One of the most important, and difficult, skills to master in fantasy baseball is exercising patience. When a player gets off to a slow start and is dragging down the rest of your roster, it can be agonizing to sit idly by and doing nothing. Often, however, that’s the correct play.
Not now. With less than two weeks left in the season, patience is no longer a virtue. Regardless of format, any pitcher putting up zeroes or hitter swinging a hot bat can be the difference between glory and also-ran status. Here are a few players who fit the bill.
Ryon Healy, Oakland Athletics
Healy has been a revelation in September, posting an absurd .382/.425/.676 line with five homers, 14 runs scored, and 13 RBI in 17 games. The rookie third baseman has recorded multiple hits in seven of his last 10 games. The Athletics have a friendly schedule down the stretch, too: Just one of the scheduled starters they’ll face currently has an ERA below 3.75, and they’ll get to dig in against some of the worst qualified starters in baseball, including Jered Weaver (5.17 ERA) and Ricky Nolasco (4.78 ERA). Healy’s ownership rate has soared over the last few days, but he’s still on the wire in the majority of leagues on all three major platforms.
Sean Rodriguez, Pittsburgh Pirates
A season-ending injury to Josh Harrison (and what’s starting to seem like a season-ender for Starling Marte) has opened the door for Rodriguez to play every day. He’s certainly taking advantage of the opportunity. The veteran utility man, who is eligible at every offensive position save catcher, has homered five times in his last seven contests, knocking in 11 runs in the process. This outburst probably came too late to salvage the Pirates’ hopes for a fourth straight playoff berth, but Rodriguez can still help your fantasy team win a championship – and he’s available in over 75 percent of leagues right now.
Ariel Miranda, Seattle Mariners
Twenty-seven-year-old rookies with middling minor league track records are generally not good bets for the long term. Remember, though, we don’t care about Miranda’s viability beyond his next couple of starts. He’s been useful of late, allowing just two earned runs in his last three starts (19 innings) and striking out eight batters in Sunday’s win over the Astros. He’ll finish the year on the road against Minnesota and at home against Oakland, both easily winnable games. He’s among the most popular adds on ESPN this week, but still toiling.