Week 18

Aaron Altherr, OF, Philadelphia Phillies (CBS: 12 per cent owned, ESPN: 7 per cent): Altherr missed the first four months of the 2016 campaign after suffering a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist at the beginning of spring training. The Phillies activated him last week and in his first game back he went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer. He’s playing for a job in the 2017 Philly outfield and looks set to prove that the power/speed combination we witnessed last fall was very real.

Jake Barrett, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks (CBS: 4 per cent owned, ESPN: 2 per cent): Tyler Clippard is gone, traded to the Yankees, and Daniel Hudson could be the next to find a new home. Barrett earned his third save of the season Saturday night against the Dodgers, and has the support of Manager Chip Hale moving forward. Go get him!

Cam Bedrosian, RP, Los Angeles Angels (CBS: 7 per cent owned, ESPN: 3 per cent): Bedrosian has been one of the most dominants relievers in the game the past month and it’s high time we saw him closing out games for the Angels. At the beginning of July, we mentioned his great start. In July, he added another eleven scoreless innings and 19 strikeouts to his resume. Huston Street and Joe Smith aren’t the answer, Mikey!

Homer Bailey, SP, Cincinnati Reds (CBS: 21 per cent owned, ESPN: 12 per cent): Today, we saw the return of Homer Bailey, and it had to be considered a success as he held the Triple-A Padres lineup in check. There will be ups and downs as he moves forward, but 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball in your 2016 debut has to be considered a success and one worthy of our attention when spending some of that FAAB this week.

Jabari Blash, OF, San Diego Padres (CBS: 1 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): He’s filler until the eventual arrival of both Manny Margot and Hunter Renfroe, but that could be a full month worth of filler. Blash mashed 11 homers in 177 at-bats at Triple-A El Paso, and with the opportunity for playing time at-hand, deserves a look in deeper Leagues.

Alex Dickerson, OF, San Diego Padres (CBS: 22 per cent owned, ESPN: 16 per cent): Dickerson homered in four consecutive games last week before suffering a minor hip injury that kept him out of weekend action. All reports indicate he’ll be returning next week. The power is real, as are the opportunities to display it in San Diego.

Joey Gallo, OF, Texas Rangers (CBS: 51 per cent owned, ESPN: 17 per cent): The power is real. Repeat after me…..the power is real.

Ken Giles, RP, Houston Astros (CBS: 23 per cent owned, ESPN: 18 per cent): Will Harris hold the job? Not if he keeps coughing up leads. Harris has been very mortal lately, allowing earned runs in three of his past six appearances. Meanwhile, Giles has now gone 13 consecutive appearances without allowing a run, dating back to June 18. In 8 2/3 IP in July, he’s struck out 18, yes 18 batters. The dominant reliever that the ‘Stros anticipated getting when they made the off-season deal with the Phillies, has arrived.

Nate Jones, RP, Chicago White Sox (CBS: 16 per cent owned, ESPN: 10 per cent): If you happen to believe that the odds are good that incumbent David Robertson is moved, Jones is the pitcher to be chasing on the south side. A 2.44 ERA, .94 WHIP, and strikeout per inning is a pretty good indicator that Jones has the skill set required to be successful in the ninth inning.

Mitch Moreland, 1B, Texas Rangers (CBS: 23 per cent owned, ESPN: 10 per cent): Moreland is making up for lost ground, or as some of his former owners like to say, the first three months of the 2016 season. Five homers and nine RBI in the last week of July would be cause to have selective memory.

Hector Neris, RP, Philadelphia Phillies (CBS: 13 per cent owned, ESPN: 8 per cent):  Jeanmar Gomez has enjoyed a great season, but with the relief pitcher market being absolutely on-fire, it makes sense for the Phillies to make a move. In the event that occurs, Neris could find himself manning the ninth inning down the stretch. A cheap gamble now, could reap some solid rewards in the immediate future.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (CBS: 1 per cent owned, ESPN: 1 per cent): Nieuwenhuis has smacked five homers in his last nine games. Is it real?  Of course it is, I checked more than one site and it’s real. He’s on a roll. Get him going in the hopes you can coax another week or two out of those power numbers.

Jorge Polanco, SS, Minnesota Twins (CBS: 3 per cent owned, ESPN: unowned): With the trade of Eduardo Nunez to the Giants, maybe, just maybe, Polanco won’t need a return ticket to Rochester in 2016.

Tony Watson, RP, Pittsburgh (CBS: 41 per cent owned, ESPN: 27 per cent): The trade of Mark Melancon to the Nationals has opened the door to the ninth inning gig for the long-time Pirates setup man. One of the best late-inning relievers in the game, Watson should have no problems moving from the eighth to the ninth inning. In the event that it isn’t a smooth transition, Neftali Feliz will be waiting in the wings.


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