This week’s fantasy baseball first baseman review will help you identify first basemen available in 50% or more of Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues. For deep league players, the third is available in 85% or more of Yahoo! leagues.
Lucas Duda, Mets (22% owned)
Last week I wrote that Duda had turned his season around and corrected his strikeout rate and luck corrected his BABIP. Since writing that, he’s hit two home runs and has multiple hits in three-of-four games. He now sits atop first base ranks with a .353 average and six dingers in the last two weeks, and has a .976 OPS on the year. Everything is normalizing for Duda, which puts him back on the path to 25-30 home runs and 80/80 runs & RBI. He’s traditionally been towards the back-end of the starting 1B ranks in shallow leagues, which means he’s at least a utility or CI option in a deeper league. Worst case scenario you ride the hot streak.
Danny Valencia, Seattle (14% owned)
Valencia is a 2017 post-hype sleeper and an extremely slow start confirmed his sleeper status, but Valencia sleeps no longer. He rocked a sweet .565 OPS at the end of April, mostly due to his .222 BABIP. However, since the calendar turned over to May, his .565 gave way to a .514 slugging percentage. Since May 1, Valencia has a .339/,392/.514 slash line. He missed some time in late May with a wrist injury, but that hasn’t stopped him lately. So far this year Valencia is pulling a .283/.343/.435 slash line with five home runs, 26 RBI, 22 R and a stolen base. He’s already a good AL-only play, and could be on his way up to higher relevance. He has outfield and third base eligibility, which helps his relevance, as well.
Matt Adams, Atlanta (10% owned)
Matt Adams wasted away playing outfield for the Cardinals (seriously), but when Freddie Freeman went down with an injury, Atlanta made the move. Since coming over to the Braves, Adams carries a .268/.293/.643 slash line for a classic Matt Adams .936 OPS. Adams’ all-power, no walk approach found him out in the cold on a more talented Cardinals roster but the Braves see him as the perfect Freddie Freeman interim option. If your current Freeman replacement is floundering, you should follow their lead. Outside of that slash line, he has five homers, 12 RBI and 8 runs in 13 games (58 PA).