Fantasy Baseball: Week 2 Review

Jacob deGrom

Week 2 of the fantasy baseball season is in the books, and it’s time to digest what we’ve learned and how to use it moving forward. Even with the length of the baseball season, players are starting to either confirm or dispel preseason rankings and projections.

 

Injuries

Jacob DeGrom, SP- New York Mets – There was concern due to lat tightness for DeGrom, but the reason he was away from the Mets so long was the health of his newborn son. Fortunately for all involved, Jaxon is doing better and DeGrom will be back on the mound this Saturday. He’ll draw the Atlanta Braves in the first start back.

 

Jung-Ho Kang, SS/3B – Pittsburgh Pirates – Kang is recovering from a serious leg injury that required major surgery towards the end of 2015. He’s started a rehab in AAA, but there is no firm call-up date as of now. The Pirates are downplaying it as much as they can, stating that Kang will not be full strength until late May or early June.

 

Michael Brantley, OF – Cleveland Indians – Brantley is much closer to his return, and that should come within the next seven days. The Indians reportedly want Brantley to play back to back games at his rehab to test out the shoulder. He will be a big boost to Cleveland and fantasy owners alike.

 

Who’s Hot

Bryce Harper, OF – Washington Nationals – I totally understand this is low hanging fruit, but my goodness is Harper good. He’s collected 11 hits the past 8 games, is up to 7 HRs, 16 RBI and a ridiculous 1.296 OPS. On top of all that, he has struck out just 4 times entering Tuesday night. He’s a lot of fun to watch, unless he’s facing your team’s pitcher.

 

Rougned Odor, 2B – Texas Rangers – One of the most popular breakout picks coming into the year really scuffled early. He collected 8 RBI and is stringing together multi-hit games within the last 7-10 days. With 2 stolen bases already, he’s a third of the way to his 2015 total.  Odor has also cut down on the strikeouts, and is beginning to look like the fantasy asset many thought he could be in 2016.

 

Noah Syndergaard, SP – New York Mets – Syndergaard has been unbelievable his first 3 starts. He’s logged a quality start in all 3, compiling a .90 ERA, .95 WHIP and a 4/29 BB/K ratio. Those are numbers you can’t put up in a video game. The only 2 pitchers ranked ahead of Syndergaard right now are Clayton Kershaw and Jake Arrieta. That is some elite company to be in.

 

Who’s Not

Anthony Rizzo, 1B – Chicago Cubs – This is a player who some pegged as NL MVP before the season started, and so far he has played nothing like it. He had just 2 hits all last week, and is sporting a terrible average of .178. There is no reason to panic, as it is still early and most players go through a stretch like this at some point in the season. Rizzo is just having the bad luck of doing it right as the season has started.

 

Jose Abreu, 1B – Chicago White Sox – Maybe there’s something in the water in Chicago to start the year, because Abreu isn’t hitting much better than Rizzo right now. A puny .217 average and .697 OPS isn’t going to cut it from the White Sox slugger, and owners will hope there are better days ahead. It’s still too early to do anything with Abreu other than put him in your lineup everyday; the Cuban slugger should be back to form shortly.

 

Corey Kluber, SP – Cleveland Indians – Kluber has been knocked around so far in 2016, sporting a horrid 6.16 ERA to go along with a 1.42 WHIP. His velocity is still up and his K/9 rate is still 9.00, so there is plenty of reason to think it’s going to turn around. However, for the owners who passed on other pitchers to land Kluber to lead their staff, this is not what was expected.

 

Free Agents to Add

(all ownerships on Yahoo)

Delino DeShields, OF (66% owned) – Texas Rangers – Just like last week, this ownership percentage is high. Also like last week, it’s simply not high enough for a player who has a .326 average, .886 OPS and can steal bases. He is cementing his status as an everyday player in the Texas lineup, and needs to be in your lineup until he plays his way out of it.

 

Yunel Escobar, 3B (21% owned) – Anaheim Angels – Escobar is criminally under-owned, as he is a high average player who doesn’t strike out a lot. Escobar always seems to be an afterthought in fantasy, but he’s been very consistent, with last year being his best season to date. He’s a borderline starter at 3B, and if you play in a league where you need a corner infielder, Escobar needs to be on your radar.

 

Adam Conley, SP (25% owned) – Miami Marlins – A Spring Training darling, Conley has shown a big upside. He has been a high strikeout pitcher in the early going, and could continue to put up these performances. The ERA is a touch high for some, but the waiver wire players are on the waiver wire for a reason.

 

Trade Candidates

Jason Kipnis, 2B – Cleveland Indians – Kipnis was dreadful to start the season and had many doubters. He has come to life and been about what could be expected. He may not be an elite option anymore, but he has a good BB/K rate, some power and can even swipe a base or two. It’s worth it to see what kind of price tag he currently has from his owner.

 

Ian Kinsler, 2B – Detroit Tigers – Another high quality option at 2B, Kinsler has been red hot to start. While it isn’t usually advisable to trade for someone on a hot streak, Kinsler could actually be more productive if 1B Miguel Cabrera finds his game in the coming weeks. As is, Kinsler is riding a 7 game hitting streak and doesn’t strike out too much. He’ll be a great source of runs all season long.

 

Jose Quintana, SP – Chicago White Sox – The White Sox pitcher has quietly had an excellent start to the season, compiling a 2.55 ERA, 1.19 WHIP to go along with a 9.17 K/9. This could be the start of a great season for the southpaw, and can still be had for a very low price. At age 27, it could be the year Quintana breaks out in a major way.

 

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