One of the keys to success in fantasy baseball is making the right pickups at the right time and knowing when to cut bait with players that are eating up roster space over, or even worse, hurting your team with poor play. Below are the most popular roster trends in fantasy baseball in the past week according to our CBS Sports league:
Catchers Most Added: Kelly Shoppach (Cleveland) and John Baker (Florida)
Catchers Most Dropped: Jason Kendall (Milwaukee)
Fantasy Advice: Catcher is always a thin position, but Shoppach is a low end starter with a potential to be more. But the combination of Victor Martinez at catcher and Ryan Garko at first base could limit his ABs. Baker is a low end backup in fantasy, don’t pick him up unless you’re absolutely desperate. There was a time when Jason Kendall could help you with batting average and SB’s but he’s pretty worthless now hitting .246 with 2 HR and 8 SB’s in 2008. He’s a backup in mixed leagues at best and a low end starter in NL only leagues.
First Basemen Most Added: Travis Ishikawa (San Francisco)
First Basemen Most Dropped: Kevin Millar (Florida)
Fantasy Advice: The 25 year old Ishikawa is a decent sleeper in NL only leagues and a potential decent backup in mixed leagues. He has proven he can hit for some power in spring training and with the Giants lineup being so terrible he could get an opportunity to play a lot. Millar on the other hand is a declining player who was never that valuable to begin with, if you have him on your team get rid of him and pick up a youngster with upside like Ishikawa.
Second Basemen Most Added: Felipe Lopez (Arizona) and Clint Barmes (Colorado)
Second Basemen Most Dropped: Jeff Kent
Fantasy Advice: Lopez is a backup that won’t score you much in any particular category. Barmes is a low end second basemen that could help out in a few categories while hitting in Colorado. Don’t pick either of these guys up unless you’re desperate for a second basemen. Oh and Jeff Kent retired, so don’t draft him or try to pick him up. And if you did draft him, then grab Barmes or Lopez.
Third Basemen Most Added: Emilio Bonafacio (Florida), David Freese (St. Louis) and Brandon Inge (Detroit)
Third Basemen Most Dropped: Troy Glaus (St. Louis)
Fantasy Advice: Bonafacio is another young Marlin who won a starting role this spring. While he’s naturally a second basemen he will play third in ’09 and start the season as the Marlins’ leadoff hitter. While third base is thin this season, there should be no reason to take a chance on Emilio unless you really need some SB’s or if you’re in a large NL only league. Inge is moving back to third base but I’m not sure why anyone would pick him up. His power has declined for the past three years and his batting average has declined for five straight years to a pathetic .205 last year. Troy Glaus has a setback in his rehabiliation from shoulder surgery and is out until at least mid-June, so cut him immediately and look to make a trade rather than pick up his replacement David Freese who is much of an unknown. There are close to 20 other players eligible at third base that are better than any of the top three that are being picked up so it would make the most sense to look to trade to improve at third.
Shorstops Most Added: Khalil Greene (St. Louis)
Shortsops Most Dropped: Bobby Crosby (Oakland)
Fantasy Advice: Greene has good power but his average and OBP are usually pretty low. He’s a decent pickup if you’re in need of a shortstop. Oakland went out of there way to sign veteran Orlando Cabrera to play shortstop this year instead of Crosby so forget about him. The former rookie of the year is a total bust and not worth your time in fantasy.
Outfielders Most Added: Jordan Schafer (Atlanta) and Marcus Thames (Detroit)
Outfielders Most Dropped: Nick Swisher (New York Yankees) and Juan Pierre (LA Dodgers)
Fantasy Advice: Schafer is a high end prospect, pick him up as a 5th OF with potential for much more. Detroit just traded for Josh Anderson from the Braves so that may mean less playing time for Thames than expected by those who have picked him up this past week. Swisher is in a battle for playing time in the deep Yankee outfield, he’s only worthwhile in deep AL only leagues or unless there is an injury to one of his teammates that will create more playing time. Pierre is an odd man out in LA but he could add SBs. If he’s traded to another team he could end up with more value.
Starting Pitchers Most Added: Rick Porcello (Detroit), Dallas Braden (Oakland) and Trevor Cahill (Oakland)
Starting Pitchers Most Dropped: Mike Mussina, Pedro Martinez and Clay Bucholz (Boston)
Fantasy Advice: Porcello and Bucholz are top pitching prospects. The difference is Bucholz pitches for a team with much more depth and therefore he’s headed back to the minor leagues. Porcello on the other hand is the fourth starter in Detroit and has a high upside though you might want to have him as your 6th or 7th starter for now. Keep an eye on the Red Sox pitching staff to see if Bucholz gets an opportunity to return to the team. Cahill and Braden are also young prospects with upside though they’re the best pitchers on the Oakland staff right now (Braden is the opening day starter). Like Porcello they both have some upside though they’re probably a better fit on your team as backups unless you’re desperate. Mike Mussina retired and Pedro Martinez is a free agent without a team, so don’t draft them and cut them if you have them now.
Closers Most Added: Carlos Villanueva (Milwaukee) and Fernando Rodney (Detroit)
Closers Most Dropped: Chris Perez (St. Louis) and Billy Wagner (New York Mets)
Fantasy Advice: Rodney was named the closer in Detroit for the start of the season and is a decent #2 option for saves though his ERA is rarely below four. Villanueva is a decent short term stop gap while Trevor Hoffman is on the DL. Chris Perez was demoted to the minors so you should drop him for now but watch the situation in St. Louis since Jason Motte, who won the job, doesn’t have much experience either. Wagner had Tommy John surgery in the offseason so he shouldn’t be on your team.