Buy or Sell - Underowned and Overowned Players for Week 17

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Now things are getting interesting. There are plenty of moves left to be made, but the trade market is already active and the usual buyers and sellers are doing their thing. Let's see whose stock is rising and falling this week.

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 17

Eugenio Suarez (3B, CIN) 56% owned

The classic dilemma when it comes to young players: do you believe in the hot streak or the cold spell? Suarez was one of the best hitters in the league during April (.329, five HR, 13 RBI, 19 R) and kept the power production going through May (five HR, 17 RBI). He must not enjoy the hot weather, because he hit a mere .198 with two homers in 34 games between the start of June to the All-Star break. Will he continue to struggle or recapture his early-season magic? I'd bet on the latter, especially because he's already shown signs of turning it around. Suarez has hit safely in six of the seven games since the break while popping three homers. This is a great time to pickup a player with an improving walk rate and great power potential in the prime of his career.

Nick Williams (OF, PHI) 8% owned

Michael Saunders is gone, Aaron Altherr is on the DL, the Phillies are looking ahead to the future. That should mean a lot of plate appearances the next couple of months for Philly's top outfield prospect. Williams doesn't possess what you would consider good plate discipline, as he's never really approached a league-average walk rate throughout the minors. So far, he's struck out once a game since being called up to the bigs, but isn't doing so in bunches and is not going to be another Joey Gallo. Here's what he's doing right: a .316 average, .298 ISO, 12 RBI in 16 games. There's talk of the Phillies chasing star outfielders like Christian Yelich and the like, but they aren't going to mortgage the future for one player. There will still be plenty of opportunity for Williams to show his talents the rest of the way.

Anthony Swarzak (RP, CHW) 1% owned

It's hard to estimate how much value an unproven potential co-closer for a bottom-feeding team will have the rest of the way, but it's worth a shot. David Robertson was finally shipped out of town, along with next-best reliever Tommy Kahnle, so there will be open competition for the closer job in Chicago. Robertson was able to collect 84 saves the last two and a half seasons, albeit for a team that wasn't completely bereft of Major League caliber talent like this one. Still, even a closer on a bad team can help fantasy owners in need of saves. Swarzak isn't the sexiest pickup you can make, but he has a good shot in that bullpen to earn the closer job. You've probably read the reports that Tyler Clippard will get first crack at the job. Let's see how long that lasts. Clippard is walking 12% of all batters faced, has given up seven home runs in 36 innings, and has a 4.08 SIERA. Swarzak doesn't boast superior numbers for his career, but he's been much better this year, which is what matters. His 3.08 SIERA and 4.36 K:BB show that he's good enough to at least pick up some saves in Chi-Town. He's just a speculative add in deep leagues at the moment, but one that could pay off down the stretch.

 

Overrated Players - Week 17

Josh Donaldson (3B, TOR) 97% owned

I resist temptation to put such high-profile players on here because a former MVP deserves the benefit of the doubt. This season appears to be a lost one for Donaldson, however, even as he remains in the everyday lineup. Now on the wrong side of 30, Donaldson appears to be falling apart. First, a calf injury caused him to miss six weeks, then he suffered freak injuries to his knee and hand on separate occasions. Although those latest injuries weren't serious, Donaldson hasn't looked himself all season long. He's hitting .246 despite a healthy .297 BABIP and has seen his OPS drop to .805 from last year's .953 mark. Plus, let's face the fact this year's last-place Blue Jays are nothing like last year's playoff version. Donaldson's trade value isn't very high, but if you can get fair value for him then it's worth a shot.

Mark Trumbo (OF, BAL) 86% owned

There's one reason and one reason only to own Trumbo - elite HR performance. His 16 jacks at the break placed him 20th in the majors... among outfielders. That's four less than Steven Souza and the same as rookie Hunter Renfroe. Among all players, he didn't even fall within the top 50. Home runs are more prevalent than ever, so is it worth taking on a .250 average for league-average power production? To be fair, he has scored 60 runs which places him 20th among all hitters. He is on pace for approximately 25 HR, 80 RBI this year; that's good production for sure, but not worthy of his OF2 ADP and not what Trumbo owners were hoping for. If a fellow leaguemate still thinks he has elite production in him (even though last year's homer total was 13 more than his previous high), don't hesitate to deal him.

Brandon McCarthy (SP, LAD) 52% owned

The Dodgers are the hottest team in the league, but that fortune hasn't extended to all its players. McCarthy has won once in the last two months and now is dealing with another blister that requires rest. McCarthy is no stranger to injury - his 16 starts this season have already surpassed his total from the past two seasons combined. When he's healthy, he delivers decent but not spectacular stats. A 3.84 ERA, 1.23 WHIP are nothing to write home about and his 6.85 K/9 is subpar. You'd think playing for the best team in the league record-wise would at least help you in the win category, but he's barely got a winning record at 6-4. Why burn a roster spot on a mediocre oft-injured pitcher who doesn't really help you in any category? If you're in a deep points league, then he may be worth owning, but his ownership has no business being higher than someone like Trevor Cahill or Mike Foltynewicz, who at least offer upside.

 

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