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NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

Michael Rusignola

Michael Rusignola has been covering fantasy baseball for RotoWire since 1998. He roots for the NY Mets and SF Giants, his two hometown teams.

This is our weekly look at National League free agents. We have two goals for this article:

1. Identify likely free agents and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Estimate how much of your $100 starting free-agent budget you should bid on them.

This year, we're incorporating grids into the FAAB articles, so users can easily see at a glance how certain players stack up against others and how much they should command in a variety of formats.

The grids, which are sortable by column (click on the header), include a very basic "player grade" column. This serves as a reflection of a player’s skills and role on an A-E scale. Dansby Swanson would have been an "A" grade player last year -- that mark will be reserved for similar high-impact prospects stepping into an everyday role.

As always, if there is a player that was not discussed in the article that you would like to know about, feel free to ask about the player in the comments.

PLAYER TEAM POS GRADE $ (12-Team Mixed) $ (15-Team Mixed) $ (NL-Only)
Robbie Ray AZ SP B 30 Owned Owned
Jameson Taillon PIT SP B 22 35 Owned
Steven Matz NYM SP C 25 Owned Owned
Taijuan Walker AZ SP C 16 25 Owned
Jon Gray COL SP C 11 22 Owned
Chase Anderson MIL SP C 11 22 Owned
Jaime Garcia ATL SP D 2 6 Owned
Ben Lively PHI SP D 2 6 20
Amir Garrett CIN SP D 1 4 12
Hyun-Jin Ryu LA SP D 1 4 10
Brandon Finnegan CIN SP D 1 4 12
Seth Lugo NYM SP D 1 4 10
Homer Bailey CIN SP D No 1 4
Kris Medlen ATL SP E No 1 3
Jeff Locke MIA SP E No No ` 4
Jeurys Familia NYM RP B 11 22 Owned
Brandon Maurer SD RP C 18 25 Owned
Grant Dayton LA RP D No No 3
Carlos Estevez COL RP D No No 2
Tony Cingrani CIN RP E No 1 4
Austin Brice MIA RP E No No 2
John Gant STL RP E No No 1
Justin Grimm CHC RP E No No 1
Adam Morgan PHI RP E No No 1
Brandon Morrow LA RP E No No 1
Tom Murphy COL C C 2 6 15
Elias Diaz PIT C E No No 3
Wilmer Flores NYM 1B D 1 4 10
Howie Kendrick PHI 2B D 2 6 Owned
Eric Sogard MIL 2B E No 1 3
Paul DeJong STL 2B E No 1 4
Max Moroff PIT 2B E No 1 4
Phil Gosselin PIT 2B E No No 1
Kelby Tomlinson SF 2B E No No 1
Martin Prado MIA 3B D No 2 5
Adonis Garcia ATL 3B D No 1 4
Johan Camargo ATL 3B E No No 1
J.T. Riddle MIA SS D 1 2 4
Allen Cordoba SD SS E 1 2 5
Adeiny Hechavarria MIA SS E No No 3
Starling Marte PIT OF A 18 30 Owned
Michael Taylor WAS OF D 1 4 10
Jose Martinez STL OF D No 1 4
Austin Slater SF OF E 1 3 6
Enrique Hernandez LA OF E No 1 4
Orlando Calixte SF OF E No 1 2
Patrick Kivlehan CIN OF E No No 2
Daniel Nava PHI OF E No No 2

STARTING PITCHER

Chase Anderson, Brewers:
Anderson has pitched really well lately. He tossed seven scoreless innings with seven Ks against the Mets on Thursday, and seven-plus shutout innings of one-hit ball against the D-backs before that. Shutting down these two offenses in consecutive starts is particularly impressive considering they both score a lot of runs. Part of his success this year is because he brought his home run rate way down (0.72 HR/9 this year vs. 1.66 HR/9 last year). He reportedly put on 10 pounds of muscle over the offseason and is now throwing the ball harder than ever, as evidenced by the 2 mph gain he's showing on his fastball. No doubt about it, Anderson's fantasy value is increasing and you would be wise to buy in while you can. 12-team Mixed: $11; 15-team Mixed: $22; 12-team NL: Owned

Homer Bailey, Reds:
Bailey, who is on the DL after surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow, tossed 33 pitches in extended spring training on Monday. He's not quite ready to begin a rehab assignment but is well ahead of teammate Anthony DeSclafani in the rehab process. The Reds will have a rotation spot waiting for him when he does return which, according to manager Brian Price, could be sometime in mid-to-late June. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4

Brandon Finnegan, Reds:
Finnegan suffered a strained muscle in his shoulder in mid-April, and has worked his way up to 40 pitches. Manager Bryan Price projects that he will still return to the rotation in mid-June, meaning no major deviations from his original timetable (which is good). Finnegan has the raw stuff to put together a breakout season if he takes a step forward with his pitch command. With extended spring training nearing an end, it seems likely that Finnegan will begin a rehab assignment soon. He doesn't quite profile as an ace (or even as a No. 2 starter), but he's looking like a solid mid-rotation guy that will net owners decent ratios and ample strikeouts. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $12

Jaime Garcia, Braves:
Don't look now but Garcia has tossed three straight quality starts for the Braves. In Wednesday's game, he allowed only an unearned run, scattering five hits over seven innings while striking out two. Garcia's in the final year of his contract and, assured of a rotation spot for the rebuilding Braves, he's basically auditioning for a July trade. A key to his success this year has been keeping the ball on the ground and limiting hard contact. He's not going to win any Cy Youngs, but he can be a reliable starting pitcher at a time when they can be hard to come by. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $6; 12-team NL: Owned

Amir Garrett, Reds:
Garrett will come off the disabled list to start Sunday's game against the lightweight Braves lineup, making for a soft reentry into the major league rotation. The southpaw teased tantalizing upside early in the year but fell back to earth with a 6.00 ERA over eight starts. With the Reds in rebuilding mode, they can afford to be patient with the young hurler. The former collegiate basketball player has a higher ceiling than most in the Reds rotation, though it might not fully emerge until next year. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $12

Jon Gray, Rockies:
Gray tossed a bullpen session for the first time without a walking boot on his left foot last weekend. He's also been running on a treadmill, and will soon ramp up his workouts to facing live batters. All in all, last year was a step forward for Gray, and at just 24-years old, he should continue to progress as he works toward becoming the top gun in the Rockies' rotation. Gray is the rare Rockies pitcher with good enough stuff to be useful in the bulk of his starts, regardless of venue. 12-team Mixed: $11; 15-team Mixed: $22; 12-team NL: Owned

Ben Lively, Phillies:
Lively made his big-league debut against the Giants on Saturday, tossing seven stellar innings of four-hit ball. The 25-year-old righty has typically been excellent at preventing runs and baserunners in the minors, and this year has been no different, with a 2.40 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in nine starts for Lehigh Valley. Lively has four pitches, with a not-so-lively fastball that tops out in the low 90s. His potential as an eventual major league starter has been limited by his inability to consistently generate strikeouts (none Saturday and just 6.88 K/9 last year in Triple-A). Still, Lively has shown he can throw strikes, so he could be serviceable as an innings eater if he can keep his rate stats down. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $6; 12-team NL: $20

Jeff Locke, Marlins:
After spending the first two months on the shelf with shoulder and bicep tendonitis, Locke was activated Thursday in time for the start against the Diamondbacks. It was a strong Marlins debut for the left-hander, who allowed just a run on three hits over 5.2 innings while striking out seven. It's been three years since Locke put up serviceable starting pitching stats, and there's reason to question whether he'll ever do it again. Last season, the Pirates had worked with Locke's windup and pitch repertoire in hopes of improving the one-time All-Star's results, but they had no luck and parted ways. Despite the strong debut, Locke can be safely ignored in even deep fantasy formats until he proves he can effectively and consistently retire big-league hitters, something that he's struggled to do for several years now. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $4

Seth Lugo, Mets:
Lugo made his final rehab start Saturday for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (yes, that's really the team name), tossing seven strong innings, striking out eight and allowing just a run with no walks. He and Steven Matz are slated to join rotation sometime next week, displacing Robert Gsellman and Tyler Pill. Lugo, who holds the Statcast curveball spin record, was pretty much a non-prospect entering last season. He's been surprisingly excellent in 47 innings as a starter and his curveball alone makes him interesting enough to be worth an add in deeper formats. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $10

Steven Matz, Mets:
Like teammate Seth Lugo, Matz also made what appears to be his final rehab start Saturday, getting roughed up in 4.1 innings to the tune of eight hits and five earned runs. Still, the strikeouts were there and he did not issue any free passes, so perhaps we can chalk it up to a high-altitude, PCL anomaly. He should join rotation sometime next week, as the Mets are desperate to get the southpaw back in their struggling rotation. At his best, Matz pairs a mid-90s sinker that can miss bats with above-average secondary pitches in his curveball and changeup. If he ever stays healthy for a full season, his owners will be happy people. 12-team Mixed: $25; 15-team Mixed: Owned; 12-team NL: Owned

Kris Medlen, Braves:
Medlen has looked decent in his first three minor league starts as he recovers from last season's shoulder injury. It's worth noting this is not a rehab assignment and Medlen doesn't have a spot on the 40-man roster, so he could conceivably stay down there a while. If he does get called up, he's a risky investment primarily because of his poor durability record (he's only thrown more than 160 innings once at any level of baseball). It's been four years since Medlen's been a useful starter, so you'll need to temper expectations somewhat. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $3

Robbie Ray, Diamondbacks:
Ray has been rolling lately, shutting out the Pirates with 10 Ks in his last outing. This isn't a fluke, as he finished last season with an 11.3 K/9, ranking second in the majors amongst starters. The difference is last year he often racked up the strikeouts only to surround them with mediocre overall stats. This year it's all good. Ray looks a lot like the potential breakout candidate many tabbed before the season. His next start will be pushed to Tuesday against the Padres, where he will look to extend his 24.2-inning scoreless streak. 12-team Mixed: $30; 15-team Mixed: Owned; 12-team NL: Owned

Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers:
Ryu is back in rotation again, with Alex Wood sidelined due to shoulder issues. He tossed six innings of one-run ball in his start Wednesday, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out four, which should be good enough for one more start. The 30-year-old lefty has had a hard time staying healthy himself the last three years. Despite his solid outing, Ryu could be headed back to the bullpen if Wood is ready to return from the disabled list next Monday. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $10

Jameson Taillon, Pirates:
After tossing three scoreless innings at Double-A on Sunday, Taillon's rehab progressed to Triple-A on Friday. He looked good there too, tossing five innings of three-hit ball with six punchouts. The team would like him to make a rehab start Wednesday, which could be his last outing before returning to the Pirates' rotation, provided that everything goes smoothly. At 25-years-old and with great pedigree (second overall pick in 2010), this could be the year Taillon makes his leap forward into greatness. He just needs to stay healthy to be Pittsburgh's (and your) ace from here out. 12-team Mixed: $22; 15-team Mixed: $35; 12-team NL: Owned

Taijuan Walker, Diamondbacks:
It was looking as though Walker would return to the rotation Sunday against the Twins but his blister is still not entirely healed. Prior to the injury, all five of his most recent outings resulted in three or fewer earned runs, but he's hasn't been able to rack up the strikeouts since his 11 K masterpiece against the Padres on April 27. Walker's stuff promises better things in the future, but there likely will be more growing pains before he is ready to make a consistent impact. Walker's next start is probably a week out, as the Diamondbacks can take advantage of Monday's off day and work with a four-man rotation until June 10. 12-team Mixed: $16; 15-team Mixed: $25; 12-team NL: Owned

RELIEF PITCHER



Austin Brice, Reds:
Brice has looked solid through his first 15 innings pitched in the majors. The 24-year-old has yet to see many high-leverage situations, but he's been strong on the mound, thanks in large part to his fine control. If he keeps pitching this way, he could earn a regular role in the Reds’ pen. The right-hander, a relative unknown coming into this year, has pitched multiple innings in all but three of his outings. Look for him to move up the depth chart from long man to later inning guy if this success continues. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $2

Tony Cingrani, Reds:
Cingrani's rehab assignment progressed to Triple-A Louisville this week, where he pitched a scoreless inning with a walk and a K. The southpaw had impressed through five appearances with the Reds before being sidelined, posting a 1.93 ERA over 4.2 innings out of the bullpen. He's not durable enough to be a max-effort reliever, but his secondary pitches are improving. Expect him to return to a significant relief role in the Reds bullpen once he gets healthy. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4

Grant Dayton, Dodgers:
The Dodgers recalled Dayton from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday to take the roster spot of Adam Liberatore (elbow). Dayton struggled during his previous stint in the majors, allowing seven runs over 12 innings, but he has been solid in his two appearances since the recall. His arsenal features a low-90s fastball and deadly curveball that he'll mix in about once every five pitches. Dayton should assume a matchup role in lefty-heavy spots, sometimes setting up Kenley Jansen. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $3

Carlos Estevez, Rockies:
Estevez was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday and rejoined the Rockies bullpen. This will be Estevez's third tour of duty with the Rockies this season. He has a 7.30 ERA in 12.1 big-league innings this year, but he appears to have been pretty unfortunate, as his 2.14 FIP and 13 strikeouts are very solid. He's been working on his command in the minors and reportedly feels very confident with the progress he's seen. Estevez showed plenty of promise last season, so if he can maintain his high K/9 (9.7 in 2016) and stay sharp over the entire the season, he could work his way back into a fairly prominent position in the bullpen hierarchy. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $2

Jeurys Familia, Mets:
Familia could be cleared to start throwing program in two weeks, which would put him on track to return in late August or early September. It was originally thought that Familia would not be able to resume throwing until the end of June following surgery to correct a blood clot, so this is good news. The flame-throwing righty's ratios fell back a bit the last two years, but he's still got the skills to be an elite closer. Familia's exact return remains a question mark, though more information about his status should become available as he progresses in his recovery. 12-team Mixed: $11; 15-team Mixed: $22; 12-team NL: Owned

John Gant, Cardinals:
The Cardinals recalled the right-handed Gant this week. The 24-year-old made three starts in the minors this season, posting a solid 2.19 ERA but with a sub-optimal 1.32 WHIP, thanks in large part to too many walks. His strikeout numbers as a starter last year were nice (8.8 K/9), and in a relief role, his control issues should be somewhat minimized. With the Cardinals releasing Jonathan Broxton this week, Gant could get a long look in the Cardinals bullpen. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $1

Justin Grimm, Cubs:
Grimm was recalled from Triple-A Iowa on Monday, marking his third stint with the big club this season. The 28-year-old compiled a 7.52 ERA and 15:8 K:BB through 14.1 innings with the Cubs earlier in the season. Grimm wasn't used much in late inning, high leverage situations last year, and this year appears no different. Four of his last five outings have been for two innings or more. It seems unlikely he will find his way into late inning opportunities as a member of the Cubs. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $1

Brandon Maurer, Padres:
Maurer notched the last four saves for the Friars, so he's clearly “the guy” again in San Diego. What became evident during his rough patch is that he needs to do a better job of pitching inside to hitters, something that could be particularly effective with a fastball that can touch 98 mph. Throughout his career, Maurer has carried an unusually low LOB% (65.8), and his 2017 rates are even lower (53.7). Ultimately, he will need to become more effective in these situations to become a steady mid-tier closer. He should continue to have fantasy value as long as remains in the ninth-inning role despite his 5.48 ERA, but his job security is poor. 12-team Mixed: $18; 15-team Mixed: $25; 12-team NL: Owned

Adam Morgan, Phillies:
Morgan was brought up Saturday from Lehigh Valley to take the roster spot of Joaquin Benoit (knee), who landed on the disabled list. He provides a much-needed extra arm for an overused Phillies' bullpen. Morgan works in the low 90s with his fastball and does not have a true put-away pitch in his arsenal. He figures to pitch in long relief, like he did in his previous two stints with the club. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $1

Brandon Morrow, Dodgers:
Morrow had his contract purchased from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday to take the place of the injured Alex Wood. He's expected to pitch out of the bullpen for the big club and has been rounding into form lately with a 1.93 ERA in nine May, minor league games. In terms of stuff, Morrow still has an intriguing arsenal, boasting a fastball, cutter, slider and changeup while showing velocity in line with his previous career levels. Morrow's contract had an opt-out clause had he not joined the Dodgers by June 1, so this move may have less to do with Morrow's success in Triple-A and more to do with his contract. Still, the shoulder issues that plagued Morrow early in his career have not been an issue since his move to full-time relief, and he could prove himself useful after all. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $1



CATCHER

Elias Diaz, Pirates:
Diaz was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday to serve as the Pirates' backup catcher after Chris Stewart (hamstring) was forced to go on the disabled list. Diaz is better known for defense, but his offense has improved over his last several seasons of minor-league play. He'll likely head back to Triple-A once Stewart is ready to return from the disabled list, so don't make long-term plans with him. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $3

Tom Murphy, Rockies:
Murphy began a rehab assignment Saturday. He had been working out in extended spring training but only as a designated hitter. The Rockies haven't specified how many rehab games Murphy will play, but they'll likely reassess following each game. An improvement in Murphy's K:BB ratio would be more than welcome for the Rockies and fantasy owners alike, but there's no denying that Murphy's power is ready to take the stage in Denver. He still appears to be on track to return to the big club in mid-June. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $6; 12-team NL: $15

FIRST BASE

Wilmer Flores, Mets:
Flores has been remarkably solid lately versus right-handed pitching, which is affording him a bit more playing time at Jose Reyes's expense. Since being activated from the disabled list on May 3, Flores is 28-for-76 (.368) with 13 RBI. His skills are mixed-league worthy and his ability to play all four infield positions certainly doesn't hurt. A homer in Saturday's contents further erodes Jose Reyes' job security. He's now started five of the last six games, so look to ride his hot streak. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $10

SECOND BASE

Paul DeJong, Cardinals:
DeJong has seen more playing time with Kolten Wong on the disabled list. He became the 119th player in major league history to hit a home run in his first career at-bat, connecting for a solo shot off Rockies closer Greg Holland on just the second pitch he saw. DeJong does have some pop, but his aggressive style at the plate will quickly be exposed to big league pitching. You can play him now, but he's expected to return to the minors for further seasoning when Wong returns. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4

Phil Gosselin, Pirates:
Gosselin was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday as part of the moves that sent Alen Hanson and Gift Ngoepe down. He has the chops to play second or third, and he could fill in one of the corner outfield spots if called upon. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates have a few guys with that kind of versatility. There's a good chance that Gosselin's stay will be relatively short in Pittsburgh unless he shows something really significant. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $1

Howie Kendrick, Phillies:
Kendrick, who you may think of as a second baseman, has seen all of his playing time this year in the outfield. He could get even more time there if the Phils move Aaron Altherr to center and bench the struggling Odubel Herrera. With the team in serious need of offensive production, Kendrick should find himself in the lineup more often than not if he's keeps hitting. His value has always revolved around his ability to make contact, and he should be a boon to those looking to bolster their batting average. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $6; 12-team NL: Owned

Max Moroff, Pirates:
Moroff was added to the big club last Thursday to offer depth off the bench. His Triple-A numbers (.269/.385/.569 slash line, 13 HR, four SB) are much more impressive than his time earlier this season with the Pirates, where he went 1-for-9 with four strikeouts. Moroff has the ability to play all over the infield, but he's behind Adam Frazier on the depth chart, who can also make that claim. Still, as a second baseman with a little pop, he's someone to keep your eye on in deeper formats. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4

Eric Sogard, Brewers:
A popular free-agent signing amongst those who don't actually watch baseball, Sogard is sporting a Ruthian .390/.554/.634 slash line across his first 18 games. We expect his numbers to fall more in line with his career .244/.306/.324 averages (and you should too). Still, he is seeing time at multiple positions and could be a reasonable plugin while he's hot. Longer term, he doesn't have a path to an everyday role when all four of the Brewers regular infielders are at full strength and Ryan Braun has returned from the disabled list, so don't get your hopes up too high. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $3

Kelby Tomlinson, Giants:
With Michael Morse landing on the disabled list with a concussion, Tomlinson was recalled from Triple-A to provide some reinforcements from off the bench. Despite not being much of a prospect, Tomlinson has done nothing but hit anytime the Giants have called on him, boasting a .296 career batting average over 342 plate appearances. Despite the lack of power, his 2016 totals actually would have been valuable from a middle infielder if they were projected over the course of a full season. Tomlinson isn't expected to start this time around, so you may have to wait for his next call up if you're looking for a sneaky middle infield play. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $1

THIRD BASE

Johan Camargo, Braves:
Camargo was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday and will serve as bench depth for Atlanta. He's already been up and down this year, and his stay this time may be limited as well. The 23-year-old spent all last season at Double-A Mississippi, putting together a .267/.304/.379 line with four home runs, 43 RBI and 46 runs scored in 491 plate appearances. Not much to write home about and without a clear path to a significant big-league role, it's probably not worth your effort. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $1

Adonis Garcia, Braves:
Garcia was activated Friday and, after two straight starts against righties, it seems like he is back to being the Braves' primary third baseman. At 31, it is hard to imagine another step up for him statistically given the lack of any indicators at earlier levels. He has been worth negative 0.2 wins this season, so he could give way at any moment to Rio Ruiz (or whoever else the Braves can muster) with a prolonged cold streak at the plate. Playing time is easy to come by in Atlanta, but he should still be waiver wire fodder in most formats. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4

Martin Prado, Marlins:
Prado is still sidelined with a hamstring injury but will likely be back sometime this month. The veteran will hit for average when he returns and, assuming he remains high in the order, he will score some runs -- albeit tempered somewhat by a mediocre walk rate. It's been years since Prado was eligible at second, making his fantasy value at the hot corner somewhat limited. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $2; 12-team NL: $5


SHORTSTOP

Allen Cordoba, Padres:
Cordoba is seeing playing time recently in left field with Manuel Margot sidelined, and has been leading off for much of it. Since becoming a regular member of the starting lineup towards the end of May, Cordoba has been locked in at the plate, hitting .359 (14-for-39) over his last 10 games. With a great feel for the strike zone and strong base-stealing ability, Cordoba can be useful as a fantasy asset, but don't forget, he was pretty far down in the minors before his Rule 5 selection, so expect some lumps along the way. Still, the Padres see him as a "super utility" type who is equally comfortable at short and in center, so he could stay in there if he keeps hitting. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $2; 12-team NL: $5

Adeiny Hechavarria, Marlins:
Hechevarria could be back in as little as two weeks, but with the emergence of J.T. Riddle, he may find himself on the short side of a platoon. His calling cards in the past have been contact hitting and defense, and unfortunately for fantasy owners, one of those skills doesn't count. The Marlins will have a few weeks before having to make a decision, but there's a very real possibility Hechevarria's days of a full-time starter with the Marlins are over. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $3

J.T. Riddle, Marlins:
Riddle has played a lot with Adeiny Hechavarria out of the lineup, and his performance has earned more playing time even after Hechavarria's return. Ten of Riddle's 22 hits this year have gone for extra bases, and he's driven in 17 runs over just 93 plate appearances. He has always been a strong contact hitter, and his ability to play all over the infield and even dabbling a bit in the outfield makes him even more useful to the Fish. Riddle could be a sneaky play for owners looking for a shortstop on the cheap. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $2; 12-team NL: $4

OUTFIELD

Orlando Calixte, Giants:
Calixte was called up this week and is seeing playing time in center field and hitting at the top of the order. The 25-year-old was slashing .287/.331/.507 with eight homers and 11 stolen bases with Sacramento before being called. Calixte's realistic ceiling appears to be that of a utilityman, .507 minor-league slugging aside. Still, if he continues to hit, he could remain in the majors as a utility player even after Hunter Pence comes off the DL. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $2

Enrique Hernandez, Dodgers:
Hernandez has played several positions recently. He's eligible at third and outfield in leagues with a 10-game minimum, and it looks like shortstop won't be far behind. The 25-year-old has been heating up at the plate recently too, batting .270 (10-for-37) with two home runs and seven RBI over his last 14 games (nine starts). Although he doesn't offer a ton in terms of production at the plate, he may be worth a flier in deeper leagues, given his age and the fact that he has yet to be given a chance in a steady big-league role. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4

Patrick Kivlehan, Reds:
Kivlehan has been surprisingly productive this year when he finds his way into games. He was claimed off waivers from the Padres at the end of the 2016 season, then outrighted off the Reds' 40-man roster after the season. He has always been seen as a decent hitter, but (present stats notwithstanding), he may not pack the offensive punch to be a big-league regular. Every organization needs players like this, but the same cannot be said about most fantasy league teams. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $2

Starling Marte, Pirates:
Marte just passed the halfway point in his 80-game suspension, levied after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Prior to the suspension, he had a difficult time adjusting to center field and was batting just .241 with a .658 OPS. While his power numbers took a dip last year, he was all-around great, as it's hard to argue with a .311 batting average and 47 steals. PED stigma aside, Marte is a top-25 bat when firing on all cylinders and is an interesting buy-low candidate if for whatever reason he was cut. 12-team Mixed: $18; 15-team Mixed: $30; 12-team NL: Owned

Jose Martinez, Cardinals:
Martinez has been getting more playing time (along with Tommy Pham) since Randal Grichuk's demotion. He was a pleasant surprise at the plate in spring training and carried his hot bat over into the regular season, slashing .313/.353/.458 before the groin injury that forced him to miss 18 games. He's primarily on the squad as bench depth, but if he does land a more prominent role, the 6-foot-7 225-pound Martinez could help with home runs and stolen bases in deep leagues. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4

Daniel Nava, Phillies:
The Phils activated Nava from the disabled list Friday, where he had been recovering from a right hamstring strain. With a .419 on-base percentage over 74 plate appearances this season, Nava has looked more like the guy he was in 2013 with Boston, but he figures to see only occasional starts in the outfield corners moving forward. As a result, it is unlikely he produces well enough to be useful in mixed leagues. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $2

Austin Slater, Giants:
With the team struggling, the Giants have brought up the red-hot Slater (.322/.381/.460) from Triple-A, and he will be immediately plugged into the lineup in left field. The former infielder has spent all of his 2017 farm games in the outfield or at designated hitter. The Giants have a long track record of playing their prospects when they call them up, so expect some playing time here. Most scouting reports suggest his ceiling is that of a utility player or fourth outfielder, but his Triple-A numbers and clear avenue to playing time make him a worthwhile flyer in deep mixers and NL-only leagues. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $3; 12-team NL: $6

Michael Taylor, Nationals:
Since the injury to Adam Eaton, Taylor has been hot. He slashed .281/.330/.500 with four long balls and three stolen bases in May, and has carried that with him into the early going of June. Strikeouts have always been the story for Taylor since he broke into the league in 2014, and he's still striking out more than we'd like. His batting average is likely due for some regression given his 8:47 BB:K in 133 at-bats, but his power and speed should allow him to maintain fantasy value regardless. Even hitting towards the bottom of the order, Washington's offense is dangerous enough to supply plenty of run-producing opportunities, giving him a solid fantasy floor despite a 33.1 percent strikeout rate. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $10