We help you find those deep free agent pickups to plug your Fantasy holes
This is the time of year when injuries start to rear their ugly head. Xander Bogaerts, Josh Donaldson, Elvis Andrus, and Jonathan Schoop are all on the DL; as is pitcher CC Sabathia. It is imperative to seek out their possible replacements before your competitors do. There’s a reason some players are bench guys; they usually aren’t good enough to crack the starting lineup on a consistent basis. But, over a three or four week stretch, you just might catch lightning in a bottle and pick someone up at the perfect time. It is those kinds of moves in fantasy that often separate first place from fourth place.
Let’s take a look at some players who are woefully under-represented in Fantasy leagues. The highest rate of ownership for any of these players is 22% of CBSSports.com leagues, and that’s who I’ll begin with in this waivers rundown.
Yolmer Sanchez (22%) White Sox: The third baseman is getting his share of playing time. He’s played in all 12 games thus far and has respectable numbers. He’s batting .289 with a home run and nine RBIs. And he has multi-position eligibility, also qualifying at second base.
Mallex Smith (20%) Rays: Smith has recently moved up to lead-off for the Rays. This team is going nowhere fast, so they have the ability to be patient with the young speedster. He’s hitting .323 to go along with a couple of stolen bases. Considering that he’s available in four out of every five leagues, you should jump on him. He’s worth throwing $6-$8 of your FAAB budget to get this affordable source of steals.
Aledmys Diaz is playing like Troy Tulowitzki before his foot injury. And before he collided with Pillar. And before he came to Toronto.
— Ari Shapiro (@ari_shapiro) April 8, 2018
Aledmys Diaz (18%) Blue Jays: Diaz has settled in nicely at shortstop for the injured Troy Tulowitzki. In just 38 at-bats, he’s already belted four bombs. He does have sneaky power. In 2016 for the Cardinals, he hit 17 home runs in 111 games. He’s now 27 years old and smack dab in the middle of his prime years. He may be one of those players who just needed the right opportunity. With Toronto, it looks like he’s found it.
Jaime Garcia (18%) Blue Jays: The sole pitcher on my list this week is Jaime Garcia. He plays in the difficult AL East, which is definitely something to think about before grabbing him. But, he’s put together a pretty decent career thus far. The 31 year-old has a career mark of 68-55, 3.69 ERA, and 1.30 WHIP. He’s having a nice start to the season, and he’s worth grabbing and playing matchups. Although he’s in the same division with the Red Sox and Yankees, he’s also in the division with the Rays.
Steve Pearce (7%) Blue Jays: All Steve Pearce does is hit. He’s never had 400 at-bats in a season, and in fact, his high water mark was only 338 in 2014. That is also the year he hit 21 homers. Since that year, he’s had double digit home runs every season. So far this season, he’s already hit three, and is on a pace to hit 34 HRs. He just won’t get the playing time to see that kind of production, but there’s every reason to believe another season of 13-18 HRs is possible.
Leury Garcia (2%) White Sox: Garcia is the fourth outfielder in Chicago, and in a pseudo-platoon with Adam Engel in center field, although Garcia has been the more productive of the two. Engel is sitting with a dreadful .138 AVG, while Garcia is at .278 with two stolen bases. Last year, he had a fairly productive season for the White Sox. In 300 at-bats, he hit nine home runs, and stole eight bases to go with a respectable .270 AVG. He’s 27 years old and could be on the verge of more playing time. You can most likely grab him for $1. He’s the ultimate penny stock.
Niko Goodrum (1%) Tigers: With only 1% ownership, Goodrum is the definition of deep, deep, sleeper. He may be turning into a super-utility player for the Tigers. He already qualifies at first base by playing five games there so far, and he’s qualified at second base. He just needs to play three more games at shortstop to qualify there. He has more speed than power and will be a tremendous source for steals if he continues to get playing time. In the minors, he showed off that speed. In 2013 he stole 20 bases. In 2014 he swiped 35, and in 2015 he stole 29 bags.
Obviously you wouldn’t want all of these players on your roster, but if you find yourself with a hole due to injury or lack of production, any of these seven are worth taking a flyer on. Of the seven, I am exceptionally high on Mallex Smith. He reminds me of a young Carl Crawford, who did manage a few dynamic seasons with the Rays. Unfortunately for me, my league is one of the 20% where he isn’t available.
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