Some fantasy baseball owners often compare catchers to kickers in fantasy football. Really, they’re more like tight ends, since kickers are unpredictable from week to week.
Still, it’s hard to get excited about anyone at the position between the top few catchers. Even worse if you’re in two-catcher leagues.
Let’s take a look at a catcher who has more than just a pulse, as well as other players to help you in the short and long term.
PLAYERS TO PICK UP
Max Stassi, C, Houston (12 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) – With Brian McCann on the disabled list, enter Stassi. In 98 plate appearances this year, Stassi is hitting over .300, with five home runs and 17 RBIs. McCann is on the disabled list with sore knees, but it’s his performance that has been the eyesore this year so far. If you don’t own one of the top 5 catchers, Stassi should be slotted in your lineup right away.
Max Muncy, 1B/3B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (7 percent) – Speaking of Maxes, there’s one out west who is catching the eyes of fantasy owners. Muncy is this year’s version of Chris Taylor, but without the speed. He’s a player who seems to have figured his game out after struggling throughout his career. Not only is Muncy hitting the ball extremely hard, but he already has third base, first base and outfield eligibility, and the Dodgers are now playing him at second base. In leagues with five outfielders and corner and middle infielders, Muncy should be owned and started.
Ross Stripling, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers (64 percent) – The Dodgers pitching staff held its own while Clayton Kershaw was on the shelf, and a big part of that was Stripling. In Stripling’s last three outings, he’s pitched 19.2 innings, allowing two earned runs, two walks and has 28 strikeouts. A lot of his prior success came as a reliever, but this time, trust him as a starter. With Kershaw tweaking his back again Thursday, the Dodgers and fantasy owners may need Stripling more than ever.
Carlos Rodon, SP, Chicago White Sox (9 percent) – This has been a great year for streaming pitchers, and it’s about to get better when Rodon returns to Chicago. He has pure swing-and-miss stuff, and he’s showed the ability to harness his control last year.
TWO-START PITCHERS TO STREAM
Kyle Freeland, SP, Colorado (43 percent) – It’s hard to know if fantasy owners should buy Freeland fully, but he’s been solid this year – especially for a Colorado pitcher. This week, he has matchups against the Reds and Diamondbacks. He’s safe to roll out for this two-start week.
Danny Duffy, SP, Kansas City (45 percent) – Duffy’s underlying numbers haven’t been great his past two starts, but the results have been. With Duffy, that’s all you can ask for.
Nick Tropeano, SP, Los Angeles Angels (6 percent) – Tropeano isn’t flashy. There’s no area he excels in, but there’s nowhere he really hurts you. With two good matchups on the table, he’s worth running out there if you need an option.
HITTERS TO STREAM
Greg Bird, 1B, New York Yankees (59 percent) – Bird has been fragile, but the Yankees have been playing him regularly at the top or the middle of the lineup since he returned.
David Peralta, OF, Arizona (54 percent) – Arizona has stuck with Peralta in the leadoff spot or fifth spot in the lineup despite his struggles this season. With San Francisco and a date with the Rockies coming up, he’s a sneaky sleeper.
Curtis Granderson, Toronto (6 percent) – Speaking of sneaky, Granderson has been much better against righties this season. The Blue Jays are scheduled to have six of them on the schedule for next week. If you need a safe floor, Granderson can give you that.
This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, http://FNTSY.com