A handful of guys who were very under-the-radar heading into the 2013 campaign are starting the season off very strong, but it seems that aren’t owned in nearly as many leagues as they should be. These under-owned guys, at least in my eyes, need to be picked up in more fantasy leagues. Whether or not they will be as relevant down the road remains to be seen, but as of right now, they are producing and need to be on most rosters.
Note: All owner percentages are based on Yahoo! leagues
Vernon Wells, New York Yankees (47%): With an injury-ridden Yankees lineup, the veteran Wells has been a big part of the offense thus far. Through 18 games, Wells is batting a strong .296 with five home runs (7th in AL) and nine RBI. Starting outfielder Curtis Granderson may be targeting a May return, but I’m not sold that Wells will instantly become an afterthought in the Yankees’ lineup. If owners need some pop on their roster, Wells is a strong candidate. Despite being 34-years old, Wells still has the power and speed to produce strong fantasy numbers. He’s out there in more than half of leagues.
Chris Carter, Houston Astros (23%): One of my underrated Astros’ bats, Carter is the definition of pop. A dual-eligible guy who Houston believes can breakout and hit upwards to 20 home runs, Carter has five through 21 games this season. He will hurt fantasy owners with the batting average a bit, but again, if you need pop, Carter is widely available. I’m not saying he should be universally owned by any means, especially in shallow leagues. But in a deeper format, where owners are struggling in the home run department, Carter may be worth a look. I just don’t believe 23 percent is high enough to dictate Carter’s strong start.
Jean Segura, Milwaukee Brewers (68%): I have been high on Segura for a while now, and he is making my fantasy man crush for him look good. Through 19 contests, Segura is doing a bit of everything, batting a ridiculous .356 (4th in NL), one home run, four RBI and six stolen bases (1st in NL). Segura has swiped at least one bag in five of his last six games, and is a safe bet for at least 25 this season. The 23-year old talent is progressing as a hitter this season and is usually batting second in a very strong Brewers’ lineup. 68 percent may seem like a lot, but when you consider how weak the shortstop position is in fantasy, I believe Segura is the real deal and needs to be close to universally owned.
Domonic Brown, Philadelphia Phillies (24%): This is a bit of a personal preference for me, but Dom Brown has the skill and potential to be a star. We’ve heard this time and time again, but I am very high on Brown. Sure, I may be a Phillies fan, but despite a rather slow start, I still strongly believe that the 25-year old is poised for a breakout campaign. Batting 5th or 6th for the most part, the Phillies offense will start to get it going sooner rather than later, and Brown will be a big reason why. He has great power and will remain in the lineup, barring injury. Don’t forget, he was absolutely raking this past Spring and is still young. Give him a chance and he will make it worth your while. And if he doesn’t, well, yeah…
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.