Market Pulse looks at the movers each week in respective markets as we search for potential buying opportunities. The data is taken from CBS Sports, which features primarily first come, first served free agent acquisition leagues, providing us with some insight as to player movement over the past week leading up to the Sunday waiver deadline in weekly leagues. Of course, depending on the parameters of your league, further investigation of every player is strongly encouraged. Click on the provided links for additional information and deeper analysis from our crack staff. Also, please note that, as the season progresses, players who have been steadily rising or falling may have had additional commentary that still applies written up in recent columns, so you may benefit from perusing the Market Pulse archives.

Column designations include...

  • OWN: Ownership percentage prior to last weekend
  • CHG: Ownership percentage change since then, heading into the current weekend
  • RT: The author's general rating for each player as follows:

+ = BUY: potentially profitable stock for your portfolio, further research strongly recommended for possible acquisition, depending on league parameters

o = WATCH: put on your radar for potential acquisition, depending on needs & league parameters

 = SELL: dead money, odds of helping cause extremely limited



As the All-Star break gives us a breather, it's a good time to take stock of your team's status for the second half push. Where do you need reinforcements? Where do you have surplus? Bid aggressively for players who might shore up weakness, while formulating trade offers to trade excess for helpful pieces. We're barely past the halfway mark, still plenty of time to make a move, so let's see what we can find among this week's market movers...



These are the "hot" stocks, the players who are being most added. If you have a chance to jump on board and grab these players in your league, you should probably consider it, though we will try to point out who you should let slide by, or at least approach with caution.

Over 25% Ownership (Possibly Still Available in Shallow Leagues)
  Willy Adames (SS, MIL) 50% 18% + Continues to provide solid production since joining Mil
  Zach Thompson (P, MIA) 45% 16% + Showing no signs of letting up from fabulous debut
  55% 14% Generating just enough hope to break your heart
  Vidal Brujan (2B, TB) 40% 14% + Yo-yo may get chance to stick if he shows he's ready
  Drew Smyly (LHP, ATL) 37% 13% Even normally dependable K rate beginning to wane
  Kike Hernandez (2B,BOS) 29% 11% + Multi-pos eligibility, playing solid D in everyday role
  Hunter Renfroe (OF, BOS) 57% 10% + Quietly on pace for career-best season
  Joe Ross (RHP, WAS) 57% 10% o Hot stretch halted by "minor"(?) elbow inflammation
  Merrill Kelly (RHP, ARI) 31% 10% o Posting better numbers since calendar flipped to June

Vidal Bruján (2B-OF, TB)—While the excitement about his potential is real, the concern about his immediate opportunity should not be any less. Though the demotion following his debut lasted only one day, Bruján found his name left off the starting lineup each of his first two games back in the big leagues. With the constant machinations of the Rays, it may be tough to get a quick gauge on his usage. Bruján is likely still worth an add in most formats. Just beware there is substantial risk to the immediate return.

Under 25% Ownership (Possibly Still Available in Deeper Leagues)
  8% 37% + Impressing in first big league opportunity
  Gavin Sheets (1B, CWS) 4% 19% + Immediately gained starting role after late-Jun call-up
  Ranger Suarez (RHP, PHI) 3% 15% + Higher leverage role quickly morphed into new closer
  Jace Peterson (OF, MIL) 1% 15% + Utilityman providing offensive boost
  Eric Haase (C, DET) 21% 11% o Streaky-type hitter running hot again
  Kolby Allard (P, TEX) 19% 11% + Showing signs of growth
  Chad Green (RHP, NYY) 16% 10% + Thriving as hot hand at back end of bullpen
  Jose Suarez (P, LAA) 3% 10% o Strong long-relief work earning him shot in rotation
  Elias Diaz (C, COL) 2% 10% + Red hot of late, working back from massive slump
  Wily Peralta (P, DET) 1% 10% + Likely not suddenly this good but possibly useful piece

Tylor Megill (RHP, NYM)—While it may be the unusual spelling of his first name that initially draws attention, Megill has quickly garnered interest from people who don't even know his name. With a plus fastball complemented by solid-and-improving secondary stuff, Megill has shown the ability to miss bats while maintaining solid control. Though he failed to capture a win over his first three starts, Megill has shown enough to keep getting the ball for the Mets and fantasy owners should be gaining similar confidence.



These are the players who are being dropped the most, many of which have meaningful reasons for being let go. Sometimes, however, the market may be overreacting and some nice profits can be made by the forward-looking owner who buys when everyone else is selling.

Over 50% Ownership (Possibly Becoming Available in Shallow Leagues)
  54% -20% Slow start at AAA makes him a tough hold
  61% -13% Shoulder surgery final crushing blow to dashed 2021
  98% -8% o Went from power binge to hammy blowout
  82% -8% o Franco arrival cutting into PT
  97% -7% o Knee surgery discouraging but hope remains
  Kolten Wong (2B, MIL) 73% -7% + Quick return from calf strain likely
  C.J. Cron (1B, COL) 54% -6% o Value could be impacted by trade winds
  Marco Gonzales (LHP, SEA) 54% -6% o Not as bad as surface stats, but still pretty bad
  92% -5% o Tabbed for return shortly after ASB
  91% -5% o Slump has coincided with some bad H% luck

Kolten Wong (2B, MIL)—It would seem that it would have to be only the shallowest of leagues in which Wong would be getting cut in the wake of suffering mild calf "tightness," thought it was admittedly a recurrence or aggravation of the same injury that knocked him out for four games immediately prior. Still, the 30-year old is in the midst of arguably his best season and would seem to be worth granting a little patience. With a pending return just after the All-Star break, Wong would seem to be a viable asset worth targeting in most formats.

Under 50% Ownership (Possibly Becoming Available in Deeper Leagues)
  William Contreras (C,ATL) 36% -12% Not-ready youngster sent back for more seasoning
  Hector Neris (RHP, PHI) 49% -11% o Bad luck w/HR part of reason for slump
  48% -11% Bounced from rotation, not faring much better in pen
  Sam Long (LHP, SF) 34% -11% o Back injury could put rotation spot in jeopardy
  Jose Alvarado (LHP, PHI) 40% -10% Blow-up risk not likely worth meager SV reward
  David Peterson (P, NYM) 33% -10% Serious oblique injury could shelve him until Sept
  Matt Manning (RHP, DET) 41% -9% o Will stay on schedule but still work-in-progress
  Griffin Canning (RHP,LAA) 30% -8% o Could earn quick recall if performance dictates
  Caleb Smith (P, ARI) 38% -6% High-risk K source, don't say you weren't warned
  Abraham Toro (3B, HOU) 30% -6% o 3B PT opp could quickly dry up following ASB



Just as the early bird gets the worm, the best way to gain an edge on the competition is by grabbing an emerging asset before the buying stampede begins. Here we consider lightly owned players who are just beginning to move in the market. These players may be especially useful considerations in deeper leagues.

Players Who May Just Be Appearing on Radar, Depending on League Size/Format
  Jake Burger (3B, CWS) 2% 9% o May be quick trip but definitely worth monitoring
  Heath Hembree (P, CIN) 0% 8% + Suddenly emerged to take over closing duties
  Scott Barlow (RHP, KC) 14% 7% o Future value ranges from closer to trade candidate
  Paul Sewald (RHP, SEA) 1% 6% + Has transformed into K machine w/pitch mix change
  Eric Lauer (LHP, MIL) 7% 5% o MIL keeps giving him the ball despite inconsistency
  Zack Collins (C, CWS) 3% 5% + Golden opportunity to prove his worth
  Anthony Bender (P, MIA) 2% 5% + Quickly becoming very high-leverage bullpen piece
  Matt Moore (LHP, PHI) 3% 3% Was Hail Mary 2-start gamble for past week
  Orlando Arcia (UTIL, ATL) 3% 2% + Rewarded with recall and fitting in nicely
  Jake Rogers (C, DET) 2% 2% Bulk of value comes from defensive production
  Ben Gamel (OF, PIT) 1% 2% o Hot streak + injuries = more PT opp
  John Hicks (C, TEX) 0% 2% o Has some offensive upside if he gets PT

Orlando Arcia (SS-3B-OF, ATL)—A former top prospect at shortstop, Arcia found himself traded to Atlanta and immediately demoted to the minors following a 1-for-11 start with Milwaukee. Rather than pout, however, the still-only-26-year-old Arcia went to work getting his game back together. After a first half in which he posted a fine .303/.380/.552 line at Triple-A, Arcia was rewarded with a July 4 recall. He immediately started four games in left field, providing multi-hit performances in two of them. A plus defender at both SS and 3B, Arcia has plenty of paths to playing time if he continues to wield a productive bat.

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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.