As we barrel toward the end of another season, fantasy owners should be shifting their focus from straight player values to prioritizing team needs above all else. At this point, names don’t matter. It’s all about which players can give you the boost you need to shore up weaknesses. Whatever you’re in the market for, here are a trio of targets who can help.
For even more options to improve your roster, be sure to check out RotoBaller’s waiver wire rankings assistant tool, which is updated daily.
Batting Average: Martin Prado, Melky Cabrera, Joe Mauer
All three of these boring veterans are hitting over .300 during the last month, and both Prado and Cabrera are sitting above .300 for the year (Mauer clocks in at .280 overall). You won’t get much pop or speed and the run production is modest, but singles will help your team batting average just as much as hits for extra bases.
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Home Runs: Brad Miller, Marcus Semien, Chris Carter
Miller’s ownership rates have skyrocketed lately, but he’s still available in nearly half of all leagues on Yahoo and ESPN. He homered in three straight games last week, giving him 20 on the season. With eligibility at both middle infield positions as well as the outfield, it’s little wonder he’s been a popular add. Another shortstop-eligible player having a career year, Semien makes up for his low batting average with plenty of pop and some speed to boot. Carter’s an even bigger batting average drain, but he’s a lock for 30 homers every year given enough playing time.
Runs: Brett Gardner, Zack Cozart, Jayson Werth
Each of these players hits near the top of his team’s lineup. Gardner and Werth both get on base at a well above average clip. Cozart’s less apt to work a walk, but gets a significant boost from having Joey Votto hitting behind him.
RBI: Max Kepler, Nick Markakis, Travis Shaw
Kepler has 34 RBI in 34 games since July 1. Only Albert Pujols has driven in more runners during that time. Markakis is only hitter in the top 50 in this category who isn’t owned in 75 percent or more of Yahoo leagues. At 14 percent owned on that platform, he’s probably floating around on your waiver wire right now. Shaw did most of his damage early in the season, but he still benefits from a powerful Red Sox lineup with plenty of RBI opportunities.
Stolen Bases: Hernan Perez, Travis Jankowski, Rajai Davis
Perez has been one of the best hitters in the game since the All Star break and is eligible at three positions. He’s unlikely to maintain his current batting average or pop, but the speed is for real. Jankowski is completely useless against lefthanded pitching, but he’s running more often than anyone besides Billy Hamilton. Finally, Davis has been a reliable source of steals for nearly a decade, even as his playing time has waxed and waned.
Kyle Bishop is a lead MLB columnist at RotoBaller.com. His articles are your secret weapon for winning fantasy leagues.