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Fantasy Baseball Week 17 Planner: Carson Kelly, Brandon Drury, Christopher Morel (2022)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Aug 5, 2022
Carson Kelly

Quietly, Carson Kelly has turned his season around.

Four teams have a week-low five games in the upcoming scoring period. Next, a whopping 20 teams will play six games next week. Finally, just six teams are scheduled for a week-high seven games in the upcoming week.

Notable Matchups

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. MIN (2), at KC (3)

The short week is unfortunate for the Dodgers’ studs, such as Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner and Will Smith. Nonetheless, they’re mainstays in fantasy lineups. However, Gavin Lux isn’t a must-start player on teams with a stellar alternative. Further, gamers holding out hope for Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy figuring it out at the dish might be getting saved from themselves. The acquisition of Joey Gallo and the upcoming return of Chris Taylor create a muddied playing time outlook for the Dodgers’ crowded roster, saying nothing of when Justin Turner is activated from his IL stint, which is retroactive to July 30.

Milwaukee Brewers vs. TB (2), at STL (3)

The Brewers are the next team up with a short week. Their offense isn’t loaded with fantasy options. So, Christian Yelich and Willy Adames are the only two players who stand out as locked-in options in most leagues with weekly lineup changes.

Minnesota Twins at LAD (2), at LAA (3)

The Twins are hit with a double-whammy next week. First, they will play only five games. Second, matchups against Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw and Patrick Sandoval are challenging. Regardless, gamers should use Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, Jorge Polanco and Jose Miranda during the next fantasy scoring period.

Buxton and Correa have track records of elite numbers against lefties, enhancing their appeal in a week opposing three southpaws. In addition, Miranda has hit .275 with five blasts in 72 plate appearances against lefties as a rookie. Miranda has settled into a groove in The Show.

Tampa Bay Rays at MIL (2), vs. BAL (3)

Finally, the Rays are the last of four clubs with a week-low five games next week. Fortunately, they don’t have many fantasy options gamers are relying upon. It’s a knock on the value of Brandon Lowe and Randy Arozarena next week. Nevertheless, gamers shouldn’t bench Lowe or Arozarena in most leagues.

Chicago Cubs vs. WSH (3), at CIN (3)

The Cubs are one of 20 clubs with six games on the docket next week. However, they have two positives enhancing the outlook for their hitters. First, the pitching matchups are largely excellent, including facing two of MLB’s worst bullpens. Second, they’re visiting Cincinnati for three games. According to the MLB Park Factors page, Great American Ball Park has the highest park factor for homers (1.352). Christopher Morel and Nico Hoerner are two Cubs available in more than 40% of Yahoo! leagues who merit streaming consideration. Further, Morel has the upside to be more than a streamer.

Colorado Rockies vs. STL (3), vs. ARI (3)

It’s wheels up for Colorado’s offense next week, as they’ll likely take flight for six games in their dreamy hitting confines at Coors Field. According to FanGraphs, Colorado’s .350 wOBA at home is the highest in MLB this season.

St. Louis Cardinals at COL (3), vs. MIL (3)

The Cardinals are one of the two teams getting an offensive lift for a series at Coors Field. However, they’ll also benefit from favorable pitching matchups and facing a dreadful bullpen in Colorado. In addition, the lefty-killing Red Birds will square off with two southpaws when hosting the Brewers. As a result, Dylan Carlson is an enticing widely-available streamer.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. PIT (4), at COL (3)

The Diamondbacks have a mouthwatering schedule next week. First, they have non-threatening pitching matchups for four games against the visiting Pirates. Second, they get the Coors Field value bump for three in Colorado to close the week.

The seven-game week and layout make Christian Walker, Carson Kelly and Alek Thomas viable streamers in deeper leagues. Quietly, Kelly has turned his season around. In 84 plate appearances since June 26, he’s slashed .360/.417/.707 with six homers, 19 runs and 15 RBI. As a result, Kelly should be on rosters in leagues as shallow as 12-team single-catcher mixers.

Hitter Notes

Brandon Drury (SD)

Fernando Tatis (SD)

Drury has been a surprising fantasy asset this year. Sadly, he’s a more volatile option after the Padres acquired him from the Reds before the trade deadline. Sure, Drury joins a better offense. However, his leash will be shorter for the contending Padres. Drury’s versatility should award him a path to steady playing time, but gamers shouldn’t hesitate to cut bait if he reverts to the hitter he was before this year.

According to AJ Cassavell, Tatis faced live pitching on Monday and is nearing a rehab assignment that could begin this weekend.

Bryce Harper (PHI)

Harper had the pins removed from his surgically-repaired thumb. There’s reportedly hope he’ll be back before the end of August.

Pitcher Notes

Jon Gray (TEX)

Gray has been having an outstanding first year out of Colorado. Sadly, he’ll be out at least four to six weeks with a left oblique strain. There’s no harm in stashing him in an Injured List (IL) spot on rosters where one is open. However, Gray isn’t a must-stash player.

Lance McCullers (HOU)

McCullers made his third rehab start earlier this week. He reached 76 pitches in that outing and is expected to pitch again on Sunday. The 28-year-old righty isn’t far from a return to the Astros. There isn’t an apparent rotation spot available, but McCullers is a viable IL-stash option while monitoring how Houston’s rotation shakes out.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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