Poster boy of hype Bryce Harper, who is 7-for-32 to start the season, combined rest of season homers/steals 34.5
Dalton – OVER. Sure, he’s looked bad so far, but unless there’s some injury I’m unaware of, there’s no reason to change how I felt about him entering the year, and I had Harper pegged to go well above a 34.5 homers/steals combo.
Scott – OVER. I'm shocked there's been so much talk and angst here. I do worry about Harper crashing into a wall or what not with his crazy style of play, but I have no worries about his ability.
Andy – WAY OVER. C'mon. We're a week into the season. We're not sure if he can go 18-18? Pffft.
K machine Prince Fielder, who has stumbled out of the gates in his new Texas digs, rest of season RBIs 99.5
Scott – OVER. Fielder is fine, and Shin-Soo Choo is going to be on base all summer. Durability won't be a problem. Arlington's weather is your friend. Maybe you can buy low.
Andy – At least this one is a respectable number. I'm still going OVER. We know Prince is gonna hit, plus he never misses games.
Brandon – OVER. He's reached 100 in six of the past seven seasons, and his situation in Texas may be more ideal than any of his previous gigs.
True or False. Perennial failure Mike Moustakas deserves to be owned in more than 37 percent (current ownership) of Yahoo leagues
Andy – FALSE. Moose was terrible last year (and worse this season), so we're not talking about a guy with an encouraging track record. He's a name for the A.L.-only crowd.
Scott – Everything about Mike Moustakas is FALSE. I'm not convinced that's even his real name.
Dalton – FALSE. His strong spring training seems so long ago. Moustakas was a legit prospect at one point, but he’s a career .240/.293/.378 hitter over 1,399 at bats in the majors, so I’m not holding my breath for a breakout any time soon.
Stephen Strasburg, who was beat up in his first two starts, rest of season ERA 3.05
Brad – UNDER. Yeah, he's been slapped around to start the season, but his 2.97 xFIP is a strong indication dynamite starts are on the horizon.
Brandon – OVER. He's right at this number for his career, and the drop in velocity is enough of a concern (velocity is something that normalizes quickly) to push me slightly on the bearish side of this number.
Dalton – UNDER. He’s had two bad starts against a Braves team that he’s struggled with over his career. There’s been some concern with his early velocity but barring health, Strasburg still has the upside to be the best fantasy pitcher from here on out.
Brotherly blah - combined strikeouts for B.J and Justin Upton in 2014 399.5
Brandon – UNDER. Both of these guys always seems to find a way to miss 10-15 games. To reach this number, they'd likely have to play as close to a full season as possible. I think the combined DNPs will ultimately save them from this dubious number.
Dalton – UNDER. I say this not because I’m optimistic about B.J. bouncing back, rather I expect him to either get hurt or continue to play so poorly he starts losing playing time, helping the bros fall well short of this K total.
Scott – UNDER, only because I don't expect B.J. to have a gig all year. Time for a ballpark promotion, Atlanta: let random fans come to the mound and strike out the Uptons shortly before game time.
Better free agent find (under 25 percent owned): Charlie Blackmon or Chris Colabello?
Scott – Gotta be the shoes, MARS BLACKMON. He's younger, he's been around the block some, he's in the thin air, and he's competing against Corey Dickerson (minors) and Drew Stubbs (nothing but a shallow platoon guy). I like that setup.
Andy – BLACKMON, not that I dislike either player. Honestly, this one is so close that it probably comes down to category needs.
Brad – COLABELLO. The late-bloomer's regular spot batting cleanup is awfully enticing. Blackmon will be a better source for runs/steals, but if you're searching for pop, the RBI leader is the pick.
Higher level of concern: Jonathan Papelbon or Jim Johnson?
Andy – Um ... equal? I don't like either pitcher. I probably like PAPELBON a bit less, but either could get bounced from the ninth. The A's 'pen is full of quality replacement options, so Johnson shouldn't be too comfortable.
Scott – JOHNSON, a pitch-to-contact guy with a ton of capable replacements nipping at his cleats (and now we see Oakland has already made a move). The A's also fashion themselves a contender, which raises the sense of urgency.
Dalton – JOHNSON. Papelbon’s average fastball velocity has dropped for the third straight year, but Johnson has looked downright terrible so far, and unlike the Phillies, the A’s have plenty of viable alternatives to turn to in a ninth inning role.
Chris Owings, flourishing in the desert heat of Arizona, combined homers/steals 29.5
Scott – UNDER, in part for the batting slot (it's been low) and in part for the lack of pedigree.
Dalton – UNDER. I expect Owings to have a nice season, but he’s never hit more than 17 homers or stolen more than 20 bases in a season throughout his minor league career. He’s admittedly been young throughout his stops, but this is still expecting big growth awfully quick.
Brandon – OVER. I think he can get to 20 SBs without too much of a problem - he stole 20 in 125 games at Triple-A last season. And in the nice hitting-friendly environment in Arizona, he should be able to reach 10 home runs - he averaged almost 17 home runs per 162 games over his minor league career (460 games).
Trevor Plouffe, top-10 in runs and RBIs, combined runs/RBI on the full season 129.5
Dalton – UNDER. This is certainly possible, and I expect it to be close, but I’ll fade the career .243/.305/.412 hitter who plays in a pitcher’s park.
Brandon – OVER. I doubt he'll fly by this total, but we are only asking for an average of 65 runs and RBIs here, which is not a lot for a guy hitting regularly in the middle of the batting order. Assuming he logs at least 140 games, he should make this mark.
Andy – Just UNDER. I don't have high expectations for this offense, and we're not talking about a player who lives on base (career .305 OBP).
REQUIEM FOR A STREAM. What under-owned pitcher is the better plug ‘n play this weekend: Nate Eovaldi (vs. Phi), Brett Anderson (vs. SF), Erasmo Ramirez (vs. Oak), Corey Kluber (vs. ChW), Jose Quintana (vs. Cle) or Tyson Ross (vs. Det)
Brandon – QUINTANA. Personally, I won't be streaming any of these guys. But for the sake of this exercise, I'll go with Quintana given his strong start and serviceable K upside.
Andy – KLUBER for the week, ROSS for the year. Honorable mention: ERASMO.
Scott – Hasta manana, QUINTANA. I'm a big fan of The Q, as are the White Sox (they just handed him a monster extension). The strikeout and ground-ball rates continue to improve, and a tasty seven-inning victory at Coors Field, of all places, gets you into the circle of trust.