In addition to Monday's seven featured Pickups of the Week, Yahoo! Sports fantasy expert Brandon Funston offers a Friday update on five hitters on the rise that weren't profiled in Monday's POW. The same criteria applies - players must be available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues. On Fridays, we also do the same drill for pitchers.
Last call for the Rodney Dangerfield of fantasy backstops
Wilin Rosario (C) Colorado Rockies
Rosario and Ryan Ludwick are the only two players with at least 25 home runs that are owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues. That Rosario hails from the catcher position makes his lack of interest in roto leagues even more surprising – people are having a really hard time quitting Brian McCann and Mike Napoli, I guess. Since May 1, only Joe Mauer and Buster Posey have been more valuable fantasy backstops, and no catcher can match his 24 home runs (96 games) in that span. Rosario has seven straight games upcoming at Coors Field, where he owns a .883 OPS mark this season. If you have a struggling name brand catcher that you haven't been able to bring yourself to cut loose, here's your last chance.
- Y! %44%
- LW rank75
- AVG .308
Young Starling coming off a sterling past-week performance
Starling Marte (OF) Pittsburgh Pirates
Marte's wheels have been paying the fantasy bills this past week, as he's hit a double, three triples and stole five bases in his past seven games. One of the Pirates' top offensive prospects heading into the season, Marte has struggled with plate discipline in his first MLB tour (39/6 K-to-BB rate in 35 games) but, on the plus side, his promising power/speed combo skills have been evident – 4 HRs/9 SBs in 138 ABs. Facing two of the NL's worst pitching staffs in his next two series, Marte has at least deep league appeal for the upcoming week.
- Y! %10%
- LW rank12
- AVG .300
Light breaking through Yonder's window
Yonder Alonso (1B/OF) San Diego Padres
Over his past 66 games, Alonso is hitting .306 with 37 RBIs, the kind of useful numbers that have been expected of Alonso given his prospect profile. His power still leaves a lot to be desired for a 1B/OF type, but his line-drive heavy approach (24th in MLB with a 23.4 LD%) and middle of the order spot make him a solid bet for useable batting average and RBIs over the remainder of the season.
- Y! %19%
- LW rank25
- AVG .455
Finally, some fire to go with Seattle's Smoak
Justin Smoak (1B) Seattle Mariners
The 2012 season has been a colossal disappointment for Smoak, but he's hoping to leave at least a slight favorable impression on his way out the door. In his past six games, Smoak has hit .417 with two home runs and four RBIs. And he faces his former team, Texas, in his next series. The Rangers are one of the few teams that Smoak has hit well, be it historically or this season – he has four home runs and 11 RBIs in 15 games against Texas this season. Smoak has made a habit of picking things up in September, and he's right on schedule once again.
- Y! %34%
- LW rank7
- AVG .429
Even with limited playing time, Pads' consistency king making a roto impact
Jean Segura (2B/SS) Milwaukee Brewers
Here's a deep league option with middle infield flex appeal. The former Angel is hitting .346 with 13 runs and four steals over his past 16 games for the Brewers. Power doesn't come with this package, but as a 2B/SS eligible speed option, Segura has plenty of upside.
- Y! %2%
- LW rank48
- AVG .421
- Sports & Recreation
- Wilin Rosario