Happy Opening Week, folks — I’m exhausted as I’ve had more to do over the last week than I had in the previous four months combined, but I’m not complaining! Let’s get right to what we’re here for… a look at some under-the-radar players (all of the following guys are 5% owned or less in CBS leagues, and let’s just say the pickings are slim when using that metric) who might be of interest to those of us in AL-only, NL-only, and other deep leagues as we navigate the weirdest baseball season ever.
Robbie Grossman. 2 starts and 2 stolen bases in the first 3 games of a 60-game season is exactly what I’m looking for in my 1% owned players. If Grossman continues to see even semi-regular starts in the A’s outfield, there’s a chance he provides enough steals to make a difference in 2020.
Leury Garcia. I swear I had Garcia on this list before he had a huge 2-homer game on Saturday, but I was going to recommend him as a sneaky AL-only speed threat. To the consternation of Nick Madrigal owners everywhere, Garcia has started the first two games of the season at 2B for the White Sox, and as you heard back in my first sentence it’s actually going pretty well so far. He qualifies at 2B and OF, so he might be worth a flier even though he may not have as much production over the next few weeks as he did this past weekend.
Rio Ruiz. I need a third baseman to fill in for Hunter Dozier in an AL-only league, and now I’m wishing I’d just drafted Ruiz in the first place so I’d get his stats for the first week (he already has two homers). He may not continue to have multiple-homer weeks as we wade through the season, but if he keeps getting the chance to play third base for the Orioles he could be an ultra-cheap source of at least a little power. He’s got some of that post-hype prospect vibe that’s hard not to be intrigued by when you’re a deep leaguer desperate to fill out a lineup.
Alex Cobb. Cobb had an impressive start against the Red Sox on Saturday, earning a win after allowing one run over 5 1/3 innings. He’s a 32-year old, usually injured pitcher who pitches for one of the worst teams in baseball (that would be the Orioles, no offense) and doesn’t strike out many guys… but in a 2020 deep league, who knows?
Jaylin Davis. None of us knew much of what to expect heading into this season, but the one thing we all knew to expect was that the Giants outfield would be an inexperienced mess. I grabbed Alex Dickerson in a league at the last minute, a guy named Joe McCarthy started against the Dodgers on opening day, and you still have Austin Slater hanging around. Davis had a great 2019 at triple A but didn’t make much of a splash when called up at the end of last season. He’ll have another chance now, and a homer against the Dodgers on Friday (the Giants only run that day) may have bought him a few more looks.
Colin Moran. A more boring fantasy player is hard to find, but it sure looks like Moran is going to get a ton of playing time. He’s got just enough pop to make him the teeny, tiniest bit interesting, and if nothing else his above-average hit tool (.275 career batting average) won’t hurt you while you’re mining for at bats.
Jose Osuna. Okay, I may already have gone over my legally allotted numbers of Pirates I can talk about in a single post, but I think Osuna may have just enough deep-league upside to warrant a mention. He qualifies at 1B and OF, and like Moran will at least occasionally run into a long ball. I’ll be keeping on eye on the Pittsburgh lineup over the next couple of weeks since a hot week or two from one of these guys could be a big help in a mini-season. (Note: Moran and Osuna have both homered since I wrote their blurbs. I predict their ownership will both be over 5% by the time you read this…)
Edward Olivares. Olivares is an outfielder on the Padres, in case you were wondering. Even with the trade of Franchy Cordero, the Padres would seem fairly deep in the outfield, but Olivares has made the 30-man roster so he’ll get at least a chance to make an impression at the big league level even though he’s never played a game above double A. Speaking of double A, Olivares hit .283 there last year and had 18 homers and 35 steals, so color me mildly intrigued.