Considering its May, I’m going to dig into the Fantasy X-Man inbox and find some baseball AND football questions, because owners are beginning football preparations too.
Layla, Colorado: Is Mark Reynolds ownable right now? His record seems to indicate he will give me 30 homers, 80 RBI and 80 R minimum, but if there was ever a guy to repeat Adam Dunn’s 2011… Also, should I sell high on Brian Matusz?
Well I own Reynolds in my 18-team keeper league, so yes he is ownable. But in anything less than 14 teams, I would have a hard time holding onto him. I think he will end up with those numbers, but in 2011 I was trying (and thankfully failing) to trade for Dunn right about this time. As far as Matusz goes, if you can sell him like a top-50 SP, with a more stable starter or solid bat in return, then I would do it. But don’t sell just to sell. Remember, a lot of smart people think (or at least thought) he’s going to be an ace.
Austin, Delaware: Can you estimate Mike Trout and Bryce Harper’s value this season, in either a seasonal or keeper league?
I own trout in one deep keeper league and I added Harper in a shallow keeper league when he was brought up. I expect both to hit around .250. I think Harper hits 15 home runs, and Trout ends up between 8-10, with Trout possibly stealing 10-12 bases and Harper nabbing perhaps five. I’d trade either if I could in a seasonal league, but I’d expect a quality player back in a keeper. Let me explain it this way. I project Trout as Shane Victorino in 2013 and in 2014, think BJ Upton with a .290-.300 average, so 20 HR and 40 SB. As far as Harper goes, I’d project the power to arrive before the average. In 2013, he might hit 25-30 HR, with a .260 average, and then progress from there to perhaps Giancarlo Stanton territory in 2014 and be among the game’s elite power hitters in 2015.
Jason, Washington, D.C.: How do you see the injured running backs in the NFL ending up this season? I’m hearing mixed reports about their Week 1 likelihood and I want to get my rankings done.
Jason, I advise patience. My rankings for them seem to change weekly, as we gain new insight into each injured stud. The top four have become fantasy diamonds because of the uncertainty after them. Backs 5-13 or so all have serious questions. Do anything you can to nab Arian Foster, Ray Rice, Maurice Jones-Drew or Leshean McCoy. On another note, there is exponentially more useful tight ends today than there were this time last year. There is no need to reach for one of the top guys. I’ll probably end up with Jacob Tamme in a lot of leagues because I’ll just wait and stock up on RB and WR.
Taryn, Texas: Hey Fantasy X-Man, what do you know?
I know Eric Hosmer‘s BABIP tells me to buy-low if I can and I know Bryan LaHair’s tells me to sell high if I can. I know Addison Reed will likely lead the White Sox in saves this season and Aroldis Chapman will strike out enough batters to be the most valuable non-closer in baseball. I know I’d sell high on Josh Hamilton if I was getting two GREAT players and there isn’t a player on the planet I would take straight up for Matt Kemp.
Eustice, Wisconsin: Who are not closers right now, who could be by the end of May? I’m already pretty far behind in saves and looking to hit a couple home runs, like I did by taking your advice on Jordan Walden last year.
Well, Reed is the first one. I don’t think the White Sox can keep him in the 7th inning for long, and they don’t want Matt Thornton closing. Kenley Jansen looks like he might slowly be taking over, and this is an excellent time to buy-low on Walden, as I think he will be back in the closer role by June 1. I still think Tyler Clippard is the best pitcher in that bullpen, and should eventually get a chance, though I’m not sure he will and Aaron Crow will likely lead the Royals in saves at season’s end. Trade Jonathan Broxton, Frank Francisco, and Fernando Rodney if you can.
That’s it for now. I’ll try to get to some more questions later on today. And Snakes and Ladders is coming soon……..