By orleanscardinals at 25 April, 2009, 8:29 am
This season, fantasy managers in my Yahoo leagues have already dropped guys like Nate McLouth, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Joba Chamberlain.
It’s certainly easy to get frustrated with players off to slow starts but it’s important to remember we’re only approaching the end of the first month into the season. There is a lot of baseball still to be played.
Five Top Players Likely to Rebound
Here are five higher tiered players I would hold out on for better results as the summer rolls on. Savvy managers may be able to put the right offer together to capitalize on another fantasy baseball manager’s frustrations
- Mark Teixeira – Teixiera is the consummate slow starter and it looks like even a solid spring training will not change that. With Alex Rodriguez set to get back in May, I still expect big numbers, particularly in the new, HR-friendly Yankee stadium.
- Lance Berkman – Everyone was down on Berkman to start the season but he is still a career. 300 hitter who has played in 150+ games 7 of the last 8 seasons.
- Matt Holliday – While Holliday probably won’t hit 30 home runs in Oakland, he’s certainly going to improve on a .254 BA. The entire A’s team is struggling offensively right now.
- Russell Martin – The Dodgers are off to a solid start and it is only a matter of time before Martin warms up with the rest of the team. The emergence of Ethier and Kemp, coupled with the security of Manny Ramirez means Martin will have less pressure and that should translate into a hot streak sooner than later.
- CC Sabathia – As long as Sabathia can get his walks down, he should rebound. Two of his next three starts are away from Yankee stadium – which should help – and you may want to deactivate him against the Red Sox (at home) just to be safe.
Five Top Players I’m Concerned About
Here are five higher-tiered players I would be concerned about and consider fielding offers for. It may not mean they’ll be complete busts, but trying to move these players now may be better than waiting and having them sink your season.
- Jimmy Rollins – Rollins’ semi-productive May and September of 2008 seemed like a tease since he basically under-performed all last season, even with the injury. I would consider selling as high as possible if you have depth at the position. It’s worth noting that Rollins hasn’t even attempted a stolen base this April.
- Brandon Phillips – The second base position has been relatively deep this year and Phillips is getting outplayed by guys like Marco Scutaro, Asdrubal Cabrera and Akinori Iwamura. While that seems likely to change, Phillips is also not getting the protection he needs (thus far) from Jay Bruce or Edwin Encarnación.
- Cole Hamels – I’m always a bit concerned when a pitcher has an elbow injury, even when it seems minor.
- B.J. Upton – Maddon’s decision to keep Upton at leadoff means the RBI and HR numbers fantasy managers may have expected have to be lowered. 30 to 40 SB’s is certainly realistic but 20+ home runs seems unlikely and 90+ RBI almost certainly is out of reach batting at the top of almost any lineup.
- Cliff Lee – I’ve expressed some of my concerns with regards to Cliff Lee here.
If you are in a rotisserie league, remember that it is the performance of a position throughout the entire season that matters. Players get hot just as quickly as they grow cold. Historic performance provides a better benchmark for understanding when a player may just be in a “funk”.
In head-to-head leagues, the reason to keep slumping players gets even more important. As long as your team makes the playoffs, it matters little if a player has a record-breaking April. I’ve seen relatively average players (or even September call-ups) have a blistering few weeks which thus propelled a team through the fantasy baseball playoff season.
Who has you worried this season? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post and who else your trying to grab at a discount or worried won’t produce this fantasy baseball season.