Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Pickups of the Day: Don’t Doubt Jarren Duran

Duran a possible 'top 30' OF if role increases
Connor Rogers highlights Red Sox OF Jarren Duran, detailing his bounce-back season and explaining why he could break out in fantasy should Boston sell at the trade deadline.

Rotoworld’s brand-new Pickups of the Day column is designed to help fantasy managers uncover a handful of widely-available targets over the course of the season. It could be a breakout candidate, a prospect stash, an injury replacement, a pitcher with a favorable matchup or week, a player who is due some better luck, or any other number of scenarios. If there’s value to be found on the waiver wire, we will find it and bring it your way.

In today’s column, we’re going to examine a hot-hitting five-tool outfielder who continues to get overlooked by the fantasy community and an outstanding streaming option for Wednesday’s slate of MLB action.


Jarren Duran, OF, Red Sox

Available in 74 percent of Yahoo leagues

When he was called up to the big leagues in 2021, Jarren Duran was one of the hotshot prospects that fantasy managers fought over, believing that his combination of power and speed could lead them to league titles. The results were less than stellar.

It was so bad in fact, that the Red Sox seemed to go out of their way to not give Duran chances during the 2022 season, trying literally anyone else that they could find in center field before giving the talented 26-year-old a shot at an everyday job. He played in just 58 sporadic games over the course of the season, slashing a woeful .221/.283/.363 with three homers, seven stolen bases and a 63/14 K/BB ratio over 223 plate appearances.

Given his failures – and the Red Sox hesitancy to give him regular playing time – it’s no wonder that fantasy managers were skeptical heading into the 2023 campaign. Especially since he began the year in the minor leagues with Adam Duvall starting as the team’s center fielder. When Duvall went down with a broken hand two weeks into the season though, it was Duran who came to the rescue.

Since then, all he has done is hit. On the season, he’s slashing .310/.360/.495 with four homers, 29 RBI and 15 stolen bases across 236 plate appearances in his first 65 games. He hits atop the Red Sox’ lineup on a nightly basis – though he will sit against most left-handers. He has been especially hot as of late – hitting a blistering .407/.436/.661 with one homer, seven RBI and seven stolen bases over his last 62 plate appearances dating back to June 8.

That type of production, with his pedigree and skill set, makes Duran a valuable commodity in fantasy leagues. Even if you just need a source of stolen bases – or ride the wave while he’s sizzling at the dish – he deserves to be rostered in way more than 36 percent of all Yahoo leagues.

J.P. France, SP, Astros

Available in 61 percent of Yahoo leagues

When it comes to streaming starting pitchers, all we are really looking for is someone that isn’t going to hurt our ratios while providing a solid shot at earning a win, or piling up strikeouts. For J.P. France on Wednesday, it’s the victory that we’re chasing.

In 10 starts this season, the 28-year-old right-hander has been solid, if unspectacular, on the mound – registering a 3.13 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and a 44/20 K/BB ratio over 60 1/3 innings of work. He isn’t likely to be a major asset in the strikeout department - though he does have two games this season where he did pop for eight strikeouts.

Over his last five starts though, France has gone six or more innings and surrendered three or fewer runs in each outing. That type of consistency – and lack of a blow-up – are exactly what we’re looking for as fantasy managers. Furthermore, he draws a tremendous matchup against the Rockies at home on Wednesday – and will be taking the hill opposite gas can Chase Anderson. The Astros are currently -215 favorites to win that ballgame, and with France likely pitching deeply into the game his chances of earning a victory are high.

Even if he doesn’t turn into a long-term rotation fixture for your mixed league squad, scoop him up and start him with absolute confidence on Wednesday.