Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Falling

by Tim Heaney on May 8, 2009 @ 01:00:01 PDT

 


Also see: Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Rising

Fantasy baseball waivers and discarded fantasy baseball players can make or break a season. You may have adjusted your fantasy baseball cheat sheets over and over during spring training. If your team remains the same after opening day, though, you will probably have trouble competing in your rotisserie baseball league. When is it time to give up on your fantasy baseball sleepers? Which players are worth retaining? KFFL.com's Diamond Market series gives you the fantasy baseball tips and advice you need to sort through the masses quickly.

Key

Discard - Drop player (in most circumstances)

Stash - Hold player if roster space is available; consider dropping if trend continues

Hold - Do not drop player (in most circumstances)

Catchers

David Ross, Atlanta Braves

The impending return of Brian McCann (eye) will cut into Ross' playing time, though how much for the near future remains to be seen. Ross (.298-3-9) has recaptured some of his 2006 and 2007 form (38 combined homers) while replacing the fantasy stud and remains a solid No. 2 deep mixed catcher. NL owners (in two-backstop leagues, for sure) should stand pat, especially with the chance McCann's new glasses cloud his ability to return to normal.

Shallow mixed: Discard

Deep mixed: Stash

NL-only: Hold

Jose Molina, New York Yankees

The second Molina brother has hit the DL with a left quadriceps strain. He was only valuable because of playing time, which he doesn't have anymore.

Shallow mixed: Discard

Deep mixed: Discard

AL-only: Stash

First basemen

Chad Tracy, Arizona Diamondbacks

One of the many slumping D-backs, Tracy (.221-2-9 this year) was snake-bitten in his recent demotion to the bench, with farmhand Josh Whitesell taking his starting first base slot. Tracy will see reserve time at the corner infield spots. He has actually proven to be more patient at the plate, but he has made weaker contact. The D-backs fired Bob Melvin and replaced him with A.J. Hinch, so their recent lineup changes might not stick. Still, Tracy's struggles have reminded fantasy players of how unreliable he can be.

Shallow mixed: Discard

Deep mixed: Stash

NL-only: Hold

Third basemen

Garrett Atkins, Colorado Rockies

As a result of his season-long swoon, Atkins rested Thursday, May 7, in order to work on changing his stance so that his left foot remains closed toward the pitcher. It's disconcerting that he's changing his approach; he was always lauded for his lack of movement in the batter's box. He has been pull-happy this season, but he has managed 13 RBIs and a 0.69 batting eye ratio even while struggling. Infielder Ian Stewart is slumping, too, but he's a threat to Atkins' playing time. Hang tight with the typically consistent run producer, though you may want to rest him while he's working things through. 

Shallow mixed: Hold

Deep mixed: Hold

NL-only: Hold

Shortstops

Alex Gonzalez, Cincinnati Reds

An oblique strain has kept Gonzo in limbo with Paul Janish and Jerry Hairston taking his place in the meantime. The team will decide whether or not to play him on the DL Friday, May 8. Gonzalez is hoping to swing a bat Saturday, May 9. For those in weekly NL lineup leagues, keep track of his status.

Shallow mixed: Discard

Deep mixed: Discard

NL-only: Stash

Outfielders

Manny Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers

A 50-game suspension for a positive drug test diminishes Manny's on-field potency. You're stuck - a DL spot doesn't apply to a suspended player. His owners will now receive tons of buy-low offers so they can benefit from his early July return. Examine every offer, but by hanging tight, considering what happened last year and for his career, you know what will be returning to your lineup in a few months.

Shallow mixed: Hold

Deep mixed: Hold

NL-only: Hold

Kosuke Fukudome, Chicago Cubs

While his center field defense has grown, Fukudome's aggressive approach may be catching up with him: no homers since April 26 and just one since April 16. One hit in his last 17 at-bats doesn't help, either. His job isn't in jeopardy, but his batting average started its gradual dip in May last year before tanking afterward. Is he easy for pitchers to figure out? You may be able to hang on to him a little longer to see if he adjusts.

Shallow mixed: Stash

Deep mixed: Hold

NL-only: Hold

Rick Ankiel, St. Louis Cardinals

A scary all-out play produced his trip to the DL, and Ankiel (shoulder, neck) will be replaced by No. 1 Cards prospect Colby Rasmus. He will be out of action for about a few weeks. He's a much better play against righties when healthy anyway, but he has experienced a relapse of his shaky discipline (0.37 batting eye ratio) and contact percentage (69.2).

Shallow mixed: Stash

Deep mixed: Hold

NL-only: Hold

Dexter Fowler, Colorado Rockies

Opportunism hasn't bred sustained success. In the nine games since his five-steal bonanza, Fowler has just three RBIs - and hasn't swiped another bag while being caught once. He isn't doing much else to compensate for his lack of basepath aggression, especially while tying for the most strikeouts on the team (22) and hitting only .238 from the leadoff spot. His steals may come in waves, but he isn't projected to be an elite swipes machine. Address your speed need accordingly.

Shallow mixed: Discard

Deep mixed: Stash

NL-only: Hold

Starting pitchers

Kyle Davies, Kansas City Royals

His promising command has fallen off; he has walked 13 hitters in his last four outings while only fanning 12. Two blowup outings produced 13 earned runs in that stretch, too. An increase of more than one K per nine doesn't make you ignore his 4.28 free passes per nine. His defense has helped him a bunch, and he's allowing ample gopher balls. You can call off this relationship if there are better options available; if you cut him, be sure to keep an eye out for him down the road, especially since he was a second-half surprise last year.

Shallow mixed: Discard

Deep mixed: Stash

AL-only: Hold

Anibal Sanchez, Florida Marlins

The Fish placed the righty on the disabled list after he experienced discomfort in his surgically repaired shoulder Thursday, May 7. He was a flier pick anyway, and a recurrence of his shoulder issues means you can take a flier on him off the waiver wire later in the season if he proves healthy.

Shallow mixed: Discard

Deep mixed: Discard

AL-only: Stash

Also see: Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market - Rising

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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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