Welcome back to “Off The Deep End”, where I will give you fantasy baseball tips on who to pick up in deeper leagues. For people who play standard leagues, drop/add columns are easy for you to find, but for those of you that love deeper leagues, advice can be harder to come by. That is where I can help. All of these players are available in 85% or more of ESPN leagues.
Jon Niese, Mets: How in the world is he still available in 88 percent of leagues? Niese has an impressive 2.20 ERA, and has not given up more than three runs in any start. He could have a hard time earning wins with the Mets, but the offense has shown signs of life. Niese will get two starts next week, one at Miami, and the other at home against the Phillies. I would recommend using him for both of those starts, and probably beyond. He might be the best kept secret in baseball right now.
Jordan Lyles, Rockies: He has been a definite find for the Rockies thus far. Lyles is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA. He will never wow you with his strikeout numbers, but in deeper leagues, you can do worse. He won’t hurt your ERA, and in leagues that count losses, well, he is doing great there as well. He will have two starts this week, but they might both be tough. He is at Texas and at Cincinnati. If you want to wait on him, I wouldn’t blame you.
Travis Wood, Cubs: Wood had one bad start in Milwaukee, but he rebounded with a nice start against St. Louis. I tend to think that the one in Milwaukee is the anomaly, not the rest of his body of work. He is scheduled to start Wednesday against the cross town White Sox. He has put up some nice strikeout totals in a few starts, so the free swinging White Sox should help him out, and make him worth a spot start.
Bud Norris, Orioles: Don’t look now, but Norris has won two straight starts. His strikeouts are down from previous seasons, but so are his walks. The improved control should mean more quality starts for Norris. His next outing is at Tampa. I would feel comfortable starting him there.
Roenis Elias, Mariners: Elias remained hot by dominating the Yankees in the Bronx on Thursday. His next start will come at Oakland. With a 2-2 record, a 3.09 ERA, and 31 strikeout, he is nearing must-start status, at least until he cools off.
Scott Carroll, White Sox: Carroll won’t offer much for strikeouts. In fact, he didn’t strike out a single batter in his last start. That said, his first two major league starts have been quality starts, and he has given up just one run in 13.1 innings. If you don’t need the strikeouts, and need ERA or wins help, he is worth a start against the Cubbies this week.
Stay tuned for points league pickups!