Fantasy Baseball Rankings, News and Sleepers

Stock Up/Down: Odrisamer Despaigne/Carlos Beltran

RotoAce continues its daily in-season feature where we single out one player each day whose stock is either on the rise or decline in fantasy baseball. This feature will provide expert fantasy baseball analysis to help you negotiate trades or feel safe in dropping a player to pick up someone else.

arrowaSTOCK UP
A look at a player whose stock is on the rise and you need to acquire immediately through trade or waivers.
arrowaSTOCK DOWN
A look at a player whose stock is on the decline and you need to try to trade or maybe drop to pick up someone else.
Odrisamer Despaigne, Padres Carlos Beltran, Yankees
Still waiting for a bad start from the Cuban pitcher? Maybe next time. Or maybe not at this rate.

Despaigne nearly matched Clayton Kershaw Thursday night, throwing seven more great innings, allowing just 2 ER with seven Ks and no walks. In four starts now, he has a paltry 1.35 ERA and, if the strikeouts become more like Thursday ngiht, he may be on the verge of becoming a very interesting pitcher considering the home park.

Beware the 4.13 xFIP, but much of that is due to the fact he wasn’t striking out many batters before.

How many different parts on one guy’s body can be injured at once. Beltran is trying to find out, apparently.

After battling an elbow injury for a while, he came up with a lame knee and then broke his nose after being hit with a ball during batting practice before Wednesday’s game. Now he’s on the 7-day concussion DL.

Frustrating for his owners, because he can still be a pretty productive when he can actually stay on the field.

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Stock Up/Down: Eric Hosmer/Yu Darvish

RotoAce continues its daily in-season feature where we single out one player each day whose stock is either on the rise or decline in fantasy baseball. This feature will provide expert fantasy baseball analysis to help you negotiate trades or feel safe in dropping a player to pick up someone else.

arrowaSTOCK UP
A look at a player whose stock is on the rise and you need to acquire immediately through trade or waivers.
arrowaSTOCK DOWN
A look at a player whose stock is on the decline and you need to try to trade or maybe drop to pick up someone else.
Eric Hosmer, Royals Yu Darvish, Rangers
Hosmer is in the middle of a nine-game hitting streak, and while we’re still wondering if the power will ever be there, he’s sure starting to see the ball well.

In those nine games, he’s seen his OPS rise 45 points and his manager seems to think there’s a power binge coming. One that could have started yesterday with his first home run since June 15. “The timing is starting to get there,” manager Ned Yost told MLB Network Radio. “I think we’re gonna see a real power surge from him in the weeks to come.”

The thing about Hosmer that’s tough to remember sometimes is that he’s just 24 years old and that power surge could, literally, be right around the corner.

I know, it’s hard to look at Darvish’s numbers (8-5, 2.97 ERA, 3.08 xFIP, 11.1 K9), it’s hard to say he’s down, right?

Wrong. If you look at his past eight games, he’s allowed four or more runs in eight of them, he’s allowed 18 of his 39 walks and six of his nine homers, and has seen his ERA go from 2.08 to 2.97 during that time.

While the walks weren’t a problem Wednesday, the season highs of 10 hits and six earned runs  were. Of course, during that eight-start stretch, the Ks have still been there, but one has to wonder if he’s getting to the All-Star break just in time.

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Stock Up/Down: Wade Miley/Edwin Encarnacion

RotoAce continues its daily in-season feature where we single out one player each day whose stock is either on the rise or decline in fantasy baseball. This feature will provide expert fantasy baseball analysis to help you negotiate trades or feel safe in dropping a player to pick up someone else.

arrowaSTOCK UP
A look at a player whose stock is on the rise and you need to acquire immediately through trade or waivers.
arrowaSTOCK DOWN
A look at a player whose stock is on the decline and you need to try to trade or maybe drop to pick up someone else.
Wade Miley, Diamondbacks Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
I think this one can be chalked up to a pitcher being unlucky, as his ERA has been higher than his xFIP for most of the season.

He’s starting to make up for it big time, allowing just three earned runs in his past two starts, with a 18/1 K/BB ratio and just nine hits allowed. He has had the fifth-best xFIP (2.10) over the last 14 days. The even better news is that his ERA (4.45) is still more than a full run above his xFIP (3.25), so there may be even more good starts ahead.

And you should be able to get those starts, because he’s available in 84% of Yahoo leagues, 89% of ESPN leagues and 56% of CBS leagues.

Arizona’s rotation is definitely changing lately, having just sent Brandon McCarthy to the Yankees for Vidal Nuno and, of course, awaiting the arrival of mega prospect Archie Bradley, who is building up his arm strength for a possible callup soon.

The slugger will miss 2-4 weeks with a strained quad, leaving his fantasy owners scrambling for a replacement in their lineups.

As you know, Encarnacion has been enjoying one of his most productive seasons, batting .277/.368/.592 with 26 home runs and 70 RBIs already, putting him on pace for 47 HRs and 127 RBIs.

This could also hurt the production of the rest of the lineup, especially since he’s protection in the lineup for Jose Bautista.

One thing to remember also, is that leg injuries like this can actually take more time, especially if there’s any setbacks.

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Top Fantasy Baseball Sleepers

Breakouts: Top 20 High-Ceiling Targets

Kole Calhoun

Kole Calhoun

If you’re reading this, it’s because you’re hoping to win your fantasy baseball league this year.

Whether it’s for bragging rights, money or both, you’re looking for the edge that will land your team in first place by season’s end.

Besides getting the most value out of every pick in your draft and working the waiver wire diligently all season, the thing that distinguishes winning fantasy teams is having as many breakout performances as possible.

The winning teams of last year most often had at least some from the group of Chris Davis, Matt Carpenter, Josh Donaldson, Jean Segura, Starling Marte, Hisashi Iwakuma, Jose Fernandez, Matt Harvey, Kenley Jansen and Koji Uehara. I had Donaldson, Iwakuma, Harvey and Uehara on my winning team.

These players were drafted in the late rounds if at all then went on to dominant fantasy seasons. Let’s call them breakouts.

Here is a list of my favorite breakout possibilities for this season, guys who I am targeting for their very high ceilings:

Yasmani Grandal, Padres, catcher

Two of my favorite skills to look for are power and patience, and Grandal has both. The 25-year-old has a career walk rate of 16.7% to go with nine career homers in 334  plate appearances. The skill set has the upside to hit .280 with a .380 OBP and 18 homers, yet the questions about his surgically-repaired knee and PED suspension have depressed his draft stock to the point where he’s a tremendous value.

Yan Gomes, Indians, catcher

The 26-year-old Brazilian surprised last year with a .294 average and 11 homers in 293 at-bats, yet his lack of a track record has him being drafted outside of the top 12 catchers. The Indians have moved Carlos Santana mostly off catcher to first, third and DH to clear playing time for Gomes, who could turn in a .300 average with 20 homers and become a top-five backstop. (more…)

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Overrated: Overvalued Draft Targets

Perception goes a long way toward determining a players’ fantasy value.

Veteran stars carry with them a reputation for fantasy success, but that sometimes hides a declining skill set.

Players coming off down seasons are often undervalued and ones returning from big years carry with them a premium.

Some have a reputation as injury prone, which can depress draft value to the point that the label makes a player undervalued.

But after presenting a list of underrated draft targets last week, we’re taking a look at some overvalued players this week.

Many of the biggest busts are tied to injuries, whether they are of the nagging variety that drags down performance or the type that lands a player on the disabled list for a lengthy time. The problem is that injuries are nearly impossible to predict. (more…)

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