Dexter Fowler (Yahoo: 24 percent owned, ESPN: 38 percent owned)
We all have our fantasy vices, guys we draft too early or hold on to too long in a vague hope they’ll fulfill their promise. Fowler is one of mine, but he finally seems to be making good on his potential. Since the All-Star break, Fowler has hit .322/.426/.522 and, seeming to answer one of the biggest knocks against him, has stolen six bases. His season line is propped up by a .377 BABIP, which would seem to scream regression, but Fowler’s career average is an already-elevated .345. So while he may still regress, the drop isn’t likely to be as steep as it may seem at first blush. Fowler is still available in most leagues and is definitely an option in NL-Only or even deep mixed.
Trayvon Robinson (Yahoo: 0 percent owned, ESPN: 1 percent owned)
Robinson is getting a lot of press lately, for being a coup for Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik as well as for his defensive prowess, but don’t get caught up in the buzz. The problem that Jeff Sullivan highlighted — Robinson’s high strikeout rate — looks as though it isn’t going away any time soon, as he has struck out in five of his 12 plate appearances. It’s a perilously small sample, I don’t expect him to strike out in 42 percent of his PAs going forward, but as he continues to impress in the field and hit the odd home run, consider this a call to patience. Late-round sleeper next year? Quite possibly. Good option for the last two months of this season? Unlikely.
Denard Span (Yahoo: 32 percent owned, ESPN: 32 percent owned)
This time last week, Span was breathing a sigh of relief, having survived swirling deadline rumors that had him all but signed, sealed, and delivered to the Nationals. Span came off the disabled list last Tuesday for the first time since sustaining a concussion on June 6, when he was hitting .294/.361/.385 with four steals. In his week back in the land of the healthy, Span hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with a line of .042/.080/.042 in his six games. What has been interesting is that, despite almost never having the opportunity to do so, Span swiped a pair of bases, raising his season total to six.
I can’t recommend picking up Span right now in any format; he just doesn’t yet look fully recovered at the plate. However, if the Twins are committed to giving him the green light as often as they did with Ben Revere, Span could rack up solid stolen base numbers the rest of the way — provided he can start getting on base. It should be noted that even when he’s fully healthy, Span holds far more value in OBP leagues than traditional AVG leagues.
Chase Headley (Yahoo: 26 percent owned, ESPN: 47 percent owned)
Headley looks like he’s going to miss the majority of the rest of the season with the broken left pinkie he sustained on Aug. 7. Viable replacement include Justin Turner (owned in 13 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 20 percent of ESPN leagues), Ty Wigginton (40 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 39 percent of ESPN leagues), and Danny Valencia (29 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 50 percent of ESPN leagues). Valencia had a strong month of July (.303/.336/.468 with 4 HR), but has just six singles so far in August. Wigginton is hitting well so far, .316/.418/.439 since the break and .412/.545/.588 in August, and may be the best short-term option to replace Headley if he’s available to you.