We’re one week into the 2016 baseball season, and buzz seems to be all about rookies off to insane starts. Trevor Story, Tyler White, Jeremy Hazelbaker, Nomar Mazara – they seem to be popping up out of nowhere, and quickly landing onto season-long and daily fantasy rosters. While all of these players are due some regression from their insane starts, it will be interesting to see which ones maintain their fantasy relevance throughout the season.
The key thing to realize is that you must add these players in your season long leagues, because you don’t want to be missing out on the ones that end up parlaying these hot starts into successful full seasons. It’s worth dropping your mid to lower tier hitters that are off to mediocre starts to pick up one or two of these guys, especially if your league is shallow enough that your dropped players will swim around in the FA pool for a while. In a deep league, you’ll have to be more careful about who you drop for a high risk/high reward player who may have exhausted most of his production while sitting in the FA pool, but then again, in a deep league you probably already have a couple hitters sitting on your roster that no one really cares about.
On to the recap – as of end of day Sunday, April 10 (End of Week One Matchup)
Week One Final: Won 338-227.33 (second high score in league)
Record: 1-0 (second high point scorer)
4. Add Jason Hammel, SP, CHC, for Hector Rondon
5. Add Aaron Nola, SP, PHI, for Michael Conforto
6. Add Michael Pineda, SP, NYY, for Chris Tillman
7. Add Mike Fiers, SP, HOU, for Ervin Santana
8. Add Eugenio Suarez, SS, CIN (no drop, Tyson Ross moved to DL slot)
- Add Vince Velasquez, SP, PHI, for Gerardo Parra
- Add Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF, STL, for Carlos Santana
First, the Week one moves. I decided to completely abandon a relief pitchers, dropping my last one in Rondon, and pretty much ruining the relevance of my team name “The Raging R-dons”, leaving only a single R-don on my team, Carlos Rodon. Rondon has since been acquired by another team, and will probably remain on a roster for the rest of the season. I will need to decide fairly quickly if rostering a closer is the way to go, for the FA pool is extremely thin on them. I’ll write more on the thought process behind this, probably next week. On a side note I did get a solid 12 point start from Hammel.
Obviously I can’t make up my mind on Conforto, but it seems pretty clear for now that he’s not going to be a super hot ticket for a while yet. Apparently he won’t play against lefties, and he hasn’t homered yet. Nola was a pickup as a two-start guy for week 2, along with Pineda and Fiers. I wasn’t crazy about dropping Santana or Tillman, as both look pretty good so far (although Santana is likely to have a rough time with run support playing for the Twins). Due to a Yankees rainout, Pineda ended up losing his two-start status, so he might get dropped after his Wednesday start unless he turns in a stellar performance. I’m not expecting much from Fiers, but sometimes he surprises and racks up some good K numbers. He’s been good to my fantasy rosters in the past.
With Tyson Ross headed to the DL for a bit I figured I’d grab another available hot bat in Suarez. He got me a nice 8 point day on Sunday to finish up the week. I’ve potentially got three strong shortstops now in Seager, Story, and Suarez. I’m not sure how much trade value they carry yet ( I ignored an offer of Francisco Liriano for Story, based on Liriano’s ugly second outing), but that should become clearer in the coming weeks.
With no more good two-start options, I used my first acquisition of Week 2 to make an early claim on a SP that looks pretty good in Velasquez. He may end up only having streaming value, but he has a nice matchup in week 2, and Parra wasn’t doing much, even at Coors, and he also looks to be a non-everyday guy. I’m not going to be upset if he gets rostered. The Hazelbaker for Santana transaction is a little more risky I think, for Santana did give me a decent 17 points in his one week on my roster, but again I don’t think he’ll get jumped on immediately, and I’ve got to see what comes out of Hazelbaker’s hot start. He seems Major league ready after tearing it up in the minors for the past year.
Week 2 should be interesting; it looks like I’ve got a tougher matchup this time. Lastly, my top contributors for week one:
Hitters: Yasiel Puig (24.5), Trevor Story (24), Ian Kinsler (21), Corey Seager (19.5)
Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw (27.5), Chris Archer (23), Chris Tillman (22), Ervin Santana (16)