Welcome to “Off The Deep End”, where I will target players that will help you acquire the depth you need to stay competitive in, and maybe even win, your fantasy baseball league.
These pieces will focus mostly on fantasy baseball leagues that have large rosters or more than 12 teams. This is also geared towards custom or 10×10 roto and head-to-head leagues. The basic league 5×5 stuff you can find anywhere. This will help you dig a little deeper. I will highlight players that are less than 20 percent owned in ESPN leagues, but that can make a difference on your roster.
Friday’s column will deal with pitchers worth an add in deep leagues. Leagues that count holds or K/9 are fairly common, yet these two important categories are still often overlooked. I won’t be mentioning Jose Valverde or Tommy Hunter. That’s much too easy! Here we will be diving a little deeper into the well.
Nate Eovaldi, Marlins: Eovaldi had a nice first start against the Rockies, but is still owned in less than four percent of leagues. I know he is 9-21 in his career prior to his first start, but his ERA is not that bad (3.83 ). And he is still just 24 years old. The best is yet to come.
James Paxton, Mariners: I fail to see why Paxton is not more widely owned. I was high on him before his outstanding first start. He was dominant in his September call up last year, and he is showing no signs of slowing down. He is the second-best pitcher in Seattle right now, and that is saying a lot!
Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays: Buehrle struck out 11 batters, and nearly finished a complete game in his first start of the year. With the Astros up next for the veteran lefty, he is a good bet to pitch well there too. He is worth picking up for one start. After that, he gets the Orioles. There, use at your own risk.
Scott Kazmir, Athletics: In his first start, he showed why he was once the top prospect in the Mets’ system. With the Twins up next, he is a must-start. I love my team as much as anyone, but I realize it’s going to be another long year for us Twins fans.
Aaron Harang, Braves: Harang was nearly unhittable against the Brewers in his first start. Can he recapture the success of his glory days? I doubt it, but his next start is against the Mess…er…Mets. There are worse streaming options out there in deep leagues.
Tim Hudson, Giants: Huddy was nothing short of brilliant on Wednesday in his season debut, and with contests coming up against the same Diamondbacks and the Rockies, he has a favorable enough early schedule that he should be able to help your team. Who knows, you might even be getting in on the ground floor of a Hudson comeback!