With just 2.5 weeks left in the regular season, fantasy managers are done looking for Mr. Right and are instead focused on finding Mr. Right Now. Whether needing power, speed, strikeouts, or saves, here is a wide array of options that are available in more than half of Yahoo leagues.
Ryan Mountcastle, BAL (SS/OF, 47 percent rostered)
A noted prospect, Mountcastle has been everything the Orioles hoped for (.383 average, four homers, 1.075 OPS) across his initial 68 plate appearances. The slugger owns a solid 17.6 percent whiff rate, which is an encouraging sign for a continued high batting mark. And the combination of his hitter-friendly home park and 38.8 percent hard-contact rate should lead to plenty of home runs.
Willy Adames, TB (SS, 31 percent)
Although the Rays tend to platoon their position players, Adames is one of the few to rise above the chaos. The shortstop ranks second on the club in plate appearances, and he should be in the lineup for all four of their upcoming contests against a Boston club commanding an abysmal 6.10 ERA. Hitting .295 with five homers and a bit of speed, Adames can contribute in all areas.
Adam Duvall, ATL (OF, 47 percent)
Recommending Duvall is pretty easy at this point. After all, the slugger has posted astonishing numbers (.394 average, eight homers, 16 RBIs, 13 runs scored) across nine games since September 2. Nothing has changed this year in Duvall’s batting profile, but he is a powerful slugger who is locked into a regular role in an excellent lineup. He is a must-add for those whose primary need is home runs.
Raimel Tapia, COL (OF, 7 percent)
Tapia has emerged from an outfield logjam by hitting .314 with a .394 OBP across 99 plate appearances since August 16. And his red-hot bat has earned the 26-year-old regular opportunities out of the leadoff spot. The Rockies are about to start a 10-game stretch at their hitter-friendly home park, which should lead to plenty of counting stats for Tapia in the coming days. For that stretch of time, he is a must-start option.
Kevin Pillar, COL (OF, 22 percent)
Pillar has been a regular part of the Rockies lineup since coming over from Boston at the Trade Deadline, and even though he has not excelled out of the gate, he has immense potential during their upcoming 10-game homestand. Consistently a power-speed threat (21 homers, 14 steals in 2019), Pillar has the skills to stuff the stat sheet during his upcoming home contests.
Randy Arozarena, TB (OF, 24 percent)
As was mentioned in the Adames paragraph, I highly recommend streaming Tampa Bay hitters this weekend. Arozarena has quickly emerged as an under-the-radar option, having hit .364 with four homers and a steal across 26 plate appearances since making his Rays debut on August 30. His immediate success has led to work in premium lineup spots, which makes the 25-year-old even more appealing.
Tyler Mahle, CIN (SP, 25 percent)
Mahle has been a workhorse of late, accumulating 20.2 innings and a 24:5 K:BB ratio across three consecutive quality starts. He has every chance to continue his hot stretch when he faces the Cardinals this weekend, as St. Louis has been slightly below average against right-handers.
Dane Dunning, CWS (SP, 25 percent)
Dunning has been somewhat inconsistent, but his overall numbers in his initial four Major League starts (2.70 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 21 SO) have been excellent. Among two-start options for next week, the rookie is the best choice who remains on waivers in more than half of Yahoo leagues.
Pablo Lopez, MIA (SP, 46 percent)
This one would take some guts, but it might pay off. Lopez was demolished by the Braves on Wednesday to the tune of seven runs across 1.2 innings. But the right-hander has been solid overall this year (3.14 FIP) and is slated for two starts next week at his pitcher-friendly home park. Managers who need a refresher on avoiding recency bias should know that after giving up 10 runs in a 2019 start, Lopez allowed a total of six runs in his next five outings.
Kevin Gausman, SF (SP/RP, 41 percent)
For those who need strikeouts, Gausman is a great weekend option. The right-hander sits 14th in the Majors with 62 whiffs, and his ratios (4.05 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) aren’t hurting fantasy teams at all. Although Gausman may not silence the opposition when he faces a tough Padres lineup next time out, he should rack up his share of strikeouts.
Rafael Dolis, TOR (RP, 26 percent)
Although the Blue Jays closer situation remains unsettled, Dolis is emerging as the favorite for saves. The right-hander has closed out the club’s past two narrow victories, putting himself ahead of Anthony Bass in the pecking order. Ken Giles is set to soon return from the IL, but he has not pitched since July and will be reintroduced to active duty by working in low-leverage situations.
Yohan Ramirez, SEA (RP, 8 percent)
Ramirez has recently solidified his grip on Seattle’s closer role. The 25-year-old has picked up saves in each of his past three outings, giving up just one run in the process. There are warts with Ramirez, namely 15 walks in 14.2 innings, but those who need saves cannot turn their back on any ninth-inning man who could hold the role for the final 2.5 weeks.