Welcome to the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Stock Up/Stock Down article!
We're approximately one month into the season and things are starting to get weird. The Reds have just three wins, Byron Buxton looks like an MVP candidate, and Anthony Rizzo is tied for the lead league in home runs.
However, that doesn't mean that weird things can't happen in fantasy. And that includes dropping players you may not want to drop. It also includes adding players that you may never have thought you would roster.
As the season goes, we must go with it as well. This week, we'll take a look at some veterans on the bat and arm side that may be headed to waivers. We'll also take a look at some bats who got off on the wrong foot but have since gotten hot. Their overall stats may be down, but their recent hot stretches could be here to stay.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @MikeSollicito1!
2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 4 Stock Up/Stock Down
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Yoan Moncada, 3B, Chicago White Sox
Rostered in most leagues, Moncada should be returning from the Injured-List relatively soon. Dealing with an oblique injury, Moncada has gone three for seven in his rehab assignment. Those three hits have included a home run and a walk.
While rehab stats are not of too much importance, he is at least seeing the ball and making solid contact. Upon being activated, Moncada should go back to his main 3B position while occupying a spot in the upper half of the lineup.
While the White Sox are dealing with a brash of injuries at the moment, their lineup still features some great hitters. Jose Abreu, Luis Robert, and Andrew Vaughn should surround Moncada in the lineup just to name a few. He should get plenty of counting stat opportunities and depending on how he is feeling, he could even steal a handful of bases or more.
If Moncada is available on waivers, definitely scoop him. If you have been stashing him, he should slot into your lineup daily. Be patient with him, as he may not come out swinging right away but he should be a valuable fantasy contributor to the season as a whole.
Santiago Espinal, 2B/3B, Toronto Blue Jays
Someone you may have never thought you'd roster is now making it onto rosters. That's right, Santiago Espinal is creeping his way into fantasy relevance. After a slow start to the season and a trip to the injured list for Cavan Biggio, Espinal has taken the opportunity and ran with it.
Known for his stellar defense, it's been Espinal's bat that has him turning heads. After spending all off-season working out with the Gurriel brothers, Espinal added some obvious strength.
That has begun to show so far this year as evident by his above-average exit velocity and hard-hit rate. With a respectable 20.7% strikeout rate, Espinal has been a sneaky player so far this year in one of the game's best lineups.
Hitting just .217 as of late, he is hitting .250 over his last two weeks. His current batting average of .253 comes with a .307 xBA.
With him taking the starting job from Biggio, if Espinal continues his solid approach at the plate, he could prove to be a solid fantasy option. If you need some middle or corner infield help, grab Espinal while he's still available.
Tommy Pham, OF, Cincinnati Reds
After a very slow start to the season, Pham has put that behind him. He is hitting .391 with two home runs and four RBI over the last week.
While Pham is not in the best lineup, he is hitting in the third spot and should continue to see decent counting stats. On top of that, the power/speed combo he has always had throughout his career could also be on display the more he gets on base. While he has just one stolen base on the season, I'd expect that number to go up.
Pham should be available in most leagues and is worth the scoop if you need some outfield help. Pham is seeing the ball well at the plate so far. Despite a .240 average on the year, he has a .272 xBA. Walking nearly 12% of the time, Pham is not only showing patience, but he is also showing some power.
He has a 95.4 average exit velocity, which would be a career-high if it maintains. The power should be coming for Pham, and as evident by his underlying stats better days should be ahead.
If he's available and you're rostering one of the two guys below, I'd recommend making the swap.
Zack Greinke, SP, Kansas City Royals
Despite some overall solid surface state for Greinke, unfortunately, the worst has yet to come. He just simply does not have the swing and miss stuff he used to. He is routinely getting hit hard, and while the walks are still limited, it doesn't help when you just simply cannot strike anyone out.
If you are still rostering Greinke, my best advice to you is to either ride him until the regression begins or try and move him. I would see if there are any other arms on the waiver wire rather than ride him out. When the regression comes, it most likely will not be great.
Greinke's best days are behind him, and it seems as though age is beginning to catch up.
The reunion with the Royals was nice, but he's getting the drop from me in all but the deepest of leagues.
AJ Pollock, OF, Chicago White Sox
Acquired to be the White Sox's everyday right-fielder, Pollock has not performed like one thus far. Hitting just .184 with no home runs or stolen bases, Pollock is struggling. His .239 xBA does not leave much confidence in him getting things going anytime soon.
His 22.5 strikeout rate would be his highest in each of the last eight seasons. His 2.5% walk rate will also be the worst in his last eight seasons.
For me, Pollock is a full-on drop candidate for anyone looking to get production. Pollock is not producing, and while he should continue to play every day due to the injuries Chicago has, when healthy he could be on the outside looking in.
While there is the chance he is simply just not right at the plate right now, he is simply just not getting it done. If you have faith, he is a definite bench player right now. He is droppable and I am looking for other more productive options for my outfield.
Adam Duvall, OF, Atlanta Braves
Adam Duvall is the most predictable player to own. He is the most hot-or-cold player ever. Right now, he is extremely cold at the plate, but he is still hitting the ball hard.
His stock is surely trending down right now, but this happens every year. Duvall will have a one-two week performance where he hits a bunch of homers and his roster percentage shoots up.
He is currently striking out at 33%, which is more than he has in recent years. While it is still Duvall just trying to find his timing, it certainly is not encouraging. His hard-hit rates and exit velocity are all in line with his recent success, so it is just a matter of time until he goes on that mini-streak.
If you're the type of team that can sit and wait for him to have his hot week, by all means, let him sit on your bench at the moment. However, if you need some wins now early on, I would drop him. There are plenty of outfielders on the waiver wire that are producing and replacing Duvall should not be difficult.
Just know, he will get hot eventually before going cold again. He is one of the streakiest hitters in baseball. He is absolutely brutal right now and just a volatile fantasy option. Proceed with caution, but don't let the week-long streak he goes on once a season persuades you.
Be sure to keep an eye out for some more Fantasy Baseball content from the F6P team! You won't want to miss it as we get into the thick of the season!