Fantasy Sports Forum’s “Prey on the Vulnerable”

May 1, 2008

The Fantasy Sports Forum, a fellow member of the Fantasy Players Network recently posted an interesting article that I am pleased to share with you.  It basically involves fleecing your fantasy baseball opposition, which is near and dear to my heart.  In reality I do not like to take advantage of people, but nothing warms the cockles of my heart like taking a fantasy opponent for a ride.  Naturally there is risk involved with these acquisitions because sometimes the players never right their ships, but they are calculated risks based on past history. Without further ado, I present to you The Fantasy Sports Forum’s ”Prey on the Vulnerable“.

“We’re now a month into the baseball season and it’s time to scan the rosters of the teams in your league to find some underachieving stars who can be acquired on the cheap.  The strategy is to find a vulnerable owner who is tired of carrying the dead weight of such a player, and whose stats are bringing down the rest of his team.  Not all owners are impatient or have a quick trigger finger on making deals, but if you look hard enough you’ll find at least one – and all it takes is one.  This owner has likely become frustrated and is probably looking to “shake things up”.  If you have something he likes, then you’ll be able to acquire an established talent for a bargain.  Below is a list of some players at every position who have had a terrible April, but could get close to posting their customary numbers.  Many of these players have a level of risk attached to them for various reasons, but if the value exchange is right for you in a deal – and there is a fit within your team – then the upside should top the potential downside.   

Ramon Hernandez, Baltimore
Hitting just a paltry .181 with just 2 homers, the time to get him cheap is now.  He’s still capable of hitting about .280 with 17-20 homers and 80-85 RBIs.  This is a tough position to find value, so if you need a catcher, find out if he’s available.

First Base
Carlos Pena, Tampa Bay
While he does have 6 home runs, his average continues to hover around .200.  The power is still there and the average should at least get to .250,  so if you’re looking for a big bat, he’s probably available in the right deal.

Second Base
Robinson Cano, Yankees
Hitting a shocking .158 with just 1 HR and 5 RBIs.  He went through a similar period last season and finished the year scorching hot.
Placido Polanco, Tigers
His one strength is hitting for high average, so his surprising .174 mark currently makes him almost worthless.  And that means now is the best time to get him and watch his average soar to over .300.

Jose Reyes, Mets
What’s wrong with Reyes?  Nobody’s quite sure, but what they are sure of is that he’s not performing anything like the top five pick he was in most drafts.  See if you can find the motivated and disgruntled owner to swing a deal for a player who could have a season changing impact for a team.
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
Last season’s Rookie of the Year runner-up is at .157-1-11 thus far.  He’ll continue to play and fight his way through this dreadful start.  Duplicating last year’s numbers are still not out of the question for him with a hot streak.

Third Base
Mike Lowell, Boston
Just now coming of the DL, Lowell had zero extra base hits or RBIs in his first 30 at bats.  He’s always been known to be a better second half player, so seeing that happen again would not be unexpected from him.  Can be acquired very cheap.

Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
In his first 57 at bats before hitting the DL, he had only 2 homers and 2 steals.  While it seems that his days as a 40/40 player are over, if he stays healthy, he can carry your team when he gets on one of his hot streaks.  A great time to buy low.

Adam Dunn, Cincinnati
While his .192 average will make you wince, he is still rewarding owners in walks leagues with his selectivity at the plate (23 BB).  He’ll never be a high average hitter, but his ability to hit 40 dingers is still there, despite only 3 so far. 

Carlos Beltran, Mets
A stat line of .224-2-13 and 2 SB after a month must surely have Beltran owners concerned.  He is a notoriously streaky hitter, so 30+ homers and 100+ RBIs is still within reach for him.  However, don’t expect his stolen bases to surpass the high teens.

Designated Hitter
Gary Sheffield, Detroit
Jason Giambi, Yankees
Frank Thomas, Oakland
Travis Hafner, Cleveland

These four players are all posting very similar numbers: about 3- 5 HRs, 10-15 RBIs and batting averages ranging from .159 (Sheffield) to .225 (Hafner).  Thomas can be acquired for the least, with Giambi next, and Sheffield third.  Hafner may cost you a little more.  All are capable of posting respectable power numbers with high base on balls totals, if your league rewards that.  If you want one of them, the time to take a shot is now, while they’re at their lowest value.

Find the vulnerable and prey.”

Lester’s Additions:
Justin Verlander
Roy Oswalt (Has pitched better lately)
Jason Varitek
Ryan Howard (You’ll need to offer BIG still)
Todd Helton
Derek Jeter
Ryan Zimmerman
Ichiro Suzuki
Hunter Pence (not much of a track record though)
Brad Hawpe

Good luck and happy hunting.

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2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Terry Neofitos
    May 1st, 2008 at 6:17 pm #

    Thanks for posting this Ryan and nice additions. One other guy I considered was Andruw Jones, but now I’m pretty convinced that he’s done. I don’t see him returning to his former days of 35-40 homers.

  2. Ryan Lester
    May 1st, 2008 at 6:51 pm #

    I thought of him to Terry, but you were way generous. I doubt he hits over .240 or reaches 20 HRs. He’s washed up.

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