Once the excitement of the fantasy baseball draft ends, and the season gets started, it becomes a daily labor lo love: checking your lineups, adjusting your roster, and watching the standings during afternoon and evening games. It can take a toll on your health.
Yet the daily grind is why we do this: It’s fun. However, we really cannot take more than a day off if we want our teams to do well. Miss a few days in a row, and the lost statistics pile up, whether you’re playing in a Roto or head-to-head league. Maybe a starter pitching throws a shutout—and he’s on your bench, because you forgot to check your lineup.
The same goes for injured players we may not realize are injured until a few days later. Nothing is worse than a bench player on your team hitting a few home runs when you forgot to put him into the active lineup. As one wise sage once said, it comes down to constant vigilance … every day … in fantasy baseball.
Players to Get on Your Team Now
1. Alex Gordon, OF, Kansas City Royals: Yes, we know he is old. Yes, we know he will not hit .356 for the whole year. He is a .258 career hitter, but Gordon is on fire right now. Why not enjoy the benefits of it? Eventually, his average will recede to the baseline, but until then, his bat still has some hits in it. Sometimes, this is what the daily grind is all about.
2. Zach Elfin, SP, Philadelphia Phillies: Here’s the thing. The Phillies pitchers should win a lot of games with that offensive lineup. So you want to target the SPs in that rotation who register strikeouts. Elfin is your guy. He has given up a few hits too many so far, but with 18 Ks in 16 innings—and just one walk—you have to like that kind of potential.
3. Matthew Boyd, SP, Detroit Tigers: Shrewd owners may have drafted him, liking his potential for strikeouts. Now, as the Tigers actually have won some games, picking up Boyd makes a lot of sense. He has posted 29 Ks in just 17 innings, while giving up just six walks. Those are numbers he probably cannot sustain, but Boyd will get you a lot of Ks this season nonetheless.
4. Jason Heyward, OF, Chicago Cubs: He really has done little with the bat since coming to Wrigley Field in 2016, but Heyward is raking the ball right now. He should have been the National League Rookie of the Year in 2010, but Heyward has never approach his hitting heights from that season until now. Ride him while he’s hot.
Players to Drop to Waivers Now
1. Ian Desmond, 1B/OF, Colorado Rockies: You never want to give up on a Colorado hitter, but Desmond managed just a .236 average last year. That’s terrible for someone who plays half his games in Coors Field. He’s just a .245 hitter with the Rockies overall, as well. Sure, he has solid pop in his bat, but you can find that anywhere on the waiver wire with a better batting average than what Desmond is currently giving you (.151).
2. Nathan Eovaldi, SP, Boston Red Sox: First thing first. He has never been a good pitcher, really, as his lifetime 4.23 ERA suggests. Second, his Boston career has been worse than the rest of his career (4.43 ERA with the Red Sox). He also does not strikeout guys readily (only 6.8 Ks per 9 innings pitched career-wise). How he posted a 1.61 ERA in October last year will remain a mystery, but all it did was inflate his perceived value.
3. J.A. Happ, SP, New York Yankees: Keep in mind he will be 37 years old in October, and eventually, all arms fail. The good news is Happ’s strikeout rate is still high. The bad news is he is still getting roped. We generally suggest you trade or drop him, because you can find Ks anywhere on the waiver wire, and often, the arms are younger and more steady there, too (see above).
4. Marwin González, UTL, Minnesota Twins: The move to the American League Central has not been kind for him. González is hitting just .133 through the first few weeks of the season. He was a popular draft pick because of his position versatility, but that will not matter if he can’t hit his own weight. Bench him if you must keep him. Just take him out of your lineup until his bat shows signs of life again.