Who is Being Dropped & Why (Week 4)

The one theme I’ve seen this week is fantasy managers cutting bait with some healthy higher-round picks (e.g. David Price, Zach Davies, and Devin Williams). I agonized over Ian Happ for a while this week. The key will be determining if the struggles are random variance or change in talent.

For this weekly feature, I use the NFBC Main Event because of the number of identical leagues. Additionally, the managers stay engaged longer on the whole since each spent $1700 per team. I tried to find that sweet spot between the obvious and bizarre drops and will focus on players dropped in seven to ten leagues. Previously the number was six to nine, but I adjusted with the Main Event adding four leagues since I did the report.


Mike Brosseau (10): The simple reason for the drops is managers not knowing when/if he’ll play since it’s not a handedness platoon.

Tom Murphy (10): A 36% K% has torpedoed an already limited skill set. The main issue is that he can’t hit fastballs with a 23% SwStr% versus four-seamers and a 21% SwStr% versus sinkers.

Evan White (9): The results have been horrible, but they almost identical to his projections. One observation, his power (Avg EV, Max EV, Hard Hit%) is down and I’m guessing it’s from an early quad issue. His power might return once he’s healed.

Jorge Alfaro (9): Unproductive (.507 OPS) catcher on the IL… easy drop.

Stephen Piscotty (9): He’s been splitting time in left field with Seth Brown while not being the best hitter (.733 OPS). He seems to be a player who will come on and off rosters as his playtime and production vary.

Jacob Stallings (8): He was projected to be a weak-hitting catcher and he’s performing like a weak-hitting catcher. Hopefully, a better catcher was on the wire.

Victor Reyes (8): He was still rostered… damn. He’s been irrelevant since before the season started when he was in a platoon. And it doesn’t help that in his few opportunities he’s hitting a .435 OPS.

Brian Anderson (7): He wasn’t hitting (.529) and a trip to the IL made him expendable.

Guillermo Heredia (7): I bid on Heredia in several leagues where I needed a regular contributing outfielder (seven straight starts, .913 OPS). In 15-team leagues, this type of player is tough to find.

J.P. Crawford (7): He came into the season as a replacement-level hitter, he’s performed worse (.239/.308/.268, 0 HR, 1 SB), so there is no need to keep him rostered.

Mauricio Dubon (7): It’s tough to be fantasy relevant when hitting .150/.190/.200 and not playing every day.

Max Stassi (7): It doesn’t matter that he’s hitting .375/.474/.563, it’s tough to roster a non-playing catcher in the NFBC format.

Yandy Diaz (7): While he’s hitting for a middling batting average (.242 AVG) with no power (.045 ISO), he is playing most of the time (started in 11 of the last 12 games). Someone will be interested in rostering him next week.


Brad Keller (10): He’s just been awful with identical strikeout and walk rates. He’s had for starts and only thrown a total of 12 innings.

Griffin Canning (10): If he had his career home run rate (1.6 HR/9) instead of a 3.6 HR/9, he’d not be on the wire. His 18.1% K%-BB% ranks 74th among pitchers with at least 10 IP. Only two of the following 15 pitchers have an ERA over 4.00. He’s one.

Casey Mize (9): The only positive outcome so far this season is a 55% GB%. The groundballs aren’t limiting homers (2.1 HR/9) and his 6.1 K/9 is way below league average. So far, his prospect pedigree is not making him a good pitcher.

Tanner Houck (9): Demoted back to the alternate site. Should be rostered when in the majors.

Adrian Houser (8): He’s a streaming option right now with too many walks (4.3 BB/9) and not enough strikeouts (5.7 K/9). The only trait keeping him relevant is a 62% GB%.

Joey Lucchesi (8): Lost his fantasy value once he was demoted to the alternate site.

Zach Davies (8): He’s been horrible (8.80 ERA, 2.09 WHIP, more walks than strikeouts) and nothing positive to build off. The worst part is that many of the pitchers drafted around him have been decent to good this season.

Brett Anderson (7): An Adrian Houser clone (no strikeouts, all groundballs) but on the IL.

Joe Ross (7): One good and one bad start for a total of 10 IP, 1 W, 9 K’s, 9.58 ERA, 1.65 WHIP.

Logan Webb (7): It was a nice two-step for Webb against Miami and Philadelphia (11 IP, 1 W, 12 K’s, 1.36 WHIP, and 3.27 ERA). And he was smartly dropped before two starts against the Padres.


Bryan Garcia (10): He might be Detroit’s closer in waiting but he has not been able to carry over the magic he had last season (1.64 ERA, ERA estimators around 5.50). His current 5.00 ERA lines up with this season’s estimators.

Keynan Middleton (10): He’s been able to secure two Saves with a 5.6 BB/9, but he’s not Seattle’s closer or even a good pitcher.

Drew Pomeranz (9): Great reliever but not closing.

José Alvarado (9): Good reliever, not closing, and just came off the IL.

Anthony Bass (8): OK reliever but no longer closing in Miami.

Connor Brogdon (8): He sort of looked like he was going to be the setup man in Philly and then got lit up (7.56 ERA). He’s not good enough (too many walks) to rostered as a non-closer.

David Price (8): Wasn’t starting and unlucky with the long ball (2.8 HR/9). Going on the IL killed any of his fantasy value.

Devin Williams (8): Williams put up numbers last season to be productive as a reliever only (17.7 K/9, 0.63 WHIP, 0.33 ERA), but not this season (12.9 K/9, 1.43 WHIP, 5.87 ERA). Maybe he can turn it around, but I’d look here for a possible replacement.

Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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Evan White has traded quality for quantity, something he needed to do if he was ever going to hit for average. The next step is working quality back into this contact-driven approach. A success should take his offense to where the Mariners need him to be, driving in runs and popping homers.