Starling Marte (PIT) - Starling Marte has been out since last Wednesday with hand and shoulder injuries resulting from a head first slide and his manager hinted on Monday that he could be shut down for the remainder of the season. It's been a lost year for Marte and his owners after he was suspended 80 games for a positive PED test and has hit just .247/.308/.345 since returning. His 16 steals in 66 games have been the lone bright spot for the second-rounder, although his six homeruns and 23 RBI wouldn't be too far off the pace he posted in 2016. Nonetheless, owners were willing to put up with the low counting totals in the other categories because he was such a boost in batting average. His 10% drop in hard hit rate from 35% to 25% this season (5% below league average), is extremely discouraging and makes me view him more as a 5th or 6th round pick in next year's fantasy drafts.
Noah Syndergaard (NYM) - "Thor" pitched a simulated game on Monday as he continues his recover from a severe lat injury. Syndergaard is still aiming to return before the end of the season, but he's likely destined for the bullpen even if he's medically cleared. Looking towards 2018, it's going to be interesting to see how fantasy owners handle the uncertainty (and injury history) associated with the ace. With market forces likely driving up the cost of elite starting pitching, but other contextual forces operating the other direction, Syndergaard has the potential to be draft value next year.
Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) - Giancarlo Stanton smashed his 55th home run of the season on Monday, now just 6 away from tying Roger Maris on the single-season home run record list. It was Stanton's 4th home run in September and his first in over a week. Stanton remains in the hunt for the non-asterisk home run record as his hard hit rates certainly support his current HR/FB rate. Buckle your seatbelts and enjoy, folks.
Dee Gordon (MIA) - Dee Gordon had a great evening, hitting a pair of singles, a triple, knocking in a pair, scoring a pair and stealing a base. Gordon has quietly been one of the league's best leadoff hitters this season and should enter 2018 as a pick in the top-3 rounds of fantasy drafts, including one of the top picks at the second base position. Gordon is still trailing the injured Billy Hamilton by 3 steals on the year, but no one else is even within 24 steals of the pair at the top. Making it a priority to get one of these two players will help give you a massive edge in drafts next spring.
Zack Godley (AZ) - Zack Godley is primed for a huge day on Tuesday as he takes on the Padres with a massive favorable park shift to San Diego. Godley has been one of the biggest breakout performers on 2018 and likely went undrafted in most leagues after posting a brutal 6.39 ERA and pedestrian 17.9% strikeout rate. This season, however, Godley has drastically improved in both areas (3.00 ERA and 26.6% strikeout rate) while also keeping his walk rate at strong levels (8.2%). He's just $8,600 on FanDuel.