Fantasy Friday: 1st Edition



1st Edition of Fantasy Friday:



Baseball season has finally arrived, and with it comes the excitement that is fantasy baseball.  Every Friday here on NFL Mocks, I will be posting the latest fantasy baseball news and a comprehensive list of who to pick up, watch and avoid, broken down by position. Feel free to post all your fantasy questions including trade and roster evaluations, and I will answer them within the comments area.



FANTASY BREAKDOWN: Week of April 8th 







Russell Martin:

If for some reason you haven’t picked him up yet, please do so. He is batting in one of the most explosive hitting lineups and in one of the best hitter’s parks in all of baseball. He is starting to look like at the very least, he can put up his 2008 numbers where he hit .280 with 13 homeruns, 69 RBIs and 18 stolen bases.


Miguel Montero:

Montero was a hot commodity in last year’s draft but injuries derailed his season. This year, he looks healthy and primed to repeat his 2009 numbers: .294 avg. 16 hr’s, 59 rbi’s





Josh Thole:

His career K’s to walks ratio is 30BB:31K’s which fits perfectly into the “moneyball” atmosphere new Mets GM Sandy Alderson is trying to establish. Thole will hit the ball on a consistent basis and will see more at bats as the season wears on.




Jarrod Saltalamacchia:

Not only are his batting numbers awful, but he is not a good catcher and it is showing. Opposing players are stealing bases on him left and right, and he doesn’t call a good game which is hurting his pitchers significantly. While this aspect of the game isn’t reflected in his fantasy stat column, it will eventually land him on the bench.






Ike Davis:

Solid walk to strikeout ratio, puts up solid power numbers, and has the gap to gap power to be successful at Citi Field. Hit 19 HRs and 71 RBI last year despite not being called up until a month into the season. He will put up better numbers than Derek Lee, James Loney and Adam LaRoche who are all drafted ahead of him in most leagues.


Gaby Sanchez:

Very similar production to Davis, and is averaging virtually a double per game so far this season. Reliable source of production, and should keep his batting average around .280 all season long.





Brandon Belt:

After wasting no time in hitting his first career homerun, Belt’s numbers have dropped significantly, but he still maintains a 4:3 walk to K ratio which is a good sign of things to come. He can hit for power, hit for contact, and even steal bases, which is not common for a first baseman so he is worth keeping an eye on.


Todd Helton:

The wily old veteran just might have a couple of tricks still left up his sleeve. He is batting in the middle of the lineup on a team that many have slated to win the NL West and he is only one season removed in which he hit .325 with 15 HRs and 86 RBI. If he can stay healthy, Helton can make a major impact for your team as the season progresses.





Adam LaRoche:  

LaRoche is a guy who has been tossed around fantasy teams for years. Yes, he will hit a fair share of HRs and RBIs, but it isn’t worth riding through the multiple hitless games he will post week to week?


James Loney:

What does he really do for your fantasy team? He has proven year in and year out that he can’t hit for power, and his batting average has been in a slow decline ever since the 2007 season.










Alberto Callaspo:

Callaspo is off to a hot start and has shown in the past that he is very capable of batting .300 and hitting 10+ HRs and 70+ RBIs. In most leagues, he is 2B and 3B eligible so he is a solid buy. Ride the hot bat as long as you can if you are struggling at either of those positions.


Freddy Sanchez:

Sanchez is a multi-hit machine, and he will score runs in the Giants’ offense. He will constantly be on base and is a safe play day in and day out.





Placido Polanco:

The health of Polanco’s elbow will be in question throughout the season, but if he can stay off the disabled list, he will score a lot of runs, and produce solid numbers batting second in the Phillies lineup.





Aaron Hill: 

Last year Hill made his 2009 numbers look like they were a fluke and now his health is in question. He is not the player he once was, and he is eventually going to lose his job to Brett Lawrie.











Yunel Escobar:

Got off to a slow start but picked it up after being traded to the Blue Jays at mid-season last year. Off to a smoking hot start, and should continue to produce as he adopts that “swing hard at everything” Blue Jays hitting philosophy.





J.J. Hardy:

Could really produce some good numbers on an improved hitting lineup and in an extremely hitter friendly ballpark


Omar Infante:

Off to a relatively slow start, but so is the majority of the team. His numbers should pick up once Mike Stanton returns to the lineup, and he plays just about every position on the field so he is definitely worth keeping an eye on.





Tsuyoshi Nishioka: 

Last year he posted solid numbers in Japan, but it is unlikely to transfer here. He strikes our way too much, and he was very inconsistent throughout his career in Japan. More Kaz Matsui than Ichiro. (Update: He broke his leg trying to break up a double play so that just made it easy for you)










Alex Gordon:

He might finally be living up to the hype. Expect for his batting average to dip significantly, but he should continue to produce the power numbers.





Chase Headley:

Usually gets off to a good start. If he gets hot, plug and play him until he cools off.





Mike Aviles:  Avg .115  HR 1  RBI 2  Runs 2  SB 2

I know he has been popular in the past but he is off to a slow start and will eventually lose his job to Mike Moustakas as the season wears on.










Coco Crisp:

Crisp will consistently get on base which will lead to plenty of stolen base opportunities and runs scored.


Brennan Boesch:

Boesch is a very streaky player who gets hot for weeks at a clip where he will post phenomenal numbers and then fade out. Ride the hotstreak for as long as you can as he will be a good source of power and RBI.


Marlon Byrd:

Byrd’s production often gets overlooked, and I am fascinated by the fact that his teammate Alfonso Soriano still gets drafted ahead of him. Byrd consistently hits around .300 and is good for around 20 HRs and 80 RBI. Very comparable to Tori Hunter who is owned in virtually all fantasy leagues.


Bobby Abreu:

Could this be the Bobby Abreu of old? He certainly looks like it so far, posting a K:BB ratio of 6:4, and has already hit a HR and stole 2 bases. Abreu should be primed for a solid bounce back year, as he will be seeking more than just a 1 year contract this off-season.


Jose Tabata:

It appears so far that Pirates manager Clint Hurdle may be guiding the team back to respectability, and Tabata has been one of the catalysts. After adding 10 lbs of muscle this off-season, Tabata has recorded a hit in all 7 games this season, and appears primed to have a breakout year hitting out of the leadoff spot. 





Milton Bradley:

Finally looks comfortable. If he stays on track, he can easily put up 20 HRs and 80 RBI so keep an eye on him.





Austin Jackson: 

He is not the base stealer he was once projected to be, and he has already struck out 10 times this season. He is not getting on base, and at times, just looks outmatched at the plate. Stay away.









Travis Wood:

He was lights out in his first start, and started to show last season what he is capable of. The Reds are a good team, and will be in the hunt all season so he will be an impact player for the remainder of the season. Pick him up and stick with him.


A.J. Burnett:

Starting to look like the ’09 version again. Strikouts are up, ERA is down.


Michael Pineda:

This kid is the real deal. Shut down a potent Rangers lineup in his first start and will only get better.


Chris Young:

Let’s not forget how good he is when healthy. Citi Field is emerging as one of the friendliest pitching parks in all of baseball, and he looked great in his first start against a hot Phillies lineup that has seemed to beat up on everyone else.


Kyle Drabek:

The reward in picking him up right now vastly outweighs the risk of him not producing in his next start. This kid has the pedigree, and was absolutely electric in his first outing. Take a chance.





Matt Harrison:

Could be this year’s version of Colby Lewis. Definitely keep a close watch on his next start.


Aaron Harang:

Looks like he might be able to revive his career pitching in the friendly confines of Petco Park.


Ivan Nova:

The Yankees need him to hold up the back end of their rotation and he has produced so far. Might start to struggle as hitters start to figure him out, but he will never lack run support, and has one of the best defenses in baseball backing him up.


Jeff Francis:

Now that he is not pitching in Colorado, we are finally getting to see how good he might be.


Brandon Beachy:

If his next start is as solid as his first, gobble him up. Has a bright future, and plays on a team that will be in the hunt all season





Justin Masterson: 

His first outing was a fluke. 7 innings with no strikeouts is a bit odd considering his high career strikeout rate. Stay away






Jordan Walden:

The Angels wasted no time in cutting bait with Fernando Rodney. Walden is a fresh arm with the talent to hold onto the job.


Sean Burnett:

Appears to have the closer position locked down for now but Drew Storen will be nipping at his heels.





Wilson Lopez:

Brandon Lyon is off to a shaky start, and Lopez is currently the Astros setup man. If Lyon continues to implode, Lopez might get a chance.





Brandon Lyon: 

The Astros will give him every opportunity to succeed because there just isn’t much competition behind him, but even in the save he converted, he gave up 2 hits.


*Feel free to post all your fantasy questions including trade and roster evaluations, and I will answer them within the comments area