As you are starting to see your max bid dwindle down, finding those $1 buys can really round out your team. There are a great mix of safe floor plays for cheap, but also high upside plays where the $1 is well worth the risk. Time to dive into our fantasy baseball auction advice.
Anthony DeSclafani - SP - Cincinnati Reds
Anthony “Disco" DeSclafani threw 166 innings last season after coming back from injury in 2017. He had a 3.89 ERA and 4.30 xFIP, outperforming just a bit. Home runs have been an issue for him the last few seasons, and in a small ballpark that will likely continue. He did have a 24% strikeout rate, and has good command. His fastball and slider both had above average whiff rates, and his slider is what really took a step forward in 2019. His curveball also had a 38% whiff rate. He is a cheap option for some strikeouts.
Steven Matz - SP - New York Mets
Steven Matz dropped his sinker usage about 9% from 2018 to 2019. He really could go even further as it is a pitch that can get lit up at times. Matz is good for a 5th or 6th starter on a fantasy team, especially if you have the luxury of skipping a start or two of his. He was excellent at home where he had a 2.31 ERA, but a 6.62 ERA on the road. However, his ERA being that high was from three road starts. Matz can hover around being a strikeout per inning guy and sit around a 4.00 ERA.
A.J. Puk - SP - Oakland A's
In deeper leagues or AL only leagues, A.J. Puk is a name to keep an eye on. Unfortunately he missed the 2018 season with an injury, and had a few innings to get back on track in 2019. He projects to open up in the A's rotation. Puk has excellent strikeout stuff, can be a bit wild, but is a young and upcoming arm in this league. Puk can touch upper 90s on his fastball, and has a very strong slider and changeup. He also pitches in an above average pitchers park for his home games.
Chris Archer - SP - Pittsburgh Pirates
Here we go again… Chris Archer once again was a bit unlucky by his ERA estimators, which has been the case for a while now. His walk rate went up 3% from last season. He benefitted from PNC Park with a 3.92 ERA, but a 6.55 ERA on the road. His second half numbers were much more impressive, even though he had a 4.61 ERA. He had a 3.64 xFIP, 31% strikeout rate, 7.9% walk rate, and 1.10 HR/9. All were major improvements in the second half. He even had a .333 BABIP. The hard-contact dropped from 44% to 31%. Archer's success in the second half looks to be tied to his sinker usage which took a major dip.
Mychal Givens - RP - Baltimore Orioles
The stuff is there for Mychal Givens, as he posted a 33% strikeout rate last season. he downside is that his walk rate is still on the higher side where he creates some problems for himself. He was a bit unlucky allowing a 23% HR/FB, and had a 3.62 xFIP. Givens has excellent whiff rates on all three of his pitches, and a strong fastball.
Omar Narvaez - C - Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers let Yasmani Grandal walk, and made an excellent signing with Omar Narvaez. He hit 22 homers in Seattle last season, alongside a .353 OBP. He is a strong contact hitter, and will take his walks as well. He had a 119 wRC+ and 122 over the last two seasons. It is a great fit in Milwaukee, which is a better park upgrade.
C.J. Cron - 1B - Detroit Tigers
For a guy who has hit 55 home runs over the last two seasons, C.J. Cron is getting overlooked. While he moved to Detroit this offseason, he has produced fantasy viable numbers just about everywhere he has gone. He has in the 82nd percentile in hard-contact, and the 91st percentile in xSLG. His hard-contact took a big jump, and he should be hitting in the middle of the order in 2020.
J.D. Davis - 3B/OF - New York Mets
J.D. Davis flat out mashes baseballs. He had a 47% hard-contact rate and his average exit velocity was over 91 mph. He was in the 90th percentile or higher in every expected stat and hard-contact rate. Look for Davis to bring 20+ home run upside, strong on-base numbers and chip in with solid run and RBI numbers. Davis has eligibility at 3B and in the OF. He is a great fit for your fantasy teams.
Wil Myers - 1B/OF - San Diego Padres
Wil Myers had a combined 48 steals and 58 home runs in 2016 and 2017, had an injury plagued 2018, struggled in 2019, and is now basically free in 2020. Myers has been around the game for a while, but is still just 29 years old. HIs hard-contact was still over 40% last season, and he barreled up balls at a five-year high. Myers still offers 20/20 upside, and if he stays healthy, he can hit that mark this season.
Justin Upton - OF - Los Angeles Angels
The Angels went after it this offseason, adding Anthony Rendon, and trading for Joc Pederson. Justin Upton is expected to hit 5th in a strong lineup, projecting for 25+ home runs and 75+ RBI. Upton turns 33 this year, and is coming off a season where he was limited to just 63 games. He has hit 30 home runs in the prior seasons, and expect him back closer to that number. His average is likely to float around .250 which isn't great, but he is a power bat going for very little right now.