Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

The App is Back! Don’t forget to download the NBC Sports EDGE app to receive real-time player news, mobile alerts and track your favorite players. Plus, now you can check out articles and player cards. Get it here!

Two of the most popular adds in mixed leagues this week have been Brewers infielder Keston Hiura and Blue Jays prospect right-hander Alek Manoah. They both carry risk, but are welcome additions to the player pool in fantasy leagues due to the onslaught of injuries around the game.

Hiura was demoted after hitting just .167 with one homer and 29 strikeouts though 82 plate appearances to begin the year, but he demolished Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .438/.526/.906 batting line with three homers and six doubles over nine games. The bad news? He struck out 13 times in 38 plate appearances, so it’s not like he fixed his contact issues. He’s 1-for-12 with six strikeouts since returning, so he remains a frustrating enigma. But it’s difficult to give up on him in mixed leagues.

As for Manoah, he’s the latest prospect pitcher to get a shot in the big leagues. He certainly earned it, allowing just one run in 18 innings with a 27/3 K/BB ratio through first three starts with Triple-A Buffalo this year. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound right-hander throws in the mid-90s with his fastball and features a nasty slider which you’ll surely see in GIF-form on a regular basis. However, as a young pitcher, it’s far from a sure thing that he’ll hit the ground running. Just look at Daniel Lynch with the Royals and Logan Gilbert with the Mariners as recent examples. These situations can be a trap at times, but Manoah should be universally rostered while we wait to see how the talent plays against big-league hitters.

Have specific questions about your roster? Ask @djshort on Twitter.


(Players rostered in under 50 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Note: Percentages are from the morning of Thursday, May 27th

Joc Pederson OF/1B, Cubs (Yahoo: 30 percent rostered)

The injuries just keep on coming, with Marcell Ozuna, Bryce Harper, Trent Grisham, Harrison Bader, and Austin Hays among the latest outfielders to go down. Pederson is quickly moving to must-pickup status, especially with the way he’s swung the bat of late. The 29-year-old got off to a rough start with his new team before hitting the injured list last month, but he’s hit .343/.385/.543 with three homers, 11 RBI, and nine runs scored over 18 games in May. This includes a two-homer game on Tuesday. Pederson is still striking out a lot and hasn’t done anything against lefties this season, but he’s hitting leadoff and the Cubs face a string of right-handers in the coming days. He’s an obvious add in deeper leagues already, but makes sense as a stopgap option even in shallow formats right now.

Luis Garcia SP, Astros (Yahoo: 25 percent rostered)

Garcia’s long-term viability was unclear with Framber Valdez and Jake Odorizzi coming back, but those concerns have been tabled with Lance McCullers joining Jose Urquidy on the injured list this week and Cristian Javier making the move to the bullpen. Garcia has also earned this shot with a 2.93 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 54/16 K/BB ratio through 46 innings. This includes a dominant start against the Dodgers on Wednesday night where he allowed just an unearned run on two hits with seven strikeouts and one walk over six innings. The 24-year-old currently has the highest whiff rate among starters with his cutter. It must be said that Garcia’s upcoming schedule isn’t great, but it’s a bit surprising he’s still out there in so many leagues.

Odubel Herrera 2B/OF, Phillies (Yahoo: 14 percent rostered)

While Herrera has cooled off a bit recently, he’s still showing flashes of the player he’s been in the past. After serving a domestic violence suspension in 2019 and not even being included in the Phillies’ player pool last year, it’s understandable that there would be some rust at the plate. Sure enough, he went 2-for-24 to begin the year, but he’s displayed five-category ability this month while drawing favorable spots in the Phillies’ lineup. He was near the top of the lineup in recent days before hitting fifth on Wednesday. Herrera can help in a lot of leagues right now and even at second base in Yahoo leagues, which is an interesting little quirk.

Jo Adell OF, Angels (Yahoo: 12 percent rostered)

Adell is knocking on that door. After a relatively quiet start to the season in Triple-A, the 22-year-old has hit .375 with six homers and a 1.381 OPS over his last seven games. While that’s all well and good, he’s struck out in 33.7 percent of his plate appearances this season. Not exactly what you want to see with a player who had a lot of trouble making contact during his first taste of the majors last year. Still, with Mike Trout facing a lengthy absence, it might not be long before Adell gets another chance. By the way, Brandon Marsh was recommended in last week’s column, but the Angels probably want to see him swing the bat better before considering him for a call-up. Adell might be ahead of him in the pecking order once again.

Danny Santana 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF, Red Sox (Yahoo: 29 percent rostered)

Santana was actually in our AL-only recommendations a couple of weeks ago, but it didn’t take long for folks to catch on in mixed leagues. And for good reason, as he homered in back-to-back games after being activated. The 30-year-old struggled in a small sample with the Rangers last year and got a late start this year due to a procedure for a foot infection, but he was a fantasy dynamo just two years ago when he put up a .283 batting average with 28 homers, 81 RBI, 21 steals, and 81 runs scored over 130 games. He also qualifies pretty much everywhere, which is huge when big names are going on the injured list daily. Versatility is huge right now.

Daniel Hudson RP, Nationals (Yahoo: 22 percent rostered)

Brad Hand didn’t allow a run over his first seven appearances this season, but it has been a bumpy ride since then. The southpaw holds a 6.10 ERA with six walks and three homers allowed in 10 1/3 innings over his last 10 appearances. Keep in mind that he walked just four batters in 22 innings all of last year and didn’t allow a single home run. His control is getting worse and he’s not missing bats like he has in the past, which isn’t a promising combination. With that in mind, Hudson is looking like a worthy stash. After scuffling with a 6.10 ERA over 21 appearances last season, the veteran reliever has bounced back with a 1.06 ERA and 22/5 K/BB ratio through 17 innings this year. He hasn’t allowed a run since April 28 and is clearly next in line if Hand falters.

Cesar Hernandez 2B, Indians (Yahoo: 14 percent rostered)

Hernandez has been incredibly frustrating so far, as the quality of contact simply wasn’t matching up to the results, but things have begun to even out. The 31-year-old holds a quality .261/.333/.500 batting line with five homers, 11 RBI, and 14 runs scored through 21 games this month. He’s doubled the amount of barrels he had last year and has equaled what he did in a full season in 2019. Oddly, despite his excellent speed, he’s yet to even attempt to steal a base over 103 games dating back to start of last season. Did I mention he can be frustrating? Still, Hernandez gets a lot of volume at the top of the Indians’ lineup and deserves more attention than he’s getting.

Willy Adames SS, Brewers (Yahoo: 10 percent rostered)

The Rays trading Adames last week was more of a statement about who they have coming through the pipeline. Still, there’s no doubt that his contact issues are becoming a concern with the larger sample. Dating back to the start of last season, the 25-year-old has struck out 35 percent of the time. This compares to 26.2 percent in 2019 and 29.4 percent as a rookie in 2018. Adames has seemingly sold out for power, with a major uptick in fly balls this year, but he’s also hitting the ball harder these days. And now he’s headed to a more favorable home ballpark in Milwaukee. It’s a tricky fantasy profile if the contact issue persist, but keep him in mind with the move to his new team.

Amed Rosario SS/OF, Indians (Yahoo: 11 percent rostered)

Talk about falling off the map. Rosario completely disappeared last year after a strong finish in 2019 and struggled out of the gate with his new team this year, but he’s looked like a different player over the past month. Alternating between the No. 2 spot and eight spot in the Indians’ lineup, the 25-year-old is slashing .313/.368/.475 with eight extra-base hits (including one homers), eight RBI, four steals, and 11 runs scored over his last 22 games. He was seeing some starts in center field for a time, but now he’s locked into the primary shortstop gig with Andres Gimenez in Triple-A. Rosario’s plate discipline is improving and he’s boosted his hard-hit rate this year, so there’s reason to believe he can play himself back on the radar in mixed leagues.

Deeper Dandies

(Players rostered in under 10 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Tarik Skubal SP, Tigers (Yahoo: 9 percent rostered)

Skubal drew some attention in drafts this spring, but his early control issues made him expendable in most leagues. Fortunately, he’s trending in the right direction of late with a 31/6 K/BB ratio in 21 innings over four starts this month. The southpaw has completed five innings in all four outings and has struck out nine batters in each of his last two starts. Granted, Skubal has had some favorable matchups of late (Mariners, Indians), but he’s brought his changeup back into the mix this month and the results speak for themselves. The Yankees are up next, so it’s understandable if there’s some hesitation here, but don’t let his 1-7 record and 5.23 ERA scare you away. He’s figuring some things out.

Jorge Alfaro C, Marlins (Yahoo: 5 percent rostered)

Alfaro finally rejoined the Marlins this week after missing more than a month with a hamstring strain. Per Christina De Nicola of, the backstop had a sprint speed of 28.7 ft/sec running out a grounder on Tuesday, which would seem to indicate that he’s feeling a lot better. The 27-year-old has only appeared in 12 games so far this year and had a frustrating 2020 campaign, but he put up 18 homers in 130 games and has a track record of making hard contact. If he can stay healthy and get in a groove, there’s no reason he can’t help in a lot of mixed leagues. Braves rookie William Contreras (Yahoo: 22 percent rostered) is an even better option if he’s still out there in shallow leagues and Tomas Nido (Yahoo: 2 percent) is making a heck of a case for attention. It isn’t all bad at the catcher position, after all.

Editor’s Note: Drafting is only half the battle! Get an edge on your competition with our MLB Season Tools – available in our EDGE+ Roto tier for $3.99/mo. (annually) or $9.99/mo. (monthly) – that are packed with rankings, projections, a trade evaluator, start/sit tools and much more. And don’t forget to use promo code SAVE10 to get 10% off. Click here to learn more!

Weekend Warriors:

Austin Gomber SP, Rockies (Yahoo: 20 percent rostered)

Gomber is on quite the run of late. After dominating the injury-plagued Mets with two runs allowed in eight innings with eight strikeouts on Monday, the southpaw now holds a 1.40 ERA and 21/2 K/BB ratio in 19 1/3 innings over his last three starts. Now, the Rockies are headed back to Coors Field next week, but Gomber draws another favorable matchup this weekend against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. That should be automatic as far as matchup plays are concerned.

Jameson Taillon SP, Yankees (Yahoo: 39 percent rostered)

Taillon has been frustrating to roster so far this season, but we saw some progress in his most recent outing, as he tossed five scoreless innings against a potent White Sox lineup. This is a good time to get on board, as he’ll draw a matchup against the Tigers in Detroit on Saturday. Taillon holds a 50/12 K/BB ratio over 42 2/3 innings this season, so there’s been reason to remain optimistic here. His xERA of 3.61 only underscores that, but the reality is that his breaking pitches have been inconsistent at best and he’s giving up fly balls more than ever before. Taillon isn’t a set it and forget it pitcher at this point, but hopefully the progress continues this weekend. You’ll want to make sure that Jordan Montgomery (Yahoo: 41 percent rostered) is scooped up as well.

Jordan Lyles SP, Rangers (Yahoo: 2 percent rostered)

It might seem weird to put a pitcher with a 5.94 ERA here. I get that. But Lyles has actually been fairly serviceable of late, posting a 4.09 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 22 innings over his last four starts. He’s completed six innings in each of his last two outings and should have a good chance to keep that going in a favorable matchup against the light-hitting Mariners on Friday. It’s hard to go wrong with a stream against them these days.

Jon Gray SP, Rockies (Yahoo: 44 percent rostered)

Strangely enough, Gray holds a 2.36 ERA over seven starts at home this season compared to a 6.32 ERA on the road, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from using him against the Pirates in Pittsburgh this weekend. The 29-year-old isn’t missing bats like we’ve seen in the past, but he’s done a great job keeping the ball on the ground while generating a ton of weak contact. The barrel rate against him is in the 91st percentile among qualified starters.


Owen Miller SS, Indians (Yahoo: 1 percent rostered)

Taylor Walls and Rob Refsnyder are likely gone in most AL-only leagues, but there’s a chance Miller could still be out there. The 24-year-old got the call on Sunday, not long after Andres Gimenez was optioned to Triple-A. Miller encountered some initial struggles, but he went 2-for-3 with a double against the Tigers on Wednesday while making the start at shortstop. He’s also made starts between second base and third base so far, so it sounds like the Indians plan to use him as an active utility player. Miller was blistering hot to start the year in Triple-A, slashing .406/.457/.609 with two homers through 16 games. Acquired from the Padres in the Mike Clevinger deal, Miller isn’t overly flashy, but he hits for contact with doubles power and good speed.

Hunter Harvey RP, Orioles (Yahoo: 2 percent rostered)

Harvey was mentioned as a possible closer option for the Orioles coming into the year, but he suffered an oblique injury in March before being moved to the 60-day injured list. Fortunately, it sounds like he’s on the verge of rejoining the Orioles. The 26-year-old allowed two runs on three hits over two innings in his first rehab appearance on Sunday, but he bounced back with a scoreless inning on Wednesday. He’ll likely need a few more tuneups before being activated, but it might not be long before he finds himself in the late-inning mix. Injuries have kept the 2013 first-rounder from meeting his potential, but he has the kind of stuff you look for in a closer. There are worse stashes out there.


Billy McKinney OF, Mets (Yahoo: 1 percent rostered)

The Mets are desperate for help in their lineup as the injuries continue to mount. Emblematic of his is the team’s acquisition of McKinney this week, as he’s immediately been pushed into the cleanup spot. It’s a lot for a player who holds a mediocre .226/.285/.422 batting line through 164 major league games. Still, he’s slugged 21 homers in that time, so perhaps the Mets catch some lighting in a bottle until some of their regulars make it back. The opportunities should be there given the alternatives at the moment.

Isan Diaz 2B, Marlins (Yahoo: 0 percent rostered)

Does Diaz finally figure it out this time? I’m not super optimistic, but he’s expected to get some chances at third base with Brian Anderson expected to miss several weeks with a left shoulder subluxation. Diaz holds a brutal .167/.249/.287 though 282 plate appearances in the majors, but his power production in the minors still makes him intriguing. Worth a shot, but keep in mind that Jon Berti will also get some time at third base. Berti’s speed should also make him relevant in deeper formats.