With baseball season in full swing, fantasy players are scrambling to perfect their rosters in hopes of winning their leagues. While only the beginning of the season, an early season transaction can make one’s team, for better or for worse. Below are five players owned in less than 50% of Yahoo and ESPN leagues, respectively, that should be on your radar, and another five owned in more than 50% of leagues that can be cut.
Players To Add:
Pete Alonso (66%, 57%) and Chris Paddack (79%, 60%): Okay, there needs to be an exception to every rule. Both Alonso and Paddack are all-world talents who are off to fast starts and should be owned in all leagues. Does anything else need to be said?
Starlin Castro (22%, 35%): Castro has been off to a fast start, hitting .321 with two homeruns in his first seven games. Castro has always been a solid contributor across the board, and should continue to be so. Despite hitting only twelve homeruns last year, Castro had a career high hard hit rate, meaning that number should go up this year. As an added bonus, Castro will most likely be playing for a much better offense by the end of the season.
Christian Walker (20%, 24%): Maybe the most pleasant surprise out in Arizona has been Christian Walker. Walker is off to a blazing start, while trying to fill the impossible task of replacing Paul Goldshmidt. So far he has been able to do that, to the tune of a .369 batting average and three homeruns. He even has a stolen base for added measures.
Dansby Swanson (15%, 15%): Once a top prospect, Swanson has been mostly an afterthought due to a slow start in the majors. He started pulling it together last year with fourteen homers and ten steals, and has always shown flashes. Swanson is off to a great start, and if he can keep the average up should finish as a top-ten shortstop for the year. With the way he is playing, it would not be surprising to see Swanson move up in a potent Braves lineup.
Players To Drop:
Jackie Bradley Jr. (52%, 67%): JBJ, as he is often called, has been a solid contributor for the past few seasons. That is, with two big caveats. He hasn’t hit for average in a little bit, and is consistently hitting at the bottom of the Red Sox lineup. JBJ has struggled this season to start, and while he is still capable of having a 15-15 season, he most likely won’t produce much in the RBIs, runs, and AVG categories. He’s not bad, but he is also not good enough for category leagues.
Billy Hamilton (73%, 75%): Is one category enough to justify owning a player? For stolen bases, the answer is often times yes. Hamilton should provide plenty of stolen bases, but at the same time has struggled to get on base. He had an awful .236 average and .299 OBP, while also not providing runs, RBIs or homeruns. Additionally, Hamilton had a career worse 34 stolen bases in a career high 153 games in 2018. Hamilton should only be kept if one is absolutely desperate for stolen bases.
Archie Bradley (62%, 49%): Bradley lost the closer job with a terrible spring training. Nothing else needs to be said. While middle relievers often can help lower ERAs and WHIP, Bradley has struggled to keep runners off the bases so far this year. He hasn’t allowed runs, but considering he has allowed two runners to reach in all three appearances so far, that dam is about to break.
Danny Jansen (59%,57%): Catcher is a very thin position, so oftentimes dropping one is not a luxury. With Russell Martin gone, Jansen has taken over the everyday catching role in Toronto. Many experts expected him to be a breakout star and even a top twelve catcher for the year. However, Jansen has struggled out of the gate, sitting at just 2/21 in five games. Again, cutting a catcher is a luxury few can afford, but if one can afford it, then dropping Jansen is a good start.
Yu Darvish (83%, 86%): Should Darvish actually be dropped? Probably not. Darvish has not looked the same since sustaining an injury last season, and it has manifested into ELEVEN walks in his first two starts. This is not as much of a drop as a trade high while you still can, but if Darvish continues to struggle it is okay to drop him despite the big name.