Mike Montgomery SP/RP, CHC
Owned in 33% of CBS Leagues
If you’re looking for a starter with reliever eligibility, here is one to consider. In 13 starts since taking over a spot in the rotation for the injured Yu Darvish, Montgomery has posted a sparkling 3.08 ERA, making him more than just a gimmick play in fantasy. His ERA is backed up by some solid peripherals, including a 3.83 FIP, even if his strikeout numbers aren’t overly high. Darvish did just toss a simulated game for the Cubs, but he still has a high Overall Injury Risk and is a ways away from a Major League mound, meaning you should be able to get at least a few more starts out of Montgomery if you claim him off the wire. Given his success in the rotation and his joint eligibility, he should be owned in more leagues.
Ryan Madson RP, WAS
Owned in 15% of CBS Leagues
The back end of the Nationals bullpen looks quite a bit different than it did just a few weeks ago. Their All-Star closer Sean Doolittle has been on the DL with a stress reaction in his foot since early July, and his replacement, Kelvin Herrera, just hit the DL on Wednesday with inflammation in his right shoulder. Both have high Overall Injury Risks and neither appears on track to return all that soon at the moment. Factor in the trades that Washington has made to get rid of Shawn Kelley and Brandon Kintzler, and there are literally no other options for them to close out games right now than the veteran Madson. It’s been an uneven year for the veteran reliever, but he has the stuff and experience to fill the role. If you need saves from the wire, he’s the most obvious addition right now.
Mallex Smith OF, TB
Owned in 42% of CBS Leagues
With the newly acquired Tommy Pham now on the DL with a fractured foot, Mallex Smith gets another chance to play everyday in the Tampa Bay outfield. When he has had at-bats, he’s done plenty with them, posting a 1.140 OPS since July 14th. He’s also a big time stolen base threat, making him a valuable commodity in category formats. Pham could return in less than a month, but the fracture in his foot has landed him with a high Overall Injury Risk designation. Smith should at least get a few weeks of consistent at-bats, making him worthy of a pickup in plenty of leagues.
Harrison Bader OF, STL
Owned in 20% of CBS Leagues
With Dexter Fowler and Tyler O’Neil on the DL, Bader has gotten the opportunity to play everyday for the Cardinals, and he’s acquitted himself well. He does have a frustrating combo of lack of pop and plenty of strikeouts, but his base stealing capabilities are able to balance that out. If he’s able to keep his average around it’s current mark of .270, then he will remain a useful player in certain deeper formats. O’Neil may return to the lineup soon, but the at-bats should still be there while Fowler (high Overall Injury Risk) is out, which will be for at least another month.
Brad Peacock RP/SP, HOU
Owned in 21% of CBS Leagues
Houston just lost starter Lance McCullers to an elbow injury until at least the start of September. This has left both the Astros and McCullers’ fantasy owners scrambling. Luckily, the could be looking at the same answer in Brad Peacock, who could get moved from his spot in the bullpen, where he has been excellent this season (2.93 ERA), back to the rotation, where he excelled last year (3.22 ERA, 10.9 K/9 in 21 starts). McCullers has a high Overall Injury Risk designation and won’t be rushed back by the Astros, meaning Peacock could have a solid few weeks worth of starts. He hasn’t been announced as the replacement yet, and Houston will be able to go with a 4 man rotation for a bit thanks to some off days, but Peacock is still a solid speculative add.