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MLB Fantasy Fixer-Uppers May 5th 2015
Fantasy Fixer Uppers
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
One month is down and by now your fantasy roster should be locked in. For the most part that is. Scouring the waiver wire almost daily is the key to maintaining success. Here are a few players who are available in more than 40% of standard ESPN leagues who can help your team either stay near the top of your league or help get you there.
Chris Young, OF, New York Yankees (58% owned standard ESPN leagues)
Let me start by saying buyer beware. Young has always shown flashes of stardom in his career but he can never seem to keep it consistently. He is off to a hot start this year in the Bronx slashing .308/.375/.677 with six long balls in 24 games. The power potential is for real as he has topped 20 homers four times in his career but the rest of that slash line is due for a dropoff. A career .235/.314/.432 hitter will have to come back to the norm at some point. While he has fared well in his short time in a Yankee uniform all good things come to an end. Adding Young is always a gamble. He can be a cheap source of power but doesn’t offer much else. If you are hurting in that department he is worth taking a flier on. If it doesn’t work out, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Brett Cecil, RP, Toronto Blue Jays (54% owned)
After opening the season in the closer’s role Cecil quickly lost his job during the first week. The other options Toronto rolled out weren’t providing enough stability at the back end of the rotation and here we are, a month later, and Cecil is closing games once again. He picked up his second save of the season Monday night and has allowed only one run in his last six appearances. He has cut his walk rate in half from 2014 and if he can keep his double digit strikeout rate per nine innings he could be quite valuable going forward. The former all-star has kept his ERA under three the last two years and he should continue that trend. Saves are always valuable in fantasy and here’s a closer available in nearly half of ESPN leagues just waiting to be added. This is why you should never pay for saves in your draft.
Dan Haren, SP, Miami Marlins (30% owned)
When Dan Haren was traded to Miami in the offseason he hinted he would rather retire than play a season away from his family on the west coast. Haren did not make good on that but he has, however, been very good for the Fish. Through five starts Haren has allowed more than two earned runs just once and has picked up the win three of the last four times he has taken the mound. He boasts a miniscule 0.87 WHIP and plays for a playoff contender in Miami. He has given up a troublesome six home runs so far but ff Haren stays healthy he looks in line for a solid season for the Marlins. He isn’t the fantasy stud he was back in his Arizona days but as a waiver wire add he can add some stability to the back of your fantasy rotation.
Kelly Johnson, OF/1B/3B, Atlanta Braves (12% owned)
After spending his first four seasons in Atlanta Kelly Johnson is back for a second tour on the Braves. Many believe (including this Braves fan) that this is a transition year for Atlanta. And it is. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t fantasy numbers to be found on this club. Johnson has shown power early on slugging a team high five homers while driving in 13 runs on the young season. What makes him an even more attractive fantasy play is the multi-position eligibility. He currently boasts 1B, 3B and OF usage and could even see some middle infield work. After a lost 2014 touring the American League East (he played for the Yankees, Red Sox AND Orioles) it didn’t seem like Johnson would be fantasy relevant this year. Turns out he is and he can be had in nearly all leagues.
Billy Burns, OF, Oakland A’s (<1% owned)
If you are new to these fantasy columns you will soon find out that I love talking about a player who is virtually unowned. If you aren't new, well, thanks for continuing to read! In this case, Burns is that virtually unowned player. Someone I had rostered at the beginning of the year to only see him sent down when Cody Ross was acquired Burns is back in the bigs. Through three games the speedy outfielder has collected five hits and has scored two runs. What hasn’t happened yet is a stolen base but I anticipate seeing those come quickly and steadily. As his name suggest Burns is a speedster. In 2014 between Double-A and Triple-A he swiped 54 bags. The year before he had 74. He was caught just 13 times during that span. Speed kills and Burns should be a solid source of it provided he stays in the lineup when Coco Crisp returns from injury. If you need stolen bases and have a dead spot on your roster it’s time to stash Burns.