The season is less than a week old, but the ottoneu waiver wire is as busy as ever. The sample sizes of early performances are microscopic, but if you want to snag the next breakout or “popup” performer the early bird gets the worm. In what will likely be a recurring feature again this year, let’s look at the ottoneu most added (and cut) players in the early going.
|Player Name||Owned %||Add % Change (7 Days)|
|Delino Deshields Jr.||32.2%||20.5%|
Roberto Osuna begins the year on the DL, so Jason Grilli will serve as the Blue Jays closer for now. Grilli is probably just a short term play until Osuna comes back, but it’s possible Grilli recaptures the ’15 magic and puts up one last relevant RP season at age 40.
Kendall Graveman has been a hot topic lately, and auctions are starting for him in leagues where owners are looking for respectable innings anywhere they can find them. I know the velocity is up, and his first start was encouraging, but I would temper my enthusiasm and treat Graveman as a $1 or $2 lottery ticket.
Joe Douglas wrote about Yandy Diaz in his penny stocks piece earlier this week, and Diaz has been a hot target in the early going, but one point I want to reinforce is that a player like Diaz is great as a $1 or $2 speculative asset but probably not worth bidding $5+ on. It’s going to be tough for Diaz to return value at third base unless he’s at least a league average hitter, which might be expecting too much from the 25 year old in his first exposure to MLB.
I will admit I was wrong in my expectation that Shawn Kelley would win the closer role with the Nationals, and Blake Treinen owners are the beneficiary. Treinen is up to nearly 96% ownership, so you’ve likely missed your opportunity to add him, but he’s looked excellent in three appearances so far. I still think Kelley is the best pitcher in that bullpen, and this might be a bit of a revolving door situation all year.
Charlie Morton picked up where he left off in spring training by throwing gas in his Wednesday start, averaging 94.7 MPH on his fastball. That’s up 3.1 MPH from his career average, and if he can maintain that velocity while generating 55%+ ground balls he should be an above replacement level option in ottoneu.
Nick Franklin was DFA’d by the Rays, and has subsequently been getting the boot from his ottoneu teams as well. Franklin has since been claimed by the Brewers, but he’s not worth rostering unless something happens to Villar or Arcia.
Most of the other names on this list are due to injury (Smith/Smyly/Thornburg/Duffy/Lugo/Dickerson), as the opportunity cost of holding a player on the DL who wasn’t expected to be more than a bench option to begin with is just too high.
One name on the most cut list that’s not injured is Alex Wood, as he lost the Dodgers 5th starter competition to Brandon McCarthy. I’m heavily invested in Wood, and while I will probably end up cutting some of my most expensive shares, I think he has value as a reliever that also has potential upside if he ends up back in the rotation.
Justin is a life long Cubs fan who has been playing fantasy baseball for 20+ years, and an ottoneu addict since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @justinvibber.