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Roto Roundup: Kris Bryant, Wilmer Flores, Nathan Eovaldi and others

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Ray highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Monday's roto action, including Kris Bryant, Wilmer Flores, Nathan Eovaldi and others.

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Fantasy Football Rankings and more

The 2015 fantasy football season is only a few weeks away and our fantasy football writing team is busy updating their position rankings for standard and PPR leagues, which will publish this week.  Jacob Adler published his QB Rankings for 2015, with Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck atop his rankings, and you can find the rest of his rankings in the link below:

2015 QB Rankings

With that said, here is a link to all of our early position rankings, sleepers, value picks, top rookies and more:

Fantasy Football 2015: Early position rankings, sleeper and busts for PPR Leagues


Roto Roundup

Back in early March, Razzball's Rudy Gamble tweeted the following after he drafted Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant in two expert league drafts:

I quickly responded "I bet he doesn't". So, we decided to have a gentleman's bet over whether Bryant would reach 30 home runs this season. Yesterday, Bryant hit a walk-off solo homer run in the Cubs 2-1 win over the Indians. The home run prompted another tweet from Rudy:

The Cubs are in the thick of the wild card race thanks to the production from Bryant, Anthony RIzzo and their starting rotation, to name a few.

Bryant is now hitting .262-.366-.481 with 20 home runs, 7 runs scored, 75 RBI and 12 stolen bases through 114 games, and according to ESPN, is on pace to hit "just" 26 home runs in his rookie season. He is the favorite to win the National League Rookie of the Year award at this point. He would have to slump terribly to not win the award. Heading into the 2016 season, he will be ranked among the top 5 fantasy third baseman and many will expect him to equal, or exceed, his home run total from this season. That said, I don't see him running as much going forward, as it will be more important to keep his bat in the lineup than for him to be a threat on the base paths.

Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi is pitching for his third major league team, as two pitching coaches have failed to help Eovaldi develop a third pitch, but he is beginning to throw a splitter this season, and the results are beginning to show. Last night, Eovaldi shut out the hot Astros on 4 hits, 3 walks and 7 strikeouts over 8 innings, but did not factor in the decision (as I write this, the score is 0-0 through 7.5 innings). The dominating start reduced his ERA to an even 4.00 with a 1.42 WHIP and a 107-43 strikeout to walk rate over 144 innings. He has pitched better in the second half of the season, pitching to a 4-0 record in 7 starts with a 2.93 ERA and a 36-14 strikeout to walk rate in 46 innings. He is throwing his splltter with 15% of his pitches this season, and is throwing fewer fastballs as a result. If he can perfect the splitter, he could become a solid fantasy contributor in 2016.

Braves starter Julio Teheran has struggled for most of the season, but, like Eovaldi, has pitched better in the second half of the season. Last night, he limited the Rockies to 3 runs on 4 hits, a walk and 5 strikeouts in 7.1 innings in the Braves win. The win moved his record to 9-6 with a 4.29 ERA, a 1.30 WHIP and a 135-54 strikeout to walk rate in 157.1 innings. He has given up 3 runs or fewer in 9 of his last 10 starts, reducing his ERA from 4.94 to 4.29. After putting up a 4.96 ERA in 18 first half starts, Teheran has pitched to a 3.70 ERA in eight second half starts. He's not near the pitcher he was in 2014, but is at least pitching better in the second half.

Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores had himself a night last night, going 3-4 with 2 home runs, 3 runs scored and 5 RBI in the Mets 14-7 rout of the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park. The game featured 10 long balls with the Mets hitting seven of them. The huge night improved his slash line to .267-.299-.421 with 14 home runs, 50 runs scored and 54 RBI in 113 games. Among all fantasy shortstops, Flores ranks 4th in home runs, 12th in runs scored, and 5th in RBI. He may not be a good defensive shortstop, but he presents value at the shortstop position in fantasy circles. He is owned in just 17% of ESPN leagues right now, so if you are looking for a solid bat at the shortstop or middle infield position on your roster, grab him now.

Remember back in April when Cubs ace Jon Lester was getting knocked around in what seemed like every start? Yeah, he went 0-2 with an ERA over 6.00 in his first four starts in the NL, and he recently admitted that he was trying to prove that he was worth the big contract he signed in the offseason. He has settled down since then, although he did struggled in June. Yesterday, he limited the Indians to just one run on 6 hits, a walk, 6 strikeouts and 16 ground ball outs in 8.2 innings in the Cubs 2-1 win. He didn't figure in the decision, but is now 8-9 with a 3.44 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and a 159-40 strikeout to walk rate in 157 innings. He has pitched better than his ERA indicates, pitching to a 3.13 FIP, 3.11 xFIP, while striking out more than a batter per inning, limiting the free pass and inducing ground balls at a near 50% clip. He may be undervalued come 2016 fantasy drafts.

Fantasy Rundown

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