I’ve long believed that ottoneu owners should essentially ignore the league standings through the first month of the baseball season, but that doesn’t mean teams should be resting on their laurels. The first couple months of the season are the best times to pounce on unexpected breakouts, and even if 75% of your pickups end up being duds the one or two studs you might find make the hunt fruitful. Let’s take a look at the players ottoneu teams are picking up and dropping most frequently over the past week:
|Player Name||Owned %||Add % Change (7 Days)|
I’m going to change how I present my commentary on these tables slightly, I’m now going to sort these groups into different categories based on my opinions of the players, and provide some additional commentary for select players.
Must Adds (the players that you should be adding if they’re still available)
Caleb Smith– Smith has had a couple of clunker starts (4/5 @PHI, 4/16 @NYY), but even with those poor outings he now carries a 3.67 ERA/ 3.36 FIP/ 3.54 xFIP. Jeff Zimmerman likened his profile and pitch mix to that of Chris Sale, but I think Robbie Ray probably serves as a better comp. The stuff is for real, and hard to find in a LHP, but the control is spotty.
Nick Kingham– Kingham was just recently demoted by the Pirates back to AAA, but it wasn’t an indictment on Kingham’s production, as he was fantastic in his two starts (11.68 K/9, 2.24 xFIP). Kingham, and his new slider, should be back in Pittsburgh very soon, and he’s well worth adding in the meantime (and in fact the demotion might make the cost to add him slightly reduced).
Daniel Robertson– It’s hard to take any 100 PA sample seriously, but the former KATOH Top 100 prospect is showing excellent plate discipline (19% walk rate, 24% strikeout rate) and modest pop (.190 ISO). In addition, his xOBA per xStats.org is .389, suggesting his early performance is justified by his current batted ball mix/Statscast data. Despite my placing of him as a must add, I don’t think Robertson is a lock to be valuable the rest of the season, but if he is for real now is the time to pounce. The SS/2B/3B eligibility is a nice bonus, at least.
Speculative Adds (the players that are worth adding, depending on roster needs)
Fernando Romero– Romero is the new hotness, and he is certainly a worthwhile pitching prospect, but I wouldn’t go crazy trying to pick him up. Romero is likely to struggle with command, but he does generate lots of grounders and Target Field is a pitcher-friendly home park. I would rather own Smith or Kingham, but if you need SP help (or are in a rebuild), you could do much worse than targeting Romero.
Matt Adams– This is a tricky one, as Adams has been mashing so far this season for the Nationals (.484 wOBA- yes, that’s not a typo), but he’s a defensively limited corner OF/1B with an extreme career platoon split (.360 wOBA vs RHP, .262 wOBA vs LHP). For the purposes of ottoneu, I’m treating Adams as a valuable 5th/6th platoon OF, with the understanding that once he starts to cool off he may lose a fair bit of playing time.
Daniel Winkler– He may be behind Vizcaino and Minter in the bullpen pecking order in Atlanta, but Winkler has been excellent in 15.2 IP (13.21 K/9, 1.15 ERA/1.37 FIP/2.71 xFIP). I don’t believe Winkler is really this good, but he now owns a career line of 2.12 ERA/ 2.77 FIP/ 3.05 xFIP in 34 career innings, so what he’s done this year isn’t far from what he’s done in a limited sample the rest of his career. With Vizcaino and Minter both struggling with their control, Winkler is a dark horse potential saves option.
Justin Anderson– I might speculate on Anderson as a potential closer in 5×5, but that’s probably the only scenario where I’m adding him. He’s pitched better than his results (4.26 ERA/4.26 FIP/ 3.48 xFIP), but even that 3.48 xFIP isn’t really low enough to justify owning him if he’s not getting saves.
Pass (the players I don’t think are worth adding)
Jeremy Jeffress– Don’t let the 0.45 ERA fool you, Jeffress isn’t pitching that much better than career numbers (3.19 xFIP, career 3.71 xFIP). He doesn’t strike out enough batters to really be worth rostering in FGPts leagues, but he does generate groundballs (59.2%, 58.5% career) and his control this year is as good as it’s ever been. Let someone else buy into Jeffress, there are better RP options available in your league.
Nick Ahmed– The humidor is having the expected effect on home runs in Chase Field (about a 30% reduction as of yesterday), and Ahmed is a 28 year old defense-first SS with a career 62 wRC+ in 1,141 PA. No thanks.
Junior Guerra– I believe Guerra’s 4.52 xFIP is much more representative of his talent than his current 2.33 ERA/ 3.94 FIP, so like his teammate Jeffress I’m going to let someone else take a chance on Junior.
|Player Name||Owned %||Cut % Change (7 Days)|
The only one in this group I’d be keen to claim/re-auction is Montgomery, but even then I’d only do it in order to flip him later to an owner that believes in the young Yankees hurler more than I do.
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.