For those of you who play in competitive leagues—where recommendations to add players 40-60% owned just doesn’t cut it—this weekly article highlights 10 players who are more likely to be available in your league. The parameters are simple: any player owned in less than 10% of Fantrax leagues whose stock is trending up. I’ll try to get a mix of different positions and mix pitchers and hitters, but understand that we are digging a little deeper with this list and we’ll take the value where we can find it.
Sandy Leon (BOS - C) 5% owned
Still splitting time with Christian Vazquez but Leon is on fire and should get the majority of the plate appearances until he cools down. Leon owns a .506 xwOBA in the past 14 days in the best offense in baseball, should be a temporary hold for all deep leagues.
Caleb Joseph (BAL - C) 4% owned
More of a longer term play then Leon, Caleb Joseph is the everyday starter in Baltimore and has a .323 xwOBA over the past two weeks in 32 PAs. A Baltimore teardown could start any day, which could involve the 32-year-old catcher, but in the meantime he will get all the opportunities he can handle.
Jake Marisnick (HOU - OF) 7% owned
I just can’t quit Marisnick. He ranks second in xwOBA in the prolific Houston offense over the past 14 days and has been getting every day at-bats in the 9 hole. A Kyle Tucker promotion seems imminent, which could spell the end of Marisnick, but the talent is still there for him to be a productive everyday player. Maybe Marisnick gets dealt at the deadline and frees up the glut of outfielders in Houston?
Rosell Herrera (KC - 2B) 3% owned
The Royals offense is in a tailspin, but a 3% ownership for someone getting regular at-bats in the second spot of an MLB lineup seems low. Herrera owns a respectable .319 xwOBA in the last 14 days and offers a hint of productivity. Middle infield is thin right now, and Herrera is likely the best option on your waiver wire.
David Fletcher (LAA - 3B) 7% owned
Been very impressed with David Fletcher and his ability to make consistent contact. He’s the Angels everyday third basemen and that is worthy enough of consideration.
Colby Rasmus (BAL - OF) 5% owned
Not sure where the plate appearances are for Rasmus, but I’m betting on the talent here. The Orioles lineup should see a shakeup as the trade deadline nears, and Rasmus should get more opportunities in the near future either in Baltimore or a new home.
Jake Cave (MIN - OF) 2% owned
He hit a home run Sunday off the Cubs, and has taken over starting CF for the Minnesota Twins. He’s an intriguing flier if you need OF help - he provides some pop and is only 25 years old. Could carve out a consistent role the rest of the year and provide fantasy value in AL-only leagues.
Caleb Ferguson (LAD - P) 7% owned
In the bullpen now, but should continue to see spot starts throughout the rest of the season. Love his strikeout rates (28% in the last 30 days) and throws enough innings in long relief to make an impact on your ratios.
Felix Pena (LAA - P) 5% owned
Keeps earning another spin in the rotation after earning his first win going 5 1/3 scoreless innings against Baltimore. He’s had five or six strikeouts in each of his three starts and could start going deeper into games as he gets stretched out.
Ryne Stanek (TB - P) 5% owned
It’s not conventional, but a 32.8% strikeout rate and 1.94 FIP in the past 30 days is worthy of a roster spot. The Rays bullpen days have provided a nice little source of ratio boosting for fantasy owners.
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