Need another arm for your rotation? Well you play fantasy baseball, so of course you do. Everyone needs more pitching. And if you don’t right this second, I’m sure you will soon enough. Frequent DL trips, getting shelled in another start, being sent back down to AAA after impressing. Whatever the reason, the list goes on and on. Pitchers continue to frustrate, and we’re always looking for the next man up. We’re always looking to get ahead, and that’s why I’m here. This week I’ve got a few guys owned in less than 50% of ESPN/Yahoo leagues that can help round off your staff. Here’s 3 from me:

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Another day, another baseball injury. Except this one is devastating. Especially for the Dodgers who have already been off to a rough start. One of the game’s young stars, Corey Seager, is set to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Prayers up and here’s to a speedy recovery Corey.

If you are (were*) a Seager owner, you probably feel like you just found out you also need TJ surgery. He cost you a 3rd/4th round selection, and was one of the top players at one of the thinest positions. So his absence will surely leave a glaring hole at your SS slot unless you have a viable backup. For those of you that don’t you have probably been scrambling to find a replacement.

Here are some SS eligible players that may be on the waiver wire (<55% owned) that can help fill the void:

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I must admit, I’m a real sucker for stolen bases. This is especially true in H2H each category leagues, where I have seen countless matchups come down to who wins stolen bases. I’m not the “draft Billy Hamilton way too early then become disappointed when he can’t hit the baseball AGAIN” type of sucker though. I’m more of a “piecing together a lot of guys that will chip in 10-15 stolen bases but will also help considerably in other areas” type of sucker. With stolen base numbers on the decline, they are harder to find. Which in turn means that stolen bases are becoming more valuable. This is no secret, but with power and home runs being more accessible than before, stolen bases are being really undervalued.

One of the problems with trying to add stolen bases is that most guys that steal bases are either already owned, don’t play every day, or don’t help you/significantly hurt you elsewhere. Or maybe a wonderful combination! This week, I’ve got a guy for you that hopefully does not meet the above criteria: Michael A. Taylor (26.6% owned in ESPN, 38% owned in Yahoo), outfielder for the Washington Nationals.

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We’re another week into the season, so chances are another injury has come up that you need to deal with. Or maybe enough is enough and you are finally moving on from one of your struggling hitters. Perhaps you checked the standings and are scanning the waiver wire in search of adding more home runs or stolen bases. Whatever the reason may be, I’m here again to help you get ahead in your H2H leagues and Phill up your offense. Because as they always say, the best pitching is a great offense!

I am aware that there are varying league and roster sizes and that some of the guys I recommend may not be available anymore. I go by ownership percentage, but I realize the Razzball community is smarter and more well informed than your typical fantasy baseballer. So I tried to include some lower owned players, but if you would like to see more deep league options in the future just let me know below. Most of the following are owned in ~50% of leagues so at least a few of these guys should be available to you.

I have broken down these suggestions into: One guy that should be owned already in your league, four guys that could be owned, and one guy that will be owned shortly…

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We are at the latter-half point of our Week 2 matchups, so hopefully you have secured a win in your first matchup and are working on another. Or maybe your team started out rough and you dropped the first one, and are looking for redemption Week 2. Or maybe, just maybe, you lost the first matchup and you are realizing there is no way you will come back to win this one either. Whatever the case may be, don’t panic (or celebrate) yet! Especially in H2H leagues that each category counts as a win/loss, a week is never over until it is actually over. The season is a grind, and those that pay the closest attention and don’t give up will usually be victorious at the end.

Last week I went over some hitters to look at that may help fill the void for an injured or under performing player that you no longer want. Starting pitchers are an especially tough breed, whether due to their increased susceptibility to injury or extreme variance in performance. You never want to give up on a pitcher after just a couple starts, but sometimes it is incredibly hard not to with seemingly better options available. Often times you are better off swapping a later round choice you thought would break out for a pitcher that has been seeing a much more favorable start. Especially if you like streaming pitchers to maximize K’s and win opportunities, the waiver wire churns out some solid options to roll with. Here are some starting pitchers to keep an eye on if you are in need of some help…

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We’re officially a week into the season which means two things. One, you’re obsessively checking your teams all day every day in hopes they’ve racked up more stats in the 5 minutes since you last checked. Two, you are already dealing with at least one injury and you’re quickly reminded with how long of a grind baseball season is. Between your late round value picks starting off scorching hot and your studs starting the season 0-14, fantasy baseball is back with all its glory and pain. Chances are you and the other owners in your league have cut ties with at least a couple of the guys you drafted and the waiver wire is churning. Whether it be to fill in for an injury or to replace that struggling guy you didn’t want to draft anyway, the waiver wire is the go-to in improving your team. Yes, the samples are small right now which leads to overvaluing and overreacting. But we finally have some real numbers to look at!

I’ll keep it to hitters for now since pitchers have only had one start for the most part. I’ll exclude guys that are likely gone by now and owned in 70%+ of leagues. If you didn’t draft Jose Martinez, wait why didn’t you draft him?! Have you not been reading Razzball this offseason?? However, if you didn’t listen to our top-notch advice I’m assuming someone already picked him up as he’s now owned in 78% of ESPN leagues. Thanks to his 3-home run Opening Day, I’m assuming everyone picked up Matt Davidson (71%) before he even hit his 3rd. Let’s check out some hitters that are hopefully available on waivers that can help make an impact for your H2H squads.

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The unique thing about Head-to-Head leagues is that at the end of the week, none of the statistics you accrued in that matchup really matter anymore. Sure, it contributes to your players’ values going forward but that is about it. You get a Win or a Loss, and it is as if your players’ stats are wiped clean. On to the next one. This is unlike roto leagues where your statistics accumulate day by day, week by week, over the whole season. Every stolen base, save, and home run stays with your team for the whole year. It doesn’t really matter when your players collect those statistics because it looks the same at the end of the year.

This is not the case for H2H leagues. The end of the year statistics are obviously important, but the raw totals don’t matter as much as in roto leagues. Instead, your season essentially comes down to winning as many one-week match-ups as you can. This means that you want to add the players that give you the most consistent production throughout the year. Guys that are notorious for being streaky and susceptible to slumps can be a burden in H2H leagues. Their end of the year totals make look pretty decent, but the key here is finding players that will give you constant production. Health is the other huge factor. Your player can’t be giving you consistent production if they are not consistently on the field. Of course you want consistency in any format, but it is especially imperative in H2H leagues where each matchup is only a week long.

Looking at the past few years as well as their potential for this season, I’ve created a list of “H2H Heroes” and “H2H Heartaches”. Just because someone is a H2H Hero doesn’t mean that they are a surefire stud and will win you your league. Nor does it mean that they are not valuable in a roto league. They are guys that I give a boost in H2H leagues due to consistency and/or some other reason. On the flip side, a H2H Heartache doesn’t mean they’re a dud and you should avoid them at all costs. They are just guys that I see to be more of a burden when it comes to weekly matchups and get downgraded in H2H formats.

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At this point everyone knows who they want to target in the early rounds, but the middle/late round picks to fill out your roster can help make or break your team. Last article I explored some undervalued middle infielders that I think could be solid value picks in upcoming drafts. It felt natural to work my way inside out and cover some corner infielders that could provide a great return on investment this season. You won’t be getting much speed from these guys, but they are all capable of helping you out in various other categories.

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Middle infielders have continually been regarded as one of the weaker spots for fantasy production over the years. This has lead to many owners reaching on a SS or 2B a few rounds earlier than normal in order to make sure they don’t wind up with a dud at these positions. However, often times this backfires as the player fails to return on their draft day price. Meanwhile there are guys that went much later in drafts, or even come across waivers, that go on to outperform the player the owner reached on. Thanks to the influx of young superstars such as Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, and Jose Rameriez, the middle infield position has been progressively been getting deeper than before. And while the owners who wind up with a stud like those mentioned will surely be happy, there are only so many to go around. This leads to owners reaching on the next tier of middle infielders. This is something I try to avoid, and focus on who provides value at the MI spot later on. The increased positional depth means that there are guys that have been flying under the radar that I’d like to offer as value picks in the middle to late rounds.

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Delino DeShields? More like Delino DeSTEALS. I know, I know. Pretty corny but it really is just so fitting. He not only stole a bunch of bases last year, but he represents a great opportunity for a late-round steal in your upcoming drafts. His amazing speed, combined with his ability to get on base and run the bases well makes him a intriguing player especially in the SB and run department.

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