The Tampa Bay Rays have been one of the surprises of the season so far, so it is only right that they feature in the week 12 waiver wire. The Rays have been hitting better than anyone could have expected and have provided a couple of fantasy viable guys out of the blue. And it is time you considered taking advantage of their gift. As always, it feels like the bargains of this article are at middle infield. where the pool is shallow and weak, therefore making players fantasy eligible who may not have been otherwise.
Yasmani Grandal, C/1B, LAD: Grandal had his second two-homer game of the season this week, taking his home run total to an impressive 10 on the season. However, beyond the two power surges Grandal has been quietly having a very effective season with 26 runs and RBI whilst hitting 0.270. The great thing with Grandal as a catcher is he features almost every day, either starting or as a pinch hitter. Which is something you don’t get with a lot of catchers.
Mitch Moreland, 1B, TEX: Moreland always seems to be the guy you see at the bottom of first base rankings because of his power, but this year he is combining that with average and playing time to make him a fantasy viable first baseman. Now, I accept eight homers on the year is nothing special but when its coming at a 290 average with 33 RBI and 20 runs, then he is making a great case for being a corner infield or utility option.
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Matt Duffy, 2B/3B, SF: Everyday seems to bring something more positive for Duffy as he is now batting third in the order for the Giants giving him the perfect placement to both drive in and score runs. Duffy is hitting 289 on the season with six homers, two steals, 20 runs and 33 RBI playing for one of the consistently best teams in baseball. The second base eligibility makes him a must own in all leagues.
Logan Forsythe, 2B/1B, TB: What a year the Rays seem to be having! They are sat atop the AL East and some of their fringy fantasy players are making a big case to be owned in the majority of leagues. Forsythe is perhaps the spiritual leader of those fringy fantasy players, as he now has eight homers and seven steals on the season whilst batting in the mid 290’s. The Rays offense is very hit or miss so the runs and RBI could easily dry up for patches, but right now he is in the region of 30 for both and the second base eligibility makes him very intriguing.
Luis Valbuena, 2B/3B, HOU (POWER): I only try to put players I would pick up in this article and I won’t touch Valbuena myself because I cannot be dealing with a sub 200 batting average. However, if you need dirt cheap power and you can sacrifice a little of that average then there is no one that can do the job better than Valbuena right now. With 19 homers on the season, including two two-homer games in the last fortnight, Valbuena can consistently clear the fences and I couldn’t blame you if you wanted to chase that.
Maikel Franco, 3B, PHI: I want you do something for me before you go any further in this article; bring up your league page in another window and check the waiver wire to be 100% sure Franco is not owned in your league. How he is still not owned in 40% of leagues is absolutely crazy because he has 10 homers whilst batting at 320. Okay, so playing for Philly is hampering his runs and RBI but he has had two 5 RBI games this week so he can get them and when he does you will feel the glow. Franco is nudging his way into my top 12 third baseman, and at this rate he will be top 10 before long.
Justin Turner, 3B, LAD: Four homers in the last week! You have to give it up to Justin Turner because has taken an opportunity at third base and just ran with it. Turner looked to be the stop gap before Guerrero took over the third base job, but Turner has been batting like a man possessed hitting over 320 with nine homers on the year. He isn’t a must own by any stretch but he is inside the top 20 at third base and therefore should be in consideration for corner infield and utility spots.
Jace Peterson, SS/2B, ATL: All Peterson was to me at the start of the year was my cheap DFS shortstop but now he has become my go to shortstop in leagues where my risky draft picks didn’t pay off. Currently ranked the 6th short stop on the ESPN player rater with eight steals at a 280 average makes him a must own. Okay so he isn’t blowing the doors off the joint (one homer) or running wild but he is short stop eligible and that counts for more than any level of production, given just how bad the position he plays really is.
Yunel Escobar, SS/3B, WSH: Escobar has been smoking over the last 30 days hitting for a 340 average with 10 runs and 12 RBI. In that time he has two homers and one steals and has taken his season runs and RBI totals to 35 and 26 respectively. Escobar’s value is almost solely based on his SS eligibility as without that he would be nothing more than a deep league third baseman but in the middle infield he is nice option.
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Steven Souza Jr., OF, TB (POWER/SPEED): Another guy that you need look beyond the average to see the benefits. Souza is currently hitting 0.228 on the season but to counter that he is on pace for a 30+ homer and 20+ steal season which is extremely rare. Owning him will be frustrating because he will slump and really damage your average but he has some of the rawest power in the league and the upside if he gets hot is massive.
Joey Butler, OF, TB: Butler is slowly slowing down from his extremely exciting start but he is still someone you should consider owning. He is a real 15 homer 15 steal candidate on the season and with that he should provide you with some decent runs and RBI. However, much like Collabello I do expect Butler to slow down at some point so pick him up with a view to selling when you can.
Randall Grichuk, OF, STL: Grichuk got his opportunity to be a full time player with the injury to Holiday and in the last 15 days he has four homers, one steal, eight RBI and 10 runs whilst batting 0.300 so it is safe to he is making the most of his opportunity. A 14 team five outfield guy at best right now but definitely one for the watch list.