Fantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 24 Stock Report: Oh, Danny Boy


Hopefully everyone out there is reading this from a place of safety. It’s been a tough few weeks for a lot of people and my one hope is that everyone has someone or something to hold onto during these tough times.

Caught up in the midst of starting the NFL season, a lot of people are forgetting that there are baseball playoff battles going on! By this point in the season, the majority of Fantasy baseball owners have checked out and moved on to Fantasy Football. It’s a harsh reality, but it means more waiver wire pickings for those who chose to stick around.

Congrats to those who made the playoffs and still need to read this article for help. On to the Stock Report.

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 24 Stock Report

Stock Up

Matt Olson, OF/1B, Oakland Athletics

Any owners who need power down the stretch should take a look at A’s youngster Matt Olson. He was granted a full time role in August and has taken full advantage. In 19 games last month, Olson hit .305 with seven home runs and 14 RBI. So far this month, Olson has put on an even better show. In nine September games, Olson has hit five home runs while slashing .306/.359/.750.

Olson has hit eight home runs in his last 15 games, which puts him just behind J.D. Martinez during that time. His power potential is high, but owners should be wary of his 28% strikeout rate. Despite the solid month long run, Olson’s season average remains at just .267. Owners in OBP leagues are in a better spot, as his 10% walk rate has helped him to a .344 on-base percentage.

Upside is difficult to find this late in the season and Olson will bring plenty of it to the table. He is still owned in under 30% of ESPN leagues, but that number will shoot up over the next few days. Owners should take advantage of late season inactivity and NFL opening weekend to see if Olson has slipped under the radar.

Doug Fister, SP, Boston Red Sox

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Fister tends to display flashes of brilliance a few times per season. This year, he has chosen the best possible time for owners to take advantage. In his last four starts, Fister holds a 1.50 ERA and 0.73 WHIP. He is striking out close to one batter per inning (27K in 30.1 IP) and is maintaining a decent walk rate (2.4 BB/9).

Fister was able to take advantage of the Jays weak offense in his last start, but has also shut down the Orioles, Yankees and was one of the last pitchers to beat the mighty Indians. He is holding his opponents to a .136 average and is inducing 61% ground balls during the streak. His FIP (2.68) and xFIP (3.44) mean he’s pitching over his head, but he’s still pitching well enough to be a useful contributor down the stretch.

His next start will come Wednesday against the A’s, who are in the bottom third of the league in runs and batting average. Owners have been slow to take to Fister after years of inconsistency, but any player who can help in the playoffs is worthy of a roster spot.

Juan Nicasio, RP, St. Louis Cardinals

Owners looking for saves might find salvation from an unlikely source. Nicasio has been moved around a lot this season, spending time with the Pirates and Phillies before settling in with the Cardinals to finish the season. Despite the presence of Seung Hwan Oh, Nicasio has logged the last two saves for St. Louis.

Nicasio has been a solid bullpen arm all season long, posting a 2.69 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 63.2 total innings pitched. This season he has lowered his walk rate to 7.1%. The 2.54 BB/9 is his lowest mark since he was converted to a reliever in 2014. Nicasio has not given up a run in his last nine appearances, and has surrendered just two hits across the 8.2 innings.

A late closer change presents an opportunity for owners to pick up cheap saves for the playoffs. Any unfortunate owners of Kelvin Herrera (minors) or Delin Betances (return of Aroldis Chapman) can replace their saves by adding Nicasio.

Stock Down

Rougned Odor, 2B, Texas Rangers

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Odor has been incredibly frustrating to own in 2017. He has provided plenty of production in four of five categories with 28 HR and 14 SB. However, he has been battling the Mendoza line all season. His average currently sits at .214 and his BB/K sits at a repulsive 0.18. Owners have stuck with Odor through a tough season, but an ankle injury should prompt owners to consider other options.

Odor suffered an ankle injury on Sunday when he collided with Nomar Mazara in the field. X-rays came back negative, and was diagnosed with a mild sprain. No timetable has been given for his return. Until the Rangers give a more concrete timetable, Odor is almost droppable for owners, who can’t afford to use a bench spot.

Things were looking up for Odor this month as he was hitting .250 through eight games. However, ankle injuries can have serious implications on batters upon their return. If Odor is not fully healthy, he may have trouble generating the power that is keeping his value afloat.

Danny Salazar, SP, Cleveland Indians

It’s been a roller coaster season for Salazar on the Stock Report. This will be his third appearance this season and second time in the Stock Down section. Salazar looked like he had turned his season around in late July after injuries and a stint in the minors. However an elbow injury and subsequent DL stint knocked his season off the rails for good.

In his first start off the DL, Salazar was knocked around for four runs in 2/3 of an inning. After the start, the Indians announced that Salazar would pitch the rest of the season out of the bullpen. As a bullpen arm, Salazar won’t provide owners with much value, and he can be safely dropped in most leagues.

Unless someone in the Indians rotation suffers an injury, Salazar will not be rejoining them this season. If he does happen to rejoin the rotation, it will be tough for owners to trust someone with his control and consistency issues.

Yu Darvish, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

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Darvish has not been the ace the Dodgers were expecting when they acquired him at the trade deadline. In six starts since the trade, Darvish has a 5.34 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. He has lost three straight starts while surrendering home runs in seven of his last eight starts. He has failed to get past the fifth inning in his last three starts and in four of his last six. The low point of his Dodger tenure came in his start against the Padres in Petco, when he surrendered five runs over three innings.

Darvish is giving up a lot of hard contact (37.8%) and it is leading to an inflated HR/FB rate. Home runs have been an issue for Darvish throughout his career, but they have really hurt him this season. The long ball is especially damaging as Darvish continues to walk nearly four batters per nine innings.

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His performance this season has taken him out of the “Fantasy Ace” discussion. However he still provides enough strikeouts to be give value during his struggles. Darvish should definitely be in Fantasy lineups for his next start against the Giants. If he doesn’t perform well in an easy match-up, owners will need to consider his match-ups moving forward.

Check out the rest of our 2017 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

About Jonathan Chan

Winning fantasy leagues since 2004. Losing them for much longer. Follow Jonathan on twitter @jchan_811 and he'll be ready for all your questions!

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