Now that we’re in Week 6 of most of our seasons, we should be getting an idea of who’s going to lead us to the promised land and who is simply not cutting anymore. Good thing we’re here to help you shed those players that are making you rip your hair out each and everyday for someone new, and actually productive.
Josh Harrison, PIT 2B, 3B (27% ownership), FAAB Bid - $12-14 – Harrison had a great experience getting to play with Team USA in the WBC this offseason and we think that is a contributing factor to his fast start. Instead of facing a bunch of minor-leaguers in a much more relaxed environment, he was thrown into the gauntlet of meaningful games right from the get-go. He’s flat out mashed left-handed pitching, too, as his splits versus them check in at .414/.500/.793 including three homers. With Starling Marte suspended, look for Harrison to leadoff each and every day until the former returns.
Steven Matz, NYM SP (69% ownership), FAAB Bid - $18-20 – We may be jumping the gun a bit here, but picking up and stashing Matz is simply the correct thing to do if he’s available. Over his 22 starts last season, he posted a 1.21 WHIP and an 8.8 K/9. Yes, we get it; Matz is injury prone. But he’s worth taking a flier on, especially because his upside is SP2.
Justin Smoak, TOR 1B (3% ownership), FAAB Bid - $8 – The Jays have been so bad offensively, anyone that shows that they’re hitting is going to play everyday. Just over the last 14 days alone, Smoak has hit .286, belted three homers and driven in nine runs. With Kendrys Morales locked into the DH spot and Steve Pearce hitting an abysmal .167, Smoak is going to continue to play everyday. He has excellent power and is a 20-plus homer guy over a full seasons work.
Jose Reyes, NYM 3B, SS (24% ownership), FAAB Bid - $10 – After catching on with the Mets late in 2016, Reyes showed virtually no signs of life and his recent resurgence couldn’t have been predicted. He’s hitting below the “Mendoza Line” on the year, but over his last seven days he’s hitting .391 with three home runs, five runs batted in and two stolen bases. The Mets have been depleted with injuries and Reyes is going to continue to play everyday. His two-position eligibility on Yahoo! is also a huge bonus.
Archie Bradley, ARI SP (17% ownership), FAAB Bid - $12 – We always immediately search for the player that is replacing another player for an injury or suspension or whatever it may be, and we shouldn’t always automatically do so. However, this is one of those cases where all Shelby Miller owners should take a long hard look at Bradley. Bradley has been pitching out of the bullpen this year and has excelled, striking out 19 batters in 16 innings all while posting a 1.13 ERA and 0.75 WHIP respectively. Bradley is Miller’s likely replacement as he has been a starter virtually his whole career.
J.C. Ramirez, LAA SP (9% ownership), FAAB Bid - $6-7 – The Angels’ rotation has been decimated by injuries and Ramirez has stepped in wonderfully of late. Over his last two starts, he’s struck out 16 batters while yielding just two measly runs over 12.1 innings. All that being said, he has a career 7.1 K/9 so the 10.1 mark he has this season isn’t likely going to be sustainable throughout the entire campaign.
Jed Lowrie, OAK 2B (4% ownership), FAAB Bid - $5 – So let’s all agree all opposing pitchers would prefer to pitch to Jed Lowrie than Khris Davis, so we have that going for us. Lowrie has been slotted in the three-hole for almost the entire first month of the season and has been productive there. He’s only driven in five runs, but he’s hitting .292 and has an OPS slightly under .800 at .792. Lowrie should be owned in all AL-only formats, and a lot of deep 15-team leagues, but nothing beyond that. If he continues to hit, we could make a case for him in 12-teamers as well.
Tim Beckham, TB SS, 2B, 1B (23% ownership), FAAB Bid - $3 – This is a risky pickup, which is why we’re suggesting him in only 15-team leagues. He’d be a solid option in 12-team formats BUT Matt Duffy is nearing a return and that should severely cut into Beckham’s playing time. That said, Beckham ahs been great of late. He’s amassed an 1.019 OPS over the past two weeks and an .815 OPS on the year. His multiple position eligibility is a plus and his real life versatility should keep him in the lineup if he continues to hit, but proceed with caution and don’t drop a full-time player for someone who could become a platoon player before you know it.
*ownership percentages courtesy of Yahoo
** FAAB bids based on $100 budget