Head-to-Head Risers and Fallers: Devin Mesoraco, Khris Davis and More

Thearon W. Henderson

Identifying risers and fallers in head-to-head points' leagues for Week 4, including Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco and Brewers outfielder Khris Davis.

Risers

Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds

Since coming back from an oblique injury, Mesoraco has a hit in all nine contests, going 17 for 33 at the dish with three home runs and six doubles. He leads the team with 11 RBIs in just nine games, and he's already been worth 1.2 WAR, according to FanGraphs -- only four players have been worth more. No longer restrained by Dusty Baker's veteran-biased shackles and the shadow of Ryan Hanigan, Mesoraco is set for full playing time in Cincinnati. The 25-year-old won't be a negative in the strikeout department, with a respectable 17.7 percent strikeout rate in his career. It's really quite simple: more playing time equals more stats equals more points. Despite his league-leading 48 points at the catcher position, he's available in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues and 40 percent of ESPN leagues. Mesoraco could pass as a viable option in 12-teamers, with the chance to hit .270 with 15 home runs and 60-70 RBIs. He won't stay this hot forever (.583 BABIP), but he looks legit after being selected after the likes of A.J. Pierzynski and Travis d'Arnaud on draft day.

Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins

Ozuna is off to a scorching start for the Flying Fish, slashing .333/.382/.522 with three home runs, 12 runs, 10 RBIs and two steals in 18 contests. Ozuna has put together monster seasons in the minors before (23 home runs in 2011, 24 in 2012), but he's forever been a free swinger with lofty strikeout rates. Through nine games, Ozuna has refined his approach at the plate with just 13 strikeouts in 76 plate appearances (17.1 percent strikeout rate), in addition to six walks. He's still swinging and missing at too many balls outside of the strike zone, but as FanGraphs' Jack Weiland points out, he's flailing at fewer pitches in the dirt. Ozuna is currently inside the top-20 outfielders in points' leagues, and he's still available in over 70 percent of Yahoo leagues. He's hit safely in 15 of 18 games, and he could approach 20 home runs over the course of a full season. If his improved plate discipline lasts, Ozuna could be a sneaky No. 3 outfielder.

Fallers

Khris Davis, OF, Brewers

Davis was a popular sleeper on the heels of 11 home runs and a .316 ISO in 56 games a year ago -- but so far, the power is missing (one home run in 17 games). His batting average is fine at .258 (no one expected him to hit .280 again), but he's struck out in 29.1 percent of his plate appearances; through 63 at-bats, Krush has 20 strikeouts and one walk. His O-Swing% is all the way up to 39 percent, and he's making contact at a dismal 65.5 percent clip. Davis won't be able to sustain any value in points' leagues unless he becomes more selective at the plate. In 73 career games, he's walked just 12 times. Additionally, Krush hasn't attempted a steal on a team that led the National League in thefts last season. It's still early, but Davis is looking like a liability outside of deep roto leagues.

Everth Cabrera, SS, Padres

On the surface, Cabrera's 2014 season is off to a fine start. The shortstop is hitting .329 after many thought he over performed with a .283 BA in 2013. With a .300-plus batting average, you'd expect Cabrera to be blazing the base paths -- but that's not the case. After stealing 37 bags last season, he's just 2 for 5 in stolen base attempts to start the year. Furthermore, Cabrera's .329 is deceiving. His batting average is being supported by a .444 BABIP, and he's succeeding despite an ugly 19:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio atop San Diego's batting order. It would be hard to dump Cabrera given the current state of the shortstop position, but he could be someone to lump in a trade for a bigger name acquisition. I'd hold if I owned Cabrera, but expect his batting average to come down significantly over the course of the next month.

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