Week after week, fantasy players look for any advantage they can get over their opponents. This includes not only players that may be under the radar, but also players who may be coming back from injury or have been ineffective thus far. We are constantly mining the news and notes and seeing what is out there for you. See below for some players who could help you gain a small edge this week.
Deep (15 teams): 15% rostered or less: Michael A. Taylor (10%, 5.9 grade)
This piece always features underappreciated and underutilized hitters, and Taylor fits that bill perfectly. His defense keeps him on the field, as he is one of the better center fielders in the game defensively. And he’s not bad with the bat either; Josh looks for .7/3.1/3/.5/.266 this week for Taylor. He’s struggled a bit this year but has an everyday role, and he’s doubled his walk rate to 13.6% thus far, which could pay dividends in his offensive profile. Last year Taylor chipped in with 12 homers and 14 steals. He’s a volume play who could help you this week.
Honorable Mention: Nico Hoerner (11%, 4.6 score)
Hoerner has second base and shortstop eligibility and is playing every day for the Chicago Cubs. He makes for a good fill-in that won’t hurt you while you wait for Carlos Correa to heal. No power really but good batting average and could chip in with a steal or two.
Standard (12 teams): 30% rostered or less: Ramon Laureano (22%, 5.7 grade)
Laureano is coming back from his PED suspension this week. He should be walking back into a full-time job in center field. While he has struggled at times with the bat over the last couple of seasons, he is a threat for double-digit home runs and stolen bases the rest of the way with a middling batting average that won’t sink you. Josh projects a .8/3.4/3/.7/.224 week for Laureano. Grab him if you need outfield help.
Honorable mention: Ben Gamel (20%, 5.0 score)
I am one of those players who has been waiting for Gamel to get an opportunity to play every day and be left alone. He has that on a moribund Pittsburgh team that has tread water so far this season. Gamel is hitting .308 with two home runs, two steals, 13 runs, and 12 RBI. He’s quietly got his strikeout rate down to 18.4%. A small bid could lend you profits here.
Shallow (10 teams): 50% rostered or less: Robbie Grossman 45%, 6.2 grade)
Robbie Grossman seems to fly under the radar far too often in many leagues. Josh’s system gives him a score of a .6/4/3.1/.7/,242 line this week, which is very usable in any league. Grossman always bats in the top third of the lineup, from the leadoff spot to the three-hole. He’s a valuable player for Detroit and should be rostered in every league. He’s got a 119 wRC+ right now even without a home run and only one steal. Pick him up before other fantasy players get wise.
Honorable mention: Brendan Rodgers (33%, 5.4 grade): Could be the last time to get him cheap. He’s showing signs of life in Colorado; on Thursday he homered and knocked in four runs in a two-hit performance. Josh projects .6/3.1/3.1/.1/.287 this week.
What teams have easy matchups this week?
Detroit vs. Oakland, vs. Baltimore
Milwaukee @ Cincinnati, @ Miami
New York Mets @ Washington, vs. Seattle
Texas vs. Kansas City, vs. Boston (finishing one more game with the Yankees on Monday 5/9)
Teams with seven games this week: Baltimore, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Los Angeles Angels, Lose Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Texas
Get this: Oakland has nine games this week, and Detroit has eight.