Deep League Risers and Fallers Week 20

If you like it, put a Rengifo on it.

Welcome Back to DLR&F.  We are in the absolute dog days of baseball.  The good news is that if you are still reading fantasy baseball articles in mid-to-late August; you’re probably managing a playoff-bound team.  (Or entirely out of it and trying to make sure things go differently next year.) Either way, I hope you jumped on my last choice for the DLR&F cover athlete: Zack Gelof.

The young A’s infielder has hit .366 with a 1.251 OPS and five homers since he graced our featured image. He’s now slashing .281/.343/.645 with eight dingers and six steals in just over 100 MLB plate appearances.  If Gelof is available in your league, fix that right now.

So with the end of our regular seasons rapidly approaching, I want to shift the focus of the Risers section to players with very low roster rates in the hope to provide some actionable advice.  Let’s get to it.




Mickey Moniak, Outfielder, Los Angeles Angels.  

(29% Rostered)

Moniak has been listed as a Riser in this space before and has had a pretty nice season overall.  He is currently slashing .289/.320/.521 with 12 homers and five stolen bases over 242 at-bats.  He’s shown good power and speed, but his walk, strikeout, chase, and whiff rates all rank at the absolute bottom of the league.  A big issue is that Moniak swings at too many bad pitches.



We can see in the chart above that Moniak has been in the bottom tenth of the league when it comes to deciding to offer at pitches and that lately, he’s dropped below his own season average.  It’s a real shame since Moniak has had plenty of time to adjust and showcase his abilities with Mike Trout sidelined.  However, he owns just a .252/.286/.364 line over the past 30 days.  Thanks to his poor contact rates, elevated strikeouts, and low decision value, the shine has worn off.


Andrew McCutchen, Outfielder, Pittsburgh Pirates

(23% Rostered)


I love Cutch and very much hope to see him return to the Pirates again for the 2024 season.  But it looks like he’s not gonna be on my fantasy squads as they make their playoff runs.  The veteran and former MVP is slashing just .205/.348/.247 with a single steal and zero home runs over his past 30 games.  He has battled an elbow issue for a couple of months and that could be one of the reasons for his power outage.

McCutchen still possesses elite plate disciple and excellent sprint speed, but I don’t expect him to attempt many if any steals over the final month and a half of the season.  I will be very happy to roster Cutch again next year should he decide to return, but I think it’s time for fantasy managers to find a replacement for the remainder of 2023.


Lamont Wade Jr., First Base and Outfielder, San Francisco Giants

(15% Rostered)


Wade has been a nice depth piece for most of the year.  He is a strong side platoon player, so he loses some plate appearances versus left-handed starting pitching, but has provided a strong average and just enough pop to be worth a deep league roster spot for most of the season. He carried an OPS of .959 through April, followed by a .778 mark in May and a .894 mark in June.

Then the wheels fell off in July as Wade slashed just .180/.288/.200 over the month.  He has ticked back up with a .265/.343/.471 triple slash thus far into August but I’m not completely sold.  Check out his rolling contact ability and decision value charts.




So we can see from the first chart, that even with Wade’s peak contact rates poking into the top quartile of the league earlier in the season, his recent struggles have pushed his season-average contact rate below the average for the league as a whole.

When we take the second chart into account the picture becomes much clearer.  Wade was able to generate above-average contact rates thanks to his elite decision value ranking.  He maintained a decision value in the top ten percent of MLB hitters through most of the season until very recently.

And even though Wade’s decision value is still within the league’s top quartile, that drop, coupled with his poor average exit velocity (bottom quartile) has helped to crater his batting average.  Wade had been a nice source of batting average and runs for most of the season, but if his contact issues continue, he won’t be much help in either category.




Braxton Garret, Starting Pitcher, Miami Marlins

(46 % Rostered)


I’ve personally seen Garret dropped in a couple of leagues recently.  I understand the move.  He had a tough slate with the Astros and Dodgers as his next two opponents.  But Garret made it through the first of those difficult matchups with aplomb.  He threw five scoreless innings versus Houston and came away with the win despite just one strikeout.  He still lines up to face LAD later this week, but things ease up a bit after that with the Nationals next on his schedule.

Garret has gotten hit pretty hard this year.  His average exit velocity allowed and hard-hit percentages are both in the bottom ten percent of the league.  But he helps himself out with a walk rate all the way at the other end of the spectrum and picks up his fair share of strikeouts with 126 over 122 innings on the season.  And with a 2.05 ERA across his last four starts, he’s getting hot right when we need it.


Freddy Fermin, Catcher, Kansas City Royals

(13 % Rostered) 

Freddy Fermin is having a nice rookie season and has been fantasy gold for the last month.  He’s slashing .377/.391/.689 over the last 30 days and has been the third most valuable fantasy catcher in standard leagues over that period.  He has posted above-average exit velocity and hard-hit percentages thus far and carries a totally acceptable 22.1% strikeout rate.

I’d prefer to see a walk rate higher than five percent and his BABIP of .342 suggests some batting average regression is in his future.  Still, Fermin is hitting for power and average from our game’s weakest offensive position and could help a lot of teams if he can keep up anything resembling his current pace.


Luis Rengifo, Second Base, Shortstop, Third Base and Outfield,  Los Angeles Angels

(37% Rostered) 


Rengifo was a super helpful player over the final months of 2022.  After hitting just five homers over May, June, and July last season, he socked 12 from the onset of August through the final regular season games in October.  While he has just one dinger so far in August of 2023, his splits show signs that he is heating up again.

Rengifo posted a pitiful .219/.312/.326 line over the first half of the season.  He hit just five home runs and drove in 22 over 247 plate appearances.  However, over just 112 second-half plate appearances he already has six homers and fourteen RBI to pair with his much more exciting .275/.339/.549 triple slash.

He has hit leadoff for the Angels most often since the all-star break and has six multi-hit performances over his last 15 games.  The swiss army knife of a player can slot in at four positions on your fantasy team, including both MI and CI.  There are a lot of good teams looking for a shortstop or second baseman right now.  If that includes your squad, don’t sleep on Rengifo.



Sam Lutz

A Pittsburgh native and long suffering Pirate fan, Sam turned to fantasy baseball to give him a reason to follow the sport after July.

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