Buy or Sell - Underowned and Overowned Players for Week 12

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At this juncture, you probably have a good sense of how your fantasy team is bound to end up this season. If you're near the bottom of the standings, you can't wait much longer to take some chances on undervalued players and make a move that could pay off. Even if you're at the top of the standings, you're dealing from a position of strength and can afford to unload some of those failing stars. Whatever the case may be, as long as there are games left to be played, there are trades to be offered.

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 12

Mike Moustakas (3B, KC) 78% owned

Everybody likes Moose Tacos, right? Apparently not, as he remains unowned in 22% of Yahoo leagues. Believe it or not, Moustakas is on pace for a 40-HR season and might establish his new career high before the All-Star break even arrives. This might seem unsustainable, especially when looking at his 20.9% HR/FB rate. It probably is, but there's more to Moustakas than just power. He's actually making less contact than ever, striking out more and has the lowest walk rate of his career.

So, why am I advocating for him? Somehow, despite a .273 BABIP, he's managed to keep his average at .282. If Moustakas stops swinging for the fences or the home run pace simply slows down, he will still help fantasy owners with run production. Don't sell the farm trying to acquire him, but don't simply assume he will have a second-half collapse either.

David Peralta (OF, ARI) 46% owned

I know, he doesn't hit lefties so you can't use him every day. Except that he is now batting .289 vs LHP this season and has become an everyday player with Yasmany Tomas still sidelined. He's on quite the hot streak lately as well, having collected three hits in four of the last six games. He's also scored 13 runs in the last 10 games.

I've been claiming Peralta as an undervalued player since spring training and he continues to prove it. He's slashing .321/.368/.484 with six home runs and five steals on the year. If he's available on your league's waiver wire, he belongs on your roster.

Taijuan Walker (SP, ARI) 67% owned

Walker was dumped in many leagues once he hit the disabled list, but he's back now. He made an effective, if brief, start on Wednesday by throwing five innings of one-run ball. Walker has handled the move from Seattle to the desert fairly well, although his home ERA (4.56) is double that of his road ERA (2.30).

Walker isn't and never has been a huge strikeout guy, but sits around league average with 21.2 K% and 8.2 K/9. Despite a less-favorable home park, he has learned to induce more grounders and limit home runs. Walker won't wow you with his stat lines, but he does deserve ownership in the back-end of fantasy rotations across nearly all mixed leagues with at least 12 teams.

 

Overrated Players - Week 12

Evan Gattis (C, HOU) 77% owned

We've done it - we found one Astros player who is actually doing worse this season! Gattis, like any catcher worth his salt, is good for one thing - power. He's bopped at least 20 HR in every Major League season and that number has climbed each of his four years in the bigs. This year, he's at a measly four HR in 144 at-bats. Oddly enough, here's the problem: he's becoming a better hitter.

His contact rate is up, his strikeouts are down, and his .271 batting average ranks among the best of all qualified catchers. That doesn't do fantasy owners any good, though. Without the power, you're left with a .271 hitter that is producing nothing else of worth. The power is still there, but when the team around you is good enough, you don't need to swing for the fences each time up.

Trea Turner (2B/SS/OF, WAS) 99% owned

It's time. We've had two and half months to give this first-round pick the benefit of the doubt. Now, we must all sit back and tell ourselves "I will not overreact to small sample sizes from rookies in next year's draft." Fellow disappointment Alex Bregman has nearly identical power numbers to Turner, but at least we can point to the steals here. Turner's 22 SB give him universal fantasy value, but is that what you paid for to get him this year?

If you own him, be happy with the steals because the dreams of a 30/30 season should be dashed by now. Last year's power surge doesn't look repeatable any more, and he's now hitting more in line with him minor league numbers. His .306 BABIP isn't astoundingly low. so while there's room for improvement in his averages, .342 ain't happening either. If you have Turner and there's still an owner in your league that thinks the MVP season is coming in the second half, ask for the moon and see if you can get it in return.

Felix Hernandez (SP, SEA) 87% owned

King Felix is set to come off the DL any day now, which makes this an appropriate time to warn you against his recent fade. Prior to injury, Hernandez posted a 4.73 ERA and 1.58 WHIP. His strikeout rate is below league average at 18.6%, just like it was last season. Take into account that he's enjoying a career-high 84.3% strand rate and there is a chance those ratios keep growing.

It might be hard to pull the plug on a former great by dropping him altogether, but you need to ask yourself what his upside is at this point. Between the two, I'd gladly take Taijuan Walker over King Felix the rest of the way.

 

More Risers and Fallers

 

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