Last week, we took a look at some of the most widely added players across the major fantasy platforms.
As we enter the stretch run, however, it may be even more important to know when to drop on a struggling player – and when to hold tight. Today, we’re discussing two players to whom owners are giving the heave-ho en masse. If you’re ready to cut the cord on a struggling player yourself, be sure to check out RotoBallers’ waiver wire rankings assistant tool to help you decide on a replacement. It’s updated daily.
Max Kepler, OF, Minnesota Twins
Not so long ago, Kepler was one of the most popular waiver wire pickups in fantasy baseball. His three-homer game on August 1 came on the heels of a sneaky-great July (.898 OPS, eight homers, 23 RBI) and led to owners everywhere rushing to add him to their rosters. He went deep again the following night, and hasn’t since. Over those 17 games, the German rookie is hitting just .234/.311/.250, and only one of his hits was for extra bases. His plate discipline metrics haven’t changed, and while he is making lower quality contact during this slump, it doesn’t appear as though he’s pressing. Kepler just seems to be having a tough time with breaking balls lately, after crushing them earlier in the season. He could also be hitting the fabled “rookie wall,” but this smells more like a cold streak than anything. Hold.
Matt Moore, SP, San Francisco Giants
Pitchers coming off of Tommy John surgery typically have trouble regaining their command initially. For a guy like Moore whose command has always been shaky, that made him a high-risk play in fantasy leagues. He didn’t attract much attention in drafts as a result, but a fast start led many to put their trust in him. And to Moore’s credit, he did relatively well; while homers were a problem, he managed to limit free passes well enough that the Giants saw fit to trade for him at the deadline. Moving to the most homer-suppressing park in the game, and the National League, could only boost Moore’s fantasy value, right? Well, the homers are down considerably, and he’s piling up more strikeouts, but Moore has been incredibly wild. He’s walking nearly seven batters per nine innings, which has led to a lousy 4.70 ERA in four starts. He’s not the only reason the Giants have fallen out of the NL West lead, but he’s not helping. He’s not helping your fantasy team, either. Cut.
Kyle Bishop is a lead MLB columnist at RotoBaller.com. His articles are your secret weapon for winning fantasy leagues.