Neil’s Weekly Fantasy Baseball Preview: May 20th – 26th


This week I want to share a few waiver wire columns that I thought were particularly good as a part of my weekly fantasy baseball preview. I take care of the waiver wire article over at The Fake Baseball and it can be a tough racket! However, roster management is sometimes even more important than your initial fantasy draft, so keeping active is critical. This weeks targets include Yasmani Grandal, Brandon Beachy, David Phelps, Justin Morneau and Eric Chavez.

Fantasy Smack Talk: Dustin Barkley breaks down a few options for all mixed leagues, deeper leagues and players to keep an eye on. Francisco Liriano anyone?

Bretsky Ball: Wayne Bretsky lines the options up by position and also takes a look at deeper league options. How about a little Jason Vargas, or would you prefer some Juan Pierre stolen base expertise?

Rotoworld: D.J. Short has some mixed leagues and low-owned options for fantasy owners to consider and also discusses Don Mattingly’s bullpen tease!

Wasting Away Again on the Waiver Wire: Here is my looks at some of the hotter hitters of the past few weeks! I’m a big Chris Tillman supporter right now.


Pirates starter Francisco Liriano is a gamble some owners are rolling with! (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Let’s get our fake baseball uniforms dirty this week my friends!


Weekly Fantasy Baseball Preview: Bats



Pick – Joe Mauer: Batting .500 over the past 2 weeks. That is good, the 5 RBIs aren’t great, but how about 12 doubles and 13 runs?

Sleeper – Salvador Perez: The power has evaporated, but he has 7 multi-hit games in May and 4 in his current 9 game hitting streak.

Bust – Jesus Montero: I love this guy, but he got picked off second yesterday and then couldn’t keep his foot on home plate on the game winning run. Have to wonder if there is a dent in the toolbox!


First Base

Pick – Joey Votto: When he was drafted in the first round owners were looking forward to weeks where he got on base at a .621 clip. Hands up if that is good enough for you Billy Beane?

Sleeper – Adam LaRoche: Owners who cut ties might regret it, the guy is dialed in and capable of monster stretches!

Bust – Ike Davis: Still a bust, still standing too far from the plate, batting .036 in the last week.


Second Base

Pick – Dustin Pedoria: There are others out performing him of late, but he is dialed in and about to have a monster stretch.

Sleeper – Marco Scutaro: It is never flashy, but the veteran always finds a way to get on base and is currently rolling along a 17 game hitting streak. That is a NICE! The 13 multi-hit games, well that is a NICER!

Bust – Danny Espinosa: Still on the bust list, he and Ike might as well start a folk music duo and hit the road. Danny and Ike, “How many pitches must a man face, before he hits the ball and How many swing-and-a-misses must a man endure before he gives up on it all?” They’re clearly against WAR too, with their horrible negative .6 and .8 respectively.


Third Base

Pick – Adrian Beltre: This is me from 2 weeks ago, “I am buying everywhere I can, things are about to turn around for Beltre.” And I did and it has been awesome!

Sleeper – Eric Chavez: Speaking of Billy Beane, anyway, he kills righties and is on fire right now, a trip to Coors Field and then back home against the Padres looks alright if you need a plug in at the 3 bag.

Bust – Todd Frazier: This is me from 2 weeks ago, “He’ll be fine, I think, but right now he is slumping and you need production from 3B.  If you can start someone else I’d roll that way, his eligibility makes him tough to drop though.”



Pick – Elvis Andrus: 9 runs and 5 swipes in the past week, that is what I’m looking for from the SS roster spot. Although, Segura’s bomb and 5 runs, swipes and rabbits are pretty good too!

Sleeper – J.J. Hardy: When he gets on a roll, you can enjoy the round trippers, RBIs and everything that comes along with them. Just remember, he enjoys going to funkytown too.

Bust – Alcides Escobar: He has hit a skid and his OBP has dropped down below .300, which isn’t Danny and Ike territory, but it isn’t good either. He hasn’t shown off his speed of late either.



Pick – Alex Rios: 2 bombs, 11 hits, a swipe, with 6 runs and 7 RBIs in the past week. That is some good fake baseball and if he’d stop hitting so many home runs he could steal a few more bags and go 30/30. Good fake baseball indeed!

Pick – Andrew McCutchen: There was a mini-slump, but Cutch is back at it, proof is in the 2 bombs and swipes with 9 runs and a .310 average over the past week. Let’s set the floor at 100 runs, 25 bombs, 90 rabbits, 30 swipes and a .275 average – Cool?

Sleeper – Dayan Viciedo: The injury is in the rear-view and the South Sider should get back to mashing baseballs and taking names, or whatever it is that he does. Why did a rookie who hit 25 bombs and bat above .250 in only 505 at bats in 2012 go so late in drafts?

Sleeper – Gerardo Parra: He has only gone hitless twice in May, tied for 5th in MLB in hits and is hitting .327 on the season. The power and speed are there, they’re not difference makers, but considering the spark plug and WAR leader lives on base, you should own him if you can.

B(.J. Upton)ust – Dexter Fowler: He struck again, I’ve seen this trick from him too many times, zero shares thus far in 2013. However, if he is dropped don’t be afraid to snatch him up if he shows signs of turning it around!

B(.J. Upton)ust – Michael Saunders: The power speed combo is great, but the batting average is an anchor. He isn’t capable of posting a respectable average, so let one of the other members of your league benefit from his 15 steals and bombs, while crumbling with his .235 average.



Weekly Fantasy Baseball Preview: Arms


Two-Start Pitchers

This week I am looking forward to seeing how Julio Teheran fares as a two-start arm. He has settled in since his shaky start and pitched well in his last 4 outings, going 2-1, allowing a mere 8 earned runs and striking out 14. He was the best arm going this spring and has Brandon Beachy breathing down his neck. His matchups are favorable and the Braves lineup is finally healthy.

Take a peek at these 2 excellent two-start pitcher previews:

Razzball: Scott Evans not only takes care of your two-start pitcher needs and tiers the options up, he also highlights which players may be readily available on your waiver wire.

Rotoworld: Nick Nelson’s look at the week ahead adds helpful notes, such as Lefty/Righty Breakdowns, Games Played Totals and even his own Streamer City picks. Finally, Nick loves him some Johnny Cueto, me too Nick, me too!


Streaming Options

It is a tricky game streaming pitchers and even more difficult when you’re trying to project for an entire week. If you’re a streamer, jot down these names and use a guy on a day when you need a start. I don’t recommend streaming every single day, unless you really love the rush!

My Colleague at The Fake Baseball, Brien Bonneville, has a daily list of streaming pitching options and his Streaming Pitchers Primer is a must-read if you’re looking to employ this strategy. Streaming is a risky business, but when used properly it can be an excellent fake baseball advantage.

I also want to share a video from my pal Pat Mayo, which briefly discusses streaming pitchers and an excellent article from Matthew Berry on the Wandy Line that is must read stuff.  Taking the time to read and watch these resources will help you be a better fantasy baseballer and that is what we are all striving for in life, isn’t it?

So now it is time to get at this week’s options:

May 20th – Jake Odorizzi @ TOR: This might not be the easiest team to face, but they don’t mind swinging and missing and he should be able to keep them off balance.

May 21st – Mike Leake @ NYM: The Mets are quickly becoming one of the worst offenses in the Bigs, while Leake has been solid in 6 of 8 starts thus far.

May 22nd – Michael Wacha @ SD: Make sure that he actually gets the call to replace Garcia and you might have to add him immediately, but you can bank on some run support!

May 23rd – Rick Porcello vs MIN: Look for the Tigers to feast on Scott Diamond and Porcello’s recent success to keep rolling along.

May 24th – Brandon McCarthy vs SD: Fresh off a complete game shutout, the strikeouts might not amount to much, but he is a WHIP and ERA beast right now.

May 25th – Pass:  If A.J. Griffin is available I’d snatch him up, but he is likely owned, a lot of top arms are in action.

May 26th – Julio Teheran @ NYM: As mentioned above, he is worth a go for both starts this week, so get him scooped up quick.


I’m a Loyal Leafs, Cubs, and Cowboys fan for decades. I wear the C for The Fake Hockey, in addition to contributing to The Fake Baseball and The Fake Football in more of a Timmy Try Hard role.  You can also find my weekly fantasy baseball preview here at davidgonos.com and can reach me on Twitter @naparker77.

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