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If your fantasy baseball team looks anything like most of mine, then you've got a couple of injured players occupying bench spots because your DL positions are already full. That didn't take long did it? The 10-day DL has been both a blessing and a curse for the fantasy world. On the one hand, it allows players to return earlier than the previously mandated 15 days and doesn't encourage players to fight through nagging injuries. On the other hand, it's a lot easier to shelve a guy for a week and a half for minor nicks and bruises. Some of these players could be seen as buy-low candidates from impatient owners, especially if they were already struggling to begin with. Others, not so much.

Even at this early stage of the 2018 MLB season, 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 typically include one player at each key position group (infield, outfield, pitcher) but may sometimes be motivated to add an extra player or two. Ownership levels are taken from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports.

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Underrated Players - Week 3

Cesar Hernandez (2B, PHI) 51% owned

Hernandez has put up numbers that resemble an All-Star caliber second baseman for two years running and he's off to a good start again, posting a .300/.440/.500 line with three steals and a pair of homers over 11 games. Yet, he's only half-owned in the fantasy world and rookie Scott Kingery has an 11% edge over him (now up to 62% ownership). While the rookie's ceiling is much higher, Hernandez has something that Kingery doesn't - stability. Hernandez has started all but one game at second base and has hit leadoff every time. With an improved lineup behind him, Hernandez could find himself crossing home plate close to 100 times. He might also reach 20 steals for the first time in his career, as he's clearly got the green light. He'll need to improve on his CS% first, however. Hernandez has been caught stealing 23 times in the last three seasons. His 28.8 ft/sec Sprint Speed is well above average, placing him 34th overall last season, so it's just a matter of experience. Now that we know Kingery won't threaten Hernandez's playing time, it's time to give credit where it's due.

Corey Dickerson (OF, PIT) 64% owned

If he's not good enough to play in Tampa, is he good enough for our fantasy teams? Dickerson was a surprise cut in Spring Training, but it had nothing to do with talent and everything to do with salary. He landed in the perfect spot, with a Cutch-sized hole in the Pittsburgh outfield. He's off to a hot start, batting .356 with one homer, nine RBI, 10 runs, and a pair of steals. Is is sustainable? Definitely. PNC Park was 22nd in HR Park Factor for LHB last season, which doesn't bode well for a power surge, but when you consider Tropicana Field was 27th last season in HR Factor for lefties and he jacked 27 HR, suddenly 30 homers seems plausible.  The steals won't be a continued asset, but he can bring a higher run total and average than players like Adam Duvall (see below) and has no direct threat to his playing time since Austin Meadows still doesn't seem ready for the bigs. Grab Dickerson if he's floating around the waiver wire in your lethargic league that doesn't buy into things like "statistics."

JA Happ (SP, TOR) 66% owned

Maybe it's the fact that he plays north of the border, but Happ never seems to get his due. He was the 98th pitcher selected on average in NFBC leagues, behind younger, worse models like Julio Teheran and Michael Wacha. He doesn't have youth on his side (did you realize he's 35 years old already?) but he's been a model of consistency since returning to Toronto. He's kept an ERA under 4.00 for three straight years and his xFIP supports it. He's not a strikeout machine like he appears this year, but he'll hover around the league average in that department at least. This is a very safe, unexciting pick, but if you've been rocked by injuries and devastating pitching performances from your "sleepers" then this could be the guy to steady the boat.


Overrated Players - Week 3

Yoan Moncada (2B, CHW) 74% owned

This seems like a perfect time to remind our readers about my bold predictions for this year, when I suggested Moncada wasn't ready to breakout. It's early and it's been a Hoth-like atmosphere in Chicago to start the season, but Moncada's bat is even colder than a Tauntaun's toenails. He's drawn eight walks in 14 games, which would be an improvement if he hadn't also struck out 24 times, or twice per game, with a .184 batting average. There have been no steals and just one homer, so it's not as if there's a trade-off taking place. If you were torn between Moncada or Albies as your breakout 2B pick in the middle portion of drafts, hopefully you took the latter. Moncada shouldn't be dropped just yet, but if he gets a mini hitting streak going, it might be a prime chance to sell. Until then, keep firmly planted on all benches.

Adam Duvall (OF, PHI) 65% owned

A sure thing for 30 HR and 100 RBI, right? Duvall's power is not in question, but his playing time might be. Another 550+ at-bats should ensure him a similar finish to the previous two seasons, but things are a little different this year. Jesse Winker is already in the mix, Scott Schebler will be returning from injury soon, and Duvall could start seeing more days off than usual if he can't boost his pathetic .116 average. His strikeout rate has been worse than usual, up to 34%, and he's hitting the ball on the ground an awful lot. There will surely be regression, but it may not be enough to make him an OF3 in an era where 30 home run hitters are practically a dime a dozen.

Felix Hernandez (SP, SEA) 67% owned

There are two camps under King Felix's dominion--those who think a renaissance is possible and those who think he's done as a Major League starter. The fact that he's at least owned in two-thirds of Yahoo leagues indicates that there are enough fantasy owners out there willing to take a chance on him to make this analysis relevant. He's got a 6.60 ERA and only eight strikeouts in his first 15 innings, which could very well serve to justify his doubters. His supporters (hey, where are you going?) might point out that his ratios are inflated by one bad start in San Francisco and he blanked the Indians on Opening Day and he's only 32. Sadly, things are bound to get worse before they get better. His velocity keeps going down and his fastball is barely scratching 90 MPH these days. He's going back to relying on a sinker 36% of the time, as he did in his younger days, but to far less effectiveness. It's not even a plus pitch for him, rating -0.2 so far, as opposed to the +19 he registered back in 2009-2010. He's not going to bring much, if any value in a trade unless you have a nostalgic Mariners fan in your league, in which case he's probably the one who owns him already. Cut bait now before he damages your ratios further.


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