Let’s be honest: Week 3 in the fantasy baseball world wasn’t for the faint of heart.
A wild seven-day span saw one of the game’s best pitchers suffer a freak injury on his off day and an All-Star outfielder get hit with a major suspension for PED use. And that’s not even mentioning the great Dustin Pedroia spiking incident or the Toronto Blue Jays’ continued horrible luck with health.
So, what can we take away from the fantasy week that was? Let’s break it down in our fantasy baseball reset.
STUD OF THE WEEK
Bryce Harper, OF, Washington Nationals. He’s baaack. Harper’s subpar 2016 campaign appears to be firmly in his rearview mirror, as the Nationals slugger has been on an absolute tear of late. A 4-for-4, two-homer performance Wednesday capped a stellar week for Harper, who enters Monday batting a clean .400 with seven homers and 20 RBIs. So, yeah. He’ll be just fine.
DUD OF THE WEEK
Marcell Ozuna, OF, Miami Marlins. The law of averages worked against Ozuna this week, as he cooled down considerably from his hot start. The Marlins slugger did pop a homer on Friday, but he’s struck out a whopping nine times in his last four games and has just three hits in his last 25 at-bats. Ozuna is on pace to have a fine season, but this was a little wake-up call for those riding his hype train.
INJURIES/SUSPENSIONS TO MONITOR
Madison Bumgarner, SP, San Francisco Giants (sprained shoulder, out 6-8 weeks). Expect Bumgarner’s dirt biking privileges to be revoked after a scary crash last Thursday left him with serious injuries that could keep him sidelined for two months. Bumgarner is the kind of horse you build your staff around, and fantasy owners will be left scrambling for semi-adequate waiver wire replacements until his return.
Waiver wire replacement options: Wade Miley, Chase Anderson
Starling Marte, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (suspended 80 games for positive PED test). Not to be outdone by Bumgarner’s ill-advised off-day activity, Marte dealt a major blow to fantasy owners by getting hit with a half-season suspension. Marte’s rare combination of speed and high average will be hard to replace and might force owners to search for bargain speed options on the waiver wire.
Waiver wire replacement options: Kevin Pillar, Jason Heyward
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers (strained right groin, 10-day disabled list). Cabrera had just been heating up after a rough start when he injured his groin diving for a ground ball Friday. He shouldn’t be laid up longer than the required 10 days, but the Tigers slugger turned 34 last week, so fantasy owners might want to have a Plan B should this injury prove nagging later in the season.
Waiver wire replacement options: Ryan Zimmerman, Mitch Moreland
POSITION BATTLE TO WATCH
Nationals closer: After Blake Treinen proved ineffective in the closing role, manager Dusty Baker announced that Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover would split ninth-inning duties. Kelley appears to have a slim edge in this closer battle, but Glover is the young gun with the higher upside. Nobody likes a closer-by-committee situation, so here’s hoping one of them distinguishes themselves over the next few games, because there are plenty of save opportunities to be had for the defending National League East champs.
Thumbnail photo via Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports Images