Three Up:

1. The Toronto Blue Jays’ Offense — I don’t think I have ever lumped an entire offense into the “Three Up” portion, but the Blue Jays’ offense deserves the nod this week. Outfielder Teoscar Hern√°ndez collected 13 hits and 10 RBIs this past week. Infielder Marcus Semien finished with four home runs and 12 RBIs. Infielder/outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. collected 10 hits and 12 RBIs. American League MVP candidate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit five home runs. This offense has performed all season long for fantasy owners, and it was on full display this past week.

2. Philadelphia Phillies Outfielder Bryce Harper — The 28-year-old is a top contender to win National League MVP, and fantasy owners are benefiting. Harper finished this past week with five home runs and is now hitting .307 with 32 home runs and 72 RBIs overall. It’s wild to think Harper may not even get to 100 RBIs, but if he’s not getting the opportunities to drive in runs, it’s hard to put much blame on the slugger.

3. Philadelphia Phillies Starting Pitcher Zack Wheeler — The Phillies have legit contenders for the MVP in Harper and Cy Young Award in Wheeler, yet are struggling to stay above .500. That’s hard to imagine, but in fantasy, we don’t care about that. Wheeler has been a stud all season and this past week, he allowed one earned run while striking out 17. The right-hander has a 2.86 ERA with an eye-popping 225 strikeouts this season.

Three Down:

1. Atlanta Braves Second Baseman Ozzie Albies — The second baseman only collected five hits while striking out seven times this past week. Albies is still having a strong season, as he’s batting .257 with 28 home runs and 94 RBIs. However, it’s been a rough September, as the second baseman is batting .225. However, it should be noted that he at least has provided power with five home runs.

2. Houston Astros Second Baseman Jose Altuve — The veteran only collected four hits this past week while striking out seven times. Altuve has had a decent September — he is hitting .297 — but August was rough with a .245 batting average. For the year, the second baseman is batting .274 with 27 home runs and 72 RBIs.

3. New York Yankees Shortstop Gleyber Torres — I’m not sure what has happened to a very talented player in Torres. The 24-year-old hit 62 home runs in his first two seasons, but he has combined for 10 during the last two. The slugging percentage is at a putrid .352 this season and there doesn’t seem to be any indication Torres will snap out of this funk. Torres is batting .252 with seven home runs and 45 RBIs in 2021. The infielder is too talented to be struggling like this, but he has now had two subpar years. The Yankees will have some difficult decisions to make in the offseason pertaining to Torres’ future as an everyday player.

Phil Backert

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