Week 13 Deep League Risers and Fallers

Look to add these players in deeper leagues before it's too late.

Welcome back to another edition of Deep League Risers and Fallers. Heading into July with the Mid-Summer Classic right around the corner, identifying players off the waiver wire who can contribute to your fantasy team’s performance is imperative to climbing the standings in your league or making a playoff push during the second half of the season.

My colleague Sam Lutz last week recommended one of my favorite players of the past decade, 1B Joey Votto (35% rostered), who has homered three times in the past week since returning to the lineup.  The 39-year-old veteran could prove to be a useful asset moving forward in deeper leagues, given the surprising improvement of the Reds’ offense thanks to their infusion of young talent.

Note: There are many different league shapes and sizes. We’ll primarily be discussing players that were roughly ranked outside the Top 200 during draft season in March and/or are currently rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo! leagues at the time (at least for the players we are bullish on.)

Some of my previous recommendations over the past couple of months: 

1B/OF Alex Kirilloff MIN (10% rostered)

SP Tanner Bibee CLE (39% rostered) 

SP Michael Wacha SD OAK (81% rostered) 

SP Mitch Keller PIT (90% rostered)

OF Esteury Ruiz OAK (81% rostered) 

SS Matt McLain CIN (67% rostered)

SS/3B Elly De La Cruz CIN (93% rostered)

SP Reid Detmers LAA (57% rostered)




Royce Lewis, SS/3B, Minnesota Twins

(44% rostered)


The first overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft and former top prospect, Lewis had his career derailed by a pair of torn ACL injuries over the past couple of years. However, the 24-year-old is now healthy and contributing for the Twins, hitting .333 with an .863 OPS in 81 at-bats thus far on the season. The Twins will likely continue to build in rest days for Lewis, so one should anticipate the young third baseman only playing five or six games per week. With that said, he’s hit safely in seven straight games while often hitting in the middle of the Twins lineup.  He’s worth grabbing based on upside alone if he is still available in your league.



Ha-Seong Kim, 2B/3B/SS, San Diego Padres

(40% rostered)


The 27-year-old infielder has been a top-60 fantasy asset over the past month and has settled into the Padres leadoff spot at the top of their lineup over the past week. Kim boasts a .274 AVG and .800 OPS in June thus far with 15 runs scored and four stolen bases. If Kim continues to hit atop the Friars’ lineup ahead of the foursome of Tatis, Soto, Machado, and Bogaerts, he stands to score a lot of runs and contribute for fantasy managers. He’s worth an add in most leagues given his recent production.


TJ Friedl, OF, Cincinnati Reds

(34% rostered)


Another 27-year-old hitting leadoff for a team that scores plenty of runs, TJ Friedl has given Cincinnati a steady presence at the top of their lineup over the past month. Friedl is hitting an impressive .309 on the season with a rock-solid .842 OPS and 12 stolen bases. Friedl admittedly doesn’t make much hard contact, as his average exit velocity, xSLG, and hard-hit % rank amongst the worst in baseball. But given the upgrades in the Reds lineup and the hitter-friendly ballpark in Cincinnati, Friedl makes for a fine outfield option in deeper leagues currently, especially for those who need help in runs and/or stolen bases.


Griffin Canning, SP, Los Angeles Angels

(30% rostered)


Keeping with the theme of 27-year-olds, Griffin Canning missed the past year-and-a-half of action with a stress fracture in his back before returning to the mound in May. After a predictability sluggish start after that long layoff, Canning has found a groove in the past month, registering a quality start in five of his past six outings, including most recently at Coors Field, while boasting a 2.35 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in June. Canning will host the Diamondbacks this weekend and warrants consideration in all fantasy leagues given his recent strong performance.





Jeremy Peña, SS, Houston Astros

(85% rostered)


This is a perfect example of where my heart clouded the judgment of my mind in draft season. I took a chance on the World Series MVP in my home league back in March, thinking he would build off his postseason heroics and rise to fantasy stardom in his second season with a nice blend of power and speed. However, all of the underlying advanced metrics screamed regression for the free-swinging Peña and that has been exactly what has played out in 2023. The 25-year-old’s inconsistency has caused him to hit in the bottom half of the Astros lineup for the majority of the season and his current .714 OPS on the season leaves a lot to be desired. Given all the depth at shortstop in fantasy leagues this season, Peña simply does not justify being rostered in 85% of fantasy leagues. And to add insult to injury, his stolen base upside has been significantly limited by his ineffectiveness as a base stealer (only 8-for-14 in SB attempts).


Steven Kwan, OF, Cleveland Guardians

(86% rostered)


I really like Steven Kwan. He was really good to me last season and helped propel me to a championship in my home league with a terrific performance in September last year. However, 2023 has been a totally different story. Kwan is supposed to deliver a nice batting average and plenty of runs scored, while not contributing much of anything in the power categories. And this season, only the latter has been true. Kwan has offered no power (two homers, 25 RBI, and a paltry .685 OPS) and yet the batting average has dropped all the way down to .259 this year (.298 last season as a rookie). The 13 stolen bases are semi-helpful but Kwan has been one of several disappointing performers on the Guardians offense this season. I still have hopes of a better second half for Kwan, who is currently sitting on the waiver wire in my shallow home league, but there is no denying how much of a disappointment he (and the Guardians offense) has been in 2023.



Lucas Spence

Writer for Pitcher List and contributor for FantasyPros and InStreetClothes whose favorite baseball highlight of his lifetime occurred in the bottom of the 11th inning of the 1995 ALDS. Twitter: @lspence24.

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