By Perry Van Hook
As always, the early-season reminder for your fantasy teams is PATIENCE.
Your star outfielder is not going to hit .200 all year, and your ace starter will get some wins and your second SP will come off the DL. Too often, we see people panic and make drops or, even worse, trades that will haunt them the rest of the season.
The trades are worse because not only are you trading low but you are potentially strengthening your opponent at the same time. That is not relevant in NFBC leagues, but the poor drops are. In my AL keeper league of almost 30 years, I put in a rule several years ago after one impatient owner thought his draft had been terrible and traded most of his expensive players for cheap contracts, prospects and first-round draft picks for the following season. The problem, aside from virtually being out of play for the rest of the season, is that as drafted, his team would have finished in the money. Give peace and your players a chance.
At least the ones you can't replace easily. For the first few weeks in almost any league, there are plenty of good choices, and there is no particular reason if you drafted a player who was or is a mistake to not get a better player from the free-agent pile ASAP.
Personally, I would not drop any of the short-term DL players in any format -- Aroldis Chapman, Doug Fister, Hisashi Iwakuma, David Robertson, Wilson Ramos and likely Mark Teixeira will come back and contribute to your team later. But unless you have DL slots in your league, Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, Patrick Corbin, Miguel Sano, Jarrod Parker and Jameson Taillon should all be dropped - they won't be back this year. In keeper leagues, hopefully you have the DL slot or enough roster space to keep them for the future, but if not and you can contend this year, remember that is always Job 1.
Depending on when you drafted or how deep your league is, here are a few slightly under-the-radar players I would look to add this weekend:
Jason Kubel, OF, Minnesota Twins - With Chris Colabello (likely already picked up but if not put at the top of the list) for now entrenched in the DH slot, Kubel will have to fight for at-bats in left field, but they can't keep his bat on the bench.
Conor Gillaspie, 3B, Chicago White Sox - Gillaspie, not Matt Davidson, won the third base job for Robin Ventura's club and is an underrated hitter.
Jesus Guzman, 1B/OF, Houston Astros - Guzman doesn't have a clear position, but they have to find at-bats for a good hitter with some pop in his bat (two home runs in the first week).
Ichiro Suzuki, OF, New York Yankees - Yes I know he was poor last year. Flip the calendar already: He is hitting over .400 and will get some steals, and in case you didn't remember, the rest of the Yankees' outfielders are on the all-brittle team.
Aaron Harang, SP, Atlanta Braves - For now at least, behind a good Braves team, Harang is a decent spot play (not as good as his first game this year but not as bad as you remember). Next week he has a start at the Mets on Tuesday.
Edinson Volquez, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates - On my personal "scary list" but had a very good first start. He's home Monday against Milwaukee and it could be a two-start week.
If you are truly desperate for saves, Shawn Kelley may get a few more (but not a lot) before David Robertson comes back in two weeks. And while Jonathan Broxton is due back in Cincinnati this week, Manny Parra might still get a few matchup or two-inning saves for the Reds.
Again, while you need to be diligent on free agents, be patient with some of your players who will come around -- please.
Mastersball, founded in 1997, is a leader in providing in-depth analysis, research, projections and applications to the advanced fantasy baseball player. A 2010 merger brought the writers of CREATiVESPORTS into the fold, widely known for 15 years of insightful fantasy analysis and commentary.
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