Mon Sep 2 10:01am ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
September has come and with it the last month to make a run at a fantasy championship. This is a great time to take a serious look at your league standings and make some moves. And some of these moves might not look practical. If you’re more than five saves away from gaining or losing a point, think about dropping a closer for a starter. Go for wins and strikeouts. And do the same with other categories. If you can’t move in stolen bases, drop the speedster for a home run hitter. There’s less than 30 games to go. Make them them count!
For the first week in a long time, no teams are scheduled for only five games, so unless there’s a rainout, every team plays six or seven. There are 18 teams that play six and 12 play seven. So the 12 to maximize from are Baltimore, Chicago White Sox,, Cleveland, Detroit, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Texas, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington.
Interleague play has AL teams playing in NL cities, so losing their DH for two games will be Toronto at Atlanta, Seattle at Chicago, and Houston at Milwaukee. Losing their DH for three games is Kansas City at Miami. Colorado plays six on the road at Los Angeles and San Diego, so no bonus from their hitters at home.
Rosters can expand this week, so if your looking for some help it might be on the waiver wire. But probably from teams not in contention because they’ll be playing the players to help them win. And with expanding rosters, pitchers will not be required to go deep in games. Some veteran players may see less at bats as teams try to gauge if a rookie will be ready for the show next year. What you should be looking for is players with opportunity to play.
An interesting opportunity in Milwaukee will be giving Travis Shaw some playing time. Keston Hiura’s left hamstring strain will put him out at least two weeks, and Mike Moustakas still can't grip a bat from taking a liner off his glove hand a few days ago. Shaw should be in the lineup every day. His previous MLB playing time this year has been a fantasy disaster, so you might be reluctant to try him, but he has just as good a chance as any call up to put up some numbers for your fantasy team.
Another second base option to consider is Gavin Lux. With Max Muncy our for a couple weeks, the Dodger rookie has a chance to make an impression. At AA and AAA this year, he combined to hit .347 with 26 home runs and 10 stolen bases.
Returning this week for the Mets is Robinson Cano. Lourdes Gurriel comes back for the Blue Jays. And Brian Doolittle is back to the Nationals to help their bullpen. But Doolittle won’t return to the closer role right away, so you’ll have to wait a week to 10 days to get saves from him.
Tyler Mahle had a quality outing for the Reds Sunday, but he’s now scheduled for long relief, so not much help for fantasy teams.
Someone who could get you a couple dingers is Ranger first baseman Ronald Guzman. He has a month to prove he belongs in the Texas lineup next year, so he’s worth a gamble.
If you’re looking for some steals, San Diego outfielder Travis Jankowski could get four to eight this month.
I’m not sure where he finds a spot to play, but the Braves recalled Johan Camargo, who hit .481 in 14 games at AAA. And the Twins activated Byron Buxton, but it’s questionable if he’s really ready to contribute yet, so take caution.
Lots to consider this week. I hope your moves turn out great!
Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.