How’s it going, deep-leaguers? Hope everyone out there has dodged as many fantasy baseball injury bullets as possible, since we know that losing your studs in a deep league is a much different level of disaster than it is in the shallow, mixed-league world. It’s not super helpful to read about how you might consider picking up Dansby Swanson or Eduardo Escobar to replace Trea Turner in your lineup when the “best” shortstop available in your league is Kevin Newman. As we continue to ask for leniency from the fantasy baseball gods, let’s do what we do here, and take a look at some players who may be on the radar for those of us in AL-only, NL-only, and other deep leagues.
Josh Phegley. He’s probably significantly overperforming by hitting .321 with 2 homers and 5 RBI over his first 10 games, but given the horrific scene that the AL catcher landscape is these days, Phegley might be worth a shot if he’s available. Most sites still list him 3rdin the A’s catching depth chart behind (an injured) Chris Herrmann and Nick Hundley, but Phegley is the only one in this group that has even a shot at fantasy relevance for the time being. (Note: dude went yard again after I wrote this… )
Richard Lovelady. I must admit that I don’t know much about this guy, except that A) he has a ridiculously great name, and has already been given the nickname “Dickie Love” by Mike Sweeney, B) his minor league numbers are excellent, C) he’s currently on the Royals’ major league roster and pitched well in his first outing, and D) the Royals could use a solid arm at the back end of their bullpen (and I wrote that phrase before Thursday’s debacle). Hmm, that’s actually more than I know about a lot of things, and I’m gonna throw a few FAAB bucks his way this weekend in my AL-only league.
Brian Goodwin. I talked a bit about Goodwin as an ultra-deep league sleeper in the preseason, after which he had a horrible spring and was put on release waivers by the Royals. He has a some new life as an Angel now, however, as he’s opened the year hitting .333 with a homer, 4 RBI, and 7 runs scored over his first 11 games.
Tyler Naquin. In my deepest mixed-league, I grabbed Naquin to replace Dahl in my lineup for now and am just hoping he can string together a decent game or three, perhaps chipping in a few steals while he’s at it. Hopefully he’ll start for Cleveland pretty regularly against righties, and he’s started the season with a promising 8 for 27.
Jordan Lyles. I started to blurb (just this minute decided to pretend that ‘blurb’ can be a verb) about Lyles Wednesday morning, and decided to wait to write about him when I realized he’d be pitching against the Cubs that evening. Was hoping for serviceable, but he threw a veritable masterpiece (1 run, 1 walk, 3 hits, and 10Ks in 6 innings), outpitching anyone else I had starting in my other leagues not named Tyler Glasnow that day. He may not pitch a gem every time out (and may not even have one more like this in him all season), but his exactly 3.00 K/BB ratio last year in 88 innings last year has me ever-so-mildly interested in my deeper leagues.
Tyler Austin. I’m not exactly excited about Austin’ prospects in fantasy, but you never know what a new lease on life can do. After a great spring, Austin was DFA’d by the Twins and is now a member of the San Francisco Giants. He should get a chance to play on at least a semi-regular basis if you’re searching for a smattering of counting stats in an NL-only league.
Mark Reynolds. What’s a season in deep-league fantasy baseball without at least one mention of Reynolds as a 2%-owned, desperation power grab? Let’s get it out of the way relatively early this year, since as long as Daniel Murphy and Ryan McMahon are hurt, Reynolds could get more at bats than he probably should. Colorado at bats from a power hitter, even one whose best days are long behind him, might be worth considering in the deepest of leagues.
Jose Iglesias. If Iglesias keeps making sick plays on defense, he should be in the Reds’ lineup most days while the Scooter Gennetts and Nick Senzels of the world nurse their respective injuries. He’s not going to turn around a fantasy team’s hitting, but he could throw a few stats your way and is actually off to a decent start offensively (.273 with a homer in 22 at bats, plus he has 4 walks.)