|Name||Position||Team||ESPN Own %|
|Patrick Widsom||3B, 1B, OF||Chicago Cubs||53.1|
|Nick Solak||2B, OF||Texas Rangers||54.7|
|Travis D'Arnaud||C||Atlanta Braves||42.6|
|Joey Wendle||3B, 2B, SS||Tamba Bay Rays||62.5|
|Edmundo Sosa||2B, SS||St. Louis Cardinals||6.3|
1. Patrick Wisdom | 3B, 1B, OF | Chicago Cubs
Patrick Wisdom was a smash-add in early June after cranking nine home runs in his first 20 games with the Cubs in 2021. While he did cool down considerably, he’s settled into the Cubs’ lineup quite nicely and has turned out to be a rather productive fantasy asset. He’s slashing .252/.315/.569 with 46 runs, 25 home runs, 50 RBIs, three stolen bases, and a 114-to-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Yes, those strikeout and walk numbers are abysmal. For reference, he only has 287 plate appearances, which means he’s striking out in roughly 40% of all plate appearances. That’s worst-in-the-league territory if he was a qualified hitter in 2021. Regardless, the 25 home runs and 50 RBIs in less than 300 plate appearances is rather nice to have in your lineup, and the batting average just north of .250 isn’t destroying you either. Now with outfield eligibility in addition to first base eligibility, Wisdom is a must add for the fantasy playoffs.
2. Nick Solak | 2B, OF | Texas Rangers
Remember how good Nick Solak was in April? It was his apparent breakout party, as he hit .293 with a .910 OPS, seven home runs, 14 RBIs, 18 runs, and two stolen bases in 112 plate appearances. Just like Wisdom though, eventually poor plate discipline will rear its ugly head, and that’s exactly what happened with Solak. His batting average and OPS in May were .200 and .585 respectively, followed by .207 and .517 in June. July was even worse before he was sent back to Triple-A to figure some things out. Well, fast forward a month, Solak is back up and he looks like the April version of himself again. Through 43 plate appearances going back to August 21st, he’s hitting .359 with a .983 OPS. Perhaps more encouraging is his 4-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio over that stretch. Combine his prospect pedigree with the production he showed in April and he’s worth adding on the potential that he has a monstrous finish to the year.
3. Travis D’Arnaud | C | Atlanta Braves
It’s been a tough season for Travis D’Arnaud. After a bad April, a thumb injury sidelined D’Arnaud up until his return on August 11th. While he hasn’t been spectacular by any means in his return, he’s been decent and it’s expected that he would need a bit to get his timing back. Through 53 plate appearances going back to August 11th, he has a .234 batting average with a .746 OPS, five runs, two home runs, seven RBIs, and a 10-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. As I said, nothing spectacular. Regardless, he was a decent offensive catcher prior to coming to Atlanta and was incredible last year in his first year with the Braves. If he can find his groove and produce even remotely close to what he was able to do in 2020, he’ll help a lot of people win their leagues.
4. Joey Wendle | 3B, 2B, SS | Tampa Bay Rays
Ahh, Joey Wendle. While his positional flexibility and solid production typically always keeps him rostered, we’ve all been a bit down on Joey Wendle as of late and his ownership in ESPN leagues is all the way down to 62.5%. That’s what a .247 batting average and .646 OPS in the month of August will do for you. However, the second half of August was much better than the first, and the last week or so has been even better. In his last 7 games, or 28 plate appearances, Wendle has a .308 Average and a .973 OPS. Sure, he’s not going to blow your socks off with a ton of home runs. However, he’s primed to provide consistent production down the stretch in your fantasy playoffs. He is heating up and plays just about every day for an awesome Rays team that leads the league in runs scored per game at 5.35.
5. Edmundo Sosa | 2B, SS | St. Louis Cardinals
Here’s a pick for the deeper leagues out there that don’t even have the option of considering players such as Patrick Wisdom or Nick Solak. Edmundo Sosa, a 25-year-old infielder for the Cardinals who is owned in just 6.3% of leagues. On the season, he owns a .274/.352/.745 slash line with 30 runs, four home runs, 19 RBIs, three stolen bases, and a 44-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 249 plate appearances. While he didn’t begin the season as an everyday starter in the lineup, he’s been earning that role as of late. Going back to August first, Sosa has a .362/.441/.603 slash line with 11 runs, two home runs, 11 RBIs, and a 11-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Needless to say, he’s been pretty dang good. He’s not going to provide you with a ton of home runs, which is always a bummer in fantasy. Regardless, an entire month of an OPS over 1.000 is nothing to scoff at. If you’re truly scavenging the waiver wire for options down the stretch here, strongly consider Edmundo Sosa for as long as he continues to produce.