Updated: Jan 14, 2022
Jeez. As a Mets fan, times are a bit rough around here. NYM leads the league with 16 players on the IL. It’s not pretty, but they are still winning games, 11 of their last 15, and there is plenty of value to be added in the short term, which we will get to. First, let’s look at some teams playing with a roster full of major leaguers.
Three teams are scheduled to play just five games this week: ATL, BOS, and HOU. Of the three, it will be difficult to find a more challenging schedule than what the Astros have coming, with games scheduled against Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Joe Musgrove. These are all teams we targeted to add over the last few weeks, but we would quickly drop their fringe bats in order to grab some of the names mentioned below.
Our favorite bats this week project to be from the Oakland Athletics, who will get to play against both SEA and LAA, two staffs who currently rank in the bottom third of the league. Better yet, the A’s will likely avoid each team’s most productive top starting pitcher, Yusei Kikuchi and Shohai Ohtani respectively. We will be heavily targeting A’s who can hit left-handed, like Jed Lowrie, about 50% owned, and Seth Brown, only 3% owned.
Another team that stands out in our projections is the Cleveland Indians, who are scheduled to play seven games this week and to face four left-handed pitchers this week. We would consider adding Franmil Reyes, 85% owed, and Ahmed Rosario, who just won the everyday shortstop job and is only 3% owned.
Circling back to the Mets, there is some good news. Jacob deGrom is expected to make his return on Tuesday, which would set him up for a two start week. Even if deGrom is on a pitch count or if he can only make one start, he would still be a top 10 starting pitcher this week. He’s that good. Fantasy owners in week long leagues should get him out of an IL spot and into their starting lineups immediately. In the short term, we would consider adding Dom Smith, 60% owned and hitting clean up, and/or Jonathan Villar, 37% owned and red hot since taking over as the lead-off hitter.
There are a number of other low owned hitters and pitchers who we are targeting this week. This list will continue to grow throughout the week, but for now we are keeping a close eye on the following players/situations:
- Adam Frazier, owned in 60% of leagues, has quietly had himself a solid season so far as the leadoff hitter for the Pirates. Hitting over .330 so far, Frazier will benefit from facing five RHP this week. He should be considered to plug in at 2B or OF in deeper leagues
- Brandon Crawford, owned in 40% of leagues, was mentioned here last week and only ticked up 10% in ownership, even after another dominant week in which he added 2 more homeruns. Not enough people are paying attention to him, or these weekly notes it seems, but it just means more good adds for us!
- Miguel Rojas, now 50% owned, is another shortstop we have been telling our readers about. He’s currently ranked just outside the top 100, but that number is climbing with Rojas now hitting in the top half of the lineup. The Marlins shortstop can help lineups in category leagues that play BA or, our preferred category, OBP.
- Danny Santana, only 15% owned, has played well in his first three games with the Red Sox, compiling two hits and a stolen base. We mentioned earlier that we are not jumping on any Red Sox this week, but we like Santana as someone to keep an eye on moving forward. Better yet, he is eligible at 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, and OF, so if you have a hole, its likely Santana can fill it.
- This would be the first week we don’t mention any pitchers to add. That’s not right, so check out Miami’s Cody Poteet, only 14% owned, who has been dominant in his first three appearances.