The stretch run is here in fantasy baseball as we try to hold on to first place or make a push to get near the top of the standings. We’re always looking for players that will help in multiple categories, but it becomes more difficult this late in the year. In March, we try to avoid players who will only help in one category, but if we need a boost in any particular category, it’s a fine strategy during the final few weeks.

Waiver-Wire Targets:

Colorado Rockies Infielder Brendan Rodgers — The talent has always been there for the infielder, but health has been the biggest issue. After missing the first month and a half of the season due to injury, Rodgers has been a consistent performer. The 25-year-old is having a strong August. He’s batting .356 with eight runs scored this month. The power hasn’t been there this month, but he does have nine home runs overall. We love targeting hitters who play at Coors Field, but Rodgers is actually more productive in the power department away from Colorado (he has seven home runs on the road). Rodgers can be a nice depth add with some upside for fantasy owners.

Colorado Rockies Infielder/Outfielder Connor Joe — Can we run it back with another hitter on the Rockies? Yes, we can and Joe is a fine target this late in the season. The 29-year-old is a late bloomer and like Rodgers is having a strong August. He has hit five home runs this month. Another intriguing factor for Joe is where he’s hitting in the lineup for the Rockies. He has been batting leadoff, which is prime position for fantasy production because he will accumulate more at-bats than anyone else in the lineup.

Texas Rangers Reliever Joe Barlow — The ability to add a pitcher who can earn saves this late in the season is big and that’s exactly what Barlow can provide. The right-hander earned two saves the last couple of weeks and was trusted in a tie game in extra innings. Barlow has a 1.08 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 16.2 innings pitched. The issue with Barlow is that he pitches for a bad team. However, he’s still worth an add because he has pitched well and should pick up a few saves along the way.

Kansas City Royals Infielder Nicky Lopez — The 26-year-old provides an enormous stolen-base upside this late in the season. Lopez has stolen seven bases in the month of August and has 15 for the season. Lopez has been slotted all over the lineup, but there are times he bats near the top which adds to his appeal. There won’t be any power, but we’re targeting the infielder for his ability to swipe bases. This is a nice late-season target if you need a final push to hold off your competition or make a run in the stolen-base category.

Phil Backert

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