It happens every fantasy baseball season: A good number of team owners in your league will stop checking their lineups every day or every week, depending on the rules and scoring. Either they think their team is out of it, or they just get bored with the routine.
This is your chance to capitalize, even if the owners that “quit” are managing teams below you in the standings. Chances are their rosters are ahead of you in at least a few categories, and by staying the course, you can gain precious points in the standings by passing the “dead” teams in those categories.
We have said it regularly: One of the keys to winning your fantasy baseball league is maintaining constant oversight of your roster, even when the dog days of summer have arrived after the All-Star break. Owners that play through the end often end up winning.
Players to Get on Your Team Now
1. Christian Vázquez, C, Boston Red Sox: Why this guy is not rostered on close to half of online fantasy teams is a mystery. Good-hitting catchers are not a dime a dozen, and at age 28, Vázquez is hitting finally (.292, 15 HRs, 44 RBI). Good luck finding a better option.
2. Ramón Laureano, OF, Oakland Athletics: We had him rostered earlier this season, but it was too soon. His early-season slump (.234 average through May 1) was painful. But now Laureano is hitting well (14 HRs since June 1), and it’s time to get him into your lineup for the rest of the season.
3. Sonny Gray, SP, Cincinnati Reds: He finished third in the 2015 AL Cy Young voting and then disappeared off the fantasy radar. Gray is back in 2019, though, with 120 Ks in just 103-plus innings so far. The 3.40 ERA won’t hurt you, either, although he’s not winning a lot of games (yet?).
4. Liam Hendriks, RP, Oakland Athletics: He is the new closer in Oakland (see below), and he is not disappointing. With 69 Ks in just a shade under 55 IP, Hendriks is having the best season of his career by far. He now also has eight saves as the A’s best endgame option.
Players to Drop to Waivers Now
1. Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals: At age 37, the end of the road may be up for Molina. He hasn’t been a fantasy asset since 2013, when he was third in the MVP voting after finishing fourth in 2012. His .654 OPS is really bad, even for a defensive catcher.
2. Zach Wheeler, SP, New York Mets: Yes, we know he has 130 Ks in 119 IP, and if you have him, you’ve done well. But his recent shoulder troubles are never a good sign, and the 4.69 ERA is unsightly for fantasy baseball. Let someone else assume the risk.
3. Chris Taylor, UTL, Los Angeles Dodgers: He had an incredible 2017 season (.288, 21 HRs, 72 RBI) out of nowhere, but it’s been downhill since then for Taylor. Now he is on the DL with some forearm trouble, which affects his value at the plate and in the field.
4. Blake Treinen, RP, Oakland Athletics: This is why most closers are very overvalued in the draft. Last year, Treinen was lights out (0.78 ERA, 38 saves) and an All-Star selection. This year, he is a mess (4.46 ERA) with no good signs (shoulder issues) on the horizon.