Buy or Sell - Underowned and Overowned Players for Week 13

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Some stars (and surprising scrubs) continue to rise, while others have yet to turn a corner. That begs the all-important questions: sell-high or buy-low? In the case of struggling stars, it's hard to let go but sometimes it's in the best interest of your team to cut bait before too much damage is done. Other times, we have to embrace the youth movement that is underway. This week, I suggest a pair of young, budding stars that should be added universally, but for some reason are still widely available. I also recommend you take the bold step of selling low or outright cutting a Cy Young winner and a preseason top-20 outfielder.

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 13

Trey Mancini (1B/OF, BAL) 45% owned

Trey Mancini is this year's Adam Duvall for me. Not just because he is an unheralded power bat on pace to hit 30+ home runs in his first year as a starter. I think of Duvall because last season, in an NL-only league no less, I added Duvall in the first week off waivers and then dropped him two weeks later because I didn't figure he would do much. Oops... Likewise, I owned Mancini in a couple of leagues this May, but got impatient with his lack of regular playing time and gave him the boot.

Now, Chris Davis is on the DL and Mancini is continuing his power surge with three homers and a .408 average in the past two weeks. He now has a total of 12 HR and 38 RBI in just under 200 at-bats on the season. Even when Davis returns, the team has no choice but to find more at-bats for Mancini. Even though there is no chance he approaches the current AL rookie leader in home runs (some Judge guy), he looks like one of the better young sluggers in the league. He is a great value in points leagues, but should be owned in most 12+ team rotisserie leagues as well.

Bradley Zimmer (OF, CLE) 15% owned

Really? 15%? If we ignore the fact that Aaron Judge exists (impossible, I know) then Zimmer could also make a run for AL Rookie of the Year. His game is more speed than power, but aren't stolen bases harder to find than homers these days? Zimmer is batting .303 on the season with 20 RBI and seven steals in just over a month's worth of action.

As a first-round pick playing for the defending AL champs, what exactly is the concern that is leaving him on so many waiver wires still? Any league that allows keepers should have a Zimmer owner somewhere. His SB upside doesn't rival Mallex Smith, but he will do more in other counting stats and could be a rare five-category contributor.

Cam Bedrosian (RP, LAA) 57% owned

The Angels' closer situation is verifiable mess right now. Bud Norris takes Huston Street's place on the DL, just as Bedrosian had come back a week earlier. Between the current closer (Norris) and last year's closer (Street), it would seem Bedrock Jr. would be stuck at third in the pecking order for saves. By year's end, I have little doubt Bedrosian will be the man, however. Chances of Street staying healthy and effective are slim to none. He hasn't taken the mound this year, only pitched 22 1/3 innings last year, and posted a 6.45 ERA.

Norris may temporarily get the closer job back in a week or so, but he will likely suffer the same fate as last year by being traded for prospects. The Angels are not a contender and have no reason to hold onto the 32-year old if they can improve their depleted farm system. The only reason Bedrosian hasn't held the job all year is his own injury. Before hitting the DL, he hadn't yielded a run in nine appearances, including three saves. He pitched to a sparkling 1.12 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 11.4 K/9 last season. Bedrosian will fall back into the closer role sooner than later, so snag him now before he becomes a waiver wire sensation.

 

Overrated Players - Week 13

Brandon Belt (1B, SF) 64% owned

This isn't the first, nor will it be the last time I call out Brandon Belt truthers for having unrealistic expectations. For some reason, he keeps being heralded as undervalued year-after-year, even though the numbers don't change.

Belt is on pace to crack the 20-HR mark for the first time ever, but it's coming at the expense of his average, which is a career-low .226. The power may subside too, as his 12.4% HR/FB rate is four points above his career mark. The truth is Belt has never been significantly better than replacement level and nothing has changed this season.

Carlos Gonzalez (OF, COL) 87% owned

You don't need me to tell you that CarGo is having a terrible season. Gonzalez was a fifth or sixth round pick in most fantasy drafts as an OF2, but he's competing with Gregory Polanco for biggest bust among outfielders at the moment. It's not just his .221 average and paltry six home runs for a Rockies player that are concerning.

The fact is that young Raimel Tapia has been on fire lately and David Dahl still figures to return at some point to claim playing time. The Rockies could easily find themselves willing to part with CarGo at the trade deadline, even if they are in first place. Gonzalez is an impending free agent, so a move to bolster the rotation and/or bullpen would make sense if he is still struggling. A move out of Coors Field won't help his value whatsoever, so it might be best for fantasy teams to move on from him, even if it's selling low at this point.

Rick Porcello (SP, BOS) 83% owned

It's time to pull the plug. After his next start against the Trout-less Angels, I'll be dropping Porcello in two leagues (one is AL-only and the other was auto-drafted, OK?). After leading the league in wins last season, he's leading the league in losses (nine so far) this season. Things are just getting worse, as he's dropped four of his last five contests, going over a month without a victory. He also has the dubious distinction of leading the league in hits allowed, which explains his 1.53 WHIP.

The one area that works in his favor is a strong 4.72 K:BB rate. He's whiffing batters at a high rate and still walks very few batters, but he's allowing a significant amount of contact. At some point, his .366 BABIP should come down, but it may not be enough to make him worth hanging onto. We knew regression would come for Porcello, but nobody expected it to hit this hard.

 

More Risers and Fallers

 

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