Buy or Sell - Underowned and Overowned Players for Week 16

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I've already given my take on players who are "buy high" candidates for the second half, if you will. Those players have already been covered in this space previously, so I'll dig a little deeper for buy candidates since not much has changed over the past week in player values.

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 16

Andrelton Simmons (SS, LAA) 61% owned

Remember Erick Aybar? He's still going strong in San Diego, although not quite to the level he showed when he was the Angels' starting shortstop. Between 2009-2014, Aybar averaged 18 steals, 83 runs, and an average in the 270s. Simmons is on pace to put up similar numbers, with 13 steals, 41 runs, 39 RBI and a .290 average in 338 at-bats this year. Known mainly for his defense, Simmons has shown the ability to help out in mixed leagues of 14 or more teams that require a MI spot. The ceiling is limited, but if you're trying to play it safe for the stretch run to protect a lead in the standings, he might give you the consistency you need.

Tommy Pham (OF, STL) 34% owned

OK, I'm only about two months late on this one, but Pham has finally made me a believer. When a player has a couple years of Major League experience under his belt and hasn't done anything whatsoever, I tend to be a big skeptic of hot streaks. This time, Pham has shown that he could legitimately finish with a 20/20 season that includes an average near .300. Sure, his .370 BABIP and 34.4% HR/FB are due for sharp drops and he's clearly playing over his head, but sometimes you just have to ride the wave and enjoy it while it lasts. Pham's magical season (for him) has picked right up where it left off after the break, with two hits and a steal on Friday. Pick him up already and keep him in your lineup until he shows that he's out of gas.

Carlos Rodon (SP, CWS) 50% owned

All of a sudden, Rodon went from a non-factor to the ace of the staff in Chicago. With the trade of Jose Quintana to the other side of town, Rodon suddenly takes the mantle for the White Sox as the leader of their rebuilding effort. In three starts, Rodon is 1-2 with a 4.32 ERA and 12 walks in 16 2/3 innings. Not encouraging, but it will take him a little time to round into game shape after missing three months with a biceps injury. Rodon has never been a WHIP-friendly pitcher, posting ratios of 1.44 and 1.39 in his first two Major League seasons, so his current 1.38 could be here to stay. He should provide an above-average K rate with a sub-4.00 ERA, though. He has more value in leagues that count quality starts rather than wins, but he figures to be a decent back-end rotation arm in most deeper mixed leagues down the stretch.

 

Overrated Players - Week 16

Ian Kinsler (2B, DET) 83% owned

Usually the model of consistency, Kinsler is just one of several veterans in Detroit having a disappointing season. Last year, he seemed to have a rebirth, slugging 28 home runs and scoring 117 runs at the age of 34. He's followed it up with a career-low .240 average and just nine homers over 71 games. The smart thing for the Tigers to do would be to sell, sell, sell before the deadline and go into rebuild mode. It's unclear whether that will happen, but Kinsler's immediate future is unclear. If he stays in Detroit but others go, he could see himself surrounded by inferior talent in the second half. He certainly has the talent and track record to rebound, but it isn't a given. Unfortunately, his trade value is pretty low in fantasy so you may be stuck with him if you're a Kinsler owner.

Hunter Pence (OF, SF) 40% owned

Pence's ownership has gradually fallen under the halfway mark, but it's still way too high. In his prime, Pence had a seven-year stretch of 20+ homers and has six seasons of double-digit steals under his belt. It's painfully obvious neither of those marks will be reached this year. He has a .660 OPS that is 142 points below his career average and below league-average for any outfielder. Not a lot has changed about his contact rates or plate discipline, it's just that he's hitting with less authority and has a paltry 11.1% LD% that is resulting in fewer base knocks. There is no hope at this point for the Giants, so it appears to be a lost season for all players not named Posey in that lineup. Take a chance on a young player like Clint Frazier or Bradley Zimmer instead.

AJ Ramos (RP, MIA) 84% owned

Hearing that the Marlins might be sellers at the trade deadline basically just means that it's July. Rumors don't always prove true, but unless the team comes out the gate on fire in the second half, there's a good chance Ramos and other bullpen pieces will be sold off. Ramos hasn't been great this year anyway, posting a 4.19 ERA and walking nearly five batters per nine innings. He imploded again in the first game after the break, allowing three runs and blowing a save. While owning him is a necessary in any league that counts saves, that could change if he's traded to become a setup man elsewhere. It's best for fantasy owners to trade him now ahead of the deadline. If nothing else, you'll be sparing your ratios by parting ways with him.

 

More Risers and Fallers

 

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