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Fantasy baseball trade value rankings: Whose stock could rise or fall after trade deadline?

It’s buy or sell time as we run down our weekly batch of the top 200 players for fantasy baseball.

Pete Alonso of the New York Mets celebrates his third inning three run home run against the New York Yankees with teammate Francisco Lindor at Yankee Stadium on July 25, 2023 in Bronx borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Yankees 9-3. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

With the 2023 trade deadline just days away, Major League front offices aren’t the only ones who will get hitting the phones and looking to swing a deal that could make or break their seasons. It’s also winning time for fantasy baseball, a team to shore up any lone weaknesses or shake things up in the hopes of sparking a charge up the standings — and the flux of the deadline creates plenty of opportunities for value. Which players might see their teams and roles change, and how might that affect their fantasy production? Who should you be looking to buy or sell for the fantasy stretch run?

Let’s get into it with this week’s trade value rankings. As usual, not only will we rank the top 200 players for fantasy baseball (5x5 roto), but we also break down who’s rising, who’s falling and who we recommend targeting on the trade market.


  • It’s safe to say that Pete Alonso’s wrist is starting to feel a bit better.

The Mets slugger busted out of his slump in a big way on Tuesday night, with a pair of homers against the rival Yankees. At this point it’s clear that Alonso rushed back way too quickly from the fracture in his wrist — his exit velocities were way down, and he slashed just .132/.252/.297 across his first 25 games back in the lineup. We know what Alonso can do when he’s right, though, and he’s slugging .492 with four homers in July. A freaky-low BABIP was the only thing suppressing Alonso’s stat line prior to his injury, and he’s primed for a big second half now.

  • The Rangers are desperately in need of starting pitching help as they get set for what they hope will be a deep postseason run. And while there are some Minor League names of interest — Evan Carter, Justin Foscue, etc. — Ezequiel Duran’s name has popped up as a young, Major League talent that could be on the move in return for an arm. It makes some sense, as Duran doesn’t have a fixed defensive home and the Rangers are crowded with options in both the infield and the outfield.

And if Duran does find his way to a different team next week, look out, because locked-in playing time in the heart of someone’s order is just about the only thing keeping him from fantasy stardom over the final two months. Yes, Duran’s BABIP is due for some regression, and yes, he strikes out a bunch and hardly ever walks. He has the physical skills to pull off that swing-happy approach, though, and when he does make contact, he hits the ball hard. Duran’s max (98th percentile) and average (79th) exit velocities are both elite, and he’s dramatically improved his launch angle to hit the ball more in the air. Add in his excellent sprint speed, and you have a legit five-category contributor just waiting to bust out in a change of scenery.


  • Lane Thomas has been a game-changer for whichever owner was lucky enough to scoop him up late in drafts or off the waiver wire this spring, with a .293 average, 16 homers and 12 steals — good enough for top-30 overall value. So why is he in this section? Because things are already starting to trend downward, and the deadline could only exacerbate the problem.

Thomas’ offensive profile doesn’t scream sustainability. Most of his production has been fueled by an extreme .363 BABIP, nearly 70 points higher than last year’s mark and well above league average. He strikes out a lot (30th-percentile K rate), rarely walks (14th-percentile walk rate) and doesn’t hit the ball particularly hard (24th-percentile average exit velocity), all of which suggest regression is coming — and sure enough, he’s got a .685 OPS in the month of July.

Which brings us to the second mark against him: Thomas doesn’t have any truly elite skill. He doesn’t have elite pop and he’s not the most willing runner, instead relying on consistent playing time and plate appearances at or near the top of the order to accrue value. With the rebuilding Nationals shopping him on the trade market, that playing time is in real jeopardy — if Thomas gets shipped to a contender next week, he’ll likely find himself in a part-time role, and neither his power nor his speed are explosive enough to make up for that gap.

  • While I’m all over Duran, I’m selling another Texas Rangers regular: Nathaniel Lowe. Lowe’s status as everyday first baseman certainly isn’t in jeopardy, but he’s a limited and low-ceiling player — the kind of player who isn’t going to help you make up ground in the fantasy standings. Lowe hits for average and will continue to rack up solid counting stats in the middle of the Texas lineup, but he hardly provides any power or speed — he’s on pace for 19 homers and a single steal. If you happen to be in need of average, runs or RBI, I could absolutely see holding on to him, but if you find yourself in need of homers or steals — and really, who doesn’t this time of year — Lowe’s overall value will likely fetch you something more useful on the trade market. He’s the rare player whose profile is somehow less than the sum of its parts.

Fantasy baseball trade value rankings: Week 18