Overvalued, Undervalued Trade Targets: Week 11

Making the right trades can be crucial to championship success in fantasy baseball, almost as much as the draft, if not more. While most trades can have a significant impact on your fantasy team, it’s the deals where you acquire undervalued players and then see their production improve that can really tip the scales in your favor where the standings are concerned.

The same can certainly be said about trading away players at the right time when they have the most fantasy trade value. Those deals could happen in the second week of April or the last week of August, but they’re impactful all the same.

Here are some undervalued candidates to pursue in trades and some overvalued ones who you should consider dealing with if they presently occupy a spot on your roster.

Editor’s Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller!
Read More!

Undervalued Players To Trade For

Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers

Here are two of Christian Yelich’s seasons in terms of just his hard-hit rate, barrel rate, and chase rate.

Season A: 50.8% hard-hit rate, 12.9% barrel rate, 25.1% chase rate

Season B: 50.5% hard-hit rate, 10.3% barrel rate, 20.9% chase rate

Season A was Yelich’s monster 2018 season when he hit .326 with a .402 on-base percentage, 36 home runs, and 22 stolen bases. Season B is this season.

Yelich is batting .235 with a .321 on-base percentage, but those numbers seem likely to improve, which could take the outfielder from an already very good fantasy contributor back to being an elite one like he was early in his Milwaukee tenure. Despite those unideal batting average and on-base percentage metrics, Yelich has still collected seven home runs and 10 stolen baes in 290 plate appearances. He’s one of just 14 players in the league with at least seven homers and 10 steals.

Admittedly, the veteran is hitting a bunch of ground balls. To be exact, his ground ball rate is 56%. While that’s unideal for someone with his ability and track record in terms of over-the-fence power, it is worth noting that the outfielder’s ground ball rate back in that aforementioned 2018 season wasn’t all that far off his 2022 metric at 52.8% . Try and make a deal for him now before the inevitable statistical surge happens.

Christopher Morel, Chicago Cubs

There’s a lot to like about what Morel has done already in his first season in the majors as it pertains to fantasy baseball. He’s hitting .261 with a .327 on-base percentage in 151 plate appearances. He’s also contributing as a power and speed threat with five home runs and seven stolen bases in those 151 plate appearances. Elsewhere, he has eligibility at second base, third base, and in the outfield in Yahoo leagues.

All of that makes the 22-year-old a useful addition to fantasy teams. For the most part, the fantasy world has been noticed. The versatile Cub is currently rostered in 64% of those same Yahoo leagues, but it’s the other things he’s doing statistically that make him more of a potential impact fantasy starter than just someone who might bring versatility to your bench.

Entering play Wednesday, Morel was making plenty of loud contact, with a 44% hard-hit rate and a 13.8% barrel rate. Those two rates, which rank in the 72na and 90th percentiles respectively, certainly point to the power part of the power-speed combination being a constant. The infielder and outfielder’s max exit velocity (112.9 MPH, which is in the 90th percentile league-wide) further underscores Morel’s ability to make an impact at the dish.

While strikeouts and non-fastball offerings have been a bit of an issue for Morel so far, he’s also sporting an 8.6% walk rate and a chase rate (25.7%) in the 68th percentile. Given his propensity to rack up barrels, once the rookie starts making contact with more pitches in the zone (he has a 71.5% zone contact rate) his stats should only benefit.

Oh yeah, the stolen bases aren’t going anywhere. Morel is currently in the 93dr percentile league-wide in Statcast’s Sprint Speed ​​metric and should continue to get chances to run as a table-setter in the Windy City.

Jordan Montgomery, New York Yankees

So far this season, no teams have more wins than the Yankees, who pace baseball with a 50-18 record as of the beginning of play on Wednesday. New York is also near the top of the league leader board in pitcher wins in the rotation as Yankees starters have combined for 28 wins. Only the Mets, Astros, and Dodgers have more.

Jameson Taillon has eight wins so far, while Nestor Cortes and Gerrit Cole have six wins apiece. Luis Severino has four, but Jordan Montgomery has logged just three wins so far. Taillon is currently the 20th-highest scoring starter in standard scoring, head-to-head ESPN leagues. Montgomery is currently 28ththough due to ties, 31 different starters have scored more fantasy points than the left-hander.

Pitching on the Yankees, Montgomery is as good of a bet as anyone to see more wins as the season progresses. If he does, he could finish as a top 20 fantasy starter alongside Taillon. While it might seem convenient to just pluck Taillon’s name out of the air because he leads the staff (and is second in the league) in pitcher wins, Montgomery’s numbers are eerily similar to his teammate’s this season, just without the victories.

Jameson Taillon in 2022: 13 starts, 73.1 innings pitched, 7.36 K/9, 1.10 BB/9, 0.74 HR/9, 43.2 GB%, 2.70 ERA, 3.00 FIP

Jordan Montgomery in 2022: 13 starts, 72.2 innings pitched, 6.94 K/9, 1.36 BB/9, 0.87 HR/9, 48.8 GB%, 2.72 ERA, 3.72 FIP

Now’s the time to trade for Montgomery before he starts registering more wins.

Overvalued Players To Trade Away

Paul Blackburn, Oakland Athletics

There’s nothing really about Blackburn’s stat line makes him overvalued here to the point where there’s regression coming. Sure, his 3.08 FIP is a bit higher than his 2.26 ERA, but by and large, his success hasn’t been fluky.

He’s not missing a ton of bats, with just 6.40 strikeouts per nine frames, but the right-hander’s ability to limit barrels (3.2% barrel rate) and induce grounders (50.5%) at above-average rates have helped make up for the lack of swing and misses. Pitching in Oakland probably doesn’t hurt either. According to ESPN, only eight other stadiums have a lower Park Factor where runs are concerned than the Athletics’ home field.

None of Blackburn’s numbers are really an issue in terms of his fantasy value. It’s more the pitching for the Athletics part. Oakland entered play Wednesday with the fewest wins in the American League. After a winter full of trades and free-agent departures that saw many of the team’s impact performers end up elsewhere, it’s possible the franchise continues to move veterans like Frankie Montas, Sean Murphy, Ramon Laureano, and Dany Jimenez.

Of course, that’s entirely speculative at this point, but the A’s don’t look likely to be a steady source of pitcher wins for their hurlers, which would certainly impact Blackburn. The 28-year-old has six wins in his first 13 starts this year, and if the Athletics continue to trade Major League players for prospects, it seems unlikely that he’ll continue to register pitcher wins at that sort of rate.

Now, Oakland could trade Blackburn to contend with a spacious park and all of this would be rendered moot in terms of his rest-of-season value, but it’s possible that the right-hander’s fantasy value and contributions might only lessen (slightly) from here. He’ll likely still provide value in terms of keeping your ERA down each week, but now might be the time to try trading him.

I’d see if you can move Blackburn as part of a larger deal for a bounce-back candidate like Brandon Woodruff or Max Muncy, or more one-for-one for a productive position player like Ian Happ or Jeremy Pena – provided of course those hypothetical position player deals that you can add a useful streaming option to help replace the innings you’d be losing with Blackburn.

Brandon Drury, Cincinnati Reds

Brandon Drury has enjoyed a strong season so far for the Cincinnati Reds, hitting .267 with a .331 on-base percentage, 14 home runs, and a stolen base in 239 plate appearances. The home runs are nearly a career-high (Drury hit 16 in 2016), but the infielder’s hard-hit rate (47%) and barrel rate (11.4%) certainly are. That, combined with his versatility (he’s eligible at second base, third base, and in the outfield in Yahoo leagues) makes him plenty valuable for fantasy managers.

While he’s likely to stay valuable for the remainder of the season, a potential mid-season trade might dampen his fantasy upside by taking him away from Great American Ballpark. Drury’s numbers certainly aren’t fluky by any stretch given the quality of contact he’s making, but he’s certainly been aided by Cincinnati’s home ballpark. Per ESPN, the Reds’ home stadium has the league’s highest Park Factor where runs scored are concerned and the second-highest Park Factor in terms of home runs.

Brandon Drury At Home In 2022: 128 PA, 8 HR, .314 average, 6.3 BB%, 19.5 K%, .367 OBP, .263 ISO, .943 OPS

Brandon Drury On The Road In 2022: 111 PA, 6 HR, .212 average, 9.0 BB%, 24.3 K%, .288 OBP, .200 ISO, .723 OPS

There’s also the potential for a mid-season trade. If the Reds do end up moving him, Drury could land on a team like the Dodgers or Giants where he might not start regularly and only get a part-time diet of plate appearances down the stretch. Of course that’s entirely speculative, but Drury does stand out as a trade candidate on a rebuilding Reds squad.

In short, his fantasy value might be at its peak right now. His versatility of him means he’s a fit for fantasy managers with needs at second base, third base, or in the outfield, which does n’t hurt from a potential trade possibility standpoint. I’d try moving Drury for an infielder with underwhelming surface-level stats, but bounce-back potential due to promising underlying metrics or a recent run of good form like Texas’ Corey Seager or Marcus Semien.

Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy baseball app for iPhone and Android with 24×7 player news, injury alerts, sleepers, prospects & more. All free!

More Fantasy Baseball Advice

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.