Week 10 has been riddled with injuries, affecting not just minor players but many key contributors. With two full slates of games remaining before we enter the second half of the season, the impact of these injuries is significant. Thankfully, most injuries don't appear to be long-term, but in the short term their absence could still pose challenges for fantasy teams.

Last Friday, Arizona starter Zac Gallen suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain. While he hasn't quite been his All-Star self, his 3.12 ERA has been solid. Fortunately, he seems on track to return after the minimum stay on the 15-day IL, promising a swift comeback to bolster our lineups. In other pitching injury news, Baltimore starter Jack Flaherty was removed in his most recent start on Tuesday after throwing five scoreless innings. Flaherty has been outstanding this season with an 11-to-1 K ratio, striking out 33.5% of the batters he's faced. Hopefully this was more of a precaution and nothing serious.

On the hitting side of things, Astros OF Kyle Tucker has yet to play since fouling a ball off his shin earlier this week, Rangers SS Corey Seager left Wednesday night’s game against the Tigers after experiencing left hamstring tightness, and perhaps worst of all – Yankees OF Juan Soto was removed from Thursday’s win against the Twins with left forearm “discomfort.” An MRI of Soto’s forearm showed only inflammation, but this is news we never want to hear. Only time will tell how long he will be sidelined, but he'll be out of Friday’s opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers at the very least – a crushing blow for the Yanks.

As always, we’ll do our best to cure your fantasy ails by offering some intriguing options to consider. As per usual, for a hitter to qualify for this list, he must be less than – or around – 50% owned in Yahoo! Leagues. Additionally, a player will only appear on this list more than once if they continue to rake from weeks prior. Let’s get into it!


Jonathan India, 2B - Cincinnati Reds (55% Owned)

Cincinnati 2B Jonathan India continues to swing a hot bat and won't qualify for this list much longer if he keeps up this pace. India is 22-for-76 over his last 24 games (.289 average) with 16 walks. When I wrote about him last week, he was batting .222, and the average is now up to .244 in just one week – a significant increase if we consider he’s at 193 at-bats on the year.

In turn, his xBA has gone up, now sitting at .276. India has also markedly improved in the K:BB department over last season. While he’s still batting in the bottom third of the order, I expect that to change over the coming days. He’s a really nice add right now, and the counting stats should continue to rise if he begins to hit higher in the Reds batting order.


TJ Friedl, OF - Cincinnati Reds (53% Owned)

Cincinnati's bats are beginning to heat up! OF TJ Friedl has been on fire since returning from his second IL stint this season. He’s in the midst of a five-game hit streak, going 6-for-19 with three extra-base hits, six runs, and seven RBI. Friedl isn’t the speediest of ball players – with just a 29th-percentile sprint speed – but he’s chipped in two steals since his return to the lineup.

Like his teammate listed above, Friedl is also underperforming in terms of batting average, with an xBA 28 points higher than his .220 average. Through 14 games on the year he’s striking out less than India, but not walking as much. On a positive note, he does currently sport a solid 9.8% BB rate, and don’t forget that he hit .279 last year. Additionally, his BABIP is currently relatively low (.243).


Joey Ortiz, 2B/3B - Milwaukee Brewers (50% Owned)

This will mark the third time Brewers IF Joey Ortiz has made this list, and with his roster percentage at 50%, it might be the last. Ortiz has been excellent in his first stint with the Brewers, and his batting average continues to climb – up to .288 over 156 at-bats. Not only that, but he’s been a walk-machine, boasting impressive plate discipline – something I always look for when evaluating players.

In what has been a bit of a breakout for the 25-year-old, Ortiz is batting .302 (29-for-96) over his last 30 games, walking more (16) than he’s struck out (15). With another increase in ownership, he won’t qualify for this column.


Ceddanne Rafaela, SS/OF - Boston Red Sox (44% Owned)

Boston OF Ceddanne Rafaela has had a rough go of it for most of the season but has really turned things around over the last week or so. After an apparent tweak to his swing mechanics, Rafaela put together the first multi-homer game of his career. Then, a few days later, he showed out with a four-hit game, all singles. Even though this game raised his BA, does it make him now roster worthy?

While his overall season line is still quite uninspiring (.215 /.243/.374), over his last 16 games he’s gone 16-for-58 (.276) while being somewhat serviceable in the steals column. While expectations need to be tempered, Rafaela is more of a speculative add in category leagues – unless you’re a Seager owner –  and he's someone you might want to avoid in points leagues if you’re worried about strikeouts (26.8 K%).


Mark Vientos, 1B/3B - New York Mets (40% Owned)

Mets 1B/3B Mark Vientos has been superb against lefties so far on the year, mashing .406 with an eye-popping 1.286 OPS. While he hasn’t been as good against righties, he’s still batting .333 across his first 74 plate appearances. He might be a bit over his head, but Statcast has him pegged for a .281 xBA while improving his plate discipline, an encouraging sign.

Vientos has cut his strikeout rate 10 points from a year ago to 20.3% and has nearly doubled his BB% (9.6%). However, perhaps the most enticing part of his profile is that he’s presumably locked down an everyday role in the hot corner for the Mets, as Brett Baty has recently been demoted. Vientos' .362 BABIP is probably unsustainable, but he’s absolutely locked in at the dish and worthy of our consideration.

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Deep League Options

Brendan Rodgers, 2B - Colorado Rockies (8% Owned)

The former third-overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft hasn’t entirely lived up to offensive expectations, but Colorado 2B Brendan Rodgers is putting together a solid season this year. If his .273 average holds, it will easily be the highest of his career. His BABIP (.344) is a smidge high, but his average aligns with his Statcast xBA of .273, so I have no qualms with scooping him up if you need some stability in that area. Encouragingly, he’s registering a hard-hit ball 45.8% of the time – five ticks up from his percentage in 2023. He’s still batting in the heart of the Rockies order and has racked up eight RBI in his last seven games.


Dominic Smith, 1B - Boston Red Sox (1% Owned)

Boston 1B Dom Smith has shown flashes of fantasy viability before and is doing so again in 2024. He’s walking at the highest rate of his career (10.7%) and has been on fire over the last two weeks. In fact, over those 41 at-bats, Smith has accrued 68% of his total fantasy points on the season. He’s got two doubles and two home runs in that span and walked more than he has struck out – 9:5.


Enmanuel Valdez, 2B - Boston Red Sox (1% Owned)

Red Sox 2B Enmanuel Valdez doesn’t have a full-time role in the lineup, but he’s 7-for-21 since getting called back up and seems like a man on a mission. Valdez is amid a five-game hit streak and has five extra-base hits in that span, accruing a pair of two-baggers and three longballs. Impressively, he struck out just once during that time, and his hard-hit ball rate improved 11 points from a season ago (44.6%).


Pitching/Streaming Options

Tylor Megill, New York Mets (19/46% Yahoo/CBS)

Aside from allowing five runs – and notching his first win – against the Nationals this past Monday, Mets starter Tylor Megill has been a solid contributor. Before that, he hadn’t let up more than two runs in any outing. That run included an astounding start against the Dodgers in which he pitched seven innings, racking up nine strikeouts and giving up just one free pass – blanking LA’s lineup while allowing just three hits. Megill gets two nice matchups this week against the Marlins and Padres – two bottom-half teams in MLB when it comes to runs per game. Also, the Mets have been better lately in terms of run support, so if they stay hot Megill has a good chance of  adding two more wins to his overall total.


JP Sears, Oakland Athletics - (13/32% Yahoo/CBS)

Oakland starter JP Sears has been up and down on the year but has pitched extremely well of late. He will line up against the Padres in Petco and have his second matchup in Minnesota this week. While facing the Twins presents a bit tougher of a draw, I really like the way his Statcast page is trending.

It's tough to trust the A’s to give him much run support, and the strikeouts aren’t always there, but he’s been a pleasant surprise over the last few weeks and I’m still willing to roll with him – especially during a week in which he gets two starts.


Miles Mikolas, St. Louis Cardinals (8/28% Yahoo/CBS)

Like Sears, Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas has also pitched very well recently. Mikolas hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a start since May 12th, and he’s collected four quality starts in that span (three straight). This includes an outing against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. He won’t have nearly as tough a matchup this week, as he’ll square off against the Pittsburgh Pirates at home and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. While he will have to go toe-to-toe with rookie sensation Paul Skenes, the Buccos’ lineup isn’t too formidable. As a result Mikolas has a great chance at continuing his quality start streak.


Joey Estes, Oakland Athletics (4/11% Yahoo/CBS)

I'm also advocating for Oakland starter Joey Estes this week for many of the same reasons I like his rotation mate JP Sears. He’ll get the same matchups as Sears (the Padres and Twins), and also have the same problems with his lineup supporting him with runs.  However, Estes has been better than Sears, and needs to be regarded in a similar fashion.

The #11 overall prospect for the A’s has settled down after a few rough starts, allowing just one run on three hits in his last 11 1/3 innings. During that period, he's struck out ten and given up just two walks. Fire up this A’s duo confidently – something I never thought I would say.


In conclusion, Week 11 offers a mix of opportunities and challenges for fantasy baseball managers. With a slew of high-profile injuries from Week 10, the importance of strategic player acquisitions is heightened as we approach the second half of the season. Despite setbacks like Zac Gallen's hamstring strain and Jack Flaherty's removal from his last start, their promising returns are encouraging for fantasy lineups. The hitting landscape also sees its share of disruptions, with key players like Kyle Tucker, Corey Seager, and Juan Soto sidelined. However, this opens the door for other talents to shine. Players like Jonathan India, TJ Friedl, Joey Ortiz, and Mark Vientos present strong waiver options, while deep league targets such as Brendan Rodgers, Dominic Smith, and Enmanuel Valdez offer potential value. On the pitching front, Tylor Megill, JP Sears, Miles Mikolas, and Joey Estes provide solid streaming options. Stay proactive in managing your roster, leveraging these insights to navigate the injury-laden week and bolster your chances of success!