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Hey there RotoBallers. Apologies for the delay. Between The Masters this weekend and adjusting to my new MLB schedule, this article slipped my mind. Like last season, Max and I will be splitting the AL/NL Digging Deeper series every other week, so you can expect one of us to give this article a whirl every weekend from here on out. It was a crazy first week and a half, so there's plenty to talk about and speculate on.

Welcome back to Digging Deeper. In this recurring series, our goal is to serve the fantasy players who don't get mainstream love. The target percentage for players discussed in this article will be 15% owned or less in Yahoo! leagues. So basically we want to help those of you who have to pick up the next Alcides Escobar before everyone else, just because everyday at-bats are THAT useful.

Because we'll be covering more players, and because a lot of these players are shots in the dark, our analysis will be shorter and to the point. Feel free to find me on Twitter (@BellRoto) with any questions or comments you may have. I always love MLB banter at any hour of the day or night. Let's do this.

Editor's Note: Stay on top of our MLB off-season news and fantasy analysis all year round. Read our daily fantasy columns about MLB prospects, dynasty outlooks, player outlooks and much more. It's always fantasy baseball season here. Let's Go!

 

Digging Deeper: Week 2 Picks

Derek Dietrich (1B/2B/3B/OF, MIA) - 15% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

This is one of my favorite under-the-radar hitters in the league. Derek Dietrich has gotten his opportunity to hit atop the sorry Marlins lineup everyday this season, and while he's not going to blow you away in any one category, he offers solid replacement value if you've lost a hitter to the injury bug or want to give up on a late-round pick. I wish the hitters around him were better to give him more run production, but I expect at least a .270 average with 15ish home runs by season's end.

Jed Lowrie (2B, OAK) - 11% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Jed Lowrie has been impressive so far this season and is another infielder you can use to replace a struggling or injured player. His surreal .419 BABIP and 18% HR/FB rates are bound to regress soon, but for now he's a very useful top-of-the-lineup hitter. There are some solid hitting options behind Lowrie too, so I don't think the 86 runs from 2017 are out of the question if he stays healthy again this season.

Colin Moran (3B, PIT) - 10% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Who would've thunk two weeks ago that the Pittsburgh Pirates seventh hitter would be worth an add? Colin Moran has been getting plenty of RBI opportunities in the red hot 7-2 Pirates offense so far, and he's making the most of them. As the weather warms up, I'd expect his launch angle improvement to lead to more home runs over the Clemente Wall and less doubles off the face of it. Regardless, the RBI seem to be legit . Moran is an even better add if you have the bench room to platoon him with another hitter when the Pirates face lefties.

Nick Senzel (3B, CIN) - 8% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

How about another infielder for ya? Senzel is a coveted hitting prospect in the Reds' farm system right now, but after Eugenio Suarez left the game with a fractured hand Sunday and with the Super Two deadline looming, we may see the top prospect in the majors as soon as next week. What does Cincinnati have to lose after all? This is the kind of prospect you'd rather stash for a week or two to possibly capitalize on his upside rather than wait until the news that he's getting called up.

Luis Valbuena (1B/3B, LAA) - 2% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Anotha one! Luis Valbuena, like Moran, is batting seventh in what has proven to be a pretty impressive Angels offense so far, and that's considering an underwhelming Mike Trout and injured Ian Kinsler. He's not going to win you any batting average categories, but he has two dingers already and the RBI chances should be there as this offense continues to get healthy. He could be a sneaky source of run production at your corner infield spot.

Bud Norris (RP, STL) - 14% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Nothing pretty to see here. Bud Norris received the latest save chance for the Cardinals, and he completed it with ease. We know Greg Holland is on his way, but he's not ready to join the squad yet, so in the mean time I think Norris is the answer for saves in St. Louis.

*Update: Greg Holland has been activated by Cardinals on Monday. Norris and Dominic Leone become handcuffs for Holland and/or Saves + Holds options at best.*

Ty Blach (SP, SFG) - 11% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

If only Ty Blach could play the Dodgers for every start, then he'd be startable always! Luckily his next projected matchup will be with the AAA Padres lineup, so he's useful for at least another week. Don't expect many strikeouts, but without big bats that can make him pay, Blach should be effective for six or seven innings in San Diego and will likely notch a win.

Juan Nicasio (RP, SEA) - 5% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Juan Nicasio has been a little shaky for the Mariners so far this season, but he's still managed to collect four holds to this point. He's a master against right-handed hitters, and he should be provided with plenty of leads to hold if this Seattle offense can get healthy. I think the skill prevails, the ERA and WHIP drop as the season progresses, and Nicasio makes for a great Saves + Holds option in all leagues.

Zack Wheeler (SP, NYM)3% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Zack Wheeler has officially been scheduled to start on Wednesday in Miami, and the matchup and venue couldn't be friendlier for his first start of 2018. The untapped potential continues to follow along this once-touted starter, and he showed he still has great stuff, striking out six and allowing three hits, in his latest AAA outing. I'll take a couple of shots in very deep leagues in case this is finally the year that Wheeler is able to put his talent on display.

Mike Fiers (SP, DET) - 2% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

I know, I know; I almost threw up writing this name. However, Mike Fiers looked really good in his debut against the White Sox. I fully expect him to unravel as the season wears on, but his home venue is great for his fly ball pitching style, and there's a very, very small chance that the six strikeouts in his first outing mean something. I'll likely only start Fiers in good matchups at home, at least for now, but if you're really thin at starting pitcher he at least has some major league pedigree.

 

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