Here at SP Streamer, we are taking a deeper dive into the world of free-agent acquisitions to try and give you a heads-up on some players who may provide you some sneaky value with modest FAAB bids each week. This space may look differently as we trial run this piece, but our inaugural foray highlights four hitters and three pitchers who may be able to help you this coming week. Take a look.
Kevin Pillar: he’s rostered in only 17% of leagues, but now has an opportunity with Brandon Nimmo hitting the shelf this past week. Pillar chipped in with a home run, four RBIs, and a steal last week in 20 at-bats. His only real competition in center field is the underwhelming Albert Almora. We don’t know how long Nimmo will be out, but a small bid on Pillar could pay off in results for your team.
Shogo Akiyama: Akiyama was just activated from the IL and is looking like he could be a fourth outfielder for Cincinnati. But here’s the rub and the intrigue: Tyler Naquin has come back to earth after a scorching start and could be heading back to the bench. Akiyama is a true CF, and he offers cheap speed which every owner is looking for now. A modest bid could yield a profit when Naquin inevitably goes back to the bench.
Kyle Garlick: I mean, who saw a Byron Buxton injury coming? With Alex Kirilloff out with a sprained wrist as well, Garlick should step into a daily role. He had two hits on Friday night, including a home run off Tarik Skubal. You could do worse and here is the thing: he has a clear path to playing time on a team that at the moment does not have a plethora of options. He can hit and he has some pop.
Tyrone Taylor: I picked him up last week right when it appeared that Christian Yelich was getting healthy. Alas, Yelich has problems and his return is unknown. He looks like he walks into a starting job. Taylor has hit a home run each week he has been on the roster for Milwaukee. Including last year, Taylor has five home runs, 14 RBIs, and nine runs scored in 81 MLB at-bats. That’s good production in a limited opportunity and sample size. He’s owned in 17% of leagues, and I think that number will go up exponentially this week.
Erik Fedde: Before you turn your nose up at me, let me give you my testimony. He’s going to get at least a couple more starts with Stephen Strasburg on the shelf. Again. He was brutalized against the Braves last week, giving up two home runs and five earned runs. But a deeper look reveals that he has a 2.61 ERA in his other four starts this year. He’s throwing his cutter more in 2021 (16% to 28%) with good results: a .148 batting average so far this year. You could do worse. He gets Philadelphia and Arizona this week, and both teams are hitting in the mid .230s. A small bid could help you this week; he’s owned in only 2% of NFBC leagues right now.
Miles Mikolas: Is he going to transform your rotation into an unstoppable juggernaut? That is unlikely. Mikolas, who has not pitched yet this year, will make his next rehab start on May 16th, which would then line him up to start for the Cardinals the next week. What do we like about him? He won’t help you much with strikeouts but had 27 wins combined in 2018 and 2019 and provided solid ratios, evidence by a 2.83 ERA followed by a 4.14 ERA, and WHIPS of 1.07 and 1.22. If you keep your expectations reasonable, he could help fill in the back end of your fantasy rotation, and he’s only owned in about 7% of leagues.
Tyler Chatwood: OK, don’t become angry with me. At least check out my testimony and thought process on this one before slamming me. He’s owned in so few leagues that he registers 0% ownership in NFBA. He is pitching exclusively out of the bullpen now, and in a small sampled size, has 14 strikeouts in nine innings. He sits at a .96 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. He’s throwing a cutter about 48% of the time thus far in 2021, up from 30% in 2020, and has gotten 10 strikeouts of 17 batters faced. That’s pretty darn good for a guy not owned anywhere. But what I really like is that his current situation in Toronto screams opportunity; the Jays do not seem sold on Rafael Dolis and the injuries to Julian Merryweather and Justin Romano could push Chatwood into a higher-leverage relief piece. Could he end up closing there? A small FAAB bid could net you some vulture wins and saves.