Buy or Sell - Underowned and Overowned Players for Week 11

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The grass isn't always greener on the other side. My uncle used to tell me that all the time. Then again, he was color blind so I'm not sure how sage that advice really was. A change of scenery doesn't always make for positive results, at least not right away. This week, we'll look at a couple of players whose fantasy fortunes have gone in different directions as they've moved to different cities.

Scouting players who may be undervalued and re-assessing players who may be overvalued is a weekly exercise that you should pursue. Fortunately, I have you covered. Here are a few players who are good buy or sell candidates based on their current performance compared to ownership levels. This could mean scooping them off waivers if possible or actively seeking a trade to acquire or discard certain players in order to maximize value.

I will include one player at each key position group (Infield, Outfield, Pitcher). Ownership levels are taken from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports.

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Underrated Players - Week 11

Jonathan Schoop (2B, BAL) 74% owned

It never ceases to amaze me how Schoop is undervalued in the fantasy community. Despite hitting 25 home runs, scoring and driving in 82 runs last season, Schoop is available in over a quarter of Yahoo leagues. He isn't slouching this season either. Schoop is second at his position with 11 HR and fifth in RBI. A .286 average shows that he isn't just selling out for power.

Schoop is in a good lineup, plays at a favorable home park, and provides power at the second base position where some key players have had disappointing season. It won't hurt to put some trade feelers out to see just how much the Schoop owner in your league truly appreciates him.

Mallex Smith (OF, TB) 14% owned

You're about to be bombarded with a whole lot of Mallex Smith waiver-lovin' from fantasy pundits all around, so let me be one of the first to load up the bandwagon. I personally drafted Smith in an AL-only league and stashed him in another 16-teamer back in March because I know what he's capable of on the basepaths. Smith stole 16 bases playing part-time as a rookie last year in Atlanta. That doesn't sound too impressive, but here are some caveats:

1) He was caught stealing eight times and in four of his first six attempts, so it took him some time to adjust his timing to the Major League level. 2) Those 16 SB came in 189 at-bats because Smith missed eight weeks with a broken thumb. 3) The Rays love to run (eighth in the majors in SB) and will gladly give Smith the green light. Just to hammer home the point, in his first game as a starter with Kevin Kiermaier on the DL, he swiped three bags on Friday. Unless you are absolutely dominating your league in steals, he is a must-add everywhere. Even if you aren't, add him so your leaguemates can't and use for trade bait.

Drew Pomeranz (SP, BOS) 67% owned

Pomeranz didn't initially take too well to Boston, posting a 4.59 ERA and allowing 14 HR in 14 games during the second half of 2016. This season didn't start too hot either, as his ERA is still just north of 4.00. It looks like things are starting to click, however, as Pomeranz is on a three-game winning streak in which he's struck out 26 batters in 18 innings. The K's have always been there; Pomeranz has a 11.41 K/9 that ranks among the best starting pitchers in the game. If he can limit the long ball, which has been his nemesis, Pomeranz could provide great value down the stretch. He is starting to be added at a higher rate in mixed leagues, but there is still a window of opportunity here.

 

Overrated Players - Week 11

Hanley Ramirez (1B, BOS) 87% owned

It's easy to blame Big Papi's absence on Boston's offensive struggles, but this isn't anything new for Hanley Ramirez. Although he had a monster 2016, it was really the first time since 2013 that Ramirez didn't disappoint his owners. HanRam's issues are usually health-related, but not this year.

Ramirez is making contact at the exact same clip as last season (77.8%) and his BABIP is pretty low for him (.277), so there is some hope for a turnaround. We must also keep in mind that Ramirez is 33 years old, proven to be fragile, and part of a lineup that, although talented, hasn't gelled the way it should.

Dexter Fowler (OF, STL) 54% owned

Fowler was brought in to man center field and get on base at the leadoff spot. He won't be doing one of those things any longer. Fowler is far from losing his job, but he was moved down to the No. 2 spot in the lineup a couple days ago. His OBP is a lowly .314, compared to last year's .393 in Chicago. It's not like he's helping on the base paths with just three steals.

He's managed to score 31 runs, which is a fair amount, but that certainly isn't worth the trade off in every other category. Fowler is actually making more hard contact and pulling the ball a bit more, which explains the slightly inflated 13.8% HR/FB rate. That's not his game, though. Fowler is probably pressing because the lineup around him is struggling for consistency and he has a new contract to live up to. Those two issues aren't going to change any time soon.

Jose Quintana (SP, CHW) 89% owned

The most overhyped player discussed this offseason is making Astros fans glad they didn't deal top prospects away for him. Quintana is still with the White Sox and has done nothing to boost his trade value, pitching to a 5.30 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 3.62 BB/9. His strand rate is extremely low at 67.4%, so some regression should come, but that won't happen unless he can keep the ball in the park.

Quintana is continuing a disturbing trend of seeing his home run rate climb each of the past four seasons, up to 1.29 HR/9. With just two wins in the bag, a trade is the only thing that could possibly affect his value in a positive way, but at this rate it's hard to tell how much interest remains from top contenders. Hold off until just before the trade deadline and consider buying low, but not before then. If you're already a Quintana owner, consider benching him for the time being and pray that he does get moved.

 

More Risers and Fallers

 

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