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Monday 18th Dec 2017

I don't know about you, but I like to draft teams where I have as many solid everyday guys at as many positions as possible. Of course we all want starters and production up and down our squads but I tend to play in very deep leagues, and mostly auctions, so it is standard to need the services of Josh Phegley and Michael Tonkin.

In fact, at present six of my LABR guys and five on my Tout squad are indeed on the DL, so I am actively playing the FAAB game where the player pool is lean. Still, there are always those guys hanging out there who can help, so let's peek at a few.

It has taken Robbie Grossman a bit to get the hang in the Majors, but he managed a .379 OBP, 131 steals, and 519 runs over 763 minor league games. And, it has taken a few teams, but Grossman has settled in with the Twins and is among the Major League Leaders in OBP with a .460 supported by a .306-1-8, and is owned on just 6.8% of ESPN teams.

Oakland's Jaff Decker was drafted in the first round of the 2008 June fete by the Padres, and now on his fourth team, Decker might well have finally settled in to take advantage of those same skills that made him a top selection. With Rajai Davis hurting, and the Oakland outfield interesting, but spotty at best, Decker has stepped up, playing all three outfield slots while hitting .273-0-1 with a steal and a .407 OBP.

Across the bay, in San Francisco, Jarrett Parker is out for a chunk of time, and with Mac Williamson going to rehab, he becomes a good gamble to fill in while Parker rehabs his broken clavicle. Williamson hit .286-61-247 over 372 minor league games and did belt seven homers with the big club over limited playing time the last couple of years.

One more outfielder on the outskirts who could be of some help is the Reds' Scott Schebler. The former Dodger turned in solid bench totals last year, hitting .265-0-40 over 82 games, and has banged four big flies this year, playing yo-yo between the Reds and the Minors. Expect Schebler to stick with the Reds despite the early struggles and contribute accordingly, and that means value in a deeper league.

Chris Devenski has a win, a save, a 1.35 ERA, a 0.60 WHIP, and 25 whiffs over 13.3 innings. No matter what league or format you are in, this guy needs a look. If you doubt me, look at his 2016 numbers.

In Los Angeles, Cam Bedrosian is on the DL, while aging Huston Street is maybe coming off. Enter Blake Parker, who saved a game for the Yankees last year and has pitched well out of the pen this season, with 12 whiffs over 8.3 innings, a hold, a loss, a 3.24 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. He is worth a FAAB gamble.

With the demotion of Raul Mondesi, Jr., Whit Merrifield was brought back and has a solid chance to hang onto the starting second base gig for the rest of the season. Merrifield hit a solid .283-2-29 with eight swipes last year, and came back to hit .263-1-2 thus far over five games since his return. I like this guy, especially in AL-only formats. 

Finally, last year the Jays' Darwin Barney played a solid fill-in role, and now with Toronto scrapping, and Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson out, Barney should get a nice run of playing time. Barney hit .269-4-19 last year with 35 runs, and played second, third, short, and the outfield, making him a versatile roster member, again likely in a deep league, but still of value.

Don't forget you can hit me up @lawrmichaels.

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