The trade market is the fastest way to improve your roster and weaken the competition at the same time. Smart owners should immediately send offers for the five players listed below, and then watch their teams soar up the standings.
Starling Marte, outfielder (Pirates): Some fantasy owners have not yet noticed, but the 26-year-old has become a first-round talent. Conceivably, Marte could finish the season as a 30-30 player, with a .300 batting average and more than 90 runs and RBIs. Because he hits in the heart of the Bucs lineup, the outfielder is in the perfect spot to maximize the production from his diverse skill set. Owners who seek a stud hitter should avoid trade talks for the likes of Giancarlo Stanton or Adam Jones, and target Marte at a lesser cost.
Evan Gattis, designated hitter (Astros): At times, fantasy owners will miss the forest for the trees by getting overly focused on a single statistic. Gattis is hitting .187, but he is on pace to tally roughly 30 homers and 90 RBIs, which would make him one of the most productive catcher-eligible players. The power pace is sustainable for the 28-year-old, who could push his batting average closer to his career .242 mark. Smart owners will talk up his batting-average woes, and add Gattis at a discount.
Victor Martinez, designated hitter (Tigers): Martinez may be a buy-low option who pays off during the second half of the campaign. Because the 36-year-old has struggled considerably this season and is now set for an extended stay on the disabled list, his owners are likely willing to deal him away for a small return. Martinez -- who batted .335 with 32 homers and 103 RBIs a year ago -- could be a productive hitter after using the extended layoff to rehab his ailing knee.
A.J. Ramos, reliever (Marlins): Fantasy owners typically look for three things in a closer -- saves, strikeouts and low ratios. Ramos is set to deliver excellent results in all three areas after taking over for Steve Cishek as the Marlins' stopper. Owners can likely acquire Ramos for a smaller return than the secure closers with longer track records, but the 28-year-old could yield similar stats for the remainder of the season.
Dellin Betances, reliever (Yankees): Despite having just one save to his credit, Betances has been arguably a top-10 fantasy reliever this season. The 27-year-old has yet to allow an earned run, and he has compiled four wins and 35 whiffs in 23 innings. Because his ratios are beyond compare, the right-hander should be active at all times in every league, even if he is neither starting nor finishing games. Shrewd owners will make an offer for Betances, as many of his current owners may incorrectly value him as a backend mixed-league hurler.
All statistics are accurate through the completion of Saturday's games.
Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.