Most fantasy baseball managers play in 10-team leagues, and usually, that means six owners are often nowhere near the top of the standings around this time of year. Yet that does not mean the season is lost; far from it, in fact.
The secret is to look at the waiver wire constantly to see what is out there. We often get “stuck” with the same roster, because we don’t want to swap out underperforming players we like for over-performing players that we fear may not be able to sustain the success. But a lot of this game is about riding the hot hand, time and time again.
That is how we end up losing the league, however: Never looking to upgrade your roster is almost a sure-fire way to not win. A little focused effort every week can help you make some key moves that just might end up vaulting your team to the top of the standings. But you can’t win if you don’t try to win.
Players to Get on Your Team Now
1. C.J. Cron, 1B, Minnesota Twins: He had the best season of his career in 2018, hitting 30 home runs for Tampa Bay. Now, he’s mashing for the Twins at an even better rate than last year. One thing to suggest this is a permanent climb for Cron is his walk rate. In 140 games with the Rays, he walked just 34 times. This year in just 47 games for Minnesota, Cron has walked 14 times already. He’s getting better at plate discipline.
2. Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins: This is another reason why the American League Central belongs to the Twins right now. Buxton killed fantasy owners in 2018, posting a .383 OPS in 28 games during a terrible season. He’s better than ever now at age 25, though. He has a career-high 19 doubles right now, and it’s only Memorial Day. The eight steals are a plus, too.
3. Brad Peacock, P, Houston Astros: With nine starts this year and two relief appearances, he can fill any slot on your pitching staff with good numbers all around. His strikeout rate is only 9.7 Ks/9 inning pitched this season so far, down from last year’s numbers. However, that’s still plenty good for a starting pitcher, of course.
4. Jarrod Dyson, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks: He has always been one to steal bases, but this year he is hitting solidly, too, posting a career-best .745 OPS right now. That’s not stellar, even with the league-leading 12 SBs. Yet it’s good enough, and with three HRs, too, Dyson is contributing in unexpected ways.
Players to Drop to Waivers Now
1. Andrelton Simmons, SS, Los Angeles Angels: First, he’s hurt, and he will be out until at least the All-Star break now. Even with his .298 batting average, Simmons has just three HRs, while tying for the league lead in double plays grounded into. You can find a better-hitting shortstop who is healthier and more productive.
2. Daniel Murphy, 1B/2B, Colorado Rockies: There was always something very strange about Murphy’s rise to the top of the league in hitting at age 31. But when you can barely hit .200 while playing for the Rockies, you know something is really wrong. The .673 OPS is the lowest of his career, and at age 34, there’s little hope things will get better.
3. Chris Archer, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates: At age 30 now, it’s been a long time since Archer actually posted good overall numbers. That 2015 season was a long time ago. This season, the righty has a 5.55 ERA while coughing up seven HRs in just 35 innings. Yes, he still gets his Ks, but the cost to your fantasy pitching ratios is tremendous.
4. Jameson Taillon, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates: We don’t mean to pick on the Pirates, but Taillon is now on the 60-day disabled list. He is having elbow issues, and with his track record that includes Tommy John surgery, this is not a good sign. In fact, it may be the sign you need to just let him go and be someone else’s concern in 2019, if not 2020.