Chris Archer Leads First Fantasy Baseball Droppables of the Second Half

Michael Shapiro
Sports Illustrated
Making moves on your fantasy baseball league's waiver wire? You can feel comfortable dropping these players.

Chris Archer Leads First Fantasy Baseball Droppables of the Second Half

Making moves on your fantasy baseball league's waiver wire? You can feel comfortable dropping these players.

There was a time when Chris Archer appeared destined for fantasy stardom. Back in 2015, the then 26-year-old finished fifth in American League Cy Young voting, posting a 3.23 ERA and 1.14 WHIP with 252 strikeouts in 212 innings. Archer’s production dipped the following two seasons with a combined 4.05 ERA and 19–31 record in 67 starts, but his value remained steady. Archer fanned more than 230 batters and threw more than 200 innings in consecutive seasons. No pitcher logged more starts than Archer’s 133 from 2014-17.

The heavy workload could explain Archer’s struggles in Pittsburgh. A 2018 deadline trade has thus far proved disastrous for the Pirates, with Austin Meadows and the now-injured Tyler Glasnow shining in Tampa Bay while Archer surrenders homer after homer into the Allegheny. Archer has a 5.02 ERA in 25 starts with Pittsburgh. He’s allowed 1.92 home runs per nine innings, the third-worst rate of the 114 starters to log at least 100 innings since August 2018.

Archer’s strikeout totals remain steady, providing a bit of a saving grace for those clinging to a rebound. But the other metrics suggest unanswered prayers in the second half. Archer has a 6.12 ERA in his last five starts and opponents sport a .947 OPS against him. Archer allows too much hard contact to believe that a bounce back is coming in the second half.

With that, let’s get to the rest of this week’s Droppables.

Adam Jones, OF, Diamondbacks

The former Orioles stalwart is another household name falling on hard times. Jones is slashing .228/.278/.317 in 27 games since June 1. He hasn’t homered in his last 71 plate appearances and he’s had just two extra-base hits in that span. Jones’ power has evaporated after a strong first month. 

A better lineup surrounding Jones could lift his fantasy totals back into startable territory. Drop him in Philadelphia in place of the injured Andrew McCutchen, and he could have enough counting-stat upside to show up in fantasy leagues. Arizona’s lineup, however, isn’t exactly a tide that can lift all boats. There are better high-upside options available on the waiver wire. 

Dee Gordon, 2B/OF, Mariners

Gordon certainly falls in a similar category as Jones as a fan favorite with waning fantasy value. The three-time stolen base champ isn’t the speedster he once was, and he’s struggled mightily since returning from a wrist injury on June 11. Gordon has a paltry .271 OBP in his last 23 games and just two extra base hits since June 16. He struggled to be a table setter during Seattle’s slide heading into the All-Star Break. While his positional versatility and speed may keep him relevant in some leagues, his lack of overall production lands him among the Droppables.

Jurickson Profar, 1B/2B/3B/SS, A’s

Profar’s playing time should take a sizable hit in the second half after being displaced at second base by Franklin Barreto. He’s taken a step back across the board from last season. Profar’s OPS sits at .646 compared to .793 last year, and his slugging has dipped to .370 from .458. He still flashes his power from time to time, but far too sporadically. The A’s lineup is among the deepest in the American League, which only makes it easier for Bob Melvin to bench Profar.

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