FANTASY PLAYS: Whose prospects rose at trade deadline?
After a frenetic non-waiver trade deadline, several players saw their fantasy values improve with a change of address.
ROBERTO OSUNA, RP, Astros: The most controversial deadline move saw the World Series champs acquire the hard-throwing Osuna, whose domestic violence suspension ends on Sunday. The Astros will ease him into the closer role but once Osuna and his near triple-digit heat gets adjusted to his new locale, he will be a near lights-out presence. Osuna saved nine of his 10 opportunities before his suspension and will benefit from a better defense than he had with the Blue Jays.
TOMMY PHAM, OF, Rays: He will see a more prominent role in the Tampa Bay lineup, a place that could perk up his bat. Pham batted cleanup in his Rays debut on Wednesday and is still on pace to hit 20 homers and steal 15 bases despite hitting .246 with a .395 slugging percentage.
KEVIN GAUSMAN, P, Braves: Escaping the presence of American League East lineups makes Gausman a winner. His 4.43 ERA while pitching for a horrid Orioles team will see a downturn now that he is pitching in meaningful games and won’t have to contend with a designated hitter. Gausman will also see a climb in his strikeouts per nine innings rate, as his 7.55 K/9 gets a free-swinging pitcher rather than a slugger.
WILSON RAMOS, C, Phillies: Once his hamstring heals, Ramos’ numbers will see a hike as he will be in a more hitter-friendly ballpark in Citizens Bank Park. He was hammering pitchers prior to his injury, batting .333 with three homers and 10 RBIs in 39 July at-bats. Ramos’ presence will add spark to a Philadelphia offense that was a mere 20th in the majors with 468 runs scored going into Thursday’s games.
ADAM DUVALL, OF, Braves: Atlanta will welcome the explosion of Duvall’s bat, as the Braves are 20th in the majors with just 114 homers. Duvall is hitting only .205 this season but is one of the streakiest hitters in the game. The Braves are banking that Duvall’s presence will take some pressure off rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. while also forcing pitchers to avoid challenging first baseman Freddie Freeman.
RB WATCH IN D.C.
Redskins rookie running back Derrius Guice will see his fantasy value increase upon news that running back Chris Thompson won’t be at 100 percent until midseason. Guice has received praise for his work both on the field and in the meeting room while also continuing to show pass-catching skills he did not use frequently at LSU.
Right now, Guice is a mid-tier RB2, yet has the room to move up the positional rankings once he gets on the field. He’s more valuable in non-PPR formats but considering how new Redskins quarterback Alex Smith has a track record of utilizing running backs in the passing game, Guice will have some sleeper value in PPR leagues.
FROM RUSSIA WITH GLOVE
The NHL season is more than two months away yet it’s not too soon to ponder potential 2018-19 sleepers. Stars right wing Valeri Nichushkin is a name to keep in mind after he re-signed with Dallas after spending the past two seasons in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.
Nichushkin has the chance to give the Stars an imposing wing duo with Tyler Seguin or could be paired up with Alexander Radulov, who scored 72 points last season. Scoring won’t be a problem with Dallas, especially with Nichushskin and his potential to add 55-60 points to the lineup.
This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, http://FNTSY.com