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The Week Ahead

Week Ahead: Back to Baseball

by Nick Nelson
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

The All Star Game has come and gone, so now it's really time to grind and win those fantasy championships. We skipped last week's edition of The Week Ahead because of the break-shortened schedule, but now we're back to help you out every step of the way for the remainder of the campaign.


The coming week features plenty of attractive two-start and streaming options. Read on, and we'll serve up plenty of info and suggestions.


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* Typically it is not advisable to roll with Rockies two-start pitchers that are going twice at home. However, in the case of Tyler Anderson and Tyler Chatwood this week, it should be a strong consideration. Each has held his own at Coors Field this year, and they're looking ahead to soft assignments against the Rays and Braves.


* Talented rookie Blake Snell, who notched a career-high seven strikeouts in his latest outing, opens the week with a tough match-up in Colorado but then heads to Oakland to take on the light-hitting Athletics. He's a decent gamble in a week light on strong options.


* Mike Leake was flat-out dominant in his last start before the break, fanning 10 over seven innings of one-run ball in Milwaukee. He has home starts against the Padres and Dodgers on the docket, and is available in more than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.


* He was fantastic for most of the first half, but Aaron Nola really struggled for five starts before having his last one skipped. Given the slump and the long layoff, we'd be slightly hesitant about using him. His teammate Vincent Velasquez, however, is definitely a quality play.


* Junior Guerra is 3-1 with a 1.61 ERA over his last three starts and has been very good in general, but remains unowned in one out of every three leagues. He draws a pair of tough opponents this week (Cubs and Pirates) but is still worth a look.


* Over his last seven starts, Nick Tropeano has a 2.93 ERA and 40-to-15 K/BB Ratio in 40 innings. He'll get the reeling Rangers at home and the strikeout-prone Astros on the road. Available in 90 percent of leagues, he's an extremely appealing plug-and-play.


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Going Twice...


American League


Strong Plays


Rick Porcello: SF, MIN

Corey Kluber: @KC, @BAL

Nick Tropeano: TEX, @HOU

Jose Quintana: @SEA, DET

Dallas Keuchel: @OAK, LAA


Decent Plays


Blake Snell: @COL, @OAK

Kevin Gausman: @NYY, CLE

A.J. Griffin: @LAA, @KC

Kendall Graveman: HOU, TB

Sean Manaea: HOU, TB


At Your Own Risk


Ricky Nolasco: @DET, @BOS

Tommy Milone: @DET, @BOS

Edinson Volquez: CLE, TEX

Drew Smyly: @COL, @OAK

Anibal Sanchez: MIN, @CWS

Matt Boyd: MIN, @CWS

Ivan Nova: BAL, SF


National League


Strong Plays


Carlos Martinez: SD, LAD

Mike Leake: SD, LAD

Vincent Velasquez: MIA, @PIT

Junior Guerra: @PIT, CHC

Jake Arrieta: NYM, @MIL

Jose Fernandez: @PHI, NYM


Decent Plays


Tyler Anderson: TB, ATL

Tyler Chatwood: TB, ATL

Aaron Nola: MIA, @PIT

Brandon Finnegan: ATL, ARI

Steven Matz: @CHC, @MIA

Gio Gonzalez: LAD, SD

Jon Niese: MIL, PHI


At Your Own Risk


Christian Friedrich: @STL, @WAS

Colin Rea: @STL, @WAS

Scott Kazmir: @WAS, @STL

Matt Wisler: @CIN, @COL

Jose Urena: @PHI, NYM


Streamer City


The following pitchers are generally available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues and have favorable match-ups this week:


American League


Wednesday, July 20th: Ervin Santana @ DET

When we last recommended him as a streamer here two weeks ago, Santana delivered a shutout against the A's. As hot as he's been, he's tough to pass up.


Wednesday, July 20th: Doug Fister @ OAK

On the season, Fister is 8-6 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. Meanwhile, Oakland's team OPS is 50 points lower at home than on the road.


Friday, July 22nd: Matt Shoemaker @ HOU

Shoemaker has averaged a strikeout per inning in his 17 starts. The Astros lead the American League in strikeouts.


National League


Tuesday, July 19th: Cody Reed vs. ATL

The rookie has been roughed up in each of his first five big-league starts, but he has notched 29 strikeouts in 24 innings. Look for him to pull it together against the light-hitting Braves.


Thursday, July 21st: Tom Koehler @ PHI

Koehler scuffled heading into the break but is a solid play in the right match-ups. This tilt against a dreadful Phillies offense certainly qualifies.


Friday, July 22nd: Zach Eflin @ PIT

Eflin has been brilliant ever since a rocky debut in Toronto, posting a 2.20 ERA over five starts.


Total Games


American League


5: TOR

6: BOS, CLE, HOU, KC, LAA, SEA, TEX

7: BAL, CWS, DET, MIN, NYY, OAK, TB


National League


5: ARI, SF

6: CIN, LAD, MIL, NYM, PIT, WAS

7: ATL, CHC, COL, MIA, PHI, SD, STL


The Infirmary


You can get a full listing of injured players at Rotoworld's Injury Page but here's the latest on a few prominent players who have been out of action:


Zack Greinke: Out until late July (oblique)

Tyler Flowers: Out until late August (hand)

Craig Kimbrel: Out until mid-August (knee)

Carlos Rodon: Returning this week? (wrist)

Jordan Zimmermann: Out until late July (neck)

Wade Davis: Returning this week (elbow)

C.J. Cron: Out until September (hand)

Justin Bour: Returning this week (ankle)

Trevor Plouffe: Out until early August (rib)

Matt Harvey: Out for the season (shoulder)

Taijuan Walker: Out until late July (foot)

Matt Carpenter: Out until mid-August (oblique)

Ryan Zimmerman: Out indefinitely (rib)

Nick Nelson

Nick Nelson is a frequent contributor to NBC Sports Edge's baseball coverage and regularly blogs about the Minnesota Twins at Twins Daily. Follow him on Twitter @NickNelsonMN.