Here’s the good news about April baseball: No matter how bleak things may seem, there’s still hope for brighter days ahead.
Major League Baseball’s rash of injuries to key players last week might have some fantasy baseball owners feeling blue. But there are lessons to be learned from every fantasy development — especially this early in the 2017 campaign — and Week 2 was no different.
Here are our three biggest takeaways from the week that was in NESN.com’s “expert” league, a 10-team league on Yahoo! Sports using a head-to-head points format.
1. Good catcher production is really hard to come by. Need a reason why catchers with even average offensive stats are coveted in fantasy? Week 2 was a prime example, as six starting backstops in our 10-team league posted fewer than 10 fantasy points. Mike Cole was the only owner who enjoyed a big week from his catcher (Jonathan Lucroy, 24 points), and he was rewarded with a second consecutive win that moved him into first place. If you’re lucky enough to own a catcher with a big bat, hold onto him tight or demand a king’s ransom for a potential trade.
2. There’s never a good time for injuries. Week 2 saw some pretty big names hit the disabled list, and their absences impacted a few matchups in the NESN.com arena. I cringed as Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton went down with an elbow injury three days before my narrow defeat to Ricky Doyle, and Dakota Randall’s squad tallied a week-low 260 points after losing both Josh Donaldson and Rich Hill. Of course, there always are injury replacements on the waiver wire, but Cesar Hernandez is no Trea Turner. This week was a rude early reminder of how injuries can affect a fantasy baseball season.
3. Win the arms race, win the matchup. Matt Cerullo was our high scorer this week with a whopping 461.5 points. How did he pull it off? By loading up on starting pitchers. Matt rolled out eight different starters who produced a total of 13 starts over the course of the week. Chris Sale and Ian Kennedy led the charge with two stellar outings apiece, but Matt also got quality appearances out of mid-level arms like Jerad Eickoff and Jameson Taillon. In leagues like ours that award points for innings pitched, there’s not much downside to employing as many starters as possible. If that’s the case in your league, you might as well head to the waiver wire and start rolling the dice.
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