Each week from now until the end of the season, we will identify players who are rostered in fewer than 15% of fantasy baseball leagues and should be on your radar. For the most part, the players featured in this article are best suited for inclusion in deeper leagues (12 teams or more). However, with the COVID virus still wreaking havoc with fantasy rosters, you may need to eventually rely on some of the players in this article in order to field a complete and competitive lineup. We will reference Fantasy Pros’ roster percentages (as of Sunday afternoon) in this article.
Corey Dickerson, OF, MIA, (9%)
Despite owning a lifetime .284 batting average and a 23 HR 162-game average, Corey Dickerson went undrafted in many preseason fantasy baseball leagues. Perhaps his underwhelming 2020 season caused fantasy baseball players to put him on their “pay him no mind list”. Dickerson did acknowledge his 2020 shortcomings and admitted that COVID-19 protocols and personal issues (including the passing of his grandfather and his dad’s cancer diagnosis) contributed to his sub-par season. However, despite his low roster percentage, Dickerson is viable in five-outfielder leagues. Through his first 15 games of the season Dickerson is batting .306, and he’s shown marked improvement in his ability to hit offspeed pitches (.364 BAA in 2021 vs. .128 BAA last season) in this very young season.
Starlin Castro, 2B/3B, WSH (9%)
Starlin Castro, who had been expected to open the season as the Nationals’ starting second baseman, was handed their starting third baseman’s job when Carter Kieboom’s career went ka-boom again. Castro may not be a fantasy superstar, but give him a full seasons worth of at-bats and he’ll likely hit upwards of 20 HRs and as a career .280 hitter, he won’t kill your fantasy team’s batting average. Castro is batting .300 with nine RBI in his first 13 games of the season.
Josh Harrison, 2B/3B, WSH (7%)
Josh Harrison has gotten off to a hot start this season, batting .455 through his first six games. We’re obviously only looking at a very small sample size, but Harrison has made great strides in his plate discipline thus far this season. His 25% chase rate is a little more than 10% lower than his career average and his 13.9 whiff rate is the lowest of his career. Harrison has fought off injuries over the past few seasons, but is finally healthy. If he’s able to play a full season there’s no reason why he can’t come close to providing production similar to his 162-game average which includes a .274 BA, 10 HR and 14 SB. At some point this season the Nats may look to promote Luis García and have him play the keystone, but with Harrison’s ability to play multiple positions including the outfield, he should still get his fair share of at-bats.
Rowdy Tellez, 1B, TOR, (5%)
After starting the season hitless in his first 21 at-bats, Rowdy Tellez’s bat has come alive. He has a .421/.421/.579 slash line in five games through Saturday’s action. This is only Tellez’s fourth season in the big leagues, and he’s always been known to possess an above-average hit tool. He swung a power bat and posted an above average wRC+ during his time in the minor leagues. With George Springer still nursing a right quad strain, Tellez has been in the Blue Jays’ lineup just about every day. That may not be the case once Springer returns and most projection models have lowered their overall expectations for Tellez due to future playing time concerns. Ride him while he’s hot. For now, Tellez can help your fantasy baseball team in deeper leagues by providing depth at the corner infield or utility spot.
Yandy Díaz, 1B/3B, TB (4%)
Despite possessing huge biceps that can give Hulk Hogan and his 24-inch pythons a run for their money, Yandy Díaz is not a home run hitter. His 55.9% ground ball rate keeps most of his balls in the park, but with a 13 HR per 162-game average enough do eventually leave the yard to help fantasy baseball managers. Díaz does provide fantasy baseball players with a consistently high batting average. His career .367 OBP makes him even more valuable in OBP leagues. Diaz is batting .367 over his last nine games.
Mike Brosseau, 1B/2B/3B, TB (3%)
Mike Brosseau may not be a full time player, but if you play in a league that allows you to make daily lineup changes, his multi-position eligibility makes him a valuable fantasy asset. With so many players still hitting the IL for COVID related reasons it’s more important than ever to have a swiss-knife type of player like Brosseau to fill the unexpected open spots in your fantasy lineups. He’s also a very good hitter. Brosseau owns a .285 lifetime batting average and he has some surprising pop in his bat. Brosseau has a career 20 HR per 162-game average.
Adolis García, OF, TEX, (1%)
Depending on the depth of your league’s bench it may be too soon to add Adolis García to your fantasy baseball team, but it wouldn’t hurt to put him on your watch list. He’s been getting regular at-bats for the Rangers lately and while he’s gotten off to a slow start, Garcia has got some real pop in his bat as well as the ability to steal bases. The 28-year-old is a free swinger, but he’s enjoyed success while playing pro-ball in Cuba (.308/.367/.464) and Japan (.293/.346/.452).
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter and @justinparadisdesigns on Instagram)