We now have some games under our belt, and we can really start to analyze how players are performing. It appears the Stock Watch and Waiver Wire report will be more important than ever this year. It seems as though we will consistently lose players to COVID-19. And while we don’t want to overact to small sample sizes, this season is so short that we have to be more proactive with moves than we have in the past. Without further adieu, let’s dive in!  

Stock up

Brady Singer , KC SP – The Royals rookie pitcher looked good in his MLB debut against a solid Indians lineup on Saturday, hurling five innings of two-run ball while striking out seven. He walked two and scattered three hits in the no-decision. He was a first round draft pick out of Florida and he is a top-100 prospect, so the success in his first start wasn’t all that surprising. He posted a 2.85 ERA across 148.1 innings in the minor leagues last season while striking out 138. His next start will be against the Tigers and he is worth adding to your roster for that outing and possibly beyond.

Eric Hosmer , SD 1B – He is off to scorching hot start, going 4-for-6 with a home run, a pair of doubles, and seven RBI. He has also drawn two walks. He has been considered an overrated player throughout his career, but I believe the tides have officially turned and he may even be a bit underrated. He swatted 22 dingers and drove in 99 runs last season and yet nobody wanted him in fantasy drafts this year. This is a player that we have seen hit north of .293 four times in his career and he has four seasons with at least 93 RBI. He is hitting in a premium spot in a revamped Padres lineup and he should continue to drive in runs at a strong rate.

Kyle Lewis, SEA OF – Lewis is also off to a strong start out of the gate, going 4-for-11 with two dingers, three runs scored, and four RBI. He’s hit either third or fourth in the Mariners lineup in all three games thus far and will continue to have RBI opportunities. There will be regression of course, but this is a former first round pick with legitimate pop in his bat. Let’s not forget, he swatted six home runs and drove in 13 runs across just 18 games last season. His extremely high strikeout rate will be a problem in points leagues, but he can be an asset in leagues that do not utilize strikeouts.

Stock down

Madison Bumgarner , ARI SP – Mad Bum posted the worst ERA of his career last season with a 3.90 mark. He also posted a sub-9.0 K/9 for the third straight season after having a K/9 north of 9.0 in three straight seasons. In his first start with the D-backs he didn’t look good either, giving up three runs across 5.2 innings while striking out four. He no longer has the benefit of Oracle Park as his home field, where he has a career ERA of 2.72. Oracle Park is easily the best pitchers park in the league and while Chase Field (his new home park) isn’t horrible for pitchers, it’s far worse than Oracle Park. This is a declining pitcher in a worse situation.

Bryan Reynolds , PIT OF – Reynolds is off to a 0-for-10 start to begin the year and for a guy whose only fantasy benefit was supposed to be batting average, this isn’t exactly the start you would hope for. It’s still early, but you can almost already move on from Reynolds at this point. He does not provide in the power or speed department and the Pirates lineup is abysmal, so his RBI and run scoring opportunities may also be limited. In a shortened season, you can’t be afraid to move on from a borderline fantasy player who is off to a cold start.

Garrett Hampson , COL OF – He is droppable at this point, flat out. He has sat two of the first three games, both against righties, with his lone start coming against a lefty. That puts him on the short side of the platoon and will equate to him sitting more frequently than he actually plays. Even if the situation does improve at some point, it does not appear that Hampson will be an everyday player at any point this season and that makes him un-ownable for fantasy purposes. Even when he does find himself in the lineup, it’s at the bottom of the order. He does not have much pop in his bat and the counting stats are going to be lacking.

Stocks to Watch

Tyler Chatwood , CHC SP – I had a good feeling about Chatwood going into his start against the Brewers and he did not let me down, tossing six innings of one-run ball while striking out eight. He walked two and gave up just three hits. Chatwood is a solid pitcher who can be effective as long as he stays in control and doesn’t walk a bunch of people. Chatwood has had an up-and-down career, but he has posted multiple seasons that were beneficial to a fantasy team and there are reasons to believe he could do it again this year. He is an option in deeper leagues while shallow leagues should keep an eye on him.