Don't Stop Believing - Buy Targets for Continued Second Half Success

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

For certain players, the second half is almost like a whole different season. Players who disappointed for months on end may suddenly catch fire, while players who have seen surprising success may fall back to Earth in a hard way.

Many fantasy owners are skeptical of these sudden success stories, leaving several real-life All-Stars widely available on the waiver wire or up to this very day. Nobody wants to be that guy to "buy high" or jump on every streaky player out there, but some of these players can continue to produce at a high level and shouldn't be overlooked. It would have been nice to have Scott Schebler or Logan Morrison back in April to boost those home run totals, wouldn't it?

Here are some players with surprising first-half fantasy success that could still make desirable add or trade targets. If they're somehow available on the free agent market in your league, they should be immediate pickups. If not, these players should be targeted in trades from unwitting owners who may believe they are selling high. RotoBallers make moves and these are power plays you shouldn't shy away from acquiring, for the right price.

Editor's note: Get a free one-week MLB Premium Pass including our famous Lineup Optimizer/Generator, Premium Matchup Ratings, DFS Lineups, Cheat Sheets, and 10 other tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Players to Target for Continued Success

Yonder Alonso (1B, OAK)

Alonso has to be the biggest surprise on this list, as he wasn't even assured a starting job in Oakland prior to the season. He wasn't drafted in a single mixed league and it took a while before he even cracked 20% ownership. Alonso earned an All-Star berth by posting numbers that have him on pace to exceed his career highs across the board. His 20 home runs at the break are more than double his previous best and even exceed his minor-league high of 12. There's no way he keeps this up, right? It's easy to quickly look at his 21.7% HR/FB and dismissively decide that he's bound to decline.

The fact is that more balls are leaving the yard because he's hitting far more in the air than ever before. A 48.7% FB% isn't just high for him, it shows that he's become a full-fledged fly ball hitter. It isn't just a fluke either; Alonso spent the offseason on a new training program and intentionally tweaked his swing in order to generate more lift. Obviously, it worked. Alonso was a college star and a first-round pick by the Reds back in 2008, so the real surprise is that it's taken him this long to figure it all out. The fact he's barely owned in more than half of all Yahoo leagues is a shocker. Don't let him linger on the market in your league any longer if he's available.

Corey Dickerson (OF, TB)

Coors Field can have long-lasting effects on player values, even after they've left. When Corey Dickerson hit .245 in Tampa last season, his prior success was quickly dismissed as a product of the Colorado climate. Turns out 2016 may have been the outlier. Dickerson is among the top hitters in the American League, batting .312 with 17 HR, 42 RBI, and 60 runs scored.

This season, he's focusing less on putting the ball in the air to produce power and more on making contact. A .361 BABIP seems unsustainable, but he enjoyed averages on balls in play of .356 and .367 in 2014 and 2015. Dickerson has shown the ability to produce top-level stats in all categories other than steals, something that won't change in the second half. If you snagged him in a keeper league, hold on tight.

Justin Bour (1B, MIA)

He nearly missed out on an All-Star spot in front of his home crowd, but was able to participate in the Home Run Derby based on the strength of his 20 jacks in the first half. He's just the National League version of Logan Morrison though, right? Believe it or not, Bour is batting .289 and is no longer a liability against lefties.

In fact, he now hits LHP even better than RHP, with a .333 BAA and a home run every 10 at-bats versus left-handers. Bour is an everyday starter who bats in the middle of a fairly formidable lineup, so there are no real concerns here. In just his fourth Major League season, Bour is entering his prime a little later than most at 29 years old, but it does appear he's figured things out.

Felipe Rivero (RP, PIT)

Maybe the biggest All-Star snub that few people were talking about, Rivero could be the reliever that earns your fantasy team 20 or more saves from this point on. Rivero was dominant as a setup man through mid-June and then took over for ineffective Tony Watson in the ninth inning. He has posted a ridiculously low 0.76 ERA, 0.72 WHIP and 55 K in 47 1/3 innings this season, along with six saves in six chances.

He's owned in three-fourths of Yahoo leagues, but if he's taken in your league and you're in the market for a closer, make him a primary target. He shouldn't fetch as high a price as most established closer, but his ratios have been better than anyone outside Kenley Jansen and he should keep the job the rest of the way.

Alex Wood (RP/SP, LAD)

As a dominant starting pitcher for the 61-win Dodgers, Wood is owned in pretty much every competitive league out there. Is it just a matter of time before he suffers a similar fate to all Dodgers pitchers not named Kershaw and lands on the DL? That can't be dismissed outright, especially since he was limited to 60 innings last season with triceps soreness and has already landed on the DL once this season. Health is hard to predict, however, so we must assume Wood will keep trotting out there every five games. If so, he should continue to help owners with low ratios and high strikeout numbers.

Wood's 1.67 ERA and .254 BABIP could be due for regression, but maybe not as much as you'd think. Wood has found a way to increase his ground ball rate up to 63.5% and has induced a swinging strike rate of 13.5%. He's getting ahead with first strikes, getting batters to swing outside the zone, and keeping the ball in the park too. A solid 2.81 SIERA and nearly every peripheral points to Wood finishing with numbers deserving of his All-Star status. If you need rotation help, see if a rival owner is willing to "sell high" on Wood, rather than hoping for a rebound from disappointing stars like Johnny Cueto or Justin Verlander.

 

Premium Tools & DFS Research

Get a free trial of our powerful MLB Premium Tools. Our famous DFS Optimizer & Lineup Generator, daily Matchup Ratings, expert DFS Lineups/Cheat Sheets, and more.

Sign Up Now!