The All Star Break provides time for reflection, and a chance to look at just where your team has gone wrong. Or right, if the case may be.
As all of you fantasy veterans well know, you can never be too comfortable in first place, or too far out in last. Not with more than two months left of the season. That said, now is the time to start looking for those players that can help you gain elusive points in category leagues.
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That is where I come in. I will provide players that can help in each 5×5 category at each position. Some of these guys may be one-category wonders, but if you need that category, is it really such a bad thing?
Most of these guys you will have to trade for. Trades are not a bad thing. They are often the only way you can get your team back into contention.
Would you trade him for Billy Hamilton? Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
In one of my leagues for example, someone just traded Carlos Gonzalez for Billy Hamilton. Straight up. He was miles ahead in runs and homers, but near the bottom in steals. So he went out and got the one guy who can net him upwards of five points in that category for the rest of the season. Some in the league complained, but I thought it was brilliant. There is no one else that can give him what he needs like Hamilton.
This piece will focus on first basemen. The catchers are here.
I will only give you the raw stats, not my opinion on what you should do in these pieces. The stats should speak for themselves. I will give the top 5 in each category, and a sleeper for the rest of the way.
Breaking news: This guy can still hit. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Runs: Paul Goldschmidt, 66 Freddie Freeman, 64 Anthony Rizzo, 62 Albert Pujols, 58 Miguel Cabrera, 57 Todd Frazier, 57 Edwin Encarnacion, 57 Sleeper: Steve Pearce. Pearce has scored more runs that anyone at the position but Pujols in July.
MLB home run leader Jose Abreu. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Home Runs: Jose Abreu, 29 Edwin Encarnacion, 26 Victor Martinez, 21 Brandon Moss, 21 Albert Pujols, 20 Anthony Rizzo, 20 Sleeper: Chris Carter. His average may hurt you, but there was no one hotter going into the break. He hit 6 HR in 8 days!
RBI machine Casey McGehee. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
RBI: Miguel Cabrera, 75 Jose Abreu, 73 Edwin Encarnacion, 70 Brandon Moss, 66 Albert Pujols, 64 Sleeper: Casey McGehee. He has no power or speed, but he has 53 RBI on the year, and hitting .319.
Todd Frazier is the only 1B eligible player with double digit steals Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Stolen Bases: Todd Frazier, 14 Paul Goldschmidt, 8 Yonder Alonso, 6 Mark Reynolds, 5 Albert Pujols, 4 Don Kelly, 4 Steve Pearce, 4 Sleeper: None. Again, this is not a big position for steals. You see the hidden value for Frazier and Goldy here though.
Matt Adams (32) celebrates after hitting a two run walk off home run. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Batting average: (minimum 100 AB) Eric Campbell, .340 Matt Adams, .329 Lonnie Chisenhall, .328 Victor Martinez, .328 Adam Lind, .320 Here we learned that Albert Pujols is back, and that Miggy and Abreu will likely be too expensive. They might just be worth it though! You can find value in some places. Adams, Pearce, and Frazier won’t cost a whole lot, but they appear on this lists at least once. Next we will focus on the second basemen.