It’s a game so nice, you gotta play it twice. Let’s turn two after last week’s recommendations did well. Fantasy baseball is a fickle beast, and requires patience. With that addressed, how about we build on last week’s successful adds.
If you snatched up Jurickson Profar and used him, congrats. Profar’s average leaves plenty to be desired (.238), but he’s cranked four dingers, scored eight times, drove in 11, and has a stolen base. A .238 average is not someone you would typically roster, but Profar carries an OPS of .949, which is an immediate add.
Turns out Jesus Sanchez is a boom/bust option that has turned out in the “Boom” column thus far. Seems like Connor Joe and Gavin Lux are doing ok, as well. Don’t miss the boat. Let’s see who else we can find to aid your roster with immediate upside. Sitting on your hands to start a season is fair, but we need to be proactive. Yesterday’s trash becomes a treasure pretty quickly. As usual, I will do my best to not repeat names, but if the percentage of ownership remains low, I’ll repeat myself.
***All availability percentages are from Yahoo! fantasy baseball leagues.***
Eric Lauer (SP – MIL) 27% owned
Last Sunday, I listed Aaron Ashby on the “watch list” section. Hopefully, you weren’t watching, because I clearly chose the wrong Brewers’ pitcher. Ashby got shelled, but still carries an ERA just above 3.00, so he’s worth remaining on watch for your team. The 26-yaer-old Lauer, in the meantime, went out and gave Milwaukee six innings of one-run baseball while sitting five batters down via strikeout. He was facing Pittsburgh, but a MLB team is a MLB team. Lauer’s first time out this season was in a loss to the Baltimore Orioles, where he only lasted 4.1 innings, still striking out five.
Frankly, 4.1 and six innings ain’t too shabby to start this season. Add in the fact that the youngster is pitching alongside hurlers like Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta, and his future is bright. The learning curve will be short. It’s time to roster him over whatever old dude you have heading out there every fifth day. The Brewers have arguably the best rotation in baseball, and Lauer fits the bill perfectly.
J.P. Crawford (SS – SEA) 31% owned
Crawford gets a raw deal, mostly because of his lack of positional flexibility. However, middle infielders that are consistently productive are sometimes hard to find if you had a poor draft. The jury is out on whether the Long Beach, CA native can continue his torrid pace. He currently is ranked 26th overall in Yahoo! fantasy leagues. Even if your team is not in need of a shortstop, Crawford is worth rostering as a utility man (and potential daily starter), especially if 2022 turns out to be his breakout campaign. The 6’2″ lefty swinger is currently slashing an absurd .340/.460/.560. That’s an OPS of 1.020 to go along with two moonshots with the boomstick and he is stuffing the stat sheet everywhere else. Crawford’s career WAR is +9.2. It’s silly for him to be rostered in under two-thirds of leagues.
Brandon Marsh (OF – LAA) 33% owned
Let’s make one thing abundantly clear, in case you haven’t noticed in my suggestions. You simply cannot win a league based on familiar names, the guys you know and love as household names like Nelson Cruz might be serviceable. However, the youth movement is real, and this early in 2022 you have an opportunity to grab the next breakout superstar. Marsh might be that guy. he currently has two ding-dongs and has driven in 13 for the Los Angeles Angels. He has swiped a base and carries a .956 OPS. It is worth keeping an eye on, but Marsh looks to be far more entrenched in the lineup than teammate Jo Adell, who is also worth a flier.
Dany Jimenez (RP – OAK) 28% owned
Jimenez is ranked 68th overall by Yahoo! fantasy and appears to have control of the closer job in Oakland. He has only tossed six innings, but has yet to allow a run while striking out nine and walking just two. Jimenez has a WHIP of just 1.000 and has been especially efficient in the early going of 2022. Fantasy managers who need saves and a solid everyday pitcher to drive down their ERA could do less than the Dominican reliever that has a win and a pair of saves to his credit. Everyone needs a closer. Go get him.
Michael King (RP – NYY) 16% owned
This is a reach, but for you owners in deep leagues that like speculative adds, this is for you. Really, it’s for everyone but falling on deaf redraft ears is not my favorite practice. Aroldis Chapman is beginning to look human (though his stats still check out), and King is absolutely blowing batters away. King has whiffed 18 batters in just short of 11 innings this season, including eight over three innings on Friday. If you need holds, it’s a slam dunk. If you play in a deep league, you might stash King in the hopes he’ll close games sooner than later.
Roster Immediately if Available
Chad Kuhl (SP, RP – COL) 22% owned
You might need to sit him for the occasional home start, but Kuhl’s numbers are legit after limiting the Detroit Tigers to one run. He will not start again until next weekend, but a game against the toothless Reds is certainly enticing.
Jorge Lopez (RP – BAL) 40% owned
How a guaranteed closer (regardless of where he plays) is rostered by less than half of fantasy managers is beyond me. Easy pickup.
Nathaniel Lowe (1B – TEX) 53% owned
Lowe cannot keep this pace up, but he is on fire right now and practically free. The 6’4″ Rangers first baseman is hitting .382 through 14 games.
Nick Senzel (OF – CIN)
Josh Naylor (1B, OF – CLE)
Thairo Estrada (2B, SS, OF – SFG) – Estrada needs to be rostered, but should not be picked up if it means dropping a valued player.
Good luck with all your moves. Be patient with your guys as it is still early in the season. If you’re iffy on someone, though, the goods are right here. May you get everyone you want! See you next Sunday.