Please see our player page for Elias Diaz to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Welcome back to another edition of the wire, where we check in on guys swinging hot bats who should be free to pick up. Hopefully your team is off to a blazing start, crushing the competition and setting the weekly high score. But if it isn’t, fret not for there are some hot hitters out there turn the ship around. Plus even the best teams can always get better. It’s still too early in the season for ratios to stabilize but we can use these early season performances as a guide to try and gauge a hitter’s value and what they can do for your team. So sit back, relax and heed my wisdom. Then run to the wire and upgrade your team.

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Here, friend, are some catchers that I will be targeting at my 2022 fantasy drafts after the top options are gone. I’m not going to get into the strategy of punting catchers. Been there, half-drunkenly wrote that during the Ottoman Empire. Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2022 projections and blurbs I wrote for them. This is a (legal-in-most-countries) supplement to the top 20 catchers of 2022 fantasy baseball. Now, guys and five girl readers, I am not saying avoid catchers like Daulton Varsho if they fall, but, to get on this list, a catcher needs to be drafted later than 200 overall, and, yes, I will go around the entire infield, outfield and pitchers to target very late. In regards to the ADP in the parenthesis, NFBC is mostly for two catcher leagues, so that should be taken into account. Anyway, here’s some catchers to target for 2022 fantasy baseball:

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The last two weeks we’ve talked about fantasy baseball from more of a mixed-league perspective, but this week I’m ready to start swimming back to the slightly deeper end of the pool as we continue to look at ADP and how it may affect early drafts. Even with ADP readily available, it’s tricky to know just how high you’ll need to grab ‘sleeper’ targets when there’s little to no ADP information out there. If you start drafting in November, as I do annually, it really can feel like a complete crapshoot. What I’m going to look at this week is a handful of players who I had at least loosely targeted and figured I could get very late, but have recently been going off the draft board earlier than I originally expected or hoped they would. Getting back to the deep league theme: while these players could ultimately prove to be options in shallower leagues, they all had an NFBC ADP outside the top 250 for the months of October and November combined.  As you’ll see, some of them have already creeped significantly higher up the ADP ranks now that we have an additional two months of draft data (i.e. numbers from December and January combined) to compare to the original October/November marks.  Obviously a solid spring (should spring training be a thing that ever happens again) could propel any of them even further up the draft board.

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After we went over the top 10 for 2022 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2022 fantasy baseball in our (my) 2022 fantasy baseball rankings, it’s time for the meat and potatoes rankings. Something to stew about! Hop in the pressure cooker, crank it up to “Intense” and let’s rock with the top 20 catchers for 2022 fantasy baseball. Am I at all selling you on the top 20 catchers being good? No? Good, don’t want to give you the wrong impression. Here’s Steamer’s 2022 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2022 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. The projections noted in this post are my own, and I mention where tiers start and stop. Subscriptions are up and running, and you can already get Rudy’s Draft War Room. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2022 fantasy baseball:

NOTE: All 2022 fantasy baseball projections are based on a 162-game season, and will be until we hear definitively there will be less games, due to the CBA. Also, I’m going on the assumption the NL is getting the DH.

NOTE II: All my rankings are currently available on Patreon for the price of a Starbucks coffee, if you get one of those extra grande frappuccino jobbers. Don’t wait for the rankings to come out over the next month, and get them all now.

NOTE III: Free agents are listed as just that and not yet projected. Once a guy signs, I will write out their blurb and add in projections, or remove them, if they sign in an unfavorable place. They are ranked currently where I think they might be if they sign on for a full-time job.

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Not a bad year for me with the 2021 catcher rankings in the broadest of terms. This year I only left one guy unranked who ended up in the top 20, and if anyone ranked Eric Haase in the top 20, then kudos to them for figuring out a reliable, gas-efficient time machine. That doesn’t mean my rankings are a chef’s kiss from Padma as I win the Quickfire. Oh, some of these are a hot mess from where I ranked them, compared to where they ended up. Please don’t ask if this is a ranking for next year. It’s not a ranking for next year. It’s me recapping last season. Please, for the love that all is holy, understand this. It’s all I ask of you. Well, that and shower me with praise. The latter isn’t hard, the former is. Also, remembering which is the ‘latter’ and which is the ‘former’ is hard too. Quibbles and semantics, my good man and five lady-mans. It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. It’s cold hard math, y’all! Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2021 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Red Sox first baseman slash DH slash pink hat heart throb Bobby Dalbec continued his power barrage Friday night going 2-for-4 with a solo home run, his 21st, and a triple with two runs scored. Bobby D now has three dingers (we call them Bobby Dal-jacks) in the past three days and he’s done nothing but mash since Boston gave him full reign of the first base job post-All Star break. He was a BUY this week, and I while told you to grab him back in June, I’ll admit that was a bit premature. Bobby is a little bit, hmm, how do I say this nicely, “raw”, as his 138 strikeouts in 368 at bats clearly illustrates. But yo, the power is real, and it is spectacular. Something has clicked for him post-All Star break, maybe it was the hitting coach, maybe it was the COVID, maybe it was the Kyle Schwarber trade threatening his playing time. Whatever it was, he slashed .339/.431/.774 in August with seven Dal-jacks and 21 RBIs. He also struck out just 18 times, his lowest monthly total all year. His September has looked a lot like his August so far, .321/.387/.786 with a 1.205 OPS. He’s also taking more pitches, and this is resulting in him getting the pitches he wants to hit into the stands. He’s got 11 walks since the start of August, and he had just 13 walks through the first four months of the season. I’m saying the kid is figuring it out, on the job, at a crucial time for this Red Sox team in a wild card race and he is delivering. Sure the Ks are still there–ten strikeouts in the past 10 games, but like I said the power is legit-piece, and his .247 isolated power is one of the tops in the league. I don’t know what your fantasy team needs at this point in the season, and tbh you might be better off checking out Razzball’s Fantasy Football Rankings, but if you need power–Bobby D has got you covered. He’s hitting .317 over the past two weeks with 5 homers and 11 RBIs (9 homers in his past 23 games) and should continue to get plenty of chances while the Red Sox chase the postseason. Grab him if you like home runs–this kid’s gonna be a star! Ha-cha-cha!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Adam Ottavino notched his ninth save of the season Friday night pitching a scoreless ninth inning, allowing a walk, and striking out two to lower his ERA to 3.51. Matt Barnes has lost all his steam and possibly will to live and Manager Alex Cora’s options include a couple of Garretts: Garrett Whitlock with his 1.60 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and arguably Boston’s most consistent bullpen arm all season, or Garrett Richards (4.86 ERA, 4.60 WHIP) who has a 0.90, 1.00 WHIP in his past 10 IP in relief. So yeeaah ignoring Hansel Robles, the answer is clearly Adam Ottavino who has done the job before and set up Barnes all year. Grey told you to BUY Adam because Robles scarred him for life, and as far as late-season closer adds go Ottavino could be a real cherry. Or should I say Fenway frank? As hard as this team has stumbled post-break, they still appear to be trying to win baseball games and there should be plenty of save chances to be had as they battle for the wild card. I’d grab Ottavino wherever I needed saves. But wait! We’re not done yet, as this headline is doing double duty today. Glenn Otto pitched five scoreless innings in his Tejas Rangers debut Friday night and allowed just two hits and struck out seven Astros. “His name is Otto, he loves to get blotto!” Thanks for that Ottoman! If you dominate the Asstros like that you have my attention, sir, and his 3.20 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 134/24 K/BB rate in the minors this year show me he might have the stuff to hang with the big boys. With half the Rangers starting rotation on the COVID list, Glenn should get another shot next week versus Colorado. I could see streaming him if you’re as desperate for pitching as I am for positive feedback. There you go, a two-fer lede! Not bad right? Larry David might even say it’s pretty good. So go play the fantasy lotto and grab one of these Ottos!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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This is it, the fantasy baseball playoffs are almost upon us, if you’re still in the running for a championship you deserve a pat on the back. But the season isn’t over yet and you’ve got one more week to lock up your spot. With that in mind lets take a look at some guys who are primed for a big final week. You don’t need me to tell you to start your studs so I’ll to focus on guys who may be out there for you to pick up and put right into your lineup so consider this a wavier column. For all your start/sit decisions don’t forget to check out Hittertron.

And without further ado, on to the targets.

 

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Shohei Ohtani (2-for-4, 2 runs) hit his 32nd homer, passing Hideki Matsui as the top Japanese-born home run hitter in a season, and it’s not even the All-Star Break! Such a cheat code, and I’m such a giant dummy to not have him on any team. Boy, I Mr. Bungled this one so bad it’s hard for me to see through my tears of anguish. The absolute ball dropping I did by not grabbing him. Or Jared Walsh (2-for-4, 3 RBIs) who hit his 21st and 22nd homer! I wrote a gee-dee sleeper post for him! Yet, all my fantasy teams are like a milk carton with that missing Walsh kid. This is brutally difficult for me. I should’ve known better for Ohtani, and I did know better for Walsh! Someone shoot me into the sky, where I can do something for humanity by flipping off Bezos’s orbiting rocket ship, and away from the misery of watching Ohtani and Walsh carry fantasy teams to the proverbial promised land. I was promised that land! I have my deed right here…*searches pockets for deed, pull back to reveal I’m wearing pants with millions of pockets* This is my nightmare! We’re in it! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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“Three sheets to the wind” means drunk, referencing a sailing term I believe, so don’t ask me what it has to do with fantasy baseball.  I guess you could say I wished I was drunk this weekend when perusing the stats my fantasy relief pitchers left me… Hector Neris, 6 earned runs?  Really?  Just another snapshot of how difficult the deep league journey can be… of course I would never have had Neris in an active lineup in a “normal” league at this point, but was forced to play him in my deepest NL only league this week because I had basically no alternative until I could grab someone in our weekly FAAB bidding Sunday.  Anyhow, let’s stop focusing on the negative and look forward:  time for this week’s list of players that might be of interest to those of us in AL-only, NL-only, and other particularly deep leagues.

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“Guten tag, mi amigos. Um, I mean, hola. I am mucho from a Spanish-language country and not at all on the run from the German authorities.” That was the Nazi in Exile as a youth, taking the very conspicuous name German Marquez. Yesterday, was a big-time “Hola, meine frau” as German Marquez took a no-hitter into the 9th inning in Coors, and ended up with 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.62 in 92 pitches, as he racked up his 11th Quality Start. My Jewish ancestors would never forgive me, but I want to help the Nazi in Exile, and in the process my better Angels. Well, not my better Angels, just the Angels. Someone disguise their voice, call up the Angels and tell them the Rockies will deal German Marquez for anything, because the Rockies are a very stupid organization. You can tell the Rockies they’re getting a guy named Ham Silliard and just read them Sam Hilliard’s Triple-A stats to them and they’ll go for it. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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