Even with only eight games on the schedule and one of those rained out, it was a nice day for some fantasy baseball owners. One of the keys to doing well in fantasy baseball is making the moves needed to get players who are starting to emerge from the many productive options on the waiver wire. Each day at FantasyCPR, we highlight some of those options in our sleeper central (archive here).
Here’s some players to consider who are owned in under 50% of ESPN leagues who performed well in the limited schedule yesterday:
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Alex Avila-Detroit Tigers: (5.6%) Avila went 2-5 with a pair of runs scored raising his average to .225 on the young season. He’s also connected on a pair of home runs and is a low-#1 option hitting in a potent Detroit lineup. He does have some pop, and his average will likely come up a bit since he’s a career .260 hitter.
1B- Justin Smoak-Seattle Mariners: (1.3%) Smoak has struggled out of the gate but showed signs of life yesterday going 2-4 with a pair of runs scored. He’ll continue to get looks as the Mariners seek prouction wherever they can find it. There’s no need to act now in mixed leagues, but keep an eye on Smoak to see if he catches fire.
2B- Nick Noonan-San Francisco Giants: (0.0%) Noonan has started the year 5-11 after going 3-5 yesterday with a pair of runs scored as he filled in at 2B for San Francisco. The rookie is just getting his feet wet at the big league level but may force his way into the lineup on a more regular basis with more performances like last night. 2B is an extremely shallow position, and if Noonan can get into the lineup more often he could quickly become a name to know. At this point, there’s no rush to add him outside of dynasty leagues.
3B- Josh Donaldson-Oakland A’s: (0.4%) Donaldson has stepped right in as the A’s 3B and has produced fairly well. After going 1-20 to start the spring, he’s picked things up lately and has multiple hits in his last three games after going 2-4 last night. He also connected on his first home run of the season while scoring a pair and driving in a pair bringing his totals for the season to six runs scored and six RBI. He’s a sneaky-good pickup at this point now that he’s starting to hit better and is the everyday 3B for Oakland who are out to prove that last year was no fluke.
SS- Stephen Drew-Boston Red Sox: (4.2%) Drew has returned to the daily lineup for Boston and should be considered if you’re looking for a regular SS. Drew reached base in three of his four appearances last night with a pair of walks and a single. He’s still a bit of a long-shot, but keep an eye on how he does and where he bats in to BoSox lineup.
OF- Nate Schierholtz-Chicago Cubs: (1.6%) The former-Giant stuck it to his former team ysterday going 3-4 with a pair of runs scored and his second stolen base of the year. Schierholtz has started the year a solid 10-27 with three doubles, a home run, four RBI, and seven runs scored. He’s forcing his way into the everyday lineup for Chicago and is worth a pickup if you’re looking for a fill-in outfielder.
OF- Franklin Gutierrez-Seattle Mariners: (31.5%) Gutierrez is another solid outfield pickup after homering for the second game in a row yesterday. It was his only hit of the night and his average dipped to .250 but he does have 10 RBI and six runs scored to go with his four long-balls. As long as he’s healthy, the Mariners will use him on a nightly basis and you can feel free to as well.
OF- Denard Span-Washington Nationals: (10.4%) Span stole his first base as a Nat yesterday while going 2-4 and raising his early-season average to .323 (10-31). He’s a decent option if you need runs, average, and occasional steals, but don’t expect more than that from the Washington leadoff man.
AL Starting Pitcher- A.J. Griffin-Oakland Athletics: (8.9%) Griffin improved to 2-0 with a very nice start in Anaheim last night going eight innings allowing just a single run on five hits and a walk while striking out two. He’s going going to pile up K’s (so far just five in 13 innings), but if you need wins (2-0), ERA (1.93), or WHIP (1.07) help he’s definitely worth a look as a spot starter (as we mentioned yesterday). His low strikeout numbers make him less of a grab and keep option, bu in deep leagues you may have to.
NL Starting Pitcher- Jason Marquis-San Diego Padres: (0.2%) Marquis was the best of the qualifiers yesterday even though he gave up a pair of runs on seven hits and four walks in just five innings last night in San Diego. He’s worth a look only in the right matchups at home going forward.
Relief Pitcher- Joe Ortiz-Texas Rangers: (0.0%) Ortiz got a relief win last night going a pair of perfect innings with two strikeouts. He hasn’t allowed an earned run since his first appearance of the season and has picked up six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. The Venezuelan could be stepping into a bigger role which could make him worth a look in leagues that count holds or require you to own relief pitchers.