Each week we’ll look at a handful of different players rostered in less than 15% of fantasy leagues who you should consider picking up. Many of these players will have the most value in deeper leagues where waiver wire options aren’t as plentiful. Still, they could also occasionally be useful additions in other, more standard-sized leagues depending on your options at their position. This week it’s Ryan Tepera, Brandon Marsh, Robert Suarez, and Davis Martin who are worth your time as potential additions in deep leagues.
All roster percentages mentioned in this column are via Yahoo fantasy leagues as of Sunday afternoon.
Ryan Tepera – 7%
Tepera hasn’t quite been as effective this year for the Los Angeles Angels as he was last year split between the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.
Still, he’s been a reasonably solid bullpen option for the Angels at the back end of games alongside the likes of Jimmy Herget, Aaron Loup, and José Quijada.
Those four have logged 48 of Los Angeles’ 70 high-leverage appearances since Raisel Iglesias was traded to Atlanta. The quartet has also accounted for every Angels save since the Iglesias deal.
Fantasy managers in search of a few extra saves in fantasy playoff matchups should look no further than Tepera. He’s still sharing save opportunities with Herget, as evidenced by the duo both having three saves apiece since September 21, but he’s a decent bet for saves in the season’s final games.
The right-hander has registered a save in each of his last two appearances and has four saves in his last seven outings.
The 73-86 Angels will also close out the regular season against one of the two teams below them in the American League West standings in the 57-102 Oakland Athletics, a team that entered play Sunday with the fewest wins in the American League. The A’s are also the only American League team to date with fewer than 60 wins.
Brandon Marsh – 9%
A trade deadline acquisition by Dave Dombrowski and the Phillies, Marsh has been plenty effective at the plate as of late for Philadelphia.
Propped up in part by a .404 BABIP, the outfielder is batting .313 with a .337 on-base percentage, three home runs, 10 extra-base hits, and a stolen base in his last 86 plate appearances. That stretch has also included seven multi-hit games.
The unsustainable BABIP is certainly part of the equation for the former second-round pick as to why his production has improved, but he’s starting to hit the ball harder on a consistent basis, which is certainly paying dividends.
The Phillies finish the regular season with three games in Houston, and while things will hardly be easy in Minute Maid Park against the Astros, Marsh has found success against Houston’s vaunted pitching staff.
Thanks to his time spent with the Angels this season, the outfielder has logged 42 plate appearances against the Astros this season. He’s batting .288 in those 42 plate appearances with a .415 on-base percentage, five runs scored, five RBI, three doubles, and a stolen base.
For his career against pitchers currently on Houston’s staff, the 24-year-old is hitting .308 with a .390 on-base percentage in 59 plate appearances.
Robert Suarez – 4%
Overall this season, the 31-year-old Suarez has enjoyed a strong season for the Padres, pitching to a 2.31 ERA, a 3.31 FIP, and 59 strikeouts in 46.2 innings of work. He’s also walked just 21 batters and has logged 11 holds, five wins, and a save.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, he’s established himself in the second half as one of San Diego’s most trusted relievers in key situations.
Since the trade deadline, only Josh Hader has more high-leverage appearances than Suarez among Padres relievers. In fact, just five Padres relievers total have logged more than a pair of high-leverage appearances during that span. Hader and Suarez are the only two with double-digit high-leverage outings.
As always, those don’t always translate to holds, but the right-hander is certainly worth a look for fantasy managers in leagues where holds are part of the scoring. Not only can he chip in with holds or the odd win or save, but he can add additional strikeouts for fantasy managers.
He’s turned in a save and a pair of holds in his last six outings and hasn’t given up a run since August 29. In fact, during that stretch, Suarez has struck out 19 of the 47 batters he’s faced in 12.1 scoreless frames while scattering just five walks and six hits. All told, he’s struck out two batters in each of his last five outings and eight of his last 10 appearances.
Davis Martin – 7%
Martin has enjoyed a quality rookie season with the White Sox so far, logging a 3.65 ERA and a 3.83 FIP in 61.2 innings of work. He’s made 13 total appearances for Chicago, eight of which have been starts.
Overall, he has seven outings this season in which he’s thrown at least five innings and given up one run or fewer. That included his most recent outing when he limited the White Sox to six hits and an earned run in 5.2 innings of work. The right-hander also logged eight strikeouts, 12 swinging strikes, and a 34% CSW rate against the playoff-bound Padres
Davis gets the Minnesota Twins in his last scheduled start on Wednesday, and while he won’t miss many a significant number of bats with his four-seamer, changeup, and curveball – all three have whiff rates south of 22% – he will get plenty of swings and misses with his slider.
Thrown 32.8% of the time this season, Martin’s slider is sporting a 42.9% whiff rate this season, and it was on full display against the Padres. Against San Diego, the 25-year-old generated 10 of his 12 swinging strikes with the pitch as it finished with a 44% CSW rate.
The offering was similarly effective against the Twins in the starter’s last outing against the Twins. The pitch finished with a 42% CSW rate and five swinging strikes – it was thrown 24 times, good for a 35% usage rate – and could be crucial in once again limiting a lineup that has struggled to score runs in the second half.
Since August 18, 19 teams have scored more runs than Minnesota. It’s worth noting that in his only start against the Twins, Martin scattered just three hits and a walk in five shutout innings, striking out a pair of batters in the process. He makes for an ideal streaming option for fantasy managers in the season’s final days.