One of our favorite roto tricks of the trade is the faux catcher, a backstop-eligible player who isn't tied to the rigors of the position. And once again, Evan Gattis is ready to fill that void.
An extended August slump pushed Gattis to Triple-A for a tune-up, but he's returned to Atlanta and is swinging a hot bat. He collected a couple of RBIs in Monday's victory at Miami, and overall he's 7-for-21 in September with two doubles and three homers. Back in the groove.
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Gattis has been Atlanta's dedicated left fielder for the last six games, and he's batted fourth in the majority of those starts. The Braves are fourth in the National League in runs; this is a good place to be. The Atlanta lumberjack is owned in a modest 28 percent of Yahoo leagues, under a handful of disappointing stocks (Miguel Montero, J.P. Arencibia, Russell Martin). Might be time to consider a swap, or heck, just add some depth to your roster.
• Many owners are looking to stream their way to a title at this time of year, so let's have a look at the Wednesday card.
The Yusmeiro Petit perfect-game bid from Friday seemed to come out of nowhere, but let's acknowledge his outstanding numbers over 26.1 innings (30 K, 4 BB, just one homer). An AT&T Park assignment against the Rockies, that's good work if you can get it. Petit is ready to go in 77 percent of Yahoo leagues.
It took Scott Feldman some time to adjust to the American League (and Camden Yards), but things are clicking of late. He's allowed just five earned runs over his last five turns, with three of those starts coming at home. The Yankees didn't get much of Feldman two weeks back (7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K), for what that matters to you. Feldman isn't a strikeout ace and his run of four homerless games might be a fluke, but the New York lineup doesn't scare me. Feldman is owned in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues.
The other side of the Baltimore-New York game deserves a look, too; Andy Pettitte has been sharp, if somewhat lucky, over the last month (three wins, 1.73 ERA - tied to a 1.31 WHIP). The Orioles lineup is more dangerous against right-handed pitching; Baltimore ranks third in OPS against the northpaws, but slips to 11th (still respectable, but a drop nonetheless) against lefties. If you want to turn back the clock, you can add Pettitte in 57 percent of Yahoo pools.
The case for Sonny Gray is obvious - he's a strikeout ace and Minnesota's lineup is a ghost town right now (no Morneau, no Mauer; go ahead, try to name their 1-to-9 off the top of your head). Since the All-Star break, only the Rays have scored fewer runs in the AL than the scuffling Twins. Make the Wednesday add for Gray (35 percent), and check on A.J. Griffin for Thursday, too.
Mike Leake is one streamer I'm going to stay away from; although he's been sharp against the Cubs this year (2.18/1.11, 3 BB, 14 K), he hasn't pitched well in the second half of the season. Leake takes on additional risk with a matinee - he's posted a 4.26 ERA in his 11 daytime starts.
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Julius Thomas highlights fantasy football pickups