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Fantasy baseball: Don’t wait for Aaron Judge and be urgent

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Usually when the calendar flips to September, fantasy baseball owners get to breathe a sigh of relief. The trade deadline has passed, a five-month grind is in the rear-view mirror, and all that is left now is a small handful of tweaks to carry them to the end. If only it was that easy right now.

Unfortunately, races are tighter than ever and every at-bat becomes critical with regard to your place in the standings. With barely three weeks left, any hot streak can vault you up the standings just as fast as a cold spell can drop you to the bottom.

If you haven’t jettisoned the stragglers from your roster yet, understand there is no tomorrow, and waiting around for Aaron Judge to save you is an exercise in futility. You need productive bats right now, and it doesn’t matter where you get them.

If it is power you need, September has seen some sluggers many continue to overlook or dismiss for reasons who shouldn’t be all that concerning this time of the year. Braves outfielder Adam Duvall had a huge game against the Marlins recently, and many dismiss him because the majority of his September production came in just two games. But those two games were three-homer games seven days apart. In between, he popped two more. Yes, he strikes out too much, but over the next three weeks, those homers will do more for you than the whiffs will detract.

People are overlooking the Red Sox, who currently sit in last place of the AL East, but have you noticed rookie call-up Bobby Dalbec, who has homered now in five-straight games? That 41.7 percent strikeout rate would be abominable if this was May or June, but with three weeks to go, swing away, Bobby. Swing away.

Aaron Judge
Aaron JudgeCharles Wenzelberg/New York Post

If power is not your priority, and you’re hoping for some speed and batting average help, you can take a long look at Tigers infielder Jeimer Candelario, who has slashed an impressive .432/.512/.784 with three home runs and one stolen base over 11 games in September. He is drawing almost as many walks as he is striking out (6-8), and he has multi-hit games in five of his past six. Even better is that he qualifies at both first and third base, so you have some added roster flexibility.

There is no need to worry about from where you are accruing stats right now. It doesn’t matter if the team is in first place or last place. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never heard of the player before. What matters is that he is playing regularly and is posting decent numbers. No one cares who won it for you, just so long as you win.

Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at Fantasy-Alarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 6-8 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy baseball advice.



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