Fantasy Baseball: Week 1 Review

Every week, this column will review the biggest takeaways from the world of fantasy baseball. We’ll touch on injuries, who’s hot and who’s not, free agents to add and trade candidates. This is not meant to be a catch all, just what the biggest story lines and targets are for the coming week. While baseball is a sport that requires more patience than football, smart owners remain active at all times.




A.J. Pollock, OF – Arizona Diamondbacks – While this injury happened before the season started, the D-Backs did announce that Pollock will be lost for at least 3 months. He may yet be lost for the season. As long as you don’t desperately need a roster or DL spot, there’s no reason to cut him yet. Even about 2 months of Pollock could potentially be huge come August.  A player like Rays OF Steven Souza, Jr. could potentially help fill some categories while you wait for Pollock.


Kyle Shcwarber, C/OF – Chicago Cubs – The consensus second catcher off the board saw disaster strike early, as a collision with teammate Dexter Fowler ended in a torn ACL for Schwarber. It’s a tough blow for owners who sunk a sixth round pick or higher into Schwarber. Catcher is a tough spot to fill, but my target would be Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos.


Tyson Ross, SP – San Diego Padres – Reports suggest that Ross should be able to return after his 15 day DL stint, but it’s never a good sign to see a starting pitcher have a shoulder issue this early in the season. Hopefully he returns healthy and that could be part of the reason he got rocked in his Opening Day start versus the Dodgers.


Shin-Soo Choo, OF – Texas Rangers – Choo was off to a slow start and has found his way onto the 15 day DL. This was a Sunday transaction for the Rangers. There isn’t a firm timetable yet, and he will need monitored over the next few days.


Who’s Hot


Trevor Story, SS – Colorado Rockies – Story is the number one player in fantasy for the first week, and took MLB by storm in his first six games. He had a week to remember with seven home runs and 12 RBI. Story is a very interesting player. While anyone could tell you he won’t do this all season, it is not impossible for Story to be a top 8-10 SS all season long. Some are calling to sell high right away, and you could go that route. My suggestion would be without a VERY high return, I would hold onto Story for now to see where this goes.


Jean Segura, 2B/SS, – Arizona Diamondbacks – Segura did a bit of everything this week, hitting .423 to go along with 3 HR, 5 RBI and 2 SB. On top of that, he added 2B eligibility in Yahoo. Hitting in front of all world player 1B Paul Goldschmidt will help Segura all season long. Segura is a prime candidate to help in all categories for the rest of the season.


Yasiel Puig, OF – Los Angeles Dodgers – Puig has always had an incredible tool box, and this was a week where he showed off a bit of everything. Perhaps most impressive was his 5/4 BB/K ratio. He filled the rest of the boxes with runs, average, a homer and threw in a stolen base. Owners who drafted him late may have hit the jackpot with Puig in 2016.


Who’s Not


Troy Tulowitzki, SS – Toronto Blue Jays – This was an awful start for fantasy stud Tulo. He had more strikeouts than total bases (9 Ks to 6 total bases) and only had 3 RBI. There were some analysts voicing concerns after the trade to the Blue Jays last season, and owners have to hope Tulo just had a bad start. If this is a sign of what’s to come, he could be a huge bust this season. Having said all that, if an owner is panicking, it could be a nice time to pounce.


Zack Greinke, SP – Arizona Diamondbacks – The D-Backs had the most newsworthy fantasy week of any one team, and Greinke was on the bad end of it this week. He completely wrecked the pitching numbers for his owners, posting a 9.90 ERA and 2.00 WHIP with only 10 strikeouts. While he looked better in the later stages of his second game, this bad of a start was something no one saw coming. Greinke will almost surely bounce back in the coming weeks.


Mookie Betts, OF – Boston Red Sox – A dark horse AL MVP candidate didn’t have a good first week, although two games getting postponed probably did not help the cause. Betts only had 3 hits this week, and also struck out 8 times to just 1 walk. There’s no reason to think it’s anything other than one bad week. Sitting on top of the Red Sox order will certainly help, and the power/speed combo will show up shortly.


Free Agents to Add (all ownerships on Yahoo)


Tyler White, 1B/3B (66% owned) – Houston Astros – Oh look, the Astros have another player that can smash the ball. This week wasn’t a good start for my prediction that fellow 1B A.J. Reed would win AL Rookie of the Year, but that didn’t stop me from adding White in 3 leagues. White only struck 3 times and launched 3 homers while going 10/15 at the plate. 1B isn’t the deepest position in baseball, and White could be an early diamond off the waiver wire. His ownership is a touch high for what we’ll typically look at, but White needs to be owned in almost every format right now.


Brandon Phillips, 2B (49% owned) – Cincinnati Reds – Phillips missed a couple of games with the flu, but still managed to hit the ground running. He produced a nice mix of runs, homers, stolen bases and average while not recording a strikeout. He’s not a name with much sizzle, but could be very useful especially in leagues that have a middle infield spot to fill.


Joey Rickard, OF (14% owned) – Baltimore Orioles – This is a very speculative add, as Rickard is a complete unknown. He totaled 8 hit this week and added 3 RBI. If he could keep up his on base percentage and bats leadoff, the power in the Oriole lineup could push him to a nice asset for runs.


Trade Candidates


Justin Turner, 1B/3B – Los Angeles Dodgers – Turner had a high level of concern coming into the year after off-season surgery and no real track record before last season. His first week saw good production, and shouldn’t cost a ton to acquire. The flexibility between corner infield spots is a large bonus, and it wouldn’t be too surprising to see him add more positions as the year goes on.


Jonathan Lucroy, C/1B – Milwaukee Brewers – Lucroy played in 5 of a 6 possible games this week, which seems to signal he’s healthy after an injury marred 2015. The power didn’t show up yet, and neither did any RBIs. Use that to your advantage and see what the price is on Lucroy before the other numbers start to compile. Also, there’s a good chance he will be traded to a better team and lineup by the MLB trade deadline.


David Ortiz, 1B/DH – Boston Red Sox – Big Papi had an excellent start to the 2016 campaign, clubbing 2 HRs for 5 RBI. He obviously won’t hit .385 all year, but I just have a feeling that Ortiz will want to go out on top of his game in his last season. It wouldn’t hurt to see what the price is, especially if he is 1B eligible in your league.


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