Yahoo Sports' Scott Pianowski discusses a few players fantasy managers should buy, sell and hold.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Scott Pianowski, Yahoo Fantasy Baseball. I know it's early in the season, but we need to know which way player values are headed. I'm going to give you a buy-sell-hold set of commitments as we try to do some roster maintenance before we hit the 1st of May.
The first thing I want you to do, I want you to buy Jurickson Profar. He's a former number one overall prospect. He lost two full seasons due to shoulder problems, but he's finally got a regular gig in San Diego. And I want to focus on-- he's playing left field every day. This is somebody who's played seven different positions in the field. He's played everywhere but pitcher and catcher during his career.
I think having a dedicated spot in the field can actually allow him to relax and do the things at the plate that he's been doing so far. He's got a walk-strikeout rate of just about 1. We love it when players can command their at bats. He's hit four home runs. He's stolen a base. I think the Jurickson Profar breakout season we've been waiting for is finally here, and I'm all for it. I want to see him on your fantasy rosters.
Once you buy Michael King, you're gonna say, hey, Michael King, who's that? I don't remember drafting him. I don't remember having him on my board.
He's a wipeout reliever for the Yankees. Two walks, 18 strikeouts. And this is what I want you to do every year. I don't want you to draft last year's middle relief hero. We can find Nick Andersons, we can find Devin Williamses, we can find Chad Greens in season. Now that we're deep enough into the year, that walk-strikeout rate means something. It's a stat that stabilizes very quickly.
Make sure you're searching by that stat. You can find some great players to massage your ERA and WHIP. And, remember also, more wins go to relief pitchers than ever before. The opener is a thing. Starting pitchers don't go deep.
I could see King maybe racking up seven to nine wins for a Yankee team probably headed to 95 over the course of the season. So Michael King is a great pickup. Probably get him for nothing in almost every Yahoo league right now.
Your hold, this is a little bit obvious, but just because it's obvious doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about it. Kyle Tucker had a very slow start last year, and he's doing it again right now. His batting average is .169, below the Mendoza Line. He did have three hits on Monday. But the expected batting average per Statcast data-- he's hitting the ball hard-- is .294.
I still think Kyle Tucker is going to be an MVP someday. I know you see him in the second half of that Houston lineup. It's a little bit frustrating. I don't think he ends the season anywhere close to that. I still treat him as a top 15 fantasy commodity. And somebody's trying to trade him on the cheap from me, I'm not doing it. If he's available in the deal or if somebody's maybe pricing him as a second- or third-round player, I think it's a great opportunity to get in on Kyle Tucker. No change to his value. He's going to be just fine.
Now, we know that closers on losing teams can be really tricky. Because what losing teams want to do is rack up a bunch of saves for one of their relievers and then try to flip that player when the trade deadline comes. So when I see Daniel Bard on the surprising Rockies-- I don't think they're going to be a competitive team all season. They've been good so far-- he's got a bunch of saves. I see Tanner Rainey in Washington on a team probably ticketed for 90 losses.
When I see them getting early saves, I think, at some point, I'm going to want to trade these guys. Daniel Bard, if he were traded, it would be to a team that probably wouldn't use him as a closer. Tanner Rainey I don't even think has a full guarantee to be the full-time closer for Washington as long as he's there.
So when you're getting saves, it's great. We see more save striation in fantasy baseball these days. So anytime you're getting that handshake in the ninth inning, you feel good. Just be careful. If you're getting your saves from teams projected to be under .500, those players are often traded sometime in the middle of the year.
Now, you have a little FOMO? You need some more fantasy in your life? Did not get a chance to draft some of your favorite players? No Seiya Suzuki on that roster? You can still set up a league today over at Yahoo Fantasy Baseball. We'd love to have you in the game. Get the gang back together, and let's play some ball.
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