2014 NFL Draft: Post-draft rankings and analysis
Now that the 2014 NFL Draft is over, it's time to update our 2014 rookie position rankings. Our fantasy football writers were all over the draft and here are a few articles addressing the fantasy impact of round 1 of the draft, the winners and losers from round 1, and our post-draft position rankings.
Prospect Buy and Hold
We all want to know when Gregory Polanco and Oscar Taveras will be called up to the big leagues, as they are the next prospects in line to make an impact on your fantasy teams. But who are the other top prospects who can help you this season? Jason Hunt publishes his weekly Buy and Hold article every Saturday morning, ranking his top 10 prospects in line for a call up, along with some other prospects to consider as well.
Chris Davis: He's baaaack
Coming into the season, I think most people would agree that Orioles first baseman Chris Davis would have a real tough time repeating his 54 home run season in 2013. It is no secret that he has been a disappointment to begin the 2014 season, and it didn't help that he missed time due to an oblique injury. But, last night, Davis announced that he is back by hitting three home runs in the Orioles 9-2 win over the Pirates. The fact that he hit them in Pittsburgh's pitchers park is even more impressive.
Davis is now hitting .257-.376-.468 with six home runs, 22 runs scored, 20 RBI and he has even tossed in two stolen bases to date. Power hitters like Davis can hit home runs in streaks, so hopefully this is the start of a hot streak for Davis and the Orioles. He is on pace to hit just 23 home runs and drive in 75 runs, but I still think he can hit 30+ home runs by the end of the season.
For more on Davis and the Orioles, make sure you check out Camden Chat, SB Nation's Orioles fan site.
Cliff Lee to the disabled list with an elbow strain
It was announced last night that Phillies ace Cliff Lee was placed on the 15 day disabled list with a grade 1-2 elbow strain, and could be out longer. I wrote about the fantasy impact in the link below:
For more on Lee's injury and the fan reaction, make sure you check out The Good Phight, SB Nation's Phillies fan site.
Justin Verlander: Time to end the misery?
Justin Verlander had plenty of supporters coming into the season, but I liked him less than others. Granted, he looked like the old Verlander in the playoffs and to start the season. Verlander gave up two runs or less in each of his first five starts to begin the season, but since late April, he has given up three runs or more in four of his last five starts.
Last night, Verlander got knocked around for five runs on 11 hits, 3 walks and just 2 strikeouts in six innings in the Tigers 6-2 loss to the Indians. On the season, Verlander is 5-3 with a respectable 3.55 ERA, but his 1.42 WHIP and 49-27 strikeout to walk rate in 66 innings tells me that he is not the same pitcher he was last season, and certainly not the pitcher from several seasons ago.
His strikeouts per nine have dropped from just under 9.0 K/9 to 6.68 K/9, a huge drop, and all one to look at is his drop in fastball velocity from 93 mph last season to 92 mph this season. He has struck out four or less batters in half of his ten starts this season, so he is not helping fantasy owners in the strikeout or WHIP categories. I wouldn't recommend dropping him, but if you can find a buyer in your league, you may want to see what you can get for him.
For more on Verlander and the Tigers, check out Bless You Boys, SB Nation's Tigers fan site.
Indians starter Trevor Bauer has been pitching very well in AAA this season, going 4-1 with at 2.15 ERA in seven starts, so it was just a matter of time before the Indians called him up, especially since he pitched well in a spot start earlier in the season. Last night, Bauer got the nod vs a hot Tigers team, but he was up to the task. Bauer limited the Tigers to two runs, both on solo home runs, on 7 hits, 3 walks and 5 strikeouts in the Indians 6-2 win. He moved his record to 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and a 13-5 strikeout to walk rate in 12 innings thus far. He is owned in 15% of leagues right now, so if you play in a mixed or AL only league, I think he is safe to pick up. He will definitely be included in my daily Streamer Report while he is under-owned.
Well, we didn't think Reds starter Johnny Cueto could pitch like this all season, did we? He was bound to get knocked around, and that is what happened on Tuesday night. Cueto got knocked around for eight runs, six earned, on six hits, no walks and six strikeouts in 5.1 innings. Cueto is now 4-3 with a 1.86 ERA, 0.74 WHIP and an excellent 82-18 strikeout to walk rate in 77.1 innings of work. His streak of giving up two runs or less in nine straight starts came to an end last evening.
Braves starter Julio Teheran dominated a Brewers lineup that is struggling to score runs in May. Teheran tossed a complete game shutout, giving up just six hits, two walks and struck out eight in the Braves 5-0 win on Tuesday night. Teheran moved his record to 3-3 with a 1.92 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and a 54-18 strikeout to walk rate in 70.1 innings. He has given up two runs or less in eight of his ten starts this season, but has seen his strikeouts per nine drop below seven for the time being.
The news on Ryan Zimmerman is not good as his thumb is not healing as quickly as anticipated and he will miss more than the expected 4-6 weeks. He is in his 5th week of recovery at this point, so unless something dramatic happens with the thumb, he will be out for at least another few weeks, taking us into mid-June at the earliest.
It looking more and more like Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright and Dodgers ace Zack Greinke will battle it out for the National League Cy Young award this season. Wainwright completely dominated the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night, giving up just one hit in a complete game shutout. Wainwright walked none and struck out nine en route to his seventh win of the season. The win moved his record to 7-2 with a 1.85 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and a 65-15 strikeout to walk rate in 73 innings. He has given up two runs or less in eight of his ten starts thus far
Back in the preseason, an owner in my AL only league offered me Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion for Jason Castro and Eric Hosmer. I was quick to decline that offer, but am second-guessing myself right now, as Hosmer has failed to hit a home run this season, and Castro's 2013 might be a fluke. I had questions about Encarnacion's power coming off the offseason wrist surgery, but he is looking like the old Encarnacion this season. Last night, he went 2-5 with two home runs and five RBI in the Blue Jays 7-4 win over the Red Sox. Encarnacion is now hitting .249-.332-.531 with 11 home runs, 28 runs scored and 35 RBI in 177 at bats thus far. He is on pace to hit 39 home runs and drive in 123 runs right now, and my decision to decline the offseason trade offer is looking like a poor decision.
For more fantasy baseball (and football) news and rankings, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, your one stop for all the fantasy news you need on a daily basis.