We have covered the the dilemma about rookies in fantasy baseball. We have covered the challenges in rostering old guys, too. Like anything in life, however, the secret may be balance. You need both to win in fantasy baseball.
The key is figuring out which of each category—old guys and young guys—to keep and ride to victory. That is always the secret, which is why we also recommend scouring that waiver wire, every day/week, of course.
Just remember: Rarely is every move you make going to strike gold. So you keep panning and sifting through the muck until you do find the fantasy nuggets. It is the only way to make sure you stay competitive in your league from April to October.
Players to Get on Your Team Now
1. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates: The former second-round draft pick is making it big time at age 24 in his rookie debut. The .956 OPS may not last, but clearly Reynolds can hit. He needs to work on his plate discipline (only 12 walks in 43 games so far), but at his age, that will come later, perhaps. He’s hot right now.
2. Howie Kendrick, UTL, Washington Nationals: At age 35 now, the greatness once predicted for Kendrick perhaps never arrived. However, he is proving himself very useful in fantasy baseball in 2019. He might be eligible at three different positions, and he is hitting well with a .325 average, ten home runs, and 38 RBI.
3. Lance Lynn, SP, Texas Rangers: His first month (5.45 ERA) of the season far removed now, Lynn has posted a 4-2 record with 52 strikeouts in his last 45.1 innings pitched. The 3.57 ERA in May and June is more in line with what we would expect from a veteran like Lynn. Ignore the overall marks (4.39 ERA) and grab him while he’s hot.
4. Renato Núñez, 3B, Baltimore Orioles: Need some cheap power? His batting average (.241) is not stellar, but it’s in the Khris Davis range. The 16 HRs and 36 RBI are what matter to an owner that needs to boost those counting stats in the league standings. Núñez is just 25 years old, so this could be the beginning of something big for his career.
Players to Drop to Waivers Now
1. Luke Weaver, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks: This is really a shame, because he was pitching so well for Arizona (3.03 ERA, 68 Ks in 62.1 IP). But when you hear the words “UCL strain” in relation to a pitcher, it’s time to let someone else assume the risk of what that ends up being on a trip to the disabled list.
2. Mitch Moreland, 1B, Boston Red Sox: Why was this guy an All-Star selection in 2018? We have no idea. He is 33 now and hitting a career-low .225 right now, despite a career-high .859 OPS. That both sounds fishy and like he’s just going to tank sooner rather than later. He has 13 HRs in 47 games this year, after hitting 15 in 124 games last season.
3. Christian Walker, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks: He already has struck out 73 times this season, meaning he’s on pace for 194 Ks this season. Walker has only drawn 21 BBs, too, so the .259 average and .819 OPS are definitely going to sag as the season progresses. This is his first full season in MLB, but the peripheral signs are not good. Trade him?
4. Joe Musgrove, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates: Hopefully, he’s not on your roster, but if he is, you can do better. The 4.44 ERA is bad enough, but Musgrove also is not striking out batters anymore. His 7.0 Ks/9 rate is the lowest of his career, and the 2.5 BBs/9 rate is the highest of his career. At age 26, those are not encouraging signs for his abilities.