Five Fantasy Baseball Players You Just Have to Have

While fantasy football is a sprint, fantasy baseball is more of a marathon.  As such, fantasy baseball managers often break up the monotony of a long season by changing up their fantasy baseball team names or swapping out members of their team roster.

In fantasy baseball, there are also a lot more players from which to find those valuable hidden gems that can make the difference between finishing in second place and bringing home the league trophy.

With that in mind, here are five fantasy baseball players that we highly recommend at this point in the season—all of whom are likely available in your league.

No. 5 – Mark Ellis, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers

Need run production on your fantasy baseball roster?  What if we told you that the No. 11 run producer in MLB is only owned in 9 percent of Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues?  Through May 13, Ellis’ 25 runs scored are among the best in all of baseball.  He won’t do a whole lot for the rest of your stat line with just one homer, 7 RBI, and three stolen bases, but his .272 average won’t kill your team, either.

No. 4 – Jonathan Lucroy, C, Milwaukee Brewers

Did you just lose Wilson Ramos for the season to a torn ACL?  If you did, or if you’re looking to upgrade your current catcher, take a gander at Lucroy.  He’s only owned in 29 percent of Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues, despite batting .326 with 8 runs, two home runs, and 16 RBI through May 13.  Ramos was at .265-11-3-10 before suffering his injury.

No. 3 – Raul Ibanez, OF, New York Yankees

It seems like Ibanez has been around since the days of Ty Cobb, but even at the age of 103 (actually, he’ll turn 40 on June 2), he’s still quietly putting together some fine statistics:  a .273 average, 10 runs, 7 taters, 21 RBI, and two stolen bases through May 13.  Only owned in 27 percent of Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues, he is probably better than at least one of your current fantasy baseball outfielders.

No. 2 – James McDonald, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates

In each of four of McDonald’s seven starts this season, he has allowed only a single earned run.  In his last four starts, he has struck out 8, 7, 10, and 8 batters.  He has won two of his last three starts.  He has an ERA of 2.42 and a WHIP of 1.03 through May 13.  And he’s only owned in 24 percent of Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues.  Interested?

No. 1 – Chris Johnson, 3B, Houston Astros

Johnson is currently available in 65 percent of Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues, but don’t expect that availability to remain the same much longer.  Pounce on him now!  Through May 13, Johnson is batting .300 and has scored 15 runs, hit 4 homers, batted in 20 runs, and stolen two bases.  As shallow as the 3B position is, you don’t want to let Johnson sit there in free agency much longer.