Fantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Stock Report: Full Monty


Big news all around the league this week. Of course, the non-waiver trade deadline passed on Monday afternoon and the Fantasy landscape saw some serious changes as a result. The two biggest moves of the day involved starting pitchers. Yu Darvish was traded the the Dodgers, while Sonny Gray was moved to the Yankees. Darvish’s value increases with the move to a more pitcher friendly park and a better team. Gray moves to a much more hitter friendly park, but his ability to induce grounders (and a much improved defense) will help him maintain his value.

As always, many bullpen pieces were moved around before the deadline. Notable names include: Brandon Kintzler, Addison Reed, Justin Wilson, Tony Watson and Joaquin Benoit. To see how all the new look bullpens will shake out, check out the Closer Chart for a full breakdown of bullpen hierarchies.

Without further ado, let’s check out the Week 18 Stock Report.

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Stock Report

Stock Up

Luis Castillo, SP, Cincinnati Reds

Castillo had a bit of a slow start start to his major league career. He walked eight batters over his first 10.2 innings pitched and looked every bit the part of an unpolished prospect. After a rough start in Colorado, he got over his jitters and posted consecutive quality starts. While he hasn’t been lighting the world on fire, Castillo has shown plenty of promise. There are many reasons to believe the best is yet to come.

Over his first six starts Castillo faced a murderers row of offenses, including the Diamondbacks (x2), Rockies (in Colorado) and Nationals (x2). Over those six starts, he showcased excellent strikeout potential (11.1 K/9) and the poise to regroup after giving up home runs. Even going through these tough offenses, Castillo’s xFIP sits at a respectable 3.14. Further, Castillo is generating a 12% swinging strike rate. While it is a small sample size, it currently sits higher than known strikeout pitchers Yu Darvish and Brad Peacock.

His superb performance on Sunday (8.0 IP, 3H, 1ER, 6K) against the Marlins is the start of what could be a massive breakout for the 24 year old. Moving forward, his schedule is much friendlier and the results should pay dividends for Fantasy owners. Castillo is owned in just over 20% of ESPN leagues. Owners looking for SP help should add and start him for his next turn against the Cardinals.

Derek Fisher, OF, Houston Astros

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Coming into the season, Fisher was one of Houston’s top prospects. In 84 Triple-A games this season, Fisher hit .318 with 21 home runs and 16 stolen bases. His minor league performance point to a versatile, five-category play in the majors. Fisher impressed in his first cup of coffee this season, hitting two home runs and stealing a base in five games.

With George Springer on the DL, Fisher was called up to take his place on the roster. With a crowded Astros outfield, Fisher was not guaranteed consistent playing time. However, the Astros traded Nori Aoki to the Jays on Monday, opening up an outfield spot for Fisher to play every day. In his second stint with the big club, Fisher continues to take advantage of the potent Houston lineup, hitting a home run and driving in five runs.

With an everyday spot locked down, Fisher’s value will rise tremendously. He has been hitting lead off in recent games, and will score plenty of runs if he is able to set the table for Jose Altuve and company. Under 10% owned in ESPN leagues, Fisher should be owned in 12-team and deeper leagues for his multi-category contribution and run scoring potential in a strong Houston lineup.

Kevin Gausman, SP, Baltimore Orioles

Earlier this season, I wrote about Gausman in the “down” section of the Stock Report. He was struggling with his command and ability to limit home runs. A lot of his struggles were a result of an over-reliance on his mediocre slider, while shying away from his more effective splitter. In his last three starts, Gausman seems to have corrected the issue.

Over his last 20.2 innings, Gausman has surrendered just one earned run, and earning the win in three straight starts. As the season has wore on, Gausman has started to use his splitter more and more, topping the 20% mark in his most recent start. The increase in splitters have come with a decrease in sliders he throws. As you can see in this nifty graph provided by FanGraphs, his K/9 saw a dramatic rise as his splitter% increased and his slider% decreased. If you play around with the graph, you can see that his BB/9 took a similar dive as Gausman changed his approach.

Just passed the halfway point in the season, Gausman is finally delivering on his early season hype. Granted the sample size is small, but he has managed to shut down the Rangers and Rays during his three game win streak. He could get shelled at any moment, but for now, he’s once again worth a spot on fantasy rosters.

Stock Down

Jake Lamb, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks

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I told everyone in last week’s Stock Report that Chris Owings would find himself here if he couldn’t get out of his slump. Unfortunately, he had his middle finger fractured by a pitch on Sunday. Instead, I’ve decided to put his teammate Jake Lamb on the list. Just like last season, Lamb started 2017 on a tear. In 77 games before the All-Star break, Lamb slashed .279/.376/.546 with 18 home runs. In July, Lamb slashed .156./.361/.444, but maintained his Fantasy value with three home runs and 13 RBI.

Last season, Lamb absolutely tanked in the second half, hitting .197 with an awful .663 OPS. A thumb injury effected his second half production, but a severe dip in his LD% and HR/FB% cratered his .ISO and therefore his production. It’s happening all over again this season, as Lamb is currently in the midst of a 1-for-19 funk. Just like last season, his K% has seen a small jump to 27%, The biggest factor is this year’s slump could be his .154 BABIP causing his average to drop 21 points since the beginning of July.

He has maintained some Fantasy value due to a 10% increase in his BB% and the overall production of the Arizona lineup. Until he proves he can normalize his BABIP, owners need to brace themselves for another extended slump. However, the overall production of the Diamondbacks lineup should help keep him afloat as long as he can keep getting on base.

Jordan Montgomery, SP, New York Yankees

Montgomery has been a pleasant surprise for owners in his debut season. Through 20 starts, Montgomery holds a 7-6 record with a 4.15 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. His ratios aren’t eye popping but he has been a consistent back-of-the-rotation pitcher through the first half of 2017. Despite his mediocre ratios, his 8.46 K/9 and 2.85 BB/9 point to better things to come for the youngster.

Over his last few starts, he hasn’t been as good as he was early in the season. He’s posted just one quality start in his last six turns. The slide has caused his ERA to rise from 3.53 to 4.15. Despite the slide, he was looking like a mainstay in the rotation until the Yankees made some trade deadlines.

Unfortunately for Montgomery, the Yankee’s acquisitions of Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia will likely push him out of the starting rotation for the foreseeable future. Whether he gets sent to Triple-A or to the bullpen for long relief remains to be seen. In either case, he won’t hold much value moving forward outside of dynasty leagues. He will be an intriguing sleeper moving into 2018 but he won’t see the Yankees starting rotation outside of an injury to one of the incumbent starters.

Jose Reyes, SS/3B, New York Mets

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Reyes went on a decent run to start July, recording multi-hit games in eight of his first 13 games. The two week binge brought his average up from .207 to .231. He wasn’t providing his usual stolen base contributions, but he was giving owners use-able counting stats at a very shallow position. Over the last two weeks, Reyes has come back to earth. his average has dipped back to .226 with an abysmal .289 OBP and .387 SLG.

Last Sunday, Reyes suffered a hand/forearm injury after being hit by a James Paxton fastball. X-Rays were negative, and Reyes has been listed as day-to-day with a contusion. He will likely avoid the DL and be back within the next week. Even when he returns, his playing time could sharply decreased with the arrival of top prospect Amed Rosario. Rosario slashed .328/.367/.466 in Triple-A this season and made his debut on Tuesday night.

If Rosario performs well with the Mets, Reyes will likely fall back to a bench role behind the rookie for the rest of the season. With his age and declining skills, he will not provide enough value if he’s not playing every day. Owners needing production at shortstop should look elsewhere.


Check out the rest of our 2017 Fantasy Baseball content from our great team of writers.

About Jonathan Chan

Winning fantasy leagues since 2004. Losing them for much longer. Follow Jonathan on twitter @jchan_811 and he'll be ready for all your questions!

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