Fantasy hitters roundtable: Cameron Maybin can't stop stealing

Cameron Maybin is running at will, and no one can stop him. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Cameron Maybin has been a gift from the free agent pool this season. He’s stealing bases at a crazy rate. What are the odds it continues? Let’s review …

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Q. Maybin has been successful in 24 of his 25 stolen base attempts, which is just silly. He’s currently on pace to set career highs in both steals (47) and homers (12). Let’s set his over/under for combined SB+HR at 24.5. Whaddya got?

Dalton Del Don: UNDER. I’m a Maybin fan but he’ll get hurt. I hope I’m wrong. That pace is pretty impressive. He’s been the No. 90 ranked fantasy player in 2017 and wasn’t drafted inside the top-275. 

Scott Pianowski: Going OVER, in part because I see very little performance risk with Maybin going forward. His play was excellent last year, too (.801 OPS). What we’re doing here is making a reasonable guess at his health going forward. Maybin could withstand a multi-week DL stint and still get past this number. 

Andy Behrens: I appreciate the health risk here, but I’m gonna say OVER (in part because I *need* Maybin to keep it up). He’s healthy right now, and this seems like such a modest total. He might very well reach this number on steals alone. If he can simply manage to play another 60 or so games, he gets this total. 

Q. Please name the middle-infielder, available in shallow leagues (10-12 teams), that you don’t want to leave on the wire?

Andy: I just picked up Daniel Descalso in a very deep league, and have felt great shame ever since. You good people should all strive to do better. JED LOWRIE seems to have come through his knee issues and he’s only 20 percent owned. The average is still hovering near .290 and he’s hitting for power.  

Scott: Staying healthy has been the bug for JOE PANIK over the last season and a half. But now that he’s hale again, we’re starting to see a craftsman at the plate. The .341 average over the last month gets your attention, but what I love is seeing nine walks against nine strikeouts — it’s impossible to have that kind of ratio without controlling your at-bats. Panik offers a little pop and occasional speed, and while the Giants lineup isn’t a carnival, at least Panik has the No. 2 slot to call his own. Panik is just 26, and a former first-round pick. There’s a latent upside here.

Q: Fix my catching problem, expert. Which backstop should we add in deep formats?

Dalton: Well only one catcher is ranked in the top-95 (Salvador Perez), which is pretty crazy. I’ll say Tyler Flowers, who sports a .910 OPS and is owned in 25 percent of leagues. 

Scott: MANNY PINA has taken over as Milwaukee’s primary catcher, hitting .271 with four homers in the last 30 days. That’s not exactly a pinball line, but it checks in as the No. 11 catcher over the last month. The Brewers offense might be a little better than you think; it’s seventh in the majors in runs, and Ryan Braun and Jon Villar just came back. Atlanta’s Tyler Flowers is another backstop to kick around, if you have the patience to move him in and out of your daily lineup, as needed. Sometimes catchers mature late in their careers; Flowers, out of nowhere, has unpacked a .333/.430/.480 slash.