MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Fantasy411: 10 players who can help you later

Fantasy411: 10 players who can help you later

You tinker with your fantasy squad's starting lineup, looking to have the best possible player at every position.

But did you know that your bench could make the difference between ultimate fantasy success or defeat? For those who have the reserve space, stashing premium prospects or injured big leaguers -- guys who can make a difference tomorrow, if not today -- makes a ton of sense. Without further ado, let's review 10 players worth hoarding for the time being.

Wilson Ramos, catcher, Rays

Ramos was a top-tier fantasy catcher last season, hitting .307 with 22 homers and 80 RBIs across 482 at-bats. Hoping to return this month from right knee surgery, the 29-year-old could be a top 5 fantasy backstop during the second half of the season. Already participating in a rehab assignment, Ramos has made enough progress to urge those in shallow formats to stash him right away.
Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Yoan Moncada, third baseman, White Sox

Arguably the best stash option at any position, Moncada could step into the starting second base job in Chicago this month. The 22-year-old has the tools to help fantasy owners right away, having hit .287 with six homers and 12 steals across 209 plate appearances with Triple-A Charlotte. And though frequent whiffs could limit his batting average contributions, Moncada may rank among the second-half leaders in swipes.
Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

The Rundown: Fantasy 411

Amed Rosario, shortstop, Mets

The Mets' top prospect, Rosario is hitting .340 with 40 RBIs and 11 steals across 256 plate appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas this season. The 21-year-old natural shortstop could soon fill two of the biggest needs on New York's roster by working as the club's regular third baseman and leadoff man. Among all current Minor Leaguers, Rosario ranks behind only Moncada in terms of potential to make a sizable impact this year.
Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Lewis Brinson, outfielder, Brewers

Brinson made a strong first impression on the Brewers organization after coming over in the Jonathan Lucroy trade last summer, hitting .382 with four homers and four steals across 93 plate appearances for Triple-A Colorado Springs. Back at it again in the Pacific Coast League this year (.317/.402/.512), Brinson could become a five-category contributor once he's afforded an extended big league look this summer.
Consider in: 15-team mixed leagues

Jacoby Ellsbury, outfielder, Yankees

Ellsbury was off to a solid start this season, hitting .281 with four homers and eight steals across 153 plate appearances before landing on the disabled list with a concussion on May 25. Many owners of the 33-year-old were quick to send him to waivers, likely anticipating another long-term absence in a career that has been checkered with serious injuries. However, those with roster room would be wise to grab Ellsbury on the assumption that he will be a source of runs, steals and batting average upon his return to a premium spot in a lineup that currently ranks fourth in the Majors with 306 runs scored.
Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Zinkie offers Tip of the Day

Jayson Werth, outfielder, Nationals

Prior to landing on the disabled list on June 5, Werth had become a useful option in deep formats by reaching base often and flashing some power skills as the regular No. 2 hitter in a productive Nationals lineup. Wise owners will stash him away with the expectation that his DL stint for a left foot contusion will wind up being a relatively short one.
Consider in: 15-team mixed leagues

Jon Gray, starter, Rockies

Many owners entered their 2017 drafts eyeing Gray as a potential breakout option, hoping he could use his stellar stuff to overcome Colorado's hitter-friendly park and help mixed-league teams. For those who are willing to accept the risks associated with using a pitcher at Coors Field, stashing Gray could lead to a lofty strikeout total after he returns from a left foot stress fracture during June. The right-hander owns a lifetime 9.5 K/9 rate and 3.66 FIP, so he carries significant upside.
Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Carlos Rodon, starter, White Sox

Once one of the top prospects in baseball, Rodon took a step forward when he posted a 3.11 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP across his final 11 starts of 2016. The left-hander was a popular sleeper in 2017 drafts due to his stellar strikeout skills and strong finish to last season, but he has spent the entirety of the current campaign on the disabled list with biceps bursitis. Currently participating in a rehab assignment, Rodon could return to the White Sox rotation by the end of this month.
Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Nathan Karns, SP/RP, Royals

Karns has been surprisingly stellar as a starter this season, posting a 3.43 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP and a 9.9 K/9 rate across eight rotation opportunities. Owners who need a pitching boost should be pleased to stash the right-hander, who has returned to throwing and should return later this month.
Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Three buy-low fantasy options

Trevor Cahill, SP/RP, Padres

Cahill quickly earned a spot in shallow-league rotations this season by producing a 3.27 ERA and an 11.1 K/9 rate across seven starts before landing on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain on May 17. And with the right-hander already playing catch, he could be on track to resume his successful season at some point prior to the All-Star break. For owners who are looking to make up ground in the strikeouts category, stashing Cahill right now could result in a major boost during the second half.
Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

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.