Head-to-Head Risers and Fallers: Scooter Gennett, Tanner Roark and More

Tom Lynn

Identifying risers and fallers in head-to-head points' leagues for Week 12, including Scooter Gennett and Tanner Roark.

Risers

Scooter Gennett, Brewers

Gennett has supplanted the struggling Jean Segura at the top of the order in Milwaukee, giving the 24-year-old keystone extra fantasy value in a potent Brewers' lineup. Gennett has multi-hit games in four out of his last five contests, with a .325/.356/.500 slash and 11 runs scored over the last 30 days. The second baseman makes a lot of contact, and he's struck out in just 16.3 percent of his plate appearances this season. Gennett doesn't do one thing extraordinarily well, but he's someone you can comfortably insert into your middle infield without hurting your batting average. He should maintain a .280 BA with an outside chance of double-digit home runs and steals. Right now, he's on pace for seven home runs, 53 runs, 42 RBI and nine steals; I'm much more confident in Gennett reaching double-digit steals, but if he continues to hit, he should easily exceed 53 runs scored with Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez batting second, third and fourth. I'll give Gennett a .285/.325/.425 slash the rest of the way, with a season-ending total of nine home runs, 65 runs, 45 RBI and 12 steals.

Tanner Roark, Nationals

In a starting rotation with Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez a Doug Fister, Roark has quietly emerged as a very strong back-end starter in D.C. Many pundits favored Taylor Jordan over Roark in the preseason, but Roark hasn't conceded his rotation spot, going 5-3 with a 2.98 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 71:15 K:BB ratio in 84 2/3 innings.  Roark is league average in strikeouts, but his overall game -- which has him inside the top-30 starting pitchers, according to the ESPN Player Rater -- should be getting more attention in fantasy leagues. Roark is still available in almost 50 percent of ESPN leagues, and he gets two favorable starts in Week 12, starting with the Astros on Tuesday and ending with the Braves on Sunday. Both games are at home, where Roark owns a 1.50 ERA (compared to 4.22 on the road).

Fallers

Rajai Davis, Tigers

I'm not a big fan of speed-dependent players. I own zero shares of Billy Hamilton, which I now regret, but Davis is someone I've owned and dropped before numerous times, including this season. I also traded the Detroit center fielder -- along with Jenrry Mejia -- for Angel Pagan, an everyday player (who is now hurt). Don't get me wrong; Davis is still very dependable in five-outfield leagues, but a head-to-head format is a different story. Davis isn't a full-time player in Brad Ausmus' offense, giving way to J.D. Martinez, who is currently riding a five-game hitting streak. After hitting .333 in April and .263 in May with 16 combined steals, Davis finds himself in a 5-for-29 (.172 BA) funk with two steals in seven games. I think his May performance is most indicative of his true talent. He's also not going to give you 10 home runs, which he was on pace to do with four long balls in the first two months. Forty steals is still in the conversation, but it will likely come with a .265 BA and a low on-base percentage (career .317 OBP).

Marco Estrada, Brewers

Estrada was lit up once again Sunday, allowing three long balls to Billy Hamilton, Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier. That makes 23 home runs allowed in 13 starts, which puts the 30-year-old on pace to break the all-time record held by Bert Blyleven (50 home runs in 1986). That's not going to happen, if only because Estrada cannot be long for the Milwaukee rotation. Ron Roenicke backed his starter entering Sunday, but I expect a quick role reversal. Estrada's HR/FB rate of 18.2 percent is an extreme outlier, but it's not just the home runs that are a concern. His walk rate has also increased from 5.7 percent to 8.3 percent, and his swinging strike rate is below 10 percent for the first time since 2009. I'll be very surprised if Estrada gets another start, with prospect Jimmy Nelson currently carving up Triple-A (7-1, 1.51 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 86 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings) -- and Mike Fiers being another quality option. Wily Peralta should be owned in more leagues than Estrada (although he has two difficult matchups in Week 12; at Arizona, at Colorado). If you're in a 12-team league, I have no problem dropping Estrada if there is a better option available.

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