Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled
SP John Lackey, Boston Red Sox
Davis beginning another rebound?
He's hopped in the DeLorean. Tommy John surgery is in his past, along with the clock tower. A punchier sinking fastball has boosted opponents' worm-burning frequency, and his confidence in the pitch expands his arsenal. Expectations now sit in the mid-3.00s FIPs he posted in the late aughts.
Though Lackey wasn't at his best during the John Farrell pitching coach years in Beantown, at least his return helped with familiarity. Mike Napoli said his pitcher's arm is "freer": Lackey isn't trying to guide pitches, so there's less tension in his approach. A repeat of numbers from his 2005-09 window looks realistic.
1B Ike Davis, New York Mets
Time to Like Ike again? If Davis was dropped in your shallow league, you might have some time to confirm the validity of his small spark at the plate lately, in which he's gone 5-for-15 with a homer and five ribbies. This tiny sample size doesn't erase the gaping holes he has once again shown in his early-season hacks.
What might plug them are recent changes he's made: moving up in the batter's box, standing more upright and fixing his balance on his back side. Fine, he seems to tinker with something in his hacks every few months, but we at least have a reason to think that Davis could move forward along the lines of his torrid rebound last summer.
Proactive speculation wins leagues. Many fantasy teams may have little to lose at this point, which means they should open their minds and consider taking the chance of a violently positive momentum swing.
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, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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