Fantasy Baseball Week 27 Preview: Top 10 sleeper hitters highlight Cavan Biggio, Sean Murphy
The final week of the regular season presents many unknowns. But Scott White says it's best not to overthink it, even when you have a list of sleeper hitters at your disposal.
This is it. Don't get scared now.
Scared would be remaking your entire lineup because you're uncertain how the playoff-bound teams will handle their star players during this final week of the regular season. Scared would be shelving your trusty steeds for some hot-hand play because the past week didn't go as well as you'd hoped.
Don't beat yourself. Don't get cute. Just trust that you've put together the strongest lineup you possibly could and let the chips fall where they may.
In other words, don't get too invested in the 10 names I'm about to reveal to you. If your team was good enough to advance to the championship game, you shouldn't need them apart from an emergency. Maybe the emergency is that you lost Ketel Marte. Maybe Josh Bell. Either would be justifiable reason to scramble, but don't scramble for scrambling's sake.
I'm limited to players owned in less than 80 percent of CBS Sports leagues here because I need to give advice people can act on, but inaction is usually preferable. A lineup full of players owned in 95 percent of leagues is superior to any you might cobble together via the waiver wire.
So ... relax. Make a play for one of these 10 if you need him, but if you don't, you got this. There can only be one winner, and it may not be you. But don't spaz out and make it easy on the other guy.
Mark Canha CF
OAK Oakland • #20 • Age: 30
It feels like Mark Canha has lived at the top of this list for the past month or so, and maybe too many people have tuned out by now for his ownership to rise above 65 percent. But six games against Angels and Mariners pitchers means another week of favorable matchups for a guy who's been a top-20 outfielder since the All-Star break. No need to overthink it.
Cavan Biggio 2B
TOR Toronto • #8 • Age: 24
An overly patient approach buried Cavan Biggio in July and August, but he's catching fire at the right time, batting .429 (18 for 42) with three homers and three steals in his past 10 games. He'll fill out a box score when he's going well, and catching the Orioles for three games at the start of this week should keep him on the right path.
OAK Oakland • #12 • Age: 25
Though it didn't look like the plan when the Athletics called him up at the start of September, Sean Murphy has become their primary option behind the plate, having started seven of the past 11 games. It's a well-rounded offensive profile that combines power with a good contact rate, making him a clutch pickup at a weak position for the season's final week.
Luis Arraez 2B
MIN Minnesota • #2 • Age: 22
Luis Arraez continues to pile up hits, batting close to .350 for the year, and with six games against the Tigers and Royals on tap, it's hard to imagine him slowing down now. There's so little power and speed here that the overall impact from week to week is less than you might think, but it's good enough to use him if you need help at any of the four positions where he's eligible.
CLE Cleveland • #35 • Age: 24
Despite a high-contact, up-the-middle approach, Oscar Mercado has been frustratingly streaky in his rookie season, but he's on the right side of it now, batting .364 (24 for 66) with three homers, six doubles and three steals in his past 16 games. The matchups this week are merely so-so, but his diverse skills set gives him high impact potential when he's going well.
Tommy Edman 3B
STL St. Louis • #19 • Age: 24
Decent contact skills and the occasional stolen base had already earned Tommy Edman some love in certain corners of the Fantasy-playing world, but he's turned things up a notch in a way that's not entirely unbelievable here in September, having homered five times and while stealing four bases. It's enough to earn him looks from every corner heading into the season's final week, even with middle-of-the-road matchups.
MIL Milwaukee • #2 • Age: 22
Trent Grisham continues to play every day with Christian Yelich on the shelf and continues bat leadoff against right-handers. And he has just recently begun to demonstrate the elite on-base skills and emerging power he showed in the minors this year. A three-game series at Coors Field to end the year might make him worth a roll of the dice in five-outfielder leagues, especially since the Brewers are in line to face only righties this week.
COL Colorado • #1 • Age: 25
Better late than never, Garrett Hampson is finally beginning to fulfill his promise, playing virtually every day between second base and center field and batting .441 (15 for 34) with two homers and five steals in his past nine games. He'll have three games at Coors Field this week, all against the Brewers' makeshift rotation.
TOR Toronto • #15 • Age: 28
Randal Grichuk fits the profile of a steaky slugger, so it's not surprising to see him homer five times during an eight-game span. You'd hate to catch him on the downturn, seeing as home run power is all he brings to the table, but as with Biggio, a three-game series against the Orioles to begin the week affords him the benefit of the doubt.
CHC Chi. Cubs • #22 • Age: 30
The Cubs' so-so matchups this week makes this Jason Heyward recommendation feel like a bit of a stretch, but we work with what we're given. He's had a decent month of September so far, homering three times while drawing plenty of walks, and has six righties on the schedule for this week. The left-handed hitter has an .844 OPS against righties this year.
Best hitter matchups for Week 27
1. Nationals PHI5, CLE3
2. Red Sox @TB1, @TEX3, BAL3
3. Tigers MIN3, @CHW4
4. Twins @DET3, @KC3
5. Astros @SEA2, @LAA4
Worst hitter matchups for Week 27
1. Royals ATL2, MIN3
2. Yankees @TB2, @TEX3
3. Braves @KC2, @NYM3
4. Pirates CHC3, CIN3
5. Mariners HOU2, OAK4
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