Today we’re looking at two players, one more prominent than the other, owned in less than 70 percentage of leagues that could add big value to your roster down the stretch.
Excuse me but I’m going to be blunt for a second; How in the hell is Todd Frazier owned in just 68 percent of Yahoo! leagues? What is wrong with people? I’m not talking to you, the Rotograph reader, you’re too smart to let him sit on the free agent pile. I’m talking to your average fantasy player. Is it his dull name? I kind of get it, people named Todd usually aren’t too exciting. But this Todd is killing it, in the good way, unlike the Todd from Breaking Bad.
He’s been a full time player since May and has virtually gotten better each month. When his average and on base percentage were just .246 and .288 in May he slugged .565 to make up for it. His average/OBP have actually increased month by month, going from .246/.288 to .250/.337 to .306/.341 to .333/.404. Like everyone, he gets a boost from playing in Great American Ballpark — 952 home OPS — but has held his own on the road where his OPS is currently .851. Over the past 30 days his seven homers and twenty-five runs batted in have made him the 12th ranked player, just ahead of two Reds teammates, Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick, which might explain why they’re in first place.
Currently he’s filling in at first base for the injured Joey Votto, but has started 52 games at third base and five in the outfield, giving him three positions of roster flexibility. Votto is currently on a rehab assignment and may re-join the team after the September 1st roster expansions. Dusty Baker will have to get a bit creative with his lineups once that happens but Frazier has all but assured himself of everyday playing time. He’s been one of the hottest players in fantasy, it’s time people took notice.
We’re going into the deep cuts for this waiver wire pickup. Venable has been a good player for the Padres for four years now, giving them roughly two wins of value each season. Like most players who play half their games in PetCo Park he suffers from serious home/road splits. He’s never finished a season with a home OPS above .700 but has averaged a .797 OPS the past four years on the road, including .839 this year.
He’s had an up and down season. April, June and July were terrible while May and August have been outstanding. When a little known Padres outfielder cracks the top 70 in rankings over the past 30 days you know he’s doing something right. He’s hitting .322/.365/.559 this month with six stolen bases to boot. But that’s not the best part. He’s owned in just six percent of Yahoo! leagues. Six! David DeJesus is owned in more leagues. So is Norichika Aoki. Venable is a better player. If you’re in a deep mixed or NL-only league there are likely a number of ways Will Venable can help you down the stretch.
Erik writes for DraysBay and has also written for Bloomberg Sports. Follow him on Twitter @ehahmann.