Lacking significant September corner infield call-ups, Michael still fields a strong Value Picks lineup, joined by Josh Donaldson and Matt Dominguez this week.
The Value Picks crew had a fine week, hitting five homers, scoring 10 runs, and driving in 15 more. That’s a good thing, since the latest round of call-ups only brought one corner infielder likely to deliver fantasy value. That, however, doesn’t mean there’s nobody to be found on your waiver wire: almost all of my VPs are available in 80 percent of fantasy leagues.
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Michael welcomes a new AL-only VP to the list, but his regular VPs continue to bring great value to your fantasy roster.
Either I’m getting better at this, or fantasy owners are getting lazier. For the first time this season, all of my main VPs are sticking around, many of whom have been on the list for a month or more, despite strong performance. As fantasy trade deadlines approach, now is the time to make a move for one of these undervalued assets.
The Value Picks list continues to hit well, but Michael finds room for a newly healthy Luke Scott as well as a host of marginal talent in Playing Pepper.
A thin bench led Toronto to put David Cooper(Yahoo! 1%, ESPN 0%, CBS 3%) on the disabled list instead of waiting for his back problems to clear up. Depending on how Adam Lind plays (and feels), Cooper could return to the Jays when he’s eligible, but he’s still just an AL-only player if he does.
Michael graduates one Value Pick and welcomes another one back, while the rest of his list keeps delivering value to fantasy owners looking for corner infield help.
Ownership rates for Todd Frazier(Yahoo! 40%, ESPN 62%, CBS 60%) are finally starting to match his 2012 production. He entered last week hitting .280/.339/.528 with 14 home runs and 28 RBI in 310 plate appearances. He burnished those credentials with 10 hits last week, including three home runs, and six RBI, for a .370/.379/.741 line that finally caught the eye of other fantasy owners—probably because of Wednesday’s monster blast to deep center field. Value Picks readers have been hearing about Frazier since May 15, so there’s no excuse for having missed out on this Rookie of the Year candidate.
Eric Chavez and Josh Vitters join a strong Value Picks list this week, as two VPs look towards their imminent graduation.
In mywrite-ups of Travis Hafner(Yahoo! 7%, ESPN 0%, CBS 9%), I often reference his fragility, but Hafner’s owners still have to be disappointed at the news that his injured back could sideline him for the rest of the season. If that’s true, Pronk finishes the year with a .239/.355/.453 triple-slash with 11 home runs and 32 RBI, respectable totals in all categories but batting average.
Michael looks at the impact of some late-breaking deadline deals and those consummated after the deadline in this week’s column.
Some commentators worried that the additional Wild Card spot would dampen trading deadline deals, but it seemed to have the opposite effect, with lots of swaps affecting teams down the stretch. Only one new Value Pick resulted from these deals, but we should see more in the weeks to come as the ripple effects of some trades become clearer and fading teams call up prospects or make non-waiver deals like one that I look at in Playing Pepper.
With his Value Pick roster all having good weeks, Michael adds another VP while looking at the roster shakeups from last week’s trades and injuries among corner infielders.
The non-waiver trade deadline is almost upon us, and the most predicted corner infield swap doesn’t look like it will come to pass, but there’s been plenty of other action on my Value Picks beat, even if it has erased more VPs than it created. Take last week’s significant hot corner injuries to Alex Rodriguez and Pablo Sandoval, for example. Kung Fu Panda’s replacement will be Marco Scutaro, who’s more valuable as a fantasy middle infielder and who moves to a park that will hurt his production, and VP Eric Chavez actually graduates from the list due to A-Rod’s broken wrist. The trades of Chris Johnson and Ryan Roberts aren’t all that significant either; neither player is a good VP, for reasons you can read about in Playing Pepper. Fear not, however, since the list had a fine week, and there are still other options to help your fantasy team as the final two months of the season begin.
Paring his VP list down to five, Michael looks at Arizona’s new third baseman and some overperforming infielders in Playing Pepper.
We try to have at least five players on our VP lists, though at times I’ve had as many as seven. Things are a bit leaner now, so I’m cutting back to five again, but there are plenty of gambles to be found in Playing Pepper for owners more desperate for an immediate fix. If you want to talk about some of these players, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Asian players (all specialties of mine), or really anything fantasy-related, be sure to come to my first BP chat this Thursday at 2 PM EST (11 AM PT).
Michael doesn’t add anyone to this week’s VP list but makes up for it with a heaping helping o’ Playing Pepper and an in-depth look at BP’s PITCHf/x card for Luke Scott.
One of the reasons players linger longer on the waiver wire at this point in the season can be traced to their season line. A weak start can sandbag a player’s stats, and less-than-careful owners can overlook improvements by only looking at the bottom line. That’s the best explanation for the lower ownership rates for some of my VPs this week, who are all performing well of late despite weak overall lines.
Jim Thome’s return to the American League leads the new VPs this week as the All-Star break looms ahead.
We’re almost to the traditional midway point of the season, and Value Picks has already alerted you to early-season bargains like Adam LaRoche, Chris Davis, Will Middlebrooks, Matt Carpenter, and Todd Frazier. As the teams meet their own midway points and decide on their near- and long-term futures, we could see more high-profile call-ups like the departing Anthony Rizzo or trades like the one that brought Jim Thome back to the American League. Stay tuned to Value Picks for all the latest developments to keep your fantasy team ahead of the pack!
Anthony Rizzo is the lone the VP addition this week, but several more tasty options are featured in Michael’s Playing Pepper section
I griped last week about tough times on the waiver wire, but a few recent roster moves have led to an increase in available talent. Top prospect Anthony Rizzo should be promoted any day now, while the fate of a few other players—highlighted in Playing Pepper—hangs in the balance. The coming weeks should bring some more clarity to those situations, while I remain patient with other members of the current VP list.