As we begin the second half of the season, it is important to remember the vitality of FAAB bidding during the stretch run. Free agency becomes crucial with only a couple months left in the fantasy season, trade deadlines approaching, and budgets dwindling. If you keep up with the FAAB Five every week, I should be saving you cash on names like Nick Pivetta, Max Muncy, Ross Stripling, and others providing consistent value above other waiver names.
Another tricky part with late-season FAAB is navigating a lackluster list of players. At this point in your league, teams are most likely stashing the best prospects (or they’re hurt: R.I.P. Tatis Jr’s Thumb), and most players that will contribute significant value, like Jesus Aguilar, are already in the loving gaze of another owner’s eyes. I will continue to scour the depths of the waivers each week to provide the names I find most value possible, giving people ample amount of money to use throughout the Dog Days of Summer.
Mondesi is a player that made significant changes to his swing that are resulting in fantastic numbers. Last season, he displayed incredible growth in the power department, which makes sense as he gets older as he is still only 22-years-old with major league reps in parts of three seasons. His 13 HR in 2017 was the first taste of double-digit production, and he is on pace for the same in 2018. Mondesi is known for the insane speed with a glass ceiling stolen base potential. The strikeouts are still too high for his lack of walks, but this is turning into more of a Tim Anderson profile every day with an increase in Hard Hit% and overall barrels. Pick up Mondesi now if you need some swipes, and if the power stroke sticks, you will have another discount diamond on your roster.
Rodriguez is making a name for himself this season for the San Francisco Giants. Son of the legendary catcher “Pudge” Rodriguez, Dereck is utilizing five pitches to their maximum potential. So far, all of his pitches have double-digit whiff rates, including the sinker which is getting hit the hardest. It looks as if he has the arsenal to stick, but will it be enough to provide fantasy value? The park is a positive for Rodriguez as ATT Park is one of the most beneficial for pitchers in the league. His lifetime of baseball knowledge is also a plus when looking for players that make adjustments to match the hitters. It is impressive to manipulate pitches the way Rodriguez has thus far, and owning him shouldn’t hurt you in the long-run. If anything, this Son-of-a-Pudge may be on your team, producing, for the rest of the season. The pedigree is hard to ignore, and the talent is worth a shot.
Let’s try this again with Cahill since people don’t like to listen the first time. WHEN TREVOR CAHILL IS PITCHING, YOU OWN HIM. Okay, I’m sorry about all that, but this is becoming personal. Constantly injured, yet deadly when starting, Cahill is worth stashing. However, the ownership figures suggest that people canned him as soon as he was hurt again. This trend is troubling considering every time he comes off the disabled list he is worth owning. Be the person who picks him up before he becomes a hot commodity to end the season. Cahill is a pitcher who can provide serious value as a fantasy #3 on the way out due to the strikeout potential, above-average home park, and pedigree.
Calhoun is a player that gives me pause when heading to the wire this week. I know people will spend a ton on him because of the #FreeWillie movement and his gaudy fantasy potential with a rare power-batting average combo. Rookies always get heavily bid upon if someone else in your league isn’t already stashing a guy like Calhoun. I believe in the bat, but my issues this season came with reports of extreme negativity when the Rangers held him down due to being a defensive liability. As long as the pouting and poor glove don’t boot him from the lineup, the stocky 23-year-old should provide immense value with the bat, which is all we care about for fantasy anyway.
Somehow, Straily is a player that ends up on my teams multiple times a year, every year. This season, his time comes when we’re heading down the final stretch and need some help at the back-end of our fantasy rotations. Sometimes you need that filler until you find something a little bit better, or more consistent, and Straily is perfect for that role. Fantasy rosters need role players too. The Marlins right-hander is yet to give up more than 4 ER in any of his 15 starts in 2018, which is a floor I can get behind. His stuff is not dominant, but it’s not bad, his numbers are not gaudy, but they won’t hurt much either. Pairing him with a solid reliever that could get some save chances, like Robert Gsellman or Trevor Hildenberger, could be a move that is worth making this weekend.
Lonely ONLY-League Targets