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Fantasy Baseball Week 21 Planner: Gunnar Henderson, Nick Gordon, Lars Nootbaar (2022)

Fantasy Baseball Week 21 Planner: Gunnar Henderson, Nick Gordon, Lars Nootbaar (2022)

Only one team has a week-low five games on the ledger next week. But, then, 20 teams have six games in the upcoming scoring period. Finally, seven teams will play seven games, and two squads have a week-high eight games on the docket.

Notable Matchups

Atlanta Braves at OAK (2), at SEA (3)

The Braves are the outlier club with only five games. Nevertheless, there isn’t a big takeaway from the short week. Gamers should still start Atlanta’s top-shelf fantasy options. Yet, gamers in smaller leagues with players such as Travis d’Arnaud, Vaughn Grissom and William Contreras might have viable alternatives.

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

The Rockies are one of 20 teams with six games on the schedule next week. However, not all teams are created equal in that set of clubs. Instead, the Rockies will benefit a ton from back-to-back three-game series at MLB’s premier hitting venue, Coors Field. So, gamers are encouraged to start C.J. Cron, Charlie Blackmon, Brendan Rodgers and Ryan McMahon in all leagues.

Additionally, Randal Grichuk, Jose Iglesias, Elehuris Montero and Michael Toglia are viable streamers in deeper leagues. According to FanGraphs, Montero has hit three homers with a rock-solid .269 batting average in 53 plate appearances at home this season. He should get three starts against the southpaws the Rockies face next week. Meanwhile, Toglia raked in the upper minors and has been getting a look down the stretch.

Baltimore Orioles vs. TOR (4), vs. BOS (3)

It’s a double-dose of goods news for Baltimore’s hitters next week. First, they will play seven games. Second, the pitching matchups are mostly good. In addition, they’ll face at least five righties. Gamers can excitedly start Cedric Mullins, Adley Rutschman and Anthony Santander. Jorge Mateo is a source of steals available in 36% of Yahoo! leagues. Still, the most exciting widely available option is Gunnar Henderson. The highly-touted prospect was a stud in the upper minors this year. Henderson had 19 homers, 22 stolen bases and a .297 batting average in 503 plate appearances in Double-A and Triple-A.

Minnesota Twins at NYY (4), vs. CLE (3)

The Twins have seven games, all of which are against right-handed pitchers. So, that’s excellent for Luis Arraez and Jorge Polanco — as long as he avoids the Injured List (IL) with a knee injury that has sidelined him a few games this week. A sneakier beneficiary of seven games all against righties is blossoming utility player Nick Gordon. In 256 plate appearances versus righties this year, Gordon has hit six homers with a .285 average. Further, he’s stolen six bases this year.

St. Louis Cardinals vs. WSH (4), at PIT (3)

The Cardinals have a mouthwatering layout of pathetic pitchers next week. So, the Red Birds should rake. Additionally, they’re projected to face five righties. As a result, Lars Nootbaar and Brendan Donovan are nifty options available in more than 40% of Yahoo! leagues. Nootbaar has clubbed 10 homers with a .255 average in 194 plate appearances against righties this season.

Toronto Blue Jays at BAL (4), at TEX (3)

The Blue Jays don’t have widely-available streaming options. Thus, their inclusion in this space merely highlights the boost Toronto’s high-octane lineup receives from a seven-game week and desirable pitching matchups. It’s wheels up for the Blue Jays taking flight next week.

Milwaukee Brewers at COL (3), vs. SF (2), vs. CIN (3)

The Brewers are one of two teams with a week-high eight games in the upcoming scoring period. Yet, it gets better. They open the week with three games at Coors Field, and the pitching matchups aren’t threatening. Therefore, everything comes up roses for Milwaukee’s hitters next week.

San Francisco Giants at LAD (3), at MIL (2), at CHC (3)

The Giants are the other club with eight games on the docket next week. Their platoon-heavy approach is frustrating and saps value from their hitters. Still, Thairo Estrada and Joc Pederson are useful streamers in 12-team leagues using a middle infielder and five outfielders or deeper formats. Also, Evan Longoria is a sneaky interesting option. Since returning from the IL on August 8, Longo has hit .294 with three homers in 56 plate appearances.

Hitter Notes

Ozzie Albies (ATL)

Albies began a rehab assignment on Thursday. He’s healthy and simply needs to shake the rust off after a two-month absence.

Byron Buxton (MIN)

Buxton is eligible to be activated from the IL. However, he’s still dealing with hip soreness. So, it’s unclear when he’ll rejoin the Twins.

Pitcher Notes

Zack Wheeler (PHI)

Matt Gelb of The Athletic says Wheeler is trending toward starting on Tuesday.

Justin Verlander (HOU)

Verlander is on the IL with a calf injury. So gamers should plan to be without him next week.

Shane McClanahan (TB)

McClanahan has a left shoulder impingement, and manager Kevin Cash hopes the southpaw won’t have an extended stay on the IL.

Tony Gonsolin (LAD)

Gonsolin won’t be eligible to return from the IL until September 10. He’s dealing with a right forearm strain.

MLB DFS Lineup Optimizer

 


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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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