If you’re on this website, it’s likely that you’re not just any Fantasy Baseball fan — you’re a real Fantasy Baseball fan. You’re looking for an edge on the more casual fans whose research extends just to ESPN.com or the Sporting News 2015 Fantasy Baseball magazine that was published in mid-December.
Chances are that you may also play in an AL-only or NL-only league — the most challenging of formats. If this is the case — well done, sir (or madame).
As a longtime participant in a 23-man AL-only Rotisserie league, I’m always looking for those players who may not be on the competition’s radar screens. We use 14 position players and nine pitchers, all of whom are active every day. In a crazy twist, we are only allowed three add/drops per season. Any additional roster additions can be made only when an active player goes on the DL, is traded to the NL, or is released.
7 Deep AL-Only Fantasy Players to Target Late
As you all know, Draft Day is the most important day of the year in any Fantasy Baseball league — and especially in the deeper leagues. Championships are won and lost in the late rounds. Here are seven deep AL-only options who can potentially make your season a smashing success.
Mike Aviles, 2B/3B/OF, Cleveland
Aviles is a bench player — but talk about position flexibility! Sure, it was a while ago, but this is a guy who hit .304 and had 14 stolen bases in 424 at-bats with the 2010 Kansas City Royals. He has been injury-prone and only hit .247 last year, but once again stole 14 bases in just 344 at-bats in 2014. Aviles is a guy who will contribute – especially in Roto — and provide you with valuable roster flexibility.
Alex Colome, SP, Tampa Bay
Colome outperformed Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi at Triple-A Durham for the better part of 2013, but he hasn’t yet reached their level of success in the big leagues yet. Currently penciled in at the bottom of the Rays’ rotation, Colome could yield big dividends until Matt Moore (Tommy John surgery) is ready to return to the Rays sometime in June.
Grant Green, OF (and eventually 2B), L.A. Angels
Green has been on the prospect radar for awhile now, but he may finally see an opportunity for regular playing time in 2015. The Angels are looking for a second baseman with the trade of Howie Kendrick, and Green’s competition (Josh Rutledge, Johnny Giavotella and Taylor Featherston) is less than impressive. He’s a career .300-plus hitter in the minors who could finally be ready to break out.
Micah Johnson, 2B, Chicago White Sox (2B)
Johnson is the type of player every Fantasy owner needs to keep an eye on in Spring Training. With the Gordon Beckham experiment mercifully over, Johnson could ascend to the starting spot at second base and along with it a top-five finish in stolen base numbers. In 2013, his last full season in the minors, Johnson finished with a combined batting average of .312 in 536 at-bats with 84 stolen bases. Yes, that’s right – 84 stolen bases!
Garrett Jones, 1B/OF, N.Y. Yankees (1B, OF)
Jones is the classic late-round AL-only type. Where else are you going to get home runs after Round 15 on Draft Day? As a lefty with some power in Yankee Stadium, Jones could provide double-digit home runs or more, depending on how much Alex Rodriguez plays — and how often Mark Texeira lands on the disabled list. Here’s our Yankees Fantasy preview for 2015!
Martin Perez, SP, Texas Rangers
Despite this week’s trade for Yovani Gallardo, the Rangers’ 2015 rotation is not a pretty sight. Yu Darvish, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison are all recovering from injuries. Colby Lewis is 35 years old. Enter Martin Perez, who is also coming off an injury (Tommy John surgery), but is not yet 24 years old and he’s expected to return around the All-Star Break. If you have room on your roster — especially in a keeper league — Perez is a worthy late-round pick.
Joe Smith, RP, L.A. Angels
This is a player who deserves to be on everyone’s radar, not just that of the guy who needs the Huston Street handcuff. Just look at the stat line from last year: 15 saves, 7 wins, 1.81 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 8.2 K/9 in over 74 innings. If you have room on your roster, take him before Chad Qualls or whoever else the Astros decide should close games this season.
Got some more deep AL-only Fantasy players to target late? Let us know in the comments below!
Mike Aviles Photo Credit: Keith Allison
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- 7 Fantasy Players to Target Late in AL-Only Formats - January 27, 2015