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Fantasy Baseball Risers, Fallers: Sept. 11, 2017

September 11, 2017
There are only three full weeks of fantasy baseball season remaining. Owners have to hope the players who helped them get to this point continue to play well during the final couple weeks. 

Three Up:

1. Washington Nationals Starting Pitcher Stephen Strasburg -- Fantasy owners never know if the talented right-hander will come down with an injury, which always makes him a risky target. However, there's no denying Strasburg is one of the best pitchers in baseball. The 29-year-old is locked in right now, which is great news with only a couple more starts left in the regular season. Strasburg struck out 18 batters in his two starts this past week and did not allow a run. In fact, Strasburg has not allowed a run during his past four starts, which has lowered his ERA from 3.10 on Aug. 24 to 2.64. After landing on the disabled list in late July with an arm injury, Strasburg is showing he is healthy and pitching at an elite level in crunch time.

2. St. Louis Cardinals Starting Pitcher Carlos Martinez -- The right-hander is another super-talented pitcher who has taken his game to another level down the stretch. Martinez has struck out 18 while allowing two earned runs during his past two starts and has not allowed more than three earned runs since July 26. Martinez ranks seventh in the majors with 200 strikeouts, and with a 3.33 ERA, he has helped fantasy owners in multiple categories in 2017.

3. Arizona Diamondbacks Outfielder J.D. Martinez -- It has already been a monster September for the power-hitting Martinez, who has hit eight home runs in the month's first 10 days while batting .417. Martinez is batting .289 with 37 home runs and 84 RBIs this season despite missing all of April.

Three Down:

1. Los Angeles Dodgers First Baseman Cody Bellinger -- It has been amazing season for the 22-year-old rookie, but like the Dodgers, Bellinger has started September extremely slow. This month, Bellinger is batting .231 with 13 strikeouts, two home runs and four RBIs. Bellinger had been the model of consistency, so I'm hoping this is just a bad two weeks and he can cap off a strong first year for fantasy owners.

2. Kansas City Royals Starting Pitcher Jason Vargas -- After being one of the more surprising pitchers this season and posting a 3.00 ERA July 28, the left-hander has struggled mightily. Vargas has allowed at least five earned runs three times since and now has a 4.15 ERA. I hope fantasy owners cut Vargas during this streak and enjoyed the early-season success. 

3. Houston Astros Shortstop Carlos Correa -- Fantasy owners were devastated when Correa went down for six weeks in late July with a torn thumb ligament, as it was one in a long line of injuries to key players this season. However, news of Correa returning in September for the stretch run was positive. If only Correa had picked up where he left off. He has collected six hits since his return, with no home runs and one RBI.  There was going to be rust for Correa after missing so much time, but it's unfortunate the 22-year-old, who was on the verge of a monster season before getting injured, is going through a slump at the worst possible time. 
 
Photo Credit: Ed Sheahin/PressBox