Early 2014 Position Rankings
The 2014 NFL Draft was about a month ago, so it is time for our early 2014 position rankings. This week we published our early 2014 Quarterback and Tight End rankings, along with an early Comeback Player of the Year candidate.
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 some 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. In his week 8 Buy and Hold, he has two new faces in his top 10.
Prince Fielder out for the season
I didn't get a chance to write the Roundup on Friday morning, so I didn't get to share my thoughts on the news that Prince Fielder will have season ending neck surgery. The news was reported on Thursday that Fielder would miss the rest of the season due to the neck injury, and that Jurickson Profar will miss another 8-12 weeks of the season due to re-injuring his back muscle (Teres Major), and my first thought was "should the Rangers be sellers at the trade deadline?"
The Rangers are already seven games out of first place, in fourth place in the American League West, with the best team in baseball right now, the Oakland A's, leading the division. The Angels are playing better this season as well, so the Rangers will have a tough time climbing back into the wild card race.
With Fielder out for the season, along with Matt Harrison, Martin Perez, Profar, and Derek Holland on the disabled list till July some time, the Rangers have some assets they could turn into solid prospects if they choose to be sellers this season. Third baseman Adrian Beltre and shortstop Elvis Andrus have huge contracts but present upgrades for many contending teams right now.
Getting back to the Fielder injury, he was having an abysmal season to date, so his loss shouldn't impact your fantasy roster as it is currently constructed, unless you play in deeper AL only leagues. I am sure you can find hitters who are performing better than Fielder was this season. Of course, you cannot dismiss the fact that Fielder has been a huge bust this season, and I, for one, never saw this coming from him in 2014. I ranked Fielder as my #1 fantasy first baseman in the preseason. With his injury, along with Joey Votto's injury and Jose Abreu's excellent rookie season, and we could see big changes atop the 2015 first base rankings next season.
For more on Fielder's injury and the Rangers, make sure you check out Lone Star Ball, SB Nation's Rangers fan site.
Speaking of injuries, Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado broke his left mallet finger sliding into second base. Mallet finger? What the hell is that? Anyway, Arenado broke the finger sliding…..you guessed it…..headfirst into second base, attempting to stretch a single into a double. He will be placed on the disabled list today, and it appears the Rockies called up Josh Rutledge to replace him on their active roster.
Our good friends over at Purple Row have more information on the Arenado injury, including video of Arenado's slide and the definition of the mallet injury.
Rays starter Chris Archer was the subject of Jasper Scherer's timely written article on Friday, where he opined that Archer would be fine going forward and that fantasy owners should be patient with him. Archer made Jasper look really smart by going out and dominating the Red Sox lineup on Friday night, shutting them out for six innings, giving up four hits, four walks and striking out 11. He did not factor in the decision, but is now 3-2 with a 4.11 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and a 52-24 strikeout to walk rate in 57 innings. He is walking way too many batters right now, but has not given up a run in each of his last two starts. He is walking way too many batters over his last three starts, so maybe he is working on a mechanical flaw. Hopefully that is the case, as he has a bright future in Tampa.
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw rebounded from his worst start in quite some time last week in Arizona, where he gave up 7 runs in 1.2 innings. On Friday night, Kershaw was back to his old self again, shutting out the Phillies on 2 hits, 3 walks and striking out 9 over 6 innings in the Dodgers 2-0 win. Kershaw moved his record to 3-1 with a 3.49 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and a 37-6 strikeout to walk rate in 28.1 innings.
Kershaw's teammate Yasiel Puig had a bad night in New York on Thursday night, with a few base running gaffes, and a terrific diving catch in right field. Last night, he reached base in all five plate appearances, going 3-3 with an RBI and two walks, raising his slash line to .343-.438-.614 with 10 home runs, 25 runs scored, 38 RBI and 4 stolen bases in 7 attempts. Over his last ten games, he has hit 4 home runs and drove in 13 runs. So much for the regression some were expecting from him this season.
Question for Fake Teams readers: where would you rank Puig for fantasy purposes right now? First round pick? Make sure you vote in the attached poll below.
Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is having himself an MVP-type season in 2014. Last night, Stanton took over the National League lead in home runs, by going 2-4 with two solo home runs in the Marlins 9-5 loss to the Brewers. Stanton is now hitting .314-.404-.616 with 14 home runs, 35 runs scored and 47 RBI and is on pace for 46 home runs and 155 RBI. Who says he doesn't hit 46 bombs this season?
A few days ago, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis hit three home runs vs the Pirates, and I opined that this could be the start of a hot streak for him. Well, since that big night, he has gone 4-11 with a home run, three runs scored and form RBI, after going 2-3 with 2 runs scored and 4 RBI in the Orioles 8-4 win over the surging Indians. Davis now has 7 home runs, 25 runs scored and 25 RBI in 34 games this season.
I would like to write about a few other players, but have to cut it short today. Back at it tomorrow.
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.