Fantasy Baseball 2021: Streaming Options for Injured MLB Players for Week 6

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 7, 2021

Fantasy Baseball 2021: Streaming Options for Injured MLB Players for Week 6

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Nothing sends a fantasy baseball manager scrambling to the waiver wire faster than an injury.

    As soon as the ailment surfaces, you need roster relief.

    Maybe you just lost Dustin May to Tommy John surgery. Or Luis Robert to a hip flexor strain. Or Jesus Luzardo to a fractured pinkie (or, more specifically, video game frustrations).

    Injuries really are the worst.

    But fantasy baseball goes on, so let's spotlight three Week 6 streamers rostered in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo leagues, per FantasyPros.

Dylan Cease, SP, Chicago White Sox

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    Aaron Doster/Associated Press

    It's never easy to tell the right time to buy into a player's early-season success. Especially when said success isn't overwhelming.

    Look at Dylan Cease, for instance.

    He came into the campaign with a career 5.00 ERA and less than a strikeout per inning (8.6 per nine). So, fantasy managers didn't bother paying much attention when he opened this season by allowing three earned runs with three strikeouts in 4.2 innings. They showed similar indifference when he went consecutive starts with six strikeouts in 4.2 innings.

    But his last two outings should get him on the radar. First, he blanked the Detroit Tigers, allowing just three hits in seven innings. Then, he held an explosive Cincinnati Reds offense to one hit in six innings. Across the two starts, he had 20 strikeouts against three walks.

    Cease's roster percentage is about to skyrocket. He not only has the hot streak kept going for him, he's also lined up for two starts next week against the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals.

Hunter Dozier, 1B/3B/OF, Kansas City Royals

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Ever celebrated a slow start before? Hunter Dozier might be giving us a reason to.

    Two years ago, he was the talk of the fantasy world. In 2019, he piled up 65 extra-base hits with 26 homers over 139 games. He hit .279 with a .348 on-base percentage and had 159 combined runs and RBI.

    That's the kind of production that will play in even the shallowest of leagues. But he had a rough 2020—didn't we all?—so he needed a strong start to this season for fantasy managers to buy back in. That didn't happen. Through his first dozen games, he had a .128 average with a .209 OBP and one double for his only extra-base hit.

    But the switch flipped shortly thereafter.

    In his past 13 contests, he's hitting .229 with a .275 OBP, which admittedly isn't great, but it's a big jump nevertheless. More importantly, he has 11 extra-base hits with five home runs in this stretch. It also includes 11 of his 14 RBI and seven of his 10 runs scored this season. These numbers are all still climbing, too, as he has seven hits, three homers and 11 combined runs and RBI in just his last four games.

    With a seven-game week awaiting him, Dozier could do a lot of damage if this hot streak continues.

Raimel Tapia, OF, Colorado Rockies

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Power, speed and batting average.

    That's what every fantasy manager wants, and, in a perfect world, it might be what Raimel Tapia has to offer.

    It's an ultra-optimistic hope, as the 27-year-old has never previously produced double-digit steals or home runs, let alone both. But he did have nine of each in 2019, his first season in a regular role.

    He wasn't a daily starter back then. Now, he's not only a regular, he's usually in the leadoff spot for the Rockies. They might not have as much punch as they have in the past, but they still play their home games in the launching pad known as Coors Field. That's where all four of Tapia's homers have come so far.

    Impressively, though, he has a better batting average in 13 road games (.340) than his 17 at home (.290). He also has all three of his stolen bases outside of Colorado.

    He's still most intriguing at Coors—where the Rockies are scheduled for seven games next week—but he looks increasingly rosterable regardless of venue.