Between now and Monday afternoon many things could change for your fantasy team. Just ask the unfortunate owner who saw Melvin Upton, Jr. head off to darker pastures in Toronto last week.
Baseball's trade deadline hits on Monday and there are a load of names that could be on the move. Could is definitely the operative word. It's hard to pinpoint a single player on the market that is certain to be packing his bags. Still, names like Andrew Miller, Jay Bruce, Jonathan Lucroy, Wade Davis, Josh Reddick and numerous others could be on the move.
Often, the immediate aftermath for a fantasy player involves the team that the player is leaving, rather than the team that the player is heading to. For the most part (relievers being the biggest exception), above-average players will still be above-average players in their new digs and, as long as the playing time, figures to stay steady, you shouldn't expect any sort of massive change in value.
Then again, we have Upton. His move to Toronto killed off the joy of his resurgent season. He's gone from starting every day and hitting fourth for the Padres to now earning about 50% of the starts he would have had in San Diego. The dreams of a 20/20 season are not erased, but if you were riding him as a strong 4th outfielder this year, you're probably planning to change things up.
On the other side of Upton's jump to Canada is that the Padres now have some open chances. This is the part of any trade that should most often be of intrigue to fantasy players ... Who is the guy who wasn't playing much, that is now set to play a lot? Below, you'll see the guy out west that took take advantage of the vacuum in the San Diego outfield.
As we go through the next 48-72 hours, make sure to understand the promotion that may occur with any move. Most of the attention will be on the star who is going to a contender. But, the beauty of our world is that every single team offers some fantasy help ... even the teams that are sellers, that are dead for the summer, and that are going nowhere. A title is out of the realm of possibility for the player, but that same player may still help a title contender ... you.
(Note: To make the list, I'll apply a loose definition that says a player is likely be unowned in a vast majority of 12-team mixed leagues. At the end of each player note, I'll also provide a suggested bid for those that use FAAB (Free Agent Acquisition Budget) for their waiver process (based on a $100 budget). Understand that this is only a suggestion ... if you've just lost your starting outfielder to injury and you have an immediate need or gaping hole in your lineup, you will find it necessary to bid more in order to get that week's top available outfielder.)
Christian Bethancourt and Austin Hedges C, San Diego
San Diego would like nothing more than to move on from another vet. But, when that vet is hitting below .200 and can't even get his OPS to .650, the market is rather bare for a guy like Derek Norris. If the Friars' were to find a taker, both Bethancourt and Hedges would gather some admirers' from those languishing in two-catcher leagues. Bethancourt has never hit at the big league-level, but he's kept his average near .270 this year and also has four extra-base hits in his past five starts. Hedges, though, is much more interesting. His numbers at Triple-A El Paso are some of the strongest that you'll find for any hitter in 2016. Just take a read ... 17 homers, 61 RBIs, an average of .353 (!), and an OPS of nearly 1.000. Translation? Well, he won't be that good at the majors and he probably won't even be half that good at the majors. Yet, if he got called up, the Padres would give him a majority of the at-bats for the final two months. Just the chance of him carrying over some of his PCL confidence to the NL West makes him an attractive low-ball bid for your 2nd catcher.
Suggested FAAB bid - Bethancourt - $1, Hedges - $2
David Dahl, OF, Colorado
Dahl was Hedges-lite before getting a call up to the parent club at the start of this week. He's a much different prospect, though. First off, he's always been loved for his bat and it was always known that he'd carry that lumber at Coors Field. So, right from the start, there was plenty of interest in the 6'2" lefty bat. He made sense right now because Colorado started the week on the road in an American League ballpark and had the DH space available. He managed a home run and five total hits in 16 at-bats (entering Friday's play) and might be able to stick around for some time. He won't bat against most southpaws (he was in the lineup on Friday night after Ryan Raburn was a late-scratch in a game versus LHP Steven Matz), but the simple chance to play him in Denver's high altitude should spark interest. He works best for those who can make daily lineup changes and you should understand that he's not seen as a future 30-homer bat (hey, but neither was Trevor Story!). He's the perfect 5th outfielder to team up with a so-so 4th on your roster.
Suggested FAAB bid - $5
Alex Dickerson, OF, San Diego
Dickerson is the beneficiary of Upton's jump to the American League. And, of late, he's been one of the hottest hitters going in all of baseball. Since Sunday, he's racked up nine hits in just four games. Included in that total four homers, two doubles, six runs, and seven RBIs. This rush of offense should be enough to give Dickerson nearly another month as the teams' starting Left Fielder. There is the looming September arrival of prospects (Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot) and there's also the fact that Dickerson is now 26 and has always been considered a back-up outfielder. This past week will likely create way more interest than is necessary. Let someone else go bid on a very average hitters, but if you have a need and could use a good week or two, make a cursory bid.
Suggested FAAB bid - $3
Joey Gallo, 3B/OF, Texas
It seems as if we've been waiting for Gallo to return to Arlington all season. Actually, it doesn't just seem that way ... we have been waiting a full four months for it! The Rangers have a notoriously tight playing time jigsaw puzzle that has left us hoping, questioning, complaining, wondering, etc., all year long. Gallo is guaranteed nothing. Just look at this week. He hits a round-tripper in his return to the bigs and then finds himself on the bench the very next night. An injury in front of him is his best chance for fantasy relevance. Texas might just answer that prayer, too, because they've had issues on that front all summer. There is the threat of Gallo flip-flopping back-and-forth between Texas and Round Rock, but if you have FAAB laying around, it's time to use it. He'll whiff, he'll go through slumps, but his power is immense. Double-digit home runs can't be dismissed if he gets semi-regular playing time for the remainder of the year. Go hard if you're looking for pop.
Suggested FAAB bid - $10
Howie Kendrick, INF/OF, LA Dodgers
Kendrick was drafted in nearly all fantasy leagues back in March. By June, he was let go with an average stuck firmly in the .220s. But, now he's getting back to his usual Kendrick marks. Since June 26, you have an everyday starter hitting about .340. His gap-to-gap persona is there, too, with 10 doubles scattered among his last 35 hits. The Dodgers currently are dealing with on-going issues on the other side of the outfield (Yasiel Puig's hamstring) so Kendrick's spot seems settled in left. He's also beginning to find himself slotted in the middle of the L-A batting order which should lead to more productive hits in August and September. Beyond that, he also still maintains infield eligibility in a couple of spots because of his work last year. He's a very proven bet with a very steady gig. He's absolutely worth an aggressive bid for those searching for a batting average bump.
Suggested FAAB bid - $8
Tyler Anderson, SP, Colorado
For the first time since the (perhaps?) the inception of the Rockies in Denver, the team is building a full-blown pitching staff. Tyler Chatwood and Jon Gray have started to produce consistent efforts and Anderson is quickly following in their footsteps. The rookie has reeled off seven consecutive, six innings or more, starts after allowing just one run in six innings against New York this week. Oh, but what about pitching at home in the high altitude? So far, it hasn't been a concern. Six of Anderson's nine MLB starts have been at Coors Field and his ERA is 3.47 and he's been striking out nearly a batter-per-inning. I don't think you would be able to add him and just roll it forward. Instead, he's a guy that I would still need to pay attention to with matchups. But, overall, this youngster is trending in a very positive direction.
Suggested FAAB bid - $7
Cam Bedrosian, RP, LA Angels
The Angels are settling in for a long final two months. With injury after injury to their starting rotation, they've been playing behind the eight-ball all year long. So, yes, they're looking to sell. Two of their most viable 'flip' options are in the bullpen. Both the closer, Huston Street, and the set-up man, Joe Smith, could very well help out a contender. If both trades were to occur then Bedrosian would be the expected closer. I've mentioned him earlier this year in this spot and he's only gotten better. He is set to end July with an ERA under-1, a WHIP that will stand at exactly 1, and then a K-rate of 11/9. In a perfect world, the Angels don't make their trades until the day of the deadline (Monday), leaving you with a cheaper steal on Sunday night. And, remember that even if the trades don't happen by the deadline, they could very easily still occur in the month of August after the Street and/or Smith passes through waivers. If the trade(s) happen earlier, crank up the suggested bid by $10.
Suggested FAAB bid - $5
You can hear Kyle each weeknight on 'The SiriusXM Fantasy Drive' from 7-10 ET, Sirius 210, XM 87.
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