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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: Sam Hilliard OF (10%, 5.9 grade)

I know conventional wisdom looks at a player like Hilliard and sees all the warts: the strikeouts, the 3-40 massive slump he has been mired in all season.  But he homered last night for the first time this season and knocked in four runs.  He has an opportunity right now and is a dual power and stolen base threat in Colorado.  Hilliard’s BABIP should be ready to normalize; he’s at .209 for the 2022 season. I know many teams need a boost in the outfield.  Take a look at Hilliard tonight for your FAAB runs.  Josh projects him at .7/2.5/2.3/.4/.242 and a 5.9 grade this week.

Honorable Mention: Alek Thomas OF (15%) 

The grade on Thomas is not complete yet, but I am telling you to grab him where you can.  Yes, I am a bit of a homer; Thomas is a kid from the South Side of Chicago who I watched play quite a bit in my backyard at the Kane County Cougars, in what was the low A affiliate for the Arizona Diamondbacks at the time.  Thomas projects to get daily playing time for Arizona, and he’s a gap-to-gap hitter who will likely hit for a high average and eventual power.  Thomas has speed and will also help with stolen bases.  I am not sure if he gets there this year, but double-digit home runs and steals are on the table.  He’s rostered in only 15% of leagues and that is going to change tonight.

Standard (12 teams): 30% rostered or less: Abraham Toro 2B/3B (20%, 6.2 grade)

Toro is another player who needs some BABIP luck to go back his way: he’s at an unspeakable .129 this year.  Stripping away the .149 batting average, we see he’s got four home runs already after hitting 11 last year.  With second and third base eligibility, he’s a great plug-in player who won’t cost a mint tonight.  When things normalize for him, you will have a useful player on your hands.  He’s playing everyday and we know how much that means in many of our leagues. Josh predicts .7/3/3.3/.245 for a 6.2 grade this week.

Honorable mention: Ha-Seong Kim 2B/SS/3B (21%, 5.4 grade)

It feels anecdotally like many players won’t touch Kim this season after he failed to meet lofty expectations in his rookie year in 2021. Let other players sleep on a guy who has three position eligibility and has four home runs, 15 RBI, and 17 runs scored in about 100 at-bats. His walk rate is up (12.5%) and the K rate is down (19.2%).  And his BABIP is only .231 right now, which may normalize as the season moves forward.  Kim will not fly under the radar much longer especially with three-position eligibility and injuries wearing out your team.  Grab him tonight.  Josh predicts .5/2.3/2.2/.5/.225 this week.

Shallow (10 teams): 50% rostered or less: Josh Naylor 1B/OF (36%, 5.3 grade)

Naylor is fresh off single-handedly destroying my last morsels of serotonin with his performance last week against my beloved White Sox.  Egads!  Naylor may already be off the waiver wire in deeper leagues, but in shallower leagues, he should be available. It’s hard to remember he is only 24 and still learning how to play at the game’s highest level. He has first base and outfield eligibility too.  Josh projects .6/2.3/2.6/0/.278 for this coming week.

Honorable mention: Brandon Nimmo OF (42%, 6.6 grade)

Nimmo is another player who seems to never get enough credit and is usually available on the waiver wire.  This year, fantasy players point to the logjam situation in the Met’s outfield, and I understand that. All Nimmo does is produce when he plays: a .299 batting average plays big in today’s game with the suppression of hitting thus far, and he’s popped four home runs and scored 20 times.  One thing he has not done yet is stolen a base, but that should come too.  He’s playing everyday for those keeping track.  He could be a valuable piece to your puzzle.

What teams have easy matchups this week?

Cleveland versus Cincinnati, versus Detroit

Houston at Boston, versus Texas

Los Angeles Angels @ Texas, versus Oakland

Minnesota @ Oakland, @ Kansas City

Tampa Bay versus Detroit, @ Baltimore

Toronto versus Seattle, versus Cincinnati

Teams with seven games this week: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago Cubs, Houston, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Seattle, St. Louis, Texas

Teams with eight games this week: Arizona, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City

All other teams play six games this week.

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