Injuries and deceptive owners do it all the time: They ruin Fantasy Baseball trades and hurt your team. So if you’ve made an unfortunate trade and ended up with a battered player or just the short end of the stick, it’s time to strategize.
Whether you’re preparing your roster for the playoff berth you’ve secured or simply trying to spoil other owners’ playoff hopes, recovering after a trade is difficult.
Your trade deadline passed and your remaining moves will be strictly to and from the waiver wire. If you’re in an auction league and still have money in your free agent acquisition budget (FAAB), you need to be meticulous with your spending. Plan ahead at how you’ll use particular players in platoons or just for weeks at a time, when matchups are favorable.
It is also wise to be judicious before adding and dropping players (Note: That does not imply you need to drop a guy you acquired via trade).
The following players are owned in less than 50 percent of leagues (ESPN and Yahoo! composite via FantasyPros). All of these guys come with warts, but if you’re a hands-on owner down the stretch, you can employ several of them at the right time(s) to bolster your lineup.
Waiver Wire Options
J.A. Happ, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (5% owned)
Against left-handed hitters, Happ sports a career 21.8 K% and a 3.76 FIP. His recent game logs look like trash thanks to awful management in Seattle prior to his trade to the Pittsburgh Pirates. His career home/road splits are not elite, but they are consistent: 4.31 FIP home and away. Against Happ when he’s home, opponents bat .244/.323/.420, and .266/.338/.440 on the road. Through July, Happ had allowed four ERs at home just one time.
Chris Tillman, SP, Baltimore Orioles (41% owned)
Tillman must love pitching in the second half: 2.18 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, .157 BAA in 33 IP since the break. He had a rough outing against the Mariners this month, but a 105-MPH line drive hit Tillman in his pitching triceps early on and he couldn’t recover. He can be homer-prone (career 1.22 HR/9) so monitor his matchups, especially in the pitcher-unfriendly American League East ballparks.
Patrick Corbin, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks (31% owned)
Returning from Tommy John surgery this year, Corbin’s success depends on his command. Right now, he’s striking out 24.6 percent of hitters, and walking 6.3 percent of them, the same BB% he had in 208 innings in 2013. The lefty has been better and less likely to give up home runs at home (3.32 FIP, 0.83 HR/9 at home; 4.01 FIP, 1.14 HR/9 away). The D-Backs have scored the most runs in the National League, so that can help his win totals.
Chris Colabello, 1B/OF, Toronto Blue Jays (40% owned)
Colabello’s success may be unsustainable (.404 BABIP), but if he’s available, get him. Anybody in that Blue Jays lineup is worth having. Colabello’s .327/.361/.545 with three HRs, seven R and 14 RBIs in the second half would fill a void after an ugly Fantasy Baseball trade.
Ben Paulsen, 1B, Colorado Rockies (16% owned)
Paulsen is best suited for a platoon in which you can start him at home or against right-handed pitchers. At Coors, Paulsen has a .928 OPS; .693 OPS on the road.
Delino DeShields, 2B/OF, Texas Rangers (33% owned)
Although he’s void of power, DeShields’ legs and .358 OBP make him a point accumulator. He’s hit 15 doubles and seven triples this year to accompany his 21 stolen bases (in 26 attempts) and scored 54 R.
Enrique “Kiké” Hernandez, 2B/SS/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (10% owned)
Kiké is a lefty-killer this year: .393/.457/.754 with nine doubles, three HRs, and 12s RBI in 61 ABs. That success has nullified his struggles against righties, to give him a total slash of .303/.353/.510. Pay attention to his playing time, as the Dodgers have herds of infielders and will likely play matchups for Kiké.
Danny Valencia, 3B/1B/OF, Oakland Athletics (16% owned)
Since his first game with Oakland on August 5, Valencia reached safely in almost every game, while also hitting four HRs. His K-BB% is his biggest wart at 17.9, but when you’re patching things together after a rough trade, you cannot be too choosey. His career splits favor him against southpaws, especially for power. Ride Valencia while he’s hot, but don’t fall in love.
Jed Lowrie, SS/3B, Houston Astros (12% owned)
Lowrie returned from an injury at the end of July. Before his injury, Lowrie posted an outstanding .999 OPS, 0.80 BB/K, and getting a hit in all 18 games he started. He has not performed at that level in the second half, but his 0.75 BB/K since returning from the DL shows that he still has the same approach. If he can produce at the all-too-shallow shortstop position like he did in April, he carries value.
Eugenio Suarez, SS, Cincinnati Reds (12% owned)
With the Reds’ starting shortstop job, Suarez is quite serviceable if you lost a middle infielder in a Fantasy Baseball trade. His .293/.329/.478 line balances his 4.5 BB% and 22.5 K%. His home-road and lefty-righty splits are not drastic—except his lower 2.9 BB% against righties—so you can plug in Suarez most of the time without worrying about his playing time.
Carlos Beltran, OF/DH, New York Yankees (36% owned)
Beltran’s career second-half numbers are outstanding. For a switch-hitter, his splits are all around great. His OPS versus lefties is .858. It’s the exact same against righties. He’s already heated up in the second half: .304/.402/.633 with a 1.18 BB/K, six HRs and eight doubles. Given his age and healthy history, he won’t play every day, but he’s showing that he’ll make it count.
Andre Ethier, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (28% owned)
In real life, Ethier is a platoon player, so he’ll have to be for you, too. This year, he’s mashed right-handed pitchers, getting all 12 of his homers off of them, plus 12 doubles and five triples. Ethier’s .904 OPS against righties is consistent with his .889 career mark.
As always, feel free to ask So Called Fantasy Experts anything you need to help your team. Post questions in the comments regarding add/drop and FAAB decisions, and we’ll be sure to answer them. Take a look at Fantasy Baseball September call-up targets, hitters to use against right-handed pitchers and hitters to use against left-handed pitchers (DFS-focused, but still resourceful). Now that you’re armed with knowledge, no Fantasy Baseball trade can single-handedly spoil your season.
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