games this season, slashing .250/.290/.361 with three dingers, 21 RBI, and 14 runs scored. The former first-round pick has upside, but it is challenging to trust the former top prospect with the numerous wrist ailments.
8. Springer placed on the IL
This season, George Springer has been the Toronto Blue Jays’ offensive catalyst, helping the Blue Jays to a top-five ranking among several team categories. However, his play has suffered lately due to Springer’s sore elbow that has plagued the outfielder for much of the season. Springer hit just .225/.295/.375 with three homers and 11 RBI in 88 plate appearances in July. His slump has pushed the Blue Jays to rest Springer or use him at designated hitter, but his elbow issues have worsened. Overall, Springer is slashing .251/.331/.464 with 18 homers and 49 RBI with 59 runs scored and 10 stolen bases. His absence concerns the Blue Jays, attempting to hold on to the top AL wild-card spot. The newly acquired Whit Merrifield will take over for Springer, but that’s a considerable downgrade considering Merrifield is producing below standards, hitting only .245/.293/.354 with six homers and 16 stolen bases. The loss of Springer has to be troubling for fantasy managers, who will be without the OF10 for an extended period.
9-11. Full Stream Ahead
Carrasco has lost one game in his last seven appearances, including surrendering three runs or less in each of those starts. The Mets right-hander has a plus matchup this week when he takes on the Cincinnati Reds in Week 17, who are hitting in the bottom half of teams this season.
Cueto continues his fantastic stretch of 2-1 record with a 2.25 ERA and a 16/4 K/BB ratio across his last five starts. In Week 17, Cueto takes on the Kansas City Royals, which shouldn’t threaten Cueto’s hot streak.
Mahle is a solid veteran gifted with being traded to the AL Central leader Minnesota Twins. The right-hander received a no-decision in his first start as a Twin, going six innings, surrendering three home runs, and striking out five. Week 17 has Mahle heading west to take on the Los Angeles Angels, who are hitting only .217 in their last 24 games.
12-14. Two-Start Recommendations
Kikuchi seems to be past his neck strain issues that caused his stay on the injured list. The southpaw has appeared to find his groove with his last two outings allowing less than two runs each. This week Kikuchi takes the mound on two teams-Cleveland Guardians and the Baltimore Orioles-who are in the bottom seven against left-handers this season.
Lancy Lynn had a brutal July, posting a 0-3 record with a dismal 6.54 ERA across six starts. Fortunately, he started August with a quality start against the Kansas City Royals. Lynn went six solid innings and gave up one earned run on four hits while striking out eight. This was his first win in over a month, but hopefully, this is a good sign for things to come for the veteran right-hander. Week 17 brings the Kansas City Royals in his first start and then welcomes the Detroit Tigers in his second start. Both are bottom-dwelling offenses that Lynn should strive against in Week 17.
Snell has caught fire with three consecutive victories, giving up only two earned runs and striking out 21 batters. Next, the veteran southpaw takes on the San Francisco Giants, who Snell dominated earlier this season with 11 strikeouts across six innings to gain the victory. In addition, Snell will take on the Washington Nationals, who rank as a bottom ten offense.
15-20. Hot or Not
Guerrero returned from the All-Star Break on fire, slashing .409/.500/.818 with two home runs, six runs, and six RBI. He even chipped in three stolen bases to help fantasy managers get the win this week.
Profar stood out for the Padres even with their new additions to the massive trade with the Washington Nationals. The versatile Profar hit .371/.389/.714 with three homers, seven RBI, and seven runs.
Mad Max is in prime form. Scherzer won both of his starts and produced 16 total strikeouts while surrendering only two earned runs across 13.2 innings.
Josiah Gray had a solid season until his two starts this past week. Gray pitched a combined nine innings across two starts and allowed 10 earned runs on 10 hits, including five homers, with both outings resulting in losses.
The veteran right-hander was likely started in multiple leagues due to his two-start matchups. However, Greinke let down the Royals and fantasy managers with two sub-par starts. Greinke surrendered seven earned runs on 12 hits and four walks across 9.2 innings of work.
McLanahan had an outstanding first half of the season, pitching to a 10-3 record with a 1.71 ERA and .079 WHIP, and a 12.0 K/9. However, his first two starts of the second half of this season were awful. In 10.2 innings, the southpaw allowed nine earned runs on 13 hits resulting in two ugly losses.
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