This is the weekly Fantasy Roundtable, where the writers of Rotoworld Baseball let the readers of Rotoworld Baseball in on a quick staff discussion. It's water cooler talk ... that we've decided to publish. Look for it every Tuesday.
Anyone on the horizon you're particularly excited about as a sneaky waiver claim?
I'll start with Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson, who should be just about ready to return from his early-March oblique strain (UPDATE: Dyson was activated from the disabled list Tuesday afternoon). The 31-year-old speedster is batting .318 with a .464 on-base percentage and four stolen bases in 22 at-bats (seven rehab games) at Triple-A Omaha. I like for him to take over as the everyday right fielder in Kansas City sometime this week with Reymond Fuentes batting .238/.273/.238 and Paulo Orlando slashing .261/.261/.261.
Dyson boasts 146 stolen bases in 443 major league games, and only 288 of those 443 games were starts. He was drafted in under 20 percent of Yahoo leagues. If you need speed and he's available, jump on it now.
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Ryan Boyer: I liked Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani a lot coming into the season. His recovery from a strained oblique has come along a little slower than expected, but the right-hander threw live batting practice on Monday and is supposed to be ready to begin a rehab assignment after that. He's probably looking at an early-May return and is currently owned in just 24 percent of Yahoo leagues, as it appears some owners got tired of waiting for him. I'm bullish on DeSclafani after an alteration to his repertoire led to a 65/9 K/BB ratio across 64 2/3 innings over his final two months last season. The home park and the team he's on are obviously negatives, but I still think the 26-year-old could offer plenty of mixed league value.
D.J. Short: One player I’m excited about is Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang, who is slated to begin a minor league rehab assignment this week. The 29-year-old batted .287/.355/.461 with 15 home runs and 58 RBI over 126 games during his first season in the United States last year before suffering a torn meniscus and a fractured tibia in September. He had some ups and downs in the first half, but that was to be expected and he really seemed to find his comfort zone after the All-Star break. With his pop and dual-eligibility between shortstop and third base, he can be a useful piece in nearly all formats. Kang is still out there in one-third of Yahoo leagues. He appears on track for a return at the end of the month, so now is the time to stash if you haven’t already.
Jesse Pantuosco: I’m going with Eduardo Rodriguez. He’s down in Florida at extended spring training right now and should be close to beginning a minor league rehab assignment. Among players age-22 and younger last year, only Seattle’s Taijuan Walker won more games than Rodriguez. E-Rod made eight fewer starts than Walker and also posted a lower ERA (3.85).
Like most young players, Rodriguez took his lumps as a rookie. The left-hander somewhat unraveled in July and August, going just 4-3 with a 4.50 ERA. But he finished strong with four wins and a 2.07 ERA over his last seven starts. Fenway isn’t an ideal pitcher’s park but Rodriguez fared reasonably well there last year (6-2, 3.95 ERA). Boston’s high-scoring offense should help him pad his win total. Rodriguez is only 31 percent owned on Yahoo right now but that number is sure to rise in the coming weeks. Now is the time to pounce.
Matthew Pouliot: Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis makes for an intriguing stash, especially with the Jays still searching for a leadoff option. As a rookie last year, he hit .304/.361/.498 in 62 games when he wasn’t derailed by shoulder troubles. He’s still a month away from coming off the DL, and he’ll probably have to share time with Ryan Goins at second base while trying to prove that his shoulder is 100 percent. However, if he pulls away from Goins and establishes himself at the top of Toronto’s order, Travis could be a top 10 fantasy second baseman over the final three months of the 2016 season.
David Shovein: For me, an interesting long-term stash could be Reds right-hander Homer Bailey. He has already been pitching in extended spring training games (reportedly hitting as high as 96 on the radar gun) and should begin a minor league rehab assignment shortly. Barring any setbacks, he will probably be ready to rejoin the Reds' starting rotation at some point in late May. Still just 29 years old, this is a guy who compiled a 3.61 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 7.9 K/9 over 562 2/3 innings from 2012-2014. He's currently owned in just three percent of all Yahoo leagues and has the potential to be an impact arm in mixed leagues over the second half of the season.