Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled
Chad Billingsley, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
It's easy to recommend him; he just tamed the San Diego Padres in his first post-DL outing Wednesday and faces them again next week. However, that's overlooking the 1.76 ERA he's posted over his last eight starts tracing back to last year, when his season was cut short by a partially torn right elbow ligament. Billingsley threw mostly fastballs last night; he's re-establishing his curveball thanks to the preseason contusion on his right index fingernail.
Giving up on Maybin so soon?
Of course, any elbow complication could lead to Tommy John surgery; he often works tediously and gets himself in WHIP trouble; and his rotation spot isn't cemented, thanks to Chris Capuano's presence. With a cheap investment, though, don't ignore his intriguing body of work which holds a smidge of upside; he hasn't fallen short of a 7.28 K/9 in any season in which he's logged at least 147 frames.
Franklin Gutierrez, OF, Seattle Mariners
Eric Wedge has yet to trust Guti to suit up every day because of the center fielder's history of health woes; you should follow a similar path. But he's a wizard with the leather at the 8; no one else on the club comes close, so this ease-in period could be a short delay to a promising year.
Gutierrez is just 8-for-31 but has three homers already. Given Safeco Field's RHB-friendly revisions and Guti's pull preference, he may find himself leaving the yard a few more times. With all his gears turning, he could serve as a power-speed buoy at the bottom of a five-outfielder lineup.
Cameron Maybin, OF, San Diego Padres
A wave of drops has followed Maybin's 2-for-24 start, which has included just one RBI and is devoid of swipes, the sole reason people drafted him. Sure, his place near the bottom of the lineup can hurt his theft opportunities, and the most promising smidge of plate growth he's shown in the last few years was his .283 post-break BA last season.
Regardless, surrendering his rights in a deep league - especially those that require five outfield starters - is rash. There's still an offensive uptick hidden in his 27-year-old frame, and deep-league owners should at least bench or stash someone who stole 66 bags over his last two campaigns, right?
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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