Fantasy baseball is not for the weak. It spans longer than any other fantasy sport and requires the most research to excel at. Often, as July turns into August and August into September, fantasy baseball owners tend to slack off a bit. Whether it be life or even a certain other sport, owners don't check or make adjustments to their lineups as often. This leads to criminally low ownership percentages for certain players (and unjustly high percentages for others). This also present perfect opportunity for active owners to pounce on those players and reap the benefits while others fall further and further behind. With that, let's take a look at several under-owned players and who to drop to get them.
Yasmani Grandal, LAD C 46.2% OWN
Past 30 days stats: 12R 6HR 12RBI 1SB .302AVG
Grandal has been on fire since the break and even more so the past 2 weeks. And with the catching position as poor as it is, why are you still hanging on to those guys you took on draft day?!?! Catching is by far the worst position in fantasy this season. In fact, Grandal is actually the #7 overall catcher FOR THE SEASON! This makes his low ownership even more puzzling.
Drop these players for Grandal: Brian McCann, Stephen Vogt, Matt Wieters
Mitch Moreland, Tex 1B 24.7% OWN
Past 30 days stats: 11R 8HR 14RBI 1SB .347AVG
Pedro Alvarez, Bal 1B, 3B 30.2% OWN
Past 30 days stats: 11R 9HR 16RBI 0SB .278AVG
Martin Prado, Mia 3B 44.9% OWN
Past 30 days stats: 16R 4HR 20RBI 1SB .310AVG
Like Grandal, Moreland has been even better the past 2 weeks. Moreland has been a solid option all season, but has suffered greatly due to lack of playing time. With Prince Fielder out of the picture (sadly but nonetheless), Moreland becomes the beneficiary. Moreland is the #5 overall 1B over the past 30 days and should continue to produce enough to warrant at least consideration for a corner infield spot in your lineup. Alvarez is a streaking player, but his is currently on a hot streak! He has 9 HR in the past 30 days and 6 HR in the past 15 days. Those numbers help him land at #7 for both 1B and 3B in the past 30 days. Owners needing a surge of power numbers should look no further. I listed Prado as a One Category player about a month ago, and I may have jumped the gun. Over the past 30 days Prado has been a monster for fantasy owners at scoring and driving in runs. His is getting a ton of at bats, and is making the most of them. His high batting average is a great safety net for owners because he cannot 'hurt' owners like many other low average, high power options. You could do a lot worse than Prado over the past 30 days.
Drop these players for Moreland, Alvarez, & Prado: Hanley Ramirez, Maikel Franco, Nick Castellanos
Ryan Schimpf, SD 2B 8.1% OWN
Past 30 days stats: 17R 6HR 16RBI 1SB .231AVG
Scooter Gennett, Mil 2B 8.1% OWN
Past 30 days stats: 10R 3HR 15RBI 4SB .288AVG
Freddy Galvis, Phi SS 2.3% OWN
Past 30 days stats: 9R 3HR 9RBI 5SB .220AVG
Outside of outfield and starting pitching, middle infield has been the most productive positions in fantasy baseball this season. Because of this, owners have been quick to grab the best 2B & SS this year. This leaves very little for those who may be scrapping the bottom of the 'waiver wire' barrel. Schimpf had a great July. His August has not been overwhelmingly impressive. He is batting .158 with only 1 HR over the past 15 days, but remains a strong NL option at 2B for those needing power. Gennett has fared better than his fellow second baseman the past couple of weeks. He also helps across the board and has a safer batting average. Gennett shouldn't be overlooked by owners needing a 2B. I mention Galvis to bring up his past 7 days. In that span he has 5R 2HR 5RBI 2SB .316AVG. NL only owners need to pick him up before it is too late and benefit from the speed and occasional power.
Drop these players for Schimpf, Gennett, & Galvis: Joe Panik, Brett Lawrie, Jedd Gyorko
Travis Jankowski, SD OF 26.7% OWN
Past 30 days stats: 17R 0HR 2RBI 11SB .267AVG
Ender Inciarte, Atl OF 22.0% OWN
Past 30 days stats: 19R 1HR 5RBI 3SB .356AVG
Alex Dickerson, SD OF 19.0% OWN
Past 30 days stats: 13R 5HR 13RBI 2SB .282AVG
I started to recommend Jankowski at the end of June, he has not slowed down! In fact, he has been even better than first advertised. Many, myself included, felt he could produce nothing outside of steals. The power numbers may still be absent, but batting leadoff regularly and increasing both his batting average and on base percentage, has led to a boost in runs scored. His fellow Padres teammate, Alex Dickerson, has also taken advantage of additional playing time. Dickerson helps in the power number, where Jankowski does not, but has also put up a solid batting average during his time in San Diego this year. Owners have been waiting on Inciarte all season long. A trending preseason sleeper and top 175 player in drafts this year, he has battled injury for longer than he has actually seen the field it seems. He's been healthy the past 30 days and has posted a great average and a high run scored total. Owners who dropped him earlier need to pick him back up for the final stretch of the season.
Drop these players for Jankowski, Inciarte, & Dickerson: Jose Bautista, Justin Upton, Jason Heyward
Dan Straily, Cin SP 33.0% OWN
Past 30 days stats: 32.2IP 25K 3W 1.93ERA 0.77WHIP
Tom Koehler, Mia SP 21.1% OWN
Past 30 days stats: 31.0IP 27K 3W 1.74ERA 0.90WHIP
Jeremy Hellickson, Phi SP 37.8% OWN
Past 30 days stats: 37.1IP 26K 3W 2.89ERA 0.96WHIP
Staily, who often ranks well in the Pure Starter rankings, has been the #10 overall SP over the past 30 days! This stretch includes home matchup against the Cardinals and Diamondbacks. He has yet to allow more than 2 earned runs since the All-Star break and should continue to have solid matchups the rest of the season. Pick him up! Koehler has put together a great streak of outings as well, including one at the Cubs. He calls the NL East his home and can be a great streamer to hold on to as the season winds down. Hellickson, like Koehler, benefits greatly from his division. He has had some injury concerns as of late, but that has not slowed him or the Phillies down from using him. None of these pitchers offer incredible strikeout total, but they can keep your ERA and WHIP in check with solid and plentiful innings.
Drop these players for Straily, Koehler, & Hellickson: Jordan Zimmermann, Vince Velasquez, Josh Tomlin
Jim Johnson, Atl RP 36.5% OWN
Past 30 days stats: 11.1IP 14K 7SV 2.38ERA 1.32WHIP
Johnson has been a top 8 RP over the past 30 days and a top 3 RP over the past 15 days. His value stems heavily from his save total, but his ERA, WHIP, and K rate warrants him as a great RP option. Owners needing saves can obtain them from Johnson without damaging the other important pitching categories. He needs to be owned in more leagues.
Drop these players for Johnson: A.J. Ramos, Brad Ziegler, Hector Rondon
Please leave comments if you have any further questions and feel free to let me know what you found most interesting in this research. Thanks for the read!