For many of you, your fantasy season is likely over. Most leagues are approaching the playoffs and with only about 30-something percent of teams in a league making the playoffs, at least half are out of it by now. For those in that boat, be sure to continue setting your lineup as there are teams still fighting. Don’t be that guy. Unless of course, you’re tanking for the first pick. But that’s a debate for another post. It’s important to remember, anything goes during the playoff stretch. Every point counts. That means every plate appearance counts. Make sure you have guys in your lineup that are going to give you the best chance at points. It’s a lot easier to cut ties with a player at this point in the season that you might have had a hard time doing two months ago. Like the Emperor said to Anakin in Revenge of the Sith, “Do what must be done“.
Tyler Stephenson – Name a top ten points league catcher that plays his home games in Cincinnati. Who is Tyler Stephenson? That is correct. Seriously, who is Tyler Stephenson? He’s the guy that proves that you can ignore catcher on draft day and still make out ok. With 184 points, there are only five catchers with more points. Those five include Salvador Perez, J.T Realmuto, Will Smith and Buster Posey. The 25-year-old is sporting a 0.615 points per plate appearance. To compare, Realmuto is 0.584 and Sal Perez is at 0.556. If Stephenson had more plate appearances he’d have a legitimate shot at being a top 3 points league catcher. Not too shabby for a guy that went undrafted. Throw in 1B eligibility and he’s been a solid asset to fantasy teams.
Prediction – Next year, Will Smith takes over as the top catcher in points leagues.
Jake Cronenworth – This guy is a strong candidate for fantasy MVP. Based on total points, Cronenworth’s 340 points make him the 4th ranked 1B, 2B and SS. That is extremely impressive. He is currently outperforming Jose Abreu, Whit Merrifield and Xander Bogaerts. Jake’s 0.689 PPPA and multi-position eligibility scream versatility. This isn’t the first time I’ve discussed him and it might not be the last.
Prediction – Despite this 2021 campaign, Cronenworth will be undervalued in 2022 fantasy drafts.
Ozzie Albies – It feels like I haven’t mentioned Ozzie this season. Quickly approaching the 20/20 club, he now leads at 2B in points with 361. As the 4th second baseman off the board on draft day, Albies is earning his keep.
Austin Riley – AR27 has a .293 batting average. He’s not a .293 hitter. But I sure am enjoying the ride. Austin’s 288 points place him right between Justin Turner (300) and Kris Bryant (272). Strangely, it seems like he’s gotten better since Ronald Acuña Jr’s season ended. In the last four weeks, he’s been the top points league 3B.
Jorge Polanco – Hip hip whore hay! Oh wait, that didn’t come outright. For a player drafted in approximately the 18th round, Polanco is outworking his fantasy paycheck. Based on fantasy points (309) he’s the 7th ranked 2B and SS. In case you didn’t know, Polanco > Tim Anderson. In 2021 points leagues at least.
Jesse Winker – Leads all OF in fantasy points! And I didn’t wink when I said that.
Juan Soto – There sure was a lot of concern about Soto earlier in the season. I really hope people found a buy-low opportunity. I know I did in my keep forever league. Might have been the best trade I’ve made in the history of my fantasy baseball career which dates back to 1992. Soto has a 0.781 PPPA. He leads all active OF not named Starling Marte (0.812). Ronald Acuna was in the lead, but he “kneeded” surgery. See what I did there.
Michael Brantley – He’s batting .332 and he’s not even a top 20 points league OF. I might have to investigate the correlation between batting average and fantasy points.
George Springer – Can we change his name to IL Springer???!!! Dude was doing awesome in his most recent active stint chalking up 107 points in the last 28 days.
Robbie Grossman – I think it’s gross man that Robbie has more points than preseason darling Randy Arozarena and Charlie Blackmon. I think it’s awesome that I don’t own either of those guys. Especially considering they were both 6th round draftees. I don’t have any shares of Grossman either, but I can live with that. His numbers look very similar to Austin Meadows with a little less power and a bit more base path speed.
Chris Bassitt – Unfortunately I started writing this before Bassitt took a line drive off his face. Before that happened, he was actually a top three SP based on points. He has since been leap-frogged by Kevin Gausman and Gerrit Cole. Bassitt was averaging 20.7 points per start before Tuesday’s unfortunate incident. Remember when John Olerud used to wear a helmet while playing first base? Perhaps pitchers need to take a page out of his book.
Walker Buehler – So there’s a pitcher named Homer and Walker. Can’t say much for Homer Bailey, but Buehler was been awesome. He leads all pitchers with 22.79 points per start. He has been a bit of a “walker” however. The only SP in the top ten based on points with more walks is Kevin Gausman. And before you tell me that deGrom has more points per start, he only has 15 starts.
Jonathan Loaisiga – In daily leagues Loaisiga is a great pitcher to throw in an SP spot as he will net you relief-related points.
If you’re still in the hunt, good luck.
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