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Andy Behrens

The post-opener dumpster dive

Andy Behrens
Roto Arcade

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The fantasy community has spoken to Elijah Dukes, and the message is clear:

"You dropped, dawg. I ain't even (profane). Willy Taveras, too."

In the early weeks of the baseball season, you'll find that lots of owners take an approach that's more appropriate to football. If any player happens to sit, regardless of the reason, he's dropped. No questions asked. No clicking the little yellow player note. No thought whatsoever, just impulsive reactions to DNPs at the beginning of a six-month season.

Most owners who manage this way will drift off by May. They'll make a bunch of hasty, regrettable decisions, then become disgusted with themselves (and possibly with Tony Clark), and then we won't hear from them again until it's time to rank the running backs. But for a few weeks, they'll make the waiver wire an interesting place.

Below you'll find a quick look at yesterday's most-dropped list with commentary, excluding players who are indefinitely DL'd. Obviously these guys might not be available in your league (and many of them deserve the drops). It's still worth monitoring add/drop trends, however, because it can tell you something about the trade value and availability of specific players. This isn't the best day to deal for Emilio Bonifacio, but it's an excellent day to acquire Dukes. And several Diamondbacks.

1) Elijah Dukes, 5819 drops – If you're convinced that both Nick Johnson and Austin Kearns are locks to occupy everyday roles for the Nats, then fine. In public leagues, I'd keep Dukes. He went 13/13 last season with a .386 OBP in just 334 plate appearances.

Love this quote from Manny Acta, via the Nationals' website:

"We have very good chemistry going on right now. We, at least, have the depth that gives me the opportunity to have a few unhappy but talented guys on the bench, which I will take any time over a few happy guys with no talent."

2) Matt Wieters, 4123 – Enough has been written about both Wieters and Price. (Here's a link; here's another). You shouldn't drop them. And it's ridiculous that a few thousand of you waited until opening day, then cut the best prospects in baseball.

3) David Price, 3656 – See Wieters above.

4) Mark Reynolds, 3511 – Both Reynolds and Justin Upton should play today. Yesterday's benchings were the result of a (questionable) match-up decision that happened to work out for Bob Melvin.

5) Aaron Cook, 3495 – Yeah, OK. In 5X5 leagues, you never should have owned him. There aren't any Ks here.

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6) Max Scherzer, 3389 – That's just 3389 lazy fools. First of all, Scherzer is DL-eligible right now. There's no need to drop him. And secondly, he'll start for Arizona on April 14, as soon as they need a fifth starter. This guy delivered a 10.61 K/9 last year.

7) Chris Ray, 3279 – OK, so it wasn't the prettiest hold. Ray is still a decent bet to finish the season as the O's closer.

8) Chris Perez, 3203 – Fine. Belongs on the FA pile in public formats. After Jason Motte's opening day blown save, Ryan Franklin gets more interesting.

9) Clint Barmes, 3010 – Ian Stewart got the opening day start, and he's the player I'd much rather own. Barmes' upside isn't great enough to justify a high-maintenance ownership experience.

10) Delmon Young, 2971 – The situation in Minnesota is a bit like the outfield logjam in Washington. You'll see shuffling and reshuffling all season until someone breaks (probably Cuddyer). If both Dukes and Young were on my waiver wire, I'd claim Elijah.

11) Nick Swisher, 2793 – Yeah, sorry about the Swisher pre-rank, auto-pickers. He's a drop.

12) Justin Upton, 2339 – Please see the Reynolds note above. It's too bad Upton missed out on the Aaron Cook all-you-can-eat buffet yesterday, but he did. No way I'm cutting this guy on April 7, though, not after he posted an .816 OPS last year, in his age-20 season.

13) Denard Span, 2268 – This is a curious drop. Span didn't have the greatest spring, but he led off for the Twins in the opener, and he reached base twice against Felix Hernandez. There's clear three-category potential here (R, SB, AVG).

14) Placido Polanco, 2264 - Eh. Fine. Polanco has his moments, but he wasn't ranked as a top-12 second baseman.

15) Willy Taveras, 2258 - C'mon, he had the flu. That's why he didn't start yesterday. You should not expect him to be flu-ridden all year. Darnell McDonald isn't about to take his job. If you thought Taveras was worth drafting, then isn't it worth waiting, say, two days?

And you couldn't at least shop Taveras around your league before cutting him? Really? Taveras did steal 68 bases last year. There's a market for that sort of thing.

Programming Notes: Congratulations to P-Mo, winner of the Roto Arcade Invitational. P-Mo had three of the final four teams, and he called Carolina over Michigan State in the title game. Fine bracketing, sir.

The blog editor will be on vacation for many days, starting now. (It's the kind of vacation where you write NFL profiles at night, but still). Scott Pianowski will be your guide through the opening weeks of the MLB season.

In case you get lonely, here's a very special song. (Parental advisory).

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