I’m happy to serve as a pinch-hitter for this column this week. And since I’ve rarely had the opportunity to cover potential fantasy pickups this year, I’m going to keep the explanations brief and the recommendations plentiful. Let’s get down to business.
Gabriel Moreno (C, Arizona Diamondbacks, 26% rostered)
Moreno should be rostered in twice as many leagues, as he is part of a very small group of catchers who can help fantasy managers with both steals and batting average. This is a great time to stream the career .309 hitter, as the D-backs, who rank seventh in baseball in runs scored, have games on 26 of the next 27 days.
Josh Naylor (1B/OF, Cleveland Guardians, 44%)
Naylor has recovered from a slow start to the season (.761 OPS in May), but he belongs on the waiver wire when the Guardians face two left-handed starters over the next three days. I’m placing the slugger in the article as a reminder to pick him up on Sunday night, as he thrives against right-handers, and Cleveland is slated to face seven of them next week.
Paul DeJong (SS, St. Louis Cardinals, 39%)
I don’t expect DeJong to have staying power, but he one of the hottest players in baseball, having produced six homers and three steals since May 9. Managers should be willing to ride this hot streak until it comes to an end.
Jake McCarthy (OF, Arizona Diamondbacks, 31%)
McCarthy was terrific last year, batting .283 with eight homers and 23 steals in just 99 games. He had an ADP of pick 106 in 2023 Yahoo drafts before getting off to an abysmal start (.467 OPS) and being sent to the minors on April 25. The 25-year-old is returning to the majors today and still has the skill set that made him so desirable during draft season.
Lane Thomas (OF, Washington Nationals, 55%)
I'm making an exception to include Thomas, who is over 50% rostered, as he's on fire (.987 OPS in May) and hitting out of the leadoff slot. This is the perfect time to give the 27-year-old an opportunity, as he should be part of a lineup that scores often against the lowly Royals this weekend.
Leody Taveras (OF, Texas Rangers, 8%)
Those who need cheap speed can target Taveras, who has collected 34 steals across 732 career at-bats. He has benefited from a .389 BABIP this year but still deserves some credit for hitting .304 with a .775 OPS. And Taveras gets extra consideration in fantasy circles by virtue of his membership in a Rangers lineup is tied for first in the majors in runs scored.
Jose Siri (OF, Tampa Bay Rays, 7%)
Simply put, I love Siri as a stat-stuffing outfielder in an elite lineup. The 27-year-old has needed just 88 at-bats this year to produce eight homers and four steals. And in his career, Siri has compiled 19 homers and 21 steals in 435 at-bats.
Michael Conforto (OF, San Francisco Giants, 43%)
Conforto brings a slugging component to outfield group in this article, having reclaimed his power stroke by hitting seven homers this month. This is the perfect time to grab the 30-year-old, as he has long fared best against right-handers and is scheduled to face righty starters in eight of his next nine games.
Tanner Bibee (SP, Cleveland Guardians, 46%)
The roster rate of Bibee might be my biggest complaint about Yahoo managers right now. The 24-year-old is a terrific pitcher, having logged a 3.18 ERA, and a 25:8 K:BB ratio across his initial five MLB starts. He should be rostered in virtually every league.
Braxton Garrett (SP, Miami Marlins, 17%)
Garrett is a skilled hurler who needed a few starts to find his groove this year but has posted a 1.65 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP and a 19:5 K:BB ratio across his past three outings. His roster rate should be at least 65%, and he ought to be streamed for a home matchup against the Padres next Tuesday.
Jared Shuster (SP, Atlanta Braves, 14%)
Is it too early to call Shuster a post-hype sleeper? Absolutely. Still, the rookie has the same skill set that led to plenty of buzz at the beginning of April, before he fell flat on his face during his initial two starts. Shuster struck out seven batters across seven innings of one-run ball last time out, and he faces the Phillies tonight before getting a juicy matchup with the A’s early next week.
Miguel Castro (RP, Arizona Diamondbacks, 37%)
Although Andrew Chafin will continue to receive some save chances, Castro has earned a significant share of the closer’s role. The right-hander has tallied three saves since May 12, and during that stretch he has not allowed an earned run.