Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Carlos Gonzalez saving the best for last; Matt Olson just getting started
If you wrote off Carlos Gonzalez earlier this year, it's time to take note again, according to Scott White, who also looks at the recent production of Matt Olson and Garrett Richards.
Just when you thought you were out, he pulls you back in.
Every year, Carlos Gonzalez gives us reason to write him off, but every year, he ultimately comes around.
It seems to be the case again here in September, during which he's batting .400 (14 for 35) with four home runs and seven doubles. For the entirety of the second half, his batting average is up to .303.
Which doesn't mean you were wrong to cut him when you did, if you did. You would have only prolonged the misery and jeopardized your team's position in the standings by sticking with him.
But now that he appears to be on the proper course -- a guy with his track record -- it might be time to buy in again.
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Rockies
Gonzalez actually did most of his damage in the first half last year, but 2017 isn't the first time we feared a decline for the 31-year-old. At 73 percent ownership, he isn't available to everyone, but his history makes him a top target wherever he is, especially with matchups against the Giants and Padres pitching staffs next week.
Dinelson Lamet, SP, Padres
At least one member of the Padres pitching staff is trouble. Dinelson Lamet, since ditching the changeup to lean on his elite fastball/slider combo, has achieved a level of reliability rarely found on the waiver wire, particularly 10 starts into it. During that time, he has a 2.44 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
Matt Olson, 1B/OF, Athletics
Matt Olson looks like he might be something special. I had been comparing him to Joey Gallo because of the prodigious power and equally impressive (though not in a good way) strikeout rate, but the strikeouts weren't so bad at Triple-A and have come around in the majors as well. During this 15-game stretch in which he has hit .339 with 10 homers, he has struck out 17.9 percent of the time, which is comparable to Jose Abreu. It won't stay that low long-term, but the strikeout issue doesn't appear to be insurmountable -- and neither does the lefty issue, judging by his numbers against them.
Garrett Richards, SP, Angels
Garrett Richards has missed most of the season with a nerve issue in his biceps -- the sort of lengthy absence he was hoping to avoid when he opted against Tommy John surgery to repair a torn elbow ligament last season -- but he looks healthy now, topping out at 97 mph while allowing two earned runs with one walk and seven strikeouts over 8 1/3 innings in two starts back from the DL. He should be good for 80 pitches next time out and maybe 100 after that, so his upside makes him worth rostering for the final two weeks.
Ozzie Albies, 2B, Braves
In an era when everybody who's anybody hits home runs, Ozzie Albies comes up a little short, which is a problem since he obviously can't continue to hit .350 (36 for 103) like he has over his last 26 games. But his numbers for the full 40 games since he arrived -- a .293 batting average and .828 OPS -- do look sustainable, judging by his plate discipline and batted-ball tendencies, and have given him a point-per game average not far behind Robinson Cano.
Nick Williams, OF, Phillies
If I needed outfield help, I'd still prefer Mitch Haniger or Jose Martinez, who I highlighted of Waiver Wire, but if they're no longer options for you, Nick Williams might be the next best thing. His impatient approach limits his upside in points leagues, but he's also an extra-base machine and has only once gone as many as three games without a hit since getting the call in late June. And right now, he's riding an 11-game hitting streak, batting .408 (20 for 49) with two homers, a triple and four doubles.
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