Digging deep is one of the best aspects of Fantasy Sports. Everyone knows that Mike Trout is great, Alex Bregman is a rising star and Keon Broxton is a potential breakout. All those guys will be drafted regardless of the size of your league. However, once you dive a little deeper, you start to discover players that you may like, but the Fantasy community as a whole is lower on. And really, there’s nothing more fun than taking some late shots and if they hit, being able to say, “I was on that guy when he was a nobody.”
Now, some of you may not play in the NFBC, or 15- or 12-team leagues. If that is the case, these names may not be on your draft board, but it is still worth knowing them. You can add them to your Watch List before the season even starts and be one of the first to nab them off the waiver wire.
Robert Gsellman, ADP – 314
Gsellman was an unexpected piece for the Mets during their playoff push last year. In 44.2 innings (eight games, seven starts) he pitched to a 2.42 ERA, with a 2.63 FIP, 1.28 WHIP, while averaging 8.46 K/9.
What really stands out to me is that he allowed hard contact just 28.3 percent of the time and got batters to hit the ball on the ground 54.2 percent of the time. Additionally, both his fastball and slider – the two pitches he throws most often – rated out as plus-pitches last year. Gsellman is overlooked, either due to the small sample size or the fact that many people assume Zack Wheeler will win the Mets fifth starter job. However, it is looking like Wheeler could start the season in extended Spring Training, giving first crack at the job to Gsellman. He could be a valuable piece, at least early on in the season (perhaps longer, given the Mets pitchers injury concerns) and had for a late-round flier.
Corey Dickerson, 328
Dickerson was not just bad in the first half; he was flat out awful. He was so bad that those who drafted him likely still have a bad taste in their mouth. He was also so bad, that you may overlook his second half. Dickerson was able to right the ship and finished the year with 24 homers and 70 RBIs. He may never live up to the expectations we all had after his first full season with the Rockies, but he is a cheap source of power that could provide close to 25 homers. If things break right for him, he may even be able to flirt with 30.
Justin Bour, 329
Bour has 38 homers over the past two seasons. That number is more impressive when you realize that he only played in 219 games in that span. He is a legit power hitter that will bat in the .260s, and he will not kill your counting stats, as he projects to hit sixth in the Marlins lineup. He can give you a legitimate 25 homers, hit .260, while racking up 60-plus runs and RBIs. Yeah, you could do worse with a late-round flier. The one thing I will say is he is a platoon candidate, as he cannot hit lefties very well (granted he has never had much of a chance). This will hurt his RBI and run total, but will help preserve his average.
Cesar Hernandez, 334
Hernandez did a lot well last season and it goes under the radar. In 155 games, he hit .294 with a .371 OBP, as well as scoring 67 runs, and stealing 17 bases. Obviously he has added value in OBP leagues, but he could steal 20 bases – a feat only 28 players reached last season – giving him added value as a late-round middle-infielder in Roto formats. Add in the fact that he should score some runs leading off for the Phillies. He even holds value in points leagues, due to that OBP, his 10.6 percent walk rate, and the fact that he hit 14 doubles and 11 triples.
Lucas Giolito, 349
This is my guy this season. Remember last year when you had to spend a Round 15-18 pick on him? We were all hyped because he dominated Double-A and had a shot at being a mid-season call up. Then, he had four bad MLB starts and boom, we write him off forever. Well, maybe not forever, but he has fallen drastically in drafts and again … it was only FOUR starts. He still dominated in both Double-A and Triple-A. Additionally, he said the Nationals wanted him to change his delivery, and that he was never comfortable. The White Sox are letting him pitch the way he feels most comfortable, and it has resulted in a big spring (minus his last outing).
What were those reasons we liked him last year? Great minor league numbers. Well, he did that again last year and has more seasoning under his belt. He had a path to the majors last year, but he has an even easier path this year, as the only thing keeping him out of the White Sox rotation is service time issues. He could slide in to their rotation and arguably be the third best pitcher on the staff. But hey, give me him rounds and rounds later than last year. I will gladly take the chance.
Tyler Skaggs, 393
I was higher on Skaggs heading into Spring Training, but some rocky outings and a shoulder injury has me lowering him a bit. However, I still feel like he is overlooked. Remember, he averaged over a strikeout per inning and had a 3.95 FIP in his 10 starts last year. Yes, he allowed way too many walks and was very inconsistent. In those 10 starts he had four quality starts (missed a fifth by two outs), but got rocked in his other outings. I came into the year thinking he could get those issues under control, as he was returning from a long layover due to Tommy John surgery. Still, if I am this deep in the draft, I have no problem taking a low-risk, high-reward flier.
Ben Revere, 401
I have to give credit where it is due. My Fantasy First Look co-host Joe “FNTSY Jesus” Gallina (although he has taken a liking to the Fantasy Godfather) pointed out the value that Ben Revere could be. Revere is currently in the strong side of a platoon with Cameron Maybin. It sucks that he will hit in the bottom of the lineup, but Revere still has some potential, especially going this late. Prior to last season, Revere had three straight seasons in which he hit higher than .300. He also stole more than 30 bases in three of four seasons from 2012 to 2014. Was last year the beginning of the end for Revere? Possibly, but he had his highest hard-hit rate since 2013, continues to hit the ball on the ground and has a strikeout rate on par with his career norm. Revere could bounce back, and you have to pay next to nothing to take a chance.
Lucas Duda, 404
There are a number of issues with Duda. He played in only 47 games last season, missing most of the year with a back issue that has already limited him at times this spring. The Mets also have an abundance of depth and could opt to use Jay Bruce at first at times, and Duda should be expected to platoon with Wilmer Flores. Still, Duda hit 30 homers in 2014 and 27 in 2015. He had three straight seasons with an OBP of .349 or higher prior to last season. Duda is going to be on waivers in many leagues, but for those who wait, he could provide 20-plus homers. He obviously is more valuable in OBP leagues, but at his asking price he is worth a shot in a standard Roto league.
Dan Vogelbach, 407
Another co-host gets credit here, as my man Frank Stampfl has been talking Vogelbach up all winter and with good reason. Not only is he a Kyle Schwarber look-a-like, but he is a big, burly, power hitter. His home run total will depend on the amount of plate appearances he receives, but he is currently slated to hit seventh for the Mariners in the strong side of a platoon with Danny Valencia.
Adam Lind, NA (outside the available ADP data)
The Nats signed Lind, and I suspect he will platoon at first base with Ryan Zimmerman. I know, how the mighty have fallen, right? However, Zimmerman hit .220 with 11 homers against righties, granted he was awful against lefties, as well. If there is one thing Lind can do, it’s mash righties. He belted 19 homers against them last year. He currently is going outside the Top 430 picks.
If you wait on Catchers: Austin Hedges (310), Travis d’Arnaud (306), Blake Swihart (311), Derek Norris (342), Tony Wolters (N/A).
Hedges is a youngster that has showed the ability to hit for power and average in the minors. In 82 Triple-A games last year, he hit 21 homers, with 82 RBIs, a .326 average and a .353 OBP. Yeah, you can clearly see the upside this 24-year-old has. It also helps that the Padres should give him every chance to succeed … We have seen d’Arnaud play at high levels before in the majors, like in 2015 when he posted a .218 ISO. The issues remain, though. He is inconsistent, misses a lot of time due to injury and could lose playing time to Rene Rivera. Still, he has had a hot spring and is starting to show his power stroke again … Swihart is hitting .350 this spring and could steal the Red Sox catcher job away from the offensively challenged Sandy Leone … Norris was put on waivers by the Nats and could be cut. That may sound awful for him, but it likely helps his Fantasy value, as he has a chance to go somewhere where he could play more regularly. Yes, he hit below .200 last year, but he did hit 14 homers and steal nine bags. This is pure speculation, but maybe Colorado could be a fit … Speaking of the Rockies, Tom Murphy just landed on the DL with a fractured forearm. Ouch. But in his place, Wolters will start. He will not provide much with the bat, but anytime you can get some exposure to the Rockies lineup is a plus. He is a late-round flier for those who wait to grab a second catcher.
Setup men who could become closers: Brad Ziegler (316), Santiago Casilla (324), Jeremy Jeffress (331), Carter Capps (357), Matt Bush (360),Ryan Dull (390), Kyle Barraclough (403).
Make sure to follow me on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio.
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