It happens every year. The pitcher (or pitchers) you drafted to anchor your staff or, at the very least, to be a key cog in your rotation struggles out of the gate. We saw it happen last year in a big way to Matt Cain who started the 2013 season in a prolonged slump. Cain, however, was a pitcher you wanted to hang onto as he had a sterling 2.36 ERA in the second half of the season (after a 5.06 ERA during the first half). Others, like C.C. Sabathia, never managed to recover from their rough starts. In the early stages of the fantasy season, it’s important to identify which starting pitchers make good buy low candidates. In this article, I’ll share a few of my favorite of such targets and explain why I think they are bound to turn around.
It’s that time again! Time for another edition of the most beloved streaming article in my household, Field of Streams! In this week’s episode, Aaron Harang learns to love again and Wily Peralta gets a visit from the streaming gods.
It’s almost three weeks into the year and the questions have been rolling in. So this article will be a little different from the usual columns you see on TopTeamFantasy. Instead of sharing my own original thoughts this week, we’re going to reach into the mailbag to offer my thoughts on your hottest fantasy questions. Thank you for all the question submissions and if you have more questions, don’t hesitate to contact me for my thoughts on Twitter. Continue reading →
With the fantasy season officially over, please take the time now to take your victory lap (preferably in front of your friends) or go back sulking in the shower (please be alone)…are you back yet? Great, let’s move on. As we enjoy the great postseason play going on, remember it’s never too early to start preparing for next season. Over the next few weeks I’ll be highlighting a player at each position to keep an eye on, either to hold onto in a keeper or dynasty leagues or potential sleepers in your draft next season.
Here we are for another round of Diamond in the Rough, the column that I discuss pickups that I believe will help your team now, and potentially the rest of the year. Week 3 is almost over and you should probably have a pretty good idea of your team’s strengths and weaknesses. If you drafted guys like Derek Jeter, Nick Castellanos and Colby Rasmus, perhaps it’s time to move on. Here, I’ll present four players that are worth adding in a lot of leagues and one deeper league buy for all of you hardcore players. Let’s get to it!
As the third piece in our Art of Building a Dynasty Series (Part 1 and Part 2 here), you should have a clear understanding of what to look for when building for your Golden Years of Championship Contention. It is my belief that to accomplish a championship run, you need to have at least 4 Golden Players to make it happen. However, the chances of you acquiring those 4 golden players through the draft or picking up off waivers is very slim when it comes to dynasties. If you are able to, congratulations, you are in a league of people who have no vision of the future, and should be able to dominate in the long term. However Dynasty Leagues typically offer something unique, increased competition due the commitment it takes (and often the costs) to succeed. In other words, unless the other owners are asleep at the wheel, you’ll probably have 3 of the 4 pieces you need going into your first Golden Season. That leaves only one option; Trading. Trading in dynasty leagues is one of the fundamental ways the best players become better, and the bottom feeders stay at the bottom. This article is going to outline how to excel at trading with your fellow Dynasty Owners, all while building secretly for your Golden Years.
Two weeks into the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season, and panic is starting to set in with a lot of fantasy owners. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably heard this plenty of times, but two weeks into the year isn’t time to change your perspectives on players. First of all, baseball is a six month sport, so with not even 10% of the season completed, you are going to see a lot of variance in a players stats. Second of all, baseball as opposed some of the other popular fantasy sports is inherently unpredictable. In a given game, hitting the ball right at someone or through a hole can be the difference between an 0 for 4 night and a 4 for 4 one.
That’s why we look at stats like BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play). If you aren’t familiar with BABIP, please do yourself a favor and through this glossary on Fangraphs. In fact, I would assume that you are very new to Sabermetrics in which I would recommend you go and read their entire glossary. Trust me, it will make you a better fantasy baseball player. Sabermetrics are used to understand the numbers beneath the numbers. While you may get one picture from stats like batting average, RBI, HR etc.., the picture when looking at the underlying stats may be completely different.
In this article, I’m going to look at some players that have been struggling early in this baseball season (or at least appearing to based on their batting averages) but their BABIP suggests a very different story. Thanks to Fangraphs for all of the data discussed in this article.
That’s right folks, the wait is over! Field of Streams is finally here! Need to know who to stream in the upcoming week? Well, boom, I got you covered! Below you will find some pitchers who could be possible stream dreams in the upcoming week, but I will tell you whether or not I think they are worth a shot.
Beltre was the 2nd third basemen off the board in most drafts, largely considered one of the safest offensive players in the game after 4 straight seasons with at least 28 HRs, 82 runs and 92 RBI with a .296 average. That is particularly impressive when you consider that one of those seasons he only played in 124 games. Due to the Rangers hesitation to place Beltre on the DL, it seems like he will be returning sooner than later so at least the news isn’t all bad for him. I fully expect him to still have another 30 HR season and finish with an average in the .300 range once again.
The 7th third basemen off the board in 2014 drafts, Ryan Zimmerman, is a much more of a concern to me. The thumb injury will likely keep him out until close to June, but he’s already battled shoulder issues and has built up quite the reputation for not being able to stay healthy. For his career, Zimmerman has averaged less than 140 games over his 8 full seasons, something that has been getting worse over the last four. He has averaged only 134 games since 2010 and hasn’t played more than 147 games in any of the four. At this point, owners need to wait out the injury, as trying to sell him now would return pennies on the dollar of his 7th round ADP, but as soon as Zimmerman gets healthy, I’d be selling. That .900 OPS player that was a fantasy stud in 2009 and 2010 is gone and as the injuries continue, the numbers will continue to decline.
So what are us fantasy baseball owners to do while many of us are missing our top third basemen?
Zimmerman’s replacement at 3B and budding star Anthony Rendon is owned in 100% of ESPN leagues so he won’t be discussed here, but if he’s available he should be the #1 pickup. However, there are lots of other good options to be picked up. Keep in mind that replacing top 10 3B is not an easy task. Most of the guys mentioned will not sustain value for the whole time you will need a replacement (particularly in Zimmerman’s case). So make sure you are watching their numbers and getting ready to pounce on someone else when their times come to an end.
That being said, here are my top suggestions in order of preference (ownerships listed is from ESPN leagues):
Early in the season, it’s really important to identify the true breakouts from the hot streaks. The guys I’ve identified here have shown some reason to believe that their hot starts are more than just an aberration, and they could produce throughout the season. In this article, I highlight two hitters who warrant consideration in leagues of all sizes, a young starter picking up where he left off in 2013, and a catcher shaking off a horrendous 2013 season.