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Kyle Elfrink

Kyle Elfrink

Week 3 Waiver Targets by Kyle Elfrink

Why do you come to this column? Easy. You're searching out recommendations on who to add and opinions to dissuade you from making a bad choice off the waiver wire. But, you're also looking to come across a name or two that isn't on radar of everyone else in your league. You hope to find a suggestion or nugget that is a couple of weeks ahead of the crowd. Well, this week, have I got the guy for you! He's a former first-round pick, who has clubbed 55 homers in just a hair over 180 games of minor league baseball. He got called up this week and was immediately granted a starting spot in the lineup and a clean-up spot...

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Walter Kuberski

Walter Kuberski

NL Player Report - April 18, 2015

Wil Myers (OF-SD): Remember me, he said sardonically to a baseball world focused on the hype surrounding Kris Bryant. The he, in this case, is none other than Wil Myers, a forgotten former top prospect who hit a game-winning 3-run homer as part of a 3-for-4 afternoon to spoil Bryant's debut (which Bryant himself contributed to with a 0 for 4, 3 K night). Myers is off to a fast start to his 2015. Hitting primarily out of the leadoff spot, Myers is 15 for 46 with 1 HR and 2 SB's, although he has yet to draw a walk. The good news is that he isn't chasing (his chase rate below 27%), and he isn't whiffing (swinging strike rate...

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Nicholas Rossoletti

Nicholas Rossoletti

AL Player Blog- April 18, 2015

CC Sabathia- C.C. Sabathia has started the 2015 season with an ERA of 5.68, which is probably not surprising for most of the baseball world. Sabathia has struggled with injury, age and decreased velocity for several years. The interesting part about his start to 2015 is that his peripherals don't support an ERA anywhere near 5.68. While we are dealing in an extremely small 12 inning sample, Sabathia has actually pitched quite well despite his ERA. His K Rate is up to 28.3% (probably unsustainable given his 88 MPH velocity but impressive nonetheless), his Ground Ball Rate is 67.6% and his BB Rate is down to 1.9%. All of these numbers should eventually revert closer to his 3 year norms,...

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Walter Kuberski

Walter Kuberski

NL Player Report - April 17, 2015

Kris Bryant (3B-CHC): It's official: the Cubs are calling up Kris Bryant today, thus beginning a new era in the windy city. He only posted a 1.042 OPS in 7 AAA games with 3 homers to start the season, actually lowering his career MiLB OPS. However, he appropriately struck out 9 times and walked only twice in 30 plate appearances, so look for this to continue with the big club. Overall, he already has the game to hit 30 homers and maintain a respectable AVG/OBP in the middle of the Cubs lineup. If you drafted him and stashed him, get him in your lineups immediately. For those saying this is the time to sell I respectfully disagree. Michael Taylor (OF-WAS):...

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Paul Sauberer

Paul Sauberer

AL Player Report- April 17, 2015

Stephen Vogt- C- OAK- Idea- Vogt has a good chance to keep his hot start going against Roberto Hernandez (the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona.) Hernandez had a slash line of .246/.358/.387 and FIP of 5.65 against lefthanders last year. Vogt posted .291/.331/.439 against righthanded pitching. Value play- FanDuel salary- $2900 Lorenzo Cain- OF- KC- Great Player- The Royals lost for only the second time this season, but it certainly wasn't Cain's fault. He went 3-for-4 with a double, homer, 3 RBI, 3 runs scored and a stolen base. Cain's early-season BABIP is at .48 so the .429 average will likely not last to challenge Ted Williams as the last .400 hitter. Getting a second steal of the year...

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Phil Double

Phil Double

NL Player Analysis - April 15th, 2015

Dan Haren-Marlins-SP Dan Haren picked up his first win Wednesday by giving up 2 ER over 7 IP on 3 H, 2 BB, and 5 K. Haren is in a good spot in Miami, pitching half his games in a pitcher friendly park. However, he is no spring chicken (34 yr. old), but he does know how to pitch. He only averages 86 mph on his fastball, but does a nice job of mixing and matching with his cutter, splitter, and curve. Haren has seen a dip in his strikeouts and that has been followed by a significant drop in his SwStr% to 7%, which is below average. In his first start of 2015, he saw only a 2.5% SwStr...

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Frank Tomkins

Frank Tomkins

AL Player Analysis - April 16, 2015

Trevor Bauer (SP-CLE). Bauer was solid again in picking up his second win of the season against the White Sox on Wednesday afternoon. Bauer lasted 6 innings, giving up only 2 runs on 4 hits while striking out 8. One troubling aspect of Bauer's outing, though, was that he walked 4, which ran his pitch count to 103 over his six innings. This comes on the heels of his first start, in which he walked 5 over six innings. While the 14.25 K/9 rate thus far in 2015 is great, unless Bauer can rein in the corresponding 6.75 BB/9 rate, there is no way he will be able to maintain his current level of performance. Bauer did make strides with...

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David Regan

David Regan

Odrisamer Despaigne (SP-SD) - Despaigne continued his good fortune Tuesday, allowing just a run on two hits over seven solid innings against the Diamondbacks. His 4:2 K:BB in 11.2 innings indicates a lack of dominance, but if you actually watch him pitch, you can see why he's so effective. Mixing a fastball and breaking stuff with pinpoint control on the outer half of this plate allows Despaigne to induce a lot of poorly hit balls. Despaigne is pretty much battling Brandon Morrow to remain in the rotation while Ian Kennedy rehabs a minor hamstring injury. Despaigne has some Draft Kings value, though his $6,500 price tag is a bit higher than I anticipated. Michael Taylor (OF-WAS) - Despite his salary,...

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Steve Shumansky

Steve Shumansky

AL Player Analysis- 4-14-15

CC Sabathia (SP-NYY) In Sabathia's first start of the season, the strikeouts were certainly there but the outcome was a loss. Today's game was no different. Sabathia took the loss again giving up 4 runs on 7 hits while striking out 7 in 7 innings of work. Sabathia only threw 16 fastballs out of 90 total pitches. His 89 mph offering was fooling no one and is probably the reason why. We have been seeing a steady decline in velocity with Sabathia from nearly 94 mph on his four seam fastball to under 90 mph in 2014. In his first start of the year he was down to around 89 and he remains there. This is not to say that...

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Phil Double

Phil Double

AL Player Analysis-April 13th, 2014

J.D. Martinez-Tigers-OF J.D. Martinez was 1-3 with a HR (4), 1 R, 2 RBI, and 1 BB. Martinez has shown no signs of slowing down after his breakout 2014 season. If you purely look at his numbers, he would be a major candidate for regression, but that does not factor in the mechanical adjustments he made last year. He is focusing on the middle of the field, which has allowed him to use his raw power and to make better overall contact. Martinez's power is legit, but he should see regression in terms of batting average, but will continue to be an above average fantasy contributor, especially hitting in the middle of a potent Tigers lineup. Leonys Martin-Rangers-OF Leonys Martin...

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Menachem Greenfeld

Menachem Greenfeld

NL Player Analysis - April 14, 2015

Sometimes early in the season people make quick judgements on players based on small sample sizes. The following are a few players whose performances so far have been a bit surprising, but not very likely to continue. Eddie Butler, SP,COL Butler shutout the Giants over 5.2 innings on Monday, giving him a record of 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in his first two starts of the season, and making him a prime candidate to be a streaming bust in the near future. His 6:10 K:BB ratio in 11.0 IP this season is ugly to say the least, and his ridiculous 96.8 LOB% is the only reason his ERA has remained low thus far. As of now, Butler should not be...

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Paul Sauberer

Paul Sauberer

NL Player Report- April 13, 2015

Mike Fiers- P- MIL- FYI- Watching Fiers Friday night prompted some thoughts. His velocity ranged from 91 mph down to 71. He also had very strong control, with 59 of his 89 pitches strikes and only allowing one walk in 5 IP. It seemed like a lot of his game boiled down to playing rock/paper/scissors with the batters. The pitches were going to be in the zone so it was a matter of guessing what kind of pitch Fiers would throw. He outfoxed his opponents enough to record 8 Ks, including the first three batters of the game. However, batters guessed correctly enough to result in 5 runs allowed on 7 hits. It appeared the this will probably be the...

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Josh Sperry

Josh Sperry

NL Player Analysis, April 12th 2015

Kyle Kendrick, Colorado Rockies - Ahhh.... This is the Kendrick we all expected and if you added him and started him in Colorado you probably deserved to have had this happen to you (thought the same thing when someone in a league of mine started the Falcons' defense one week). All the concerns of Kendrick moving to the Rockies came true as he allowed eight runs in five innings. In addition to the runs allowed he walked five batters against just three strikeouts. He routinely allowed over 10% of his flyballs to go over the fence in Philly and now he's in one of the few parks actually worse than there. If you're in a deep league he may be...

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Sam Wallach

Sam Wallach

A.L. Player Report April 12, 2015

DFS Picks: Nathan Karns (SP-TB) - Nathan Karns is an extremely cheap DFS pickup for Sunday. Karns comes in at a low price due to his inexperience at the major league level, and his poor performance on Tuesday. He may seem like a dangerous pick, but a few things stand out about his Sunday matchup against Miami. Five games into the season, the Marlins have only averaged 2.6 runs per game. Additionally, Karns' 10.31 K/9 in the minors suggests that he'll have no problem striking batters out. Lastly, Karns will benefit from pitching in the massive Marlin Park. He tends to be a groundball pitcher, but if he makes a mistake it probably won't leave the yard. Value Pick DraftKings...

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Kyle Elfrink

Kyle Elfrink

Week 2 Waiver Targets by Kyle Elfrink

Sing it with me ... 'We're walkin' in a waiver wonderland!' This first weekend of the MLB season provides fantasy leagues everywhere with their most active bidding wars. Of course, all the hectic action arrives after just five or six games of play and results. Nearly everyone overstates the early returns and they also tend to buy into emerging storylines. Come July, such performances or reports wouldn't shake the bushes, but the intense focus of April lends itself to a lot of overzealous assumptions. Simply put, the 'undrafted,' of 10 days ago have turned into 'must-haves.' It's ridiculous on its face, as very few of the guys that are added in early-April ever prove to still be on winning rosters...

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Steve Shumansky

Steve Shumansky

AL Player Analysis- 4-11-15

Chris Davis (1B- Baltimore) Chris Davis had his first 2 hits of the new season in the Orioles 12-5 loss to Toronto. Davis had what we term a very unlucky season last year. He had a BABIP of .242 that was almost 100 points lower than in 2013. The culprit was Singles % of .196 that was 50-75 points less than his typical production which destroyed his BA and subsequent RBI and RS count. To make matters worse, his HR totals dropped from 53 HR to just 26 despite having a HR/FB ratio of 24%. Davis happened to hit 65 fewer fly balls than in 2013 so you get the idea of what that cost him in terms of power...

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Frank Tomkins

Frank Tomkins

NL Player Analysis - April 11, 2015

Tyler Matzek (SP-COL). Matzek had a decent outing against the Cubs on Friday, but was too inefficient with his pitches to hang around long enough for the win. Matzek gave up only 1 run over 4 inning while striking out 4, but he also walked 3 and gave up 4 hits in running his pitch count up to 84. While Matzek showed signs of possibly becoming a streaming option despite his status as a Rockies pitcher (3.78 FIP, 49.7% GB rate in 2014), he's going to have to improve his control (only 40 of tonight's 84 pitches went for strikes) in order to become a viable option in mixed leagues. D.J. Le Mahieu (2B-COL). LeMahieu went 3 for 4 with...

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Paul Sauberer

Paul Sauberer

AL Player Report- April 10, 2015

Steve Pearce- 1B- BAL- Stats- In his breakout season of 2014, Pearce feasted on lefthanders, putting up a slash line of .327/.405/.704 against them. In addition he went .329/.416/.600 in Camden Yards. Today the Orioles have their home opener against southpaw Mark Buehrle, who is 36 years old and had a .289/.330/.422 line against righthanded batters last year, significantly above his .265/.317/.401 results against lefthanded hitters. Value play DraftKings salary $4300. C. C. Sabathia- NYA- P- Idea- Sabathia's first start of the season was decidedly a mixed bag. He allowed 5 runs in 5.2 IP, 4 of them earned. However, 68 of his 95 pitches were strikes and he walked no noe while striking out 8. There was certainly enough...

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Steve Shumansky

Steve Shumansky

NL Player Analysis 4-10-2015

AJ Burnett (SP-Pitts) AJ Burnett opened his season today against the Cincinnati Reds with a no decision pitching 5.1 innings giving up 4 hits, 1 walk, and 2 ER while striking out 7. Burnett is coming off an injury riddled campaign where he pitched most of the season with a hernia that was repaired in the off-season. While Burnett is now 38, and he lost almost a mile of velocity off his fastball in 2014, he was also very unlucky last season as his Strand Rate was .68 which contributed to his bloated 4.59 ERA. Factor in his return to Pittsburgh, where he had a very nice run under the tutelage of Pitching Coach Ray Searage, and you have the...

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Frank Tomkins

Frank Tomkins

AL Player Analysis - April 9, 2015

Rick Porcello (SP-BOS). A day after inking a four-year extension with the team, Porcello made his debut in a Red Sox uniform Wednesday night in Philadelphia. After starting with 5 shutout innings, the wheels came off a little bit for Porcello in the 6th, as he gave up a walk, a single and a 3 run jack to Jeff Francouer, of all people, and wound up taking the loss in a 4-2 Red Sox defeat. This game was a microcosm of my concerns that owners drafting Porcello expecting a repeat of 2014's performance will be doomed to disappointment. Several of Porcello's indicators from 2014 point to him being unlikely to repeat his 3.43 ERA. His 49.0% GB rate, while great...

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Fantistics Analysts Twitter Updates

DFS - April 6, 2015 - Kluber Your Competition

Catcher - Featured site is DraftKings Top Play: Buster Posey (SF) - No surprise here, Buster Posey is our top catcher of the day on Monday. The Diamondbacks are starting light-throwing Josh Collmenter on Opening Day and while Posey is...

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