The fantasy baseball season is only a week old, so you know what that means: Time to overreact.
Major League Baseball kicked off its 2017 campaign last Sunday, and we’ve seen some pretty wild developments over the last seven days, from the surprising play of the Minnesota Twins to the Philadelphia Phillies scoring 12 runs in one inning against the reigning National League East champion Washington Nationals.
So, what does it all mean for your fantasy team? We don’t want to read too much into Week 1, but there was plenty worth talking about from MLB’s opening week. Let’s break down the most important storylines, from our studs and duds of the week to key injuries to a position battle owners should keep their eyes on.
STUD OF THE WEEK
J.T. Realmuto, C, Miami Marlins: Realmuto appears to be the real deal, as evidenced by his monster opening week. The 26-year-old entered Sunday night as the top-scoring batter in Yahoo! points leagues, thanks to two homers, six RBIs and six runs through five Marlins games — one of which he didn’t even appear in. Considering the slim depth at Realmuto’s position — no other catcher had more than six hits entering Sunday — he’s the clear MVP of Week 1.
DUD OF THE WEEK
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers: Even a generational hitter like Cabrera isn’t immune to slumps. The 11-time All-Star has had a nightmare start to 2017, going 0-for-12 with six strikeouts in his first four games. Cabrera tallied two hits Sunday, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets back on track. But those who spent a high draft pick on Miggy were left sorely disappointed this week.
INJURIES TO MONITOR
Trea Turner, 2B/OF, Washington Nationals (strained hamstring, day-to-day): Turner exited Saturday’s game with a hamstring injury, and while manager Dusty Baker doesn’t believe it’s serious, you never want to see a 23-year-old with tons of upside go down this early in the season. Another consequence: The longer Turner is sidelined, the longer it delays his shortstop eligibility, as he’s only played five of the required 10 games at the position.
Waiver wire replacement options: Joe Panik, Howie Kendrick
Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees (strained biceps, 10-day disabled list): Sanchez going down with an injury Saturday puts fantasy owners in an early bind, as the 24-year-old entered the season as the third-ranked catcher in Yahoo! leagues. Initial reports suggest Sanchez could be on the shelf for about a month, so if you own the young Yankees slugger, start shopping for a replacement ASAP.
Waiver wire replacement options: Sandy Leon, Jason Castro
Garrett Richards, SP, Los Angeles Angels (strained biceps, 10-day disabled list): After missing nearly all of 2016 with an elbow injury, Richards is back on the DL following an injury in his 2017 debut. The Angels are optimistic he’ll only miss a start or two, but this certainly isn’t a good sign for Richards owners banking on a bounce-back year out of the 28-year-old. Team replacement: TBD.
Waiver wire replacement options: Kendall Graveman, Ricky Nolasco
POSITION BATTLE TO WATCH
Texas Rangers Closer: Sam Dyson easily was the worst closer in baseball in Week 1, giving up a total of eight earned runs while recording just three outs over his first two appearances. Yes, it’s early, and Dyson pitched a scoreless inning Sunday in a non-save situation. But Rangers relievers Matt Bush and Jeremy Jeffress both are candidates to take over Dyson’s job should he continue to struggle. Those in need of a closer should keep a close eye on Dyson and be ready to pounce on Bush or Jeffress, both of whom are owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Thumbnail photo via Patrick McDermott/USA TODAY Sports Images