Starting this week we'll be having a post on which players you should and shouldn't buy low and sell high on. If a player that you are curious about isn't mentioned, email us and we'll let you know how to best proceed. I'll try to mention players who are owned in most leagues (or who should be owned in most leagues), so those in deeper leagues with specific questions please don't hesitate to ask me. Here we go!
Garrett Atkins - One of my favorite preseason sleepers is struggling a little. If his owner thinks maybe Atkins isn't the player he thought he was on draft day grab him. I still think Atkins will be a first round pick next year. .330/35/110/100 is still quite possible.
Conor Jackson - Getting absolutely, incredibly, ridiculously unlucky, Jackson is a guy who could be a Top 10 1B by the end of the year. Great Contact Rate, Line Drive Percentage, and BB rate. Is a pretty good bet to reach 30 HRs. Very good lineup should keep his RBI and Run totals up.
Manny Ramirez & Lance Berkman - My #10 and #11 picks in the league with my friends are both struggling. Both are good players though and should be picked up on the cheap if at all possible. Both will put up monster numbers in 4 of 5 categories.
Brett Myers - Myers won't stay in middle relief for too long. He'll either become one of the game's best closers or Starting Pitchers (again). If he becomes the SP you're set, and if he becomes the closer just turn and trade him for another top shelf SP. Great peripherals since moving to the bullpen, which is when he changed his arm slot to correct his early season troubles.
Dave Bush - .383 BABIP means Bush is getting extremely unlucky. His control is amazing, his K rate is over 7, and his GB rate is above average. Sooner or later his run of bad luck will stop. Get him now while you can.
Don't Buy Low
Carlos Zambrano - Mentioned a lot already, so I won't spend a lot of time going over him. He needs to improve his control to become an elite pitcher, and he hasn't done it so far this year. There's no indication that he will, so stay away from Zambrano.
Ervin Santana - Mentioned as a bust candidate for this year, Santana is fulfilling my expectations. In case you're tempted to trade for him... don't. Even worse peripherals than last year. 1.33 K/BB and 30% GB rate is not a formula for success.
Chien-Ming Wang - Simply does not strike out enough players to have fantasy value. A 3 category starter is very rarely worth owning. His BB/9 is too high to even think he'll have very good ERA and WHIP.
Ryan Zimmerman - Zimmerman is another guy who has been overhyped. He is due for a power regression (12 HRs perhaps) and he is only an above average contact hitter. Add in his terrible lineup (although it will improve when Nick Johnson returns) and you have a poor fantasy player. His draft day value was much too high, so don't think you're getting a bargain with him.
Chuck James - Braves pitchers tend to get more hype than deserved, and James is one of them. He has a decent K/BB, but it won't get much better. Not a great K/9 and a downright bad GB Percentage. BABIP is a little high, but essentially what you see is what you get with Chuck James right now.
Matt Cain - Cain's a young guy with a lot of hype, but his K/9 this year is at just 5.91 and his BB/9 is all the way up at 4.37. That equates to a lot of hits and a lot of walks. Add in his low GB Percentage, which is always low, and you'll get a lot of HRs too. Of course his K/9 should increase and his GB% will increase maybe 5-7%, but there is nothing to suggest his BB/9 will decrease. A .117 BABIP and 0.51 HR/9 won't hold up. I have a very strong feeling Cain owners will be very displeased in the coming months.
John Maine - Maine is getting very lucky via .200 BABIP and 0.54 HR/9. BABIP should be around .290 and HR/9 should be over 1 with his low GB Percentage. His K/9 is surprisingly good, but it may not last. His BB/9 is pretty high and his GB% is low.
Henry Owens - Seemingly pitching well, but a .233 BABIP is just luck. Low K/9, high BB/9 and only a decent GB Percentage means Owens is in for a fall. Let someone else catch him.
Rich Hill - Already being mentioned as a serious NL Cy Young candidate, this won't be the case at the end of the season. .192 BABIP and 0.76 HR/9 are quite lucky and his K/9 is down from last year. His GB Percentage is up, but it is still poor. Hill will end up as a decent pitcher, but he won't be an elite pitcher as he is being treated now. Trade him for one.
Justin Verlander - Another preseason bust I talked about, Verlander is getting lucky... again. You can't bank on luck, only on skill. 6.52 K/9 and 4.34 BB/9 paired with an average 43% GB rate is not how you achieve a 2.79 ERA. Verlander is in for a drop in production.
Don't Sell High
Jake Peavy - One of my favorite players preseason, Peavy is outperforming even my expectations. K/9 over 10.5 and BB/9 under 3 equals sheer dominance. Trade him only for Johan Santana.
Josh Beckett - My #19 SP preseason, Beckett should continue to produce as long as he is healthy. May need to K more guys if his amazing BB rate increases, and his GB rate may be a bit inflated, but Beckett should continue to produce quality fantasy numbers.
Chris Duncan - Don't know if I've mentioned him, but Duncan was a preseason sleeper for me. His HRs last year were legit, and he has hit a few so far this year. Decent Contact Rate, good LD rate, and decent BB rate means he should be a fairly productive contact hitter. Good lineup means RBIs and Runs. Only trade him if you can get good value for him.
Alex Rodriguez - Was due to hit more HRs this year. This pace won't keep up, but A-Rod should hit 50-55 HRs and 60 is a possibility. Most of his HRs this year have gone very far. He is simply destroying the ball. Not a great contact hitter, but a .280-.285 average is likely. A lot of RBIs and Runs are in store hitting in the middle of the Yankee lineup, and A-Rod is normally good for a few steals. Don't trade him for anyone not named Albert Pujols.