Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Stock Up/Stock Down Week 21 article!
This week we take a look at some younger guys who were given playing time and have been flourishing. We also take a look at a RP who seemingly reinvented himself into becoming one of the better bullpen pieces the Mariners have.
On the other side of things, we take a look at an injury to a player many thought was turning it around. At this point in the season, it is expected of you to drop players who get hurt unless it is a very minor injury.
This is the time where noncompetitive teams may rest some of their players or shut them down for the year if they've been dealing with something. Don't hold onto these types of players anymore unless you absolutely have the IL room.
Lastly we check on two struggling OFs who have provided a good amount of fantasy value at some point this season, but are going cold at the worst time.
With one more week to go in ESPN Fantasy Baseball Leagues, if you need any last-minute advice feel free to hit me up on Twitter @MikeSollicito1! Now, time for Week 21!
2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 21 Stock Up/Stock Down
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Nicky Lopez, 2B/SS, Kansas City Royals
Nicky Lopez has been having a fantastic second half and somehow been even hotter as of recent. Over his last 10 games he is hitting .361 contributing 8 SBs on top of that.
On the season Nicky is a perfect 18 for 18 in stolen base attempts. He is a contact hitter who has elite plate discipline. His speed is top-notch, and filling in for an injured albeit speedy Mondesi, Nicky will have the playing time to continue proving he belongs.
While the lineup is not great, he continues to hit second against right-handed pitchers. His speed and the fact that he can consistently get on base are what make him so appetizing from a fantasy standpoint.
Scoop up Nicky Lopez, he's worth it.
Connor Joe, 1B/OF, Colorado Rockies
Connor Joe! Joe is 28 years old and what do ya know, never got a chance to play with the Rockies during his younger years. Shocker. Nonetheless, the Rockies have started realizing that they are allowed to play younger players.
This is the case with Connor Joe, who got time in the OF due to injuries and has since been a great addition. He hits leadoff, and while the Rockies lineup is not great, they still have the likes of Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story, and CJ Cron.
He is hitting .271 with two HRs, eight runs and seven RBIs over his last 15 games played. It isn't spectacular, but he should definitely be on your radar. Not to mention he is only striking out 20% of the time while also walking 11% of the time.
The sample size is still relatively small, but I wouldn't waste time and I'd see if he is available. If your team needs a quick offensive boost or has fallen to injury, scoop up Connor Joe.
Paul Sewald, RP, Seattle Mariners
I won't make this write-up too long, mostly because he is a RP, but Paul Sewald has been spectacular this season. However, that is not why he is mentioned here. Diego Castillo recently went on the IL with fatigue in his shoulder.
This has since opened up the closing role for Sewald, who has nailed down the last three Mariners' saves. He has three pitches, two of which have over a 35% whiff rate.
He doesn't walk many, and his strikeout rate is currently a career-high. If you are desperate for saves, feel free to grab Sewald if he is still there. He may not be the closer for much longer, but he will be until at least Castillo comes back.
With the Mariners having been sneaky good all year, Sewald could get you some sneaky saves over the next week or so.
Kenta Maeda, SP, Minnesota Twins
Much like Sewald, I will, unfortunately, have to keep this one short as well. I loved Kenta Maeda heading into this season, as I thought last year was legit. I was totally wrong, but he at least was beginning to get back on track as of late.
Then he left his recent start with forearm tightness. We all know what that means - potentially Tommy John Surgery. If Maeda does indeed undergo this surgery, we may not see the current 33-year-old until 2023.
He would be 35 at that time. Maeda is an obvious drop due to his injury and the fact that it will likely keep him out the rest of the year due to the Twins not competing at all.
Tommy Pham, OF/DH, San Diego Padres
Tommy Pham may be one of the most frustrating players to own this year in fantasy.
It feels like he has gone from winning you any given week during the middle of the season to being literally the worst player on your team to start the year off and now to end the year.
He is hitting below .200 over his last 30 days, and much like the Padres are struggling it seems Pham is really struggling too. While he is still getting solid playing time, the results have not been there at all.
For me, Pham is a drop in almost every league besides maybe super deep leagues. Maybe if the Padres get hot that will wake Pham up or vice versa.
But for someone who has been doing nothing for the past month, Pham is a definite drop for me.
Mark Canha, OF/DH, Oakland Athletics
Mark Canha has been a really interesting player this year. I was never a fan of him for fantasy personally, but he had his audience. He was a great run machine for the majority of the year, and currently sits at 12 HRs and 12 SBs, not bad for a possible 15+/15+ season.
However, much like Pham, over Canha's last 30 days he is hitting well below .200 albeit with 15 runs scored and a not too shabby four stolen bases to his name.
Also similar to Pham, Canha's team, the Athletics, have been struggling a bit as well. Both of the Padres and Athletics seemed like shoe-ins for the Wild Card and they are now finding themselves right in the middle of a heated race.
For me, Canha is a hold just because of his run upside. and the fact that I think the A's are better than they've been playing. Canha is getting dangerously close to being droppable, and if your team is in need of some now help, Canha may be the best drop for you.
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