Apologies to those who play in a league where the first matchup period was 1 April through 4 April and next week is technically your week three. But we’re calling the upcoming scoring period week two to fit the more widely used longer week one scoring period.
Here are some guys to consider adding in your leagues for fantasy matchup period two, 12 April through 18 April. I’ve used a threshold of anyone owned in 60% or less in ESPN leagues.
Being only eight days into the season, you want to try to avoid falling victim to small sample size buzz. Don’t drop your eighth-round pick because he’s off to a slow start. A good rule of thumb is to have one or two spots at the end of your bench that you’re churning almost every week, trying to find lightning in a bottle on the waiver wire that can return great rest-of-season value.
Let’s try to find one.
Nate Lowe 1B Tex (38.1% owned)
The Rangers got out to a hot offensive start in their opening week and they will most certainly cool off for the rest of the year as a unit, however, Nate Lowe is still a compelling add. He hits in the cleanup spot in the Rangers lineup behind Joey Gallo and was a fairly hyped prospect back in the Rays’ organisation. This is his first year in the Lone Star State and he is still 25 years old, so a breakout season is not out of the question. He never got consistent playing time with the Rays, and figures to get most of the nods at first base going forward this year for the Rangers.
He does strike out a lot, at a clip of about 35% this year and around 32% in his limited career, but the power and ability to mash the ball are there, shown through his .450 wOBA and 43.8% hard hit rate thus far. If you’re the Luke Voit or Paul Goldschmidt owner and are looking for a first base replacement, Nate Lowe might be your guy.
Akil Baddoo OF Det (30.9% owned)
Baddoo is a 22 year old Tigers’ rookie who has gotten off to perhaps the hottest start of the year, hitting .455/.455/1.182. He still isn’t considered an everyday player in the Tigers’ lineup, however it may be a situation where he just plays so good that he forces A.J. Hinch to write his name in every day. With a rookie like this showing so much promise, I say “why not?” There isn’t much downside to adding him in your last lineup spot just in case what he’s shown is legit.
Luis Arraez 2B Min (13.3% owned)
One of the best bets in the majors to hit above .300 for the year, so if your Roto team is hurting in batting average or if you’re the Ketel Marte owner, I’d look to Arraez as an add this week. He has also been hitting in the leadoff spot for the Twins which is great for his ability to accumulate counting stats for your points leagues.
Michael A. Taylor OF KC (51.9% owned)
I’m hesitant to add Taylor everywhere despite his hot start, because at age 30 and being a career .239/.293/.399 hitter, I’m afraid we know how this story ends. However the underlying numbers of his hot start are hard to deny, so if you need an outfielder you can ride the hot hand, I’m just saying buyer beware.
Julian Merryweather SP, RP Tor (44.5% owned)
I still don’t think we know how the Blue Jays’ closer situation is going to play out, with Merryweather getting two saves thus far and Jordan Romano still yet to get his first. Personally I wouldn’t be confident in saying one or the other is for sure the closer, however the fact that Merryweather has gotten the two can’t be a bad thing for his case. He’s also looked good in his outings, yet to give up a run. His 42.9% K-BB%, 1.21 SIERA, and 39.6% CSW is impressive in his small sample size so far. In a league where you’re required to roster relief pitchers or are looking for saves sources, Merryweather is a good add.
Steven Matz SP Tor (21.6% owned)
Sticking with the Blue Jays theme, Matz looked really sharp in his first start of the year, going 6.1 IP, striking out nine, and only walking one. He posted a 15.4% swinging strike rate which would be well above his career average, so if he can keep up the strikeout numbers he might be on to something. I think people are scared of being burned by Steven Matz again, but maybe the change in scenery and getting away from the cursed Mets is a good thing? If you’re short on starting pitching Matz could be your guy.
Carlos Rodon SP ChW (19.9% owned)
Has Rodon figured it out? All the off-season talk about adding Lance Lynn and the emergence of Dylan Cease, people are forgetting about the big ‘ole lefty Rodon. In his first nod of the year, Rodon went five innings striking out nine and walking three without giving up an earned run. His SIERA for the game coming in at 3.19 suggests there may have been some luck in not allowing a run, but if Rodon could go back to 2015 rookie Rodon and post a 3.75 ERA for the rest of the season, that would be great value for a waiver wire add.
Cesar Valdez RP Bal (21.4% owned)
The Orioles still can’t be relied upon to be a .500 team, but it appears Valdez is the closer so any league where you’re desperate for saves, toss Valdez the “+.”
Drew Smyly SP Atl (17.6% owned)
With Mike Soroka suffering a set back, Smyly’s spot in the middle of the rotation might be solidified for a bit longer.
Yusei Kikuchi SP Sea (34.1% owned)
Keep an eye on Kikuchi, if he’s figured something out he could be very good.