Fantasy Articles

The drafts are over and everyone is busy assessing their teams and trying to fill holes and gaps via trade or free agent pick ups.  That creates an air of volatility, which can be to your advantage.

Of course, that means that you have already gone though your own team thoroughly  to assess where you need help, where you have excess talent, and just who you might be willing to trade or drop.

If you haven’t done so, make sure you’ve checked your own league out well and looked for things that are different in your league than in a standard 5x5 league, because sometimes that can make a huge difference.   A good example of this would be playing in a league which uses OBP instead of average.  That kind of format can punish you for having a solid 5x5 player like Corey Hart (a 20-20 player who’ll hit for average), because of his low OBP (.300 last year, .323 career), but reward you much more for a player like J.D. Drew (.392 career OBP, .408 last year).
Once you’ve assessed your team, it’s time to take a look at just who is available and can help your team.  Start by scanning the waiver wire drop/add list.  This is the time of year when people do a lot of silly things - like dropping potential stars, like Matt Wieters and David Price, or solid players who they drafted for a flavor of the week that’s hot right now, but probably can’t sustain it.

Be ready to pounce on guys like that, as well as getting ready to target slow starters on other teams via trade.

Some guys to grab if they come available. (Everyone on this list was in the top 20 most dropped in Yahoo! leagues).  All of them offer upside at very low risk.

Matt Wieters (C, Orioles): A year from now this guy might be ranked the number one catcher in fantasy.  Even if he doesn’t get there he should be an impact player and rank somewhere within the top 10 by midseason.

David Price (SP, Rays): A talented pitcher with far too much upside to ignore.  Of course he’ll have some rough patches, but he could be an elite pitcher in no time and he’s likely to contribute across the board this year.

Elijah Dukes (OF, Nationals): If I could choose one National who I’d like to have on my fantasy team it would probably be Dukes who was expected to be the leadoff hitter in Washington.  That would give him a chance to use some of his blazing speed.  There is no way that he’ll sit in favor of Austin Kearns for very long.

milledge_lastings
His cold start has some people worried, your chance to grap Milledge cheap.
Lastings Milledge (OF, Nationals): The ubertalented Milledge has a shot at being a real 20-20 or even 25-25 player this season, all he needs are the at bats and he’s going to get them.  Don’t let his cool start scare you, the upside is big.

Mike Napoli (C, Angels):
I’m shocked to see how many people are dropping Napoli just because he hasn’t gotten all of the starts in Anaheim so far this season.  He managed 20 home runs in just 227 AB last season.  He’ll get more this year.

Brandon Lyon (CL, Tigers): Ok, he’s blown one save, but he was better than Fernando Rodney all spring.  Jettisoning him is premature; odds are good he’s not done as the team closer.

Billy Butler (1B, Royals):
Butler isn’t even 23 yet and his minor league numbers suggest he can hit over .300 with power, plenty of people have already dumped this rising talent after a single 0-4 this season.   He’s an excellent low risk-high reward type player.

Mark Reynolds (3B, Diamondbacks): He’s missed a couple of games due to illness and people are shedding this young slugger like he’d caught the plague.   The power which helped him hit 28 home runs last year is still there, and he should be able to raise the average too.

Max Scherzer (SP, Diamondbacks): The injured Scherzer still has the potential to K better than a batter per inning.  He’s unrealized potential thus far, but if you have a DL space you can stash him in, he’s a high rewards gamble.