It is crazy to think rosters will have expanded by the time I write this article next Saturday. Like most other fantasy players at this time of year, I have one foot in baseball and one in football, but it still doesn’t seem like baseball should be winding down. Perhaps I am just thrown off because the Cubs have essentially clinched the NL Central  and I know they won’t play another meaningful game for five more weeks.

While roster expansion could mean some opportunities for really cheap production, this week we mostly have to pay if we want talented players with decent matchups. There are some guys who have just come off the disabled list who could represent some value, and you will almost certainly want to go with cheaper options in the middle infield in the late slate.

Gary SanchezNYYRHBALDylan BundyR77.403.459.8831.342.555.4809.40%17.70%48.40%35.50%16.10%45.50%.404$3,400$4,600$5,150
Willson ContrerasCHIRALAJulio UriasL190.268.350.453.803.352.1859.80%22.90%56.50%24.60%18.80%23.50%.323$3,200$3,600$4,750
James McCannDETRHLAABrett OberholtzerL258.225.278.384.662.289.1596.70%28.40%45.10%38.70%16.20%16.40%.276$2,900$4,100$4,150
Evan GattisHOURHTBBlake SnellL344.244.308.477.785.334.2337.60%25.50%44.40%36.60%18.90%23.60%.275$3,000$4,500$4,500

You don’t need me to tell you how hot Gary Sanchez is. He is sure to be owned quite a bit in the early slate, but fade him at your own risk.

Willson Contreras is 3-for-8 with a home run over his last three games, and he is cheaper than Sanchez and will have the platoon advantage.

The Tigers will likely be the most popular stack of the night slate, and James McCann is a great place to start. McCann is 8-for-16 with two home runs during his five-game hitting streak.

Evan Gattis has hit a home run in each of his last two games and he has a .887 OPS against left-handed pitchers this season.

FIRST BASE                       
Mark TeixeiraNYYBHBALDylan BundyR319.201.287.342.629.282.14110.30%25.10%45.60%31.00%23.50%15.70%.242$2,600$2,900$4,000
Edwin EncarnacionTORRHMINErvin SantanaR476.269.358.550.908.387.28111.60%20.70%38.80%38.30%22.90%25.20%.280$4,100$4,500$5,300
Miguel CabreraDETRHLAABrett OberholtzerL475.310.384.545.929.393.23510.60%17.40%45.70%31.90%22.30%23.30%.333$4,300$5,400$5,300
Carlos SantanaCLEBATEXA.J. GriffinR463.248.346.475.821.356.22712.80%15.40%44.40%38.90%16.70%18.40%.246$3,800$4,700$4,950
Nick FranklinTBBAHOUDallas KeuchelL96.292.364.510.874.375.2188.30%22.20%45.80%37.50%16.70%14.80%.353$2,900$3,300$3,600
Victor MartinezDETBHLAABrett OberholtzerL451.304.357.501.858.366.1977.50%14.20%38.10%36.80%25.10%16.50%.316$3,700$4,700$5,000
Brandon MossSTLLHOAKZach NealR307.270.344.586.930.392.3168.40%29.80%30.20%45.40%24.40%26.90%.319$3,600$5,000$4,850
Brandon BeltSFLHATLMichael FoltynewiczR442.276.389.473.862.374.19715.30%22.50%28.20%45.50%26.30%9.70%.345$3,400$3,600$4,750

Mark Teixeira is 4-for-13 with a home run over his last three games, and he is worth a shot if you want to go cheap at first base in the early slate.

If you have a bit more to spend at the position, Edwin Encarnacion is your man.

Paul Goldschmidt is 6-for-6 with a home run and a stolen base against Anthony DeSclafani.

Carlos Santana is 5-for-11 over his last three games.

Jose Abreu is 12-for-32 with three home runs during his nine-game hitting streak.

Right-handed batters have a .391 wOBA against Brett Oberholtzer this season. Miguel Cabrera has a .870 OPS against lefties while Victor Martinez is 8-for-17 with a home run during his four-game hitting streak.

Brandon Belt is 4-for-9 with two home runs against Mike Foltynewicz and 3-for-8 over his last two games.

Brandon Moss is 8-for-21 with three home runs during his five-game hitting streak.

Nick Franklin is a cheap alternative to all the expensive first basemen in the late slate. Franklin has a .940 OPS against left-handed pitchers this season.

SECOND BASE                       
Ronald TorreyesNYYRHBALDylan BundyR98.286.327.439.766.331.1535.70%11.40%58.10%19.80%22.10%5.90%.318$2,400$2,900$3,650
Howie KendrickLARHCHIJason HammelR394.272.334.401.735.322.1298.30%17.70%60.10%17.70%22.20%14.30%.318$2,600$3,000$4,100
Jose PerazaCINRAARIZack GodleyR118.297.325.373.698.309.0761.60%12.20%44.90%27.60%27.60%7.40%.327$2,700$3,800$3,400
Jose AltuveHOURHTBBlake SnellL503.358.419.567.986.418.2098.90%9.80%45.10%30.00%24.90%14.90%.369$4,000$5,000$5,500

Ronald Torreyes is 6-for-12 over his last three games.

Howie Kendrick is 7-for-16 with five RBI against Jason Hammel.

Jose Peraza is 13-for-30 with a home run and two stolen bases since his latest recall from Triple-A.

Ryan Schimpf is 3-for-5 with a home run over his last two games and he has a .982 OPS against right-handed pitchers this season.

Most of the stud second basemen play in the early slate, so if you want a higher upside pick for the late slate, Jose Altuve fits the bill. Altuve has a 1.067 OPS against lefties this season.


THIRD BASE                       
Kris BryantCHIRALAJulio UriasL482.303.395.587.982.417.28410.70%22.10%32.60%44.00%23.40%22.70%.340$4,200$5,400$5,650
Javier BaezCHIRALAJulio UriasL328.274.313.439.752.325.1653.70%25.00%46.40%37.00%16.60%14.90%.336$2,600$4,300$4,450
Todd FrazierCWSRHSEAAriel MirandaL457.214.297.455.752.324.24110.00%24.30%37.40%47.20%15.40%20.10%.216$3,800$4,600$4,700
Evan LongoriaTBRAHOUDallas KeuchelL493.288.340.550.890.376.2627.20%21.00%32.40%46.20%21.50%17.20%.316$3,600$4,400$5,250
Matt DuffyTBRAHOUDallas KeuchelL303.326.354.348.702.300.0226.60%14.70%53.90%24.00%22.00%6.60%.300$2,800$3,100$4,250

I am almost certainly paying up at third base in the early slate, which means I will almost certainly play Kris Bryant. Bryant has seven home run during his eight-game hitting streak.

If you absolutely have to save some money, Javier Baez deserves a look.

Todd Frazier is 4-for-8 with a home run over his last two games.

Evan Longoria is 5-for-15 against Dallas Keuchel and 7-for-26 with three home runs over the last week. Matt Duffy is 8-for-23 over the last week and right-handed batters have a .331 wOBA against Dallas Keuchel.

Addison RussellCHIRALAJulio UriasL427.248.332.438.770.332.1909.60%23.40%42.70%36.30%21.00%16.70%.291$3,100$4,100$4,900
Didi GregoriusNYYLHBALDylan BundyR442.283.310.464.774.333.1813.00%14.20%43.60%33.70%22.70%13.50%.299$2,900$3,700$4,650
Brandon CrawfordSFLHATLMichael FoltynewiczR445.272.340.434.774.329.1629.10%18.70%42.00%35.80%22.30%8.70%.316$3,000$4,000$4,700
Tim AndersonCWSRHSEAAriel MirandaL269.283.302.435.737.318.1522.50%27.90%59.40%23.40%17.20%15.60%.375$2,600$4,200$4,450

Shortstop may be the best place to save some money in the early slate, though you probably won’t want to go super-cheap.

Addison Russell is 7-for-24 with four home runs over the last week.

Didi Gregorius has cooled a bit after beginning August on fire, but he still has a seven-game hitting streak.

Brandon Crawford is 3-for-7 with two home runs against Mike Foltynewicz and 3-for-8 over his last two games.

Tim Anderson is 10-for-24 over the last week and he has a .372 wOBA against left-handed pitchers this season.

Aaron HicksNYYBHBALDylan BundyR276.214.269.326.595.263.1127.30%19.20%47.70%33.90%18.30%8.10%.247$2,400$3,400$3,600
Jayson WerthWSHRHCOLJorge De La RosaL416.252.348.445.793.343.19312.60%23.10%43.40%37.00%19.50%16.40%.298$3,400$4,400$5,100
Andrew TolesLALHCHIJason HammelR50.340.404.540.944.401.20010.50%19.30%53.80%20.50%25.60%25.00%.395$2,500$2,400$3,850
Jose BautistaTORRHMINErvin SantanaR301.226.351.449.800.345.22316.20%17.80%39.00%38.60%22.50%16.50%.236$3,700$4,100$5,150
Lonnie ChisenhallCLELATEXA.J. GriffinR314.299.341.471.812.349.1725.60%16.80%40.80%35.20%24.00%9.10%.343$3,200$4,300$3,850
A.J. PollockARIRHCINAnthony DeSclafaniR5.$3,900$3,200$4,700
Ender InciarteATLLASFJake PeavyR390.280.337.369.706.310.0897.40%11.40%48.70%28.20%23.10%3.20%.312$3,400$4,300$4,000
Justin UptonDETRHLAABrett OberholtzerL458.236.290.406.696.297.1706.70%29.60%39.30%37.00%23.70%15.30%.307$3,400$4,100$4,850
Cameron MaybinDETRHLAABrett OberholtzerL246.333.402.419.821.354.08610.10%15.50%62.50%18.50%19.00%8.10%.393$3,300$4,400$4,500
J.D. MartinezDETRHLAABrett OberholtzerL339.319.381.569.950.403.2508.70%23.00%42.20%34.50%23.30%20.90%.380$4,100$5,200$5,100
Jeff FrancoeurMIARHSDClayton RichardL262.800.833.8001.633.292.0006.00%26.60%48.10%30.80%21.10%12.30%.333$2,300$3,600$3,800

Aaron Hicks is 7-for-15 over his last five games.

Jayson Werth is 7-for-19 with two home runs against Jorge De La Rosa.

Andrew Toles is 5-for-12 in his five games since his latest call-up.

Jose Bautista’s price is down thanks to his injuries and poor production, but he is off to a good start since he returned from the disabled list, going 3-for-8.

A.J. Pollock is 3-for-6 with two stolen bases against Anthony DeSclafani and he is pretty cheap for somebody who batted .315/.367/.498 last season.

Ender Inciarte is 5-for-16 against Jake Peavy and 12-for-28 over the last week.

Lonnie Chisenhall is 7-for-19 over the last week.

The entire Detroit outfield is in play against Brett Oberholtzer, but Justin Upton is probably the best value. J.D. Martinez and Cameron Maybin each have wOBAs above .370 against lefties this season, and all three are batting at least .370 over the last week.

Jeff Francoeur is 4-for-5 in two games since he was traded to the Marlins and he is 4-for-10 with a home run against Clayton Richard.