by Will Overton
You have to love April when fantasy players panic and make rash decisions that you get to turn around and benefit from. There’s nothing better than gaining from your opponents mistakes. Lots of impatient owners give up on players too quickly, what you have to decide is whether they are worth a spot on your team’s bench or if they really are best left as waiver wire fodder.
If you can navigate your way through it you can turn one owner’s trash into your own treasure when/if they bust out of their slow starting slumps. Here is my opinion on six of the most dropped players in fantasy baseball and whether you should buy ‘em or deny ‘em.
These six guys are probably only being dropped in standard leagues, so some of this might not apply for deeper leagues, but if you have someone in mind for deeper leagues leave a comment and I’ll give you my take. And there will be times where this feature will cover deep leagues too, just not this week. With that said…
Let’s go dumpster diving folks:
Adam Lind – 1B, Toronto Blue Jays: One of the first things I look at is whether a guy is a threat to lose playing time. Right now the Blue Jays probably have to keep playing Lind unless they call up Travis Snider for his millionth chance, or decide one of their outfielders needs more time. Lin may start sitting against lefties on a regular basis however as he is 2 – 16 against them so far this season.
Lind’s struggles look are being called a slump, but bear in mind it’s a slump he has been in since the middle of last season. After the all-star break Lind hit .197, albeit with decent power still (10 HR). If I want a power hitter who can’t get on base I’d just as soon grab one with a bit more upside than Lind, like Ike Davis who is probably being dropped in the same leagues. I’ll pass on Lind and his four month long slump.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em
Jeff Francoeur – OF, Kansas City Royals: Out of the gate Francoeur is struggling to the tune of a .227 average while he is yet to go deep or steal a base and also has just three runs batted in so far. However, the entire Royals team is struggling right now and as Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer heat up, hopefully Francoeur will do the same. Francoeur has only had 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position so far so it’s hard to put too much heat on him for not knocking in more runs. I think Francoeur gets it going again and ends up with similar numbers to last season. Keep him on your bench until he heats up, but I think it’s coming.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em
Ryan Roberts – 2B/3B, Arizona Diamondbacks: Kirk Gibson holds strong to the claim that Ryan Roberts is still the team’s starting third baseman, but it’s hard to put much stock into that when Roberts has sat out the last four games now. Cody Ransom has been starting and he’s 5 – 11 over the last three games. I don’t have much faith in Ransom continuing to hit the ball and eventually Roberts will be the everyday third baseman again, but in standard leagues you can’t wait for that and just hope he fares better when he does start again. Deep leaguers should grab him, but standard league players should probably stay away from him.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em
Justin Masterson – SP, Cleveland Indians: I had some reservations about Justin Masterson coming into the season and so far those reservations seem to be warranted. Masterson threw an absolute gem of a game on opening day for the Indians striking out 10 over 8 innings and allowing just one run and three base hitters. Since then Masterson has thrown 13.2 innings in three games, has given up 21 hits and 15 earned runs. Even more alarming, if that’s possible, Masterson has walked 11 and struck out just five. The wildness is a serious concern because Masterson is known to give up a whole of hits. His growth last year was based on lowering his walks substantially. If the walks are up the production will go down, simple, but true. I may use him as a matchup play in a streaming staff, but I don’t like him in standard leagues at this point.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em
Ervin Santana – SP, Los Angeles Angels: Santana has been as bad as Masterson just in a different way and Santana doesn’t have the one really good start to fall back on. Santana has thrown 23.2 innings and has a 7.23 ERA losing all four games he’s pitched. Unlike Masterson control isn’t the issue as Santana has 16 K’s and 8 BB’s. The issue for Santana is the long ball which he has given up 10 of them, an absolutely absurd amount. Santana is a naturally slow starter with an ERA just under 5.00 in April the last three years combined. Santana has always had an issue with the long ball, but he won’t keep up this kind of HR rate. Santana needs to keep his focus and make every pitch count, I think he’ll come around along with the Angels offense. I would probably keep him on the bench until you see a good start, but I’d gamble on Santana turning it around.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em
Which dropped slow starters are you willing to gamble on in your leagues? Any of these guys intrigue you enough to take a chance on them?