We’re already a third of the way into the season and now is the time when true fantasy players start really paying attention to numbers. The standings mean something now. The individual player stats mean something now. By now, I’d say around 80% of the league is who they are supposed to be. The other 20% covers injured players and extreme-half players. Extreme-half players are players who have a solid track record of performing well in either the first half or the second half. If you have any extreme-first-half players (EXFHP), I suggest selling them while their value is high. If you have any extreme-second-half players (EXFHP), you should hold onto them or attempt to pry away some EXSHPs from other teams. Who are the EXFHPs and EXSHPs? I’ll highlight a few of them in this article but more are being born every year. Keep an eye on before and after the all-star break splits for players with at least 4 years of service in the Bigs. Discuss any EXFHP/EXSHPs that I missed in the comments section.
Strategy Tip of the Week
June is what I affectionately refer to as “Trade Season”. It’s time to get the best value for guys you own who you think are going to regress and trade for the guys whose value is low who you think are going to improve. This is an art and it usually determines who wins most competitive fantasy leagues.
When conducting a trade there are a few golden rules I try to adhere to:
- Don’t try to rip off your trade mate
- Try to find a deal that fits both teams needs
- Be prepared to go back and forth a few times and revise deals according to individual rankings
- Don’t be offended when people say “No.”
There’s nothing worse than the guy who offers you an obviously unfair deal for you accompanied by the message “This guy sucks, you don’t even want him…I’ll take him for you for this GREAT guy.” It just comes across as false. Why would you be so eager to trade for someone who sucks? Avoid trading with this type of manager – he’s trying to find ways to rip you off and not ways to improve both teams.
With that being said, it’s not all politeness when it comes to trades. You definitely have to put your foot down about certain caveats in the deal. Don’t want to include Trea Turner? Don’t include him. Tell your potential trade mate that he’s off the market and move on with players who you are willing to part with. However, I do not believe in ever saying someone should be off the market. You should be always willing to deal anyone if it truly makes your team better.
Below I’m going to discuss a few players you should target and a few you should get rid of at a high value while you can. Go out there and make some fair trades to improve your team!
Pickups of the Week
Devon Travis, 2b (60% owned in Yahoo! Leagues)
If you’re like me and lost your 2b recently (Pedrioa), pick up Travis until he cools down. You may have missed his best month but he looks to be a fixture in a potent lineup and should score some runs. The only problem is, with Donaldson back, he’s going to be batting lower in the lineup but the pickings are slim at 2b so gather him up while you can.
Mitch Haniger, OF (65% owned)
This guy was hyped up big time before the year and tore it up during spring training and his limited time in the majors before he got injured. He’s going on a rehab assignment in days and should be ready for action soon. He’s a must add for all leagues.
Brad Hand, RP (31% owned)
Hand has quietly been great for almost 2 years now. He’s next in line for closer in San Diego and, with Maurer struggling, he could be in that position sooner rather than later. Pick him up if you need saves or a great ERA immediately.
Max Kepler, OF (27% owned)
The German is due for another breakout month in June like he had last year. This guy homers in spurts and he’s looking to get hot. Get him now and drop him when he starts tailing off.
Chase Anderson, SP (33% owned)
Chase looks great and he has to be given a look here with his numbers. Use him as a spot starter and mostly at home and you should be fine for the rest of the year.
Sell Highs (trade these guys off now!)
Dylan Bundy, SP-RP
We like Bundy and think he has a bright future ahead of him but this year is going to be his stepping stone year. He’s not ready for elite status because of the low K rate. Look for someone who sees his numbers and wants his services and is willing to shell out some cash!
David Price, SP
Coming off 2 solid starts fresh from his injury, his value is about as high as it can be right now. Everyone wants him after you waited patiently for his services. Don’t trade him for nothing, but unload him if you can for a solid #2 pitcher to an eager owner. He is due for some growing pains.
Matt Kemp, OF
This guy has elite counting stats right now. But, if you look a little deeper, he has been around the 30th ranked OF in the last 30 days even with his gaudy numbers. He’s also a big injury risk. If you can trade him and a decent pitcher for a more reliable option like George Springer, pull the trigger.
Buy Lows (Go get these guys!)
Mashiro Tanaka, SP
He was on this list last article and he’ll remain on it until he gets it together. This guy is simply too good of a pitcher and too consistent with his approach. Barring injury, there’s no doubt that Tanaka is going to reel off a stretch of Quality Starts any time now.
Justin Verlander, SP
Another player with a solid track record and some not so solid numbers, Verlander is someone you’re going to have to go get before his value goes back up. You can probably find a panicking owner that will take Bundy and Kemp for him, which is something you should definitely do!
Anthony Rizzo, 1b
Amateur owners are probably trying to get rid of this superstar and that’s where you, as the seasoned professional, should hop in. You should be able to buy him on the cheap and then reap his rewards for the next 4 months or so. His numbers are a bit troubling even if you look deep, but he’s too good of a hitter to keep this going on for too long.
See you in a few weeks and good luck, owners!