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July 24, 2014

Free Agent Watch

Week 17

by Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre


Welcome back to our weekly walk through some of the players who may want to keep an extra eye on in your leagues. Mike and I will be tackling this topic on Thursdays again and focusing on a singular hitter and pitcher in four of the more popular formats: shallow mixed, deep mixed, NL-only and AL-only. These are certainly not the only players who are worthy pickups, but it gives us a nice opportunity to write about players we have close tabs on in our leagues.

12-TEAM MIXED

Arismendy Alcantara, 2B/SS/OF, Chicago Cubs
Over the last two weeks, Alcantara has been a top-20 hitter in fantasy leagues, but you wouldn’t know it by his ownership across the board. He’s up to 36 percent owned in ESPN leagues, but he’s still unowned in four out of five Yahoo leagues. All he’s done since getting called up is act as a facsimile of his impressive performance in the minor leagues, clubbing extra-base hits and stealing bases. Through his first nine games, the rookie is hitting .282/.326/.590 with two homers and three steals—and though it’s always dangerous to rely on a fresh face, he has to be played in all leagues right now. Finally, another interesting thing with Alcantara is that his eligibility differs based on where you’re playing. Right now, he’s SS-only in ESPN, 2B-only in Yahoo, and both in CBS—though he should end up with outfield eligibility soon across all formats. —Bret Sayre

Comparable Player: The good Jimmy Rollins with less power

Jimmy Nelson, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
It only took three months and a small country’s GDP of homers, but Marco Estrada finally was banished to the bullpen in favor of the rookie starter who’s been tearing up the Pacific Coast League all season. The big right-hander has made three starts at the major league level now in 2014: one very good, one pretty good, and one terrible. Going forward, I think we can expect more of the good than the bad. As Craig Goldstein wrote in his non-Call Up Call up on Nelson a few weeks back, this is more of an impactful arm in fantasy than we initially thought coming into the season; he’s not just a minor league wonder. With the strong offense the Brewers have, Nelson should be able to win a good number of games down the stretch to go along with what should be pretty good ratios and strikeout numbers (think around a 3.75 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 7.0 K/9. —Bret Sayre

Comparable Player: Wily Peralta

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article TTO Scoresheet Podcast... (07/24)
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Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week... (07/17)
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Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week... (07/31)
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