2017 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball: The Weekly Standard

We took a week off from the weekly standard to cover the first bit of trade activity last week. We are back with the best position player, starting pitcher, and relief pitcher available on the waiver wire. In order to qualify, you have to be available in more than half of the Yahoo and ESPN leagues out there. We also do the best we can to avoid repeating the players we profile.

Position Player

Dexter Fowler— St. Louis Cardinals

Yahoo: 47.0%

ESPN: 45.5%

Key Stats: .244, 14 HR, 42 Runs, 37 RBI, 4 SB, 39 BB

Simply put, the only thing standing between Fowler and stardom is the injury bug. Fowler was a draft day selection in the vast majority of leagues, but somewhere along the way he got dropped. Patience is tough these days, but he is still on pace to hit close to 20 home runs and draw 60 walks. Keep in mind that he missed more than a month’s worth of games with nagging injuries here and there. If he’s healthy the last two months he could be as productive as anyone.

Starting Pitcher

R.A. Dickey— Atlanta Braves

Yahoo: 21.0%

ESPN: 17.4%

Key Stats: 6 wins, 4.14 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 78 SO

There’s a debate in the fantsy world between guys that are essentially mediocre but durable and guys that are dominant in fewer innings. Dickey is on pace to throw 180 innings. That’s nothing to sneeze at and his ERA isn’t bad, but he really doesn’t offer much more than that. His strikeout rate is getting lower and lower and the Braves aren’t exactly the most competitive team around. Still, he will pitch six innings most of the time and if you need innings he is about as good as there is out there.

Relief Pitcher

Mychal Givens— Baltimore Orioles

Yahoo: 18.0%

ESPN: 9.1%

Key Stats: 7 wins, 1.97 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 53 SO, 17 holds

A growing contingent of fantasy experts are advocating going with multiple middle relievers over mediocre starting pitchers. While wins are hardly reliable in any instance, relief wins are extremely unreliable. Givens may continue to pitch just as well as he is now and never win another game. Still, pitchers that have ERAs under two and WHIPs under 1.00 don’t grow on trees. However, there are enough of them to buy three of them and fill them into your generic pitching slots if you have them.

Let’s say you have three guys that pitch to an average of a 2.50 ERA over 60 innings a piece. That is equivalent to one starting pitcher pitching 180 innings. That pitcher would likely win the ERA crown or at least come close. Add in probably 200+ strikeouts and you could probably also add 15 victories between the three. That’s an all-star level pitcher that you probably got for three of the final spots in the draft or on the waiver wire.

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