Fantasy gamers are always looking for roster help, but the pickings become especially thin this late in the season. But here is a list of one player from each National League team who is available in at least 75 percent of Yahoo leagues and should help down the stretch.
Jarrod Dyson, OF, D-backs
Dyson is a one-trick pony, but his trick is a rare one these days. One of just a dozen players with more than 20 swipes, the speedster ranks sixth in baseball with 28 at the moment. He could provide valuable September standings points in roto leagues.
Chris Martin, RP, Braves
Atlanta admittedly doesn’t offer much help under our threshold, but Martin has been very effective this year (3.75 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 10.2 K:BB ratio) and could help those in deep formats.
Ian Happ, 2B/3B/OF, Cubs
Happ strikes out too often to post a high batting average, but he has plenty of pop and a bit of speed, as is evidenced by his 44 homers and 17 steals across 835 career at-bats. And with three eligible positions, the Pennsylvania native is an easy player to stream into a lineup.
Jose Iglesias, SS, Reds
Although Iglesias will never be confused for Mike Trout, he has been an underrated fantasy asset this year. He is coming off a month of August in which he hit .359 with 15 runs scored. Iglesias also rarely leaves the lineup, which is a good quality during September roster expansion.
Sam Hilliard, OF, Rockies
Hilliard owns the power-speed combo that fantasy gamers love, having collected 35 homers, 101 RBI, 109 runs scored and 22 steals across 126 Triple-A games this season. He is off to a solid start with the Rockies, who return home after this week for a lengthy stint at Coors Field.
Kike Hernandez, 1B/2B/SS/OF, Dodgers
Hernandez should finish the season with 20 homers and 70 RBI, which are healthy totals for someone who qualifies for this list. He has also played his best baseball of late, batting .342 with a .962 OPS since the All-Star break. Once simply a specialist against southpaws, Hernandez now owns balanced splits and can be regularly deployed.
Sandy Alcantara, SP, Marlins
Not surprisingly, there are just three members of the Marlins who are rostered in at least 25% of leagues. Among the many remaining options, I’ll go with Alcantara, who posted an ERA below 3.50 in three of four months from May to August.
Eric Thames, 1B/OF, Brewers
Thames plays more regularly than one might expect, having logged between 70-80 at-bats in each of the past four months. He has a shot at 25 homers and could reach the 60-mark in both RBI and runs scored. And he won’t drain your batting average, either.
Todd Frazier, 3B, Mets
Deep-league gamers who are unconcerned about their batting average could do worse than Frazier. The heavy-hitting veteran has compiled 18 homers across 390 at-bats this season, and he has a long track record of strong power numbers.
Jason Vargas, SP, Phillies
The 36-year-old, soft-tossing Vargas is one of the least sexy options on the waiver wire, but he owns respectable ratios (4.31 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) and a better K/9 rate (6.9) than usual. At the very least, he can be considered for spot starts.
Trevor Williams, SP, Pirates
Williams seems to have righted the ship by allowing three runs across 13 innings during his past two starts. And the right-hander has a track record of success after posting a 3.11 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP last season. But the best news of Williams is that his next two starts (home to the Marlins, at the Giants) are incredibly favorable.
Manuel Margot, OF, Padres
Margot is one of the best multi-category assets on this list, having compiled 11 homers, 54 runs scored and 19 steals across 339 at-bats. And he is coming off a month of August in which he tallied five homers and four swipes. He should be used by those who want a base stealer but can’t afford to ignore the power categories.
Stephen Vogt, C, Giants
I don’t generally like to swim upstream by choosing San Francisco hitters, but Vogt has been an asset since the All-Star break, hitting .290 with six homers and 18 RBI across 100 at-bats. He is a fine replacement option for teams who lose a backstop to injury this month.
Tommy Edman, 2B/3B/SS/OF, Cardinals
Another base-stealer who can fit into a lineup in a variety of ways, Edman hit .308 with three steals during August and has already swiped two bags this month. The native Californian has minimal pop (five homers across 231 at-bats) which relegates his use to those who need batting average and steals.
Joe Ross, SP/RP, Nationals
Ross hasn’t been effective overall, but he has had his moments of late. Gamers who are looking for a streamer with some win potential can target the right-hander, who has logged a 3.38 ERA across his seven rotation opportunities this season.