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You probably aren't technically able to make trades in your leagues by this point in the season, but it's never too late to buy or sell from the plethora of talented players available in fantasy baseball waiver pools. Instead of trading assets with other owners, you can "buy" players that have been overlooked or recently discarded on the wire. In this case, think of it as a short-term investment that comes at a low cost (you did save at least a couple bucks of FAAB for the final month, right?)

Rather than trade candidates, I'll focus on players that appear to be trending up or down, but could soon be headed in opposite directions. In other words, we'll find some undervalued and overvalued players for you to target in free agency, or the trade market if your league still allows.

As always, I will never advocate that you buy or sell a player if I wouldn't follow the same advice myself. Now, time to assess some fantasy values.

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Undervalued Players - Week 23

Jonathan Villar (2B/OF, BAL) 51% owned

Trust issues? I get it. I too owned Villar earlier this year, only to leave him on waivers month ago when it was obvious he wasn't going to come close to approaching his career-year numbers from two seasons ago. A fresh start in Baltimore might have been all he needed though. In August, Villar hit .275 with four HR, 13 RBI, 15 R, and eight steals - all highs for any month since 2016. He's absolutely worth owning for steals alone, but it looks like he can bring much more to owners down the stretch.

Joey Wendle (2B/3B/OF, TB) 21% owned

He's likely been streamed and discarded several times over in many leagues and ignored in others, but Wendle is outperforming prospect Willy Adames and holding down the leadoff spot in Tampa. Despite notching two steals in a game last Wednesday and four in the last two weeks, Wendle is only up to 12 SB this season. Don't pick him up for speed, pick him up because he is batting .296 on the year and should continue to score runs at a fair clip atop the batting order. That said, don't be long to cut bait if he does start to slump. He owns a 6% walk rate that was below-average at almost every minor league stop and his .351 BABIP may not last a whole month longer.

Hunter Renfroe (OF, SD) 21% owned

I've always been a believer in Renfroe's massive swing and the ability to drive the ball. After a massively disappointing rookie season, he's proven that he can hit Major League pitching at a hard rate, posting a 45.2% Hard% over 301 at-bats. He's up to 17 home runs this year, which is behind last year's pace, but he's at least near replacement level with his .256 average. Don't look at his OBP - he just doesn't like to take free passes, so points leagues and those that count OBP/OPS shouldn't consider him. Traditional 5x5 league owners could use him as a cheap power source as he's been hot lately and the Padres continue to play in hitter-friendly venues like Colorado and Arizona.

Corey Dickerson (OF, PIT) 55% owned

After batting .400 in the month of July and swatting six homers, Dickerson went homerless throughout August and batted just .209. Confused owners may be abandoning him in their time of need, but that makes him an immediate add for those with bench space. He's always been a streaky hitter, but 2018 has been an extreme version of that. The Pirates may have lost their playoff mojo, but with Austin Meadows now gone, Dickerson should continue to get regular playing time in the middle of a potent lineup.

Gio Gonzalez (SP, MIL) 57% owned

He's been horrible lately, allowing four disastrous starts out of his last six, posting a 7.47 ERA in the last month. Moving to a more hitter-friendly park won't help either. But wait... Nats park is actually fourth in Park Factor for runs this season whereas Milwaukee's Miller Park is 18th. While Miller Park is sixth in HR factor, Nationals Park is still higher at third. Last year things were different, but this move won't hurt Gonzalez and he now moves to a winning club environment as well. Don't count him out based on a rough stretch either - Gonzalez was posting a sub-4.00 ERA and striking out almost a batter per inning for most of the season. He won't be a league-winner, but he could be a solid end-of-rotation piece in deeper leagues.

 

Overvalued Players - Week 23

Kole Calhoun (OF, LAA) 51% owned

What goes up must come down. I highlighted Calhoun's horrendous Statcast numbers throughout the first half of the season until he finally woke up and decided to start swinging the bat like he meant it. He was one of the hottest hitters in the league throughout July, posting a .322/10/25 line. He's slowing down lately, which could be a warning signal that it's time to move away from him. In the last 10 games, has just one RBI and a 12:1 BB:K rate. Bench him for now and drop if he doesn't pick it back up soon.

Sean Newcomb (SP, ATL) 63% owned

His strikeout numbers remain high (28 K in his last 25 IP) and he has mixed in some good starts with his duds, so you may be apt to overlook the rising ERA. The fact is that he had the good fortune to face the Marlins twice and a resigned Nats team for three solid starts, but has mostly struggled in the second half against real competition. With a career-high 145 innings under his belt, Newcomb could be fatigued. Newcomb still hasn't solved all his command issues, as a 4.28 BB/9 demonstrates, so his WHIP is a liability already. Use him in plus-matchups, but avoid otherwise if you value your ratios.

Michael Fulmer (SP, DET) 40% owned

Fresh off the DL last week, Fulmer posted one scoreless start and then one clunker. Either way, he hasn't lasted as much as five innings in any of his last three outings dating back to July before his injury. The team doesn't have much incentive to push his limits throughout September, so he will have limited appeal in fantasy leagues and carries more risk than he's worth as a low-strikeout pitcher. You're better off picking up someone like Austin Gomber or Joey Lucchesi.

 

More Risers and Fallers





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