Now that the MLB trade deadline has come and gone, Fantasy owners should have a clearer picture of what their roster really is. With all the movement at the deadline, some players have gained value (i.e. Todd Frazier, Jonathan Lucroy) while others have lost value (i.e. Justin Wilson, Addison Reed). Each player’s final destination will ultimately affect their Fantasy value, as there are oh so many factors that can alter a player’s trajectory — the lineup, the stadium, the role, and even the manager of the team they get traded to and/or from.
As owners scour the waiver wire for potential productivity at this time of year, players worth adding often fall under two broader categories — veterans or prospects. Depending on where you sit in the standings typically leads you down one road versus another, but I like to stick with the more-sure thing and lean on veteran players on the waiver wire who are value plays.
While these vets should provide stability, a prospect is far more of a boom or bust scenario — think Amed Rosario. With that in mind, consider adding these veterans, as their consistent production should pay dividends as the calendar turns to August and beyond.
Dyson May Steal You the Stolen Base Category
Whenever I see a player in the Top 5 in any Fantasy category, I take notice. One such player is Jarrod Dyson.
Entering Tuesday’s slate of games, Dyson’s 23 stolen bases ranked fifth in all of Major League Baseball, behind only Billy Hamilton (44), Dee Gordon (38), and two players currently on the DL — Trea Turner (35) and Cameron Maybin (25). That puts the speedy outfielder in some elite company, yet he’s only owned in 15 percent of Yahoo! Leagues and 39 percent of CBSSports leagues.
With 23 steals in 28 attempts so far this season, Dyson should top his career high of 36 stolen bases set back in 2014. The veteran outfielder clearly has the green light on the base paths in his first season in Seattle, and that alone should make him Fantasy relevant in mixed and AL-only leagues for the rest of the 2017 season.
Trade to Rays Signals Gains for Duda
Lucas Duda is one of those players who can get on such a hot streak that you sometimes wonder how he isn’t a Top 100 player year round. The uber-streaky first baseman showed off that swing this weekend at Yankees Stadium in his first series with the Tampa Bay Rays. He hit two homers, including a shot to the upper deck in right field that still hasn’t landed, along with another jack on Monday against the Astros.
Those homers put the power-hitting lefty at 20 homers through 79 games this season, and he looks locked in as the everyday DH for the Rays. In his debut with the team, the veteran also batted in the cleanup spot — another positive for Duda’s Fantasy value; specifically, his RBI potential moving forward.
The veteran infielder has been an undervalued power asset for a few seasons now, and could be a real difference-maker down the stretch both for the Rays, as well as your Fantasy team. His power potential alone makes him worth a waiver add in AL-only and mixed leagues.
Kendrick’s Arrow Points Up in New Lineup
Another player who should thrive in his new home is Howie Kendrick. In his first series with the Nationals, Kendrick was slotted second and sixth in the lineup, which should be a sign of things to come for the veteran. Now hitting in a stacked Washington lineup, his counting stats should start trending upward batting next to Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, and Daniel Murphy.
Kendrick’s new lineup only adds value to a player already being overlooked in mixed and NL-only leagues, likely due to his multiple stints on the DL earlier this season. He’s the kind of player that should be a very valuable addition as much in real life as in Fantasy. Now healthy, Kendrick should get lots of additional RBI chances down the stretch and thus see his ownership percentage shoot up sooner rather than later.
Go Get Galvis as Middle Infield Add
If you’re in the market for a player with power-speed potential, batting atop a quality lineup, then look no further than the Phillies’ Freddy Galvis. The shortstop does a little of everything and is coming off a month in which he hit four homers, stole five bases, had 28 total runs and RBIs, and batted .280.
While hitting second for Philadelphia, the veteran is batting .253 with 11 homers, 44 RBIs, 42 runs scored, and nine steals through 103 games. He’s on the same pace as last year, when he put up career bests of 20 homers and 17 stolen bases, but is also sporting a career-best .723 OPS. And with his BABIP sitting at .282, the infielder is a lock to remain productive moving forward.
His recent success and stability in the top third of the Phillies lineup makes Galvis well worth adding in deep mixed and NL-only leagues.
Valencia A Viable CI Option
Another veteran quietly having a career year in his first season in new place is Danny Valencia. With previous career highs of 18 homers, 72 RBIs, and 72 runs, the Mariners’ corner infielder is on pace to match or top all those stats in 2017.
Despite this, Valencia continues to fly under the radar, mainly due to a terribly slow start to the season in which he batted just .181 with one homer, five RBIs, and five runs scored in April. After batting over .300 in both May and June, the veteran slugger is now up to .262 with 11 homers and 52 RBIs through 98 games. With his AVG, OBP, and OPS in line with his career numbers, there’s no reason to think Valencia won’t keep on hitting and ultimately eclipse his previous career bests.
As long as the Valencia continues batting in the meat of Seattle’s lineup, next to the likes of Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager, he’s a viable corner infield or utility option in deep mixed and AL-only leagues.
While these veterans continue to fly under the radar, they should all provide a steady stream of production and make worthwhile additions this August and September.