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I like to consider myself a pioneer of the streaming approach. I won a league about seven years ago completely ignoring saves and just stacking up the starts each week. While streaming is undoubtedly more directly associated with pitching, there's plenty of value in streaming for offense as well.

Maybe you have a stacked roster and you can't drop anyone. But for those of us with a couple of guys on the roster fringes, it's never too early to look into targeting a specific player or two to gain an edge in a particular category. This season, I will be making weekly recommendations for extreme short term category specialists every week in three offensive areas: speed, power, and average; and three pitching areas: strikeouts, wins, and ratios (ERA/WHIP).

Below are my Week 8 category streamers for fantasy baseball. All position eligibility and ownership percentages are based on Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

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Head-to-Head Category Streamers to Consider

Speed

Travis Jankowski (OF, SD) - 9% Owned

While he's not amongst the league leaders in steals, Travis Jankowski does have a track record of speed on his resume. In just 383 plate appearances in 2016, he stole 30 bases. Between the prolonged injury to Wil Myers and Manuel Margot's struggles, Jankowski has been seeing regular playing time this season. He stole three bases over roughly a week span early-mid May.

Mallex Smith (OF, TB) - 28% Owned

Here we go again with Mallex Smith. He's cooled off a bit recently, but he's still hitting over .300 and he's still stealing bases. I don't know if he can keep up the batting average, but I am confident he can keep running - the getting on base part only helps. He will be a mainstay on this list until he either faceplants or sees an uptick in ownership percentage.

 

Power

Adam Duvall (OF, CIN) - 39% Owned

If you find yourself inclined to look at Adam Duvall's batting average, just don't. Seriously. This is a PG rated website and Duvall's batting average is not suitable for children. If you want some cheap pop from a guy with back to back 30 home run seasons the past two years, then you can note that Duvall has four home runs over the past two weeks and a history of hitting the ball very far. Additionally, of his six games next week, he will spend half of them at home in Cincinnati and the other half at Coors.

Logan Morrison (1B, MIN) - 17% Owned

While his 38 home run 2017 is undoubtedly the outlier and will be his career year, Logan Morrison is still capable of going on home run sprees. One could come next week as he should face a slew of right handed pitchers on the Royals and Indians. While the Indians' right handed pitchers are pretty talented, he's capable of launching a big fly or three. And the Royals' pitching is far from imposing.

 

Average

Howie Kendrick (2B/OF, WAS) - 19% Owned

I really should just leave Howie Kendrick in this list weekly. He doesn't do enough to be owned much more than he is, but he also consistently gets on base. Kendrick is still hitting over .300 and has been strong the past two weeks, hitting .341. He's just empty batting average, but if that's what you're looking for, he can provide that.

Daniel Descalso (1B/2B/3B/OF, ARI) - 12% Owned

Only a career .241 hitter, Daniel Descalso finds himself on the average help portion of this least due to his recent hot streak that has also come with an increase in walks. While walks don't help in average, they are indicative of a more patient approach at the plate and Descalso's .324 average over the past two weeks supports that. His BABIP his a little higher than his career average, but nothing beyond normal variance. I say ride the hot streak.

 

Strikeouts

Freddy Peralta (SP, SD) - 22% Owned

If he was scooped in your league after his 13 strikeout debut, I'm sorry. There were definitely a lot more positives than negatives in Freddy Peralta's first major league appearance. For our purposes, all we care about are the strikeouts. There were many. The Mets are actually slightly above average in terms of avoiding strikeouts, but Peralta has struck out over a batter an inning throughout his entire professional career. He may not go deep into the game, but if he can get you six innings, you're getting at least six strikeouts.

Trevor Cahill (SP, OAK) - 21% Owned

Trevor Cahill just returned from the DL this past Wednesday. His career strikeout rate is under 7.00, but he's been a new man this season, with a K/9 over 11. His second start next week is the one I'm interested in because it should come against the Diamondbacks, a team that is top five in strikeouts. Paul Goldschmidt is the newest Diamondback on the list of hitters striking out more than 30% of the time. He and the rest of the team should provide Cahill with plenty of swings and misses.

 

Wins

Zack Wheeler (SP, NYM) - 11% Owned

Guess what team Zack Wheeler pitches against on Monday? It's the Marlins! Wheeler shut down the Marlins en route to a 4-1 victory during his last outing against them. This time he has the comfort of home field advantage. Wheeler will beat the Marlins again.

Jeremy Hellickson (SP, WAS) - 41% Owned

Once a big time Rays prospect, Jeremy Hellickson's career has derailed over the past few seasons. He seems to be experiencing a renaissance in 2018, though. Hellickson has a 2.20 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP so far this season. On Monday, he pitches in PETCO Park against the Padres, a team he has already beaten once this season. The Nationals are a better team than the Padres - a lot better. Hellickson should win again.

 

ERA/WHIP

Jordan Lyles (SP, SD) - 10% Owned

Is Jordan Lyles this good? No. But, he is definitely an improved pitcher. He's been around a while, but is still only 27 years old. His .215 BABIP is definitely playing a big part in his breakout, but for the career 5.30 ERA pitcher, he's just not that guy anymore. His FIP indicates he's more of a mid 3s ERA guy, which is still a vast improvement and certainly fantasy viable. He should start against the Nationals next week. Not the greatest of matchups, but right now, Lyles is damn near unhittable.

Francisco Liriano (SP, DET) - 19% Owned

There's only one team that scores runs at a worse rate than the Chicago White Sox, who just happen to be Francisco Liriano's opponent next week. The White Sox can't score and Liriano has actually been decent this season, with an ERA hovering around 4.00. He is the perfect type of streamer - someone you can reasonably rely on in favorable matchups. The White Sox are one of them. Fire up Liriano for a solid outing.

 

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