The season has started and you are looking at your lineup saying I have a few holes. Don’t worry, everybody has a few holes on their roster and in deeper leagues there is more than a few on every team. The free agent pool is where you will find most of your players (trades are the other) to add to your team. The best part about the free agent pool is they cost you your worst player versus trades that cost you better players.
Here are some players who are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues and are worth a shot at filling one of your holes. I listed their projected points from our CCO leagues (your point system may be different) and you can find players with similar projected points who are owned well above 75% and in some cases pushing 100%. You wouldn’t want this to be your lineup, but if you don’t like your fall back option on a position you waited on, now is the time to make a roster move with one of these guys or at a minimum, add them to your watch list.
Obviously there are no perfect players here, some have injury issues, productivity issues or just plain thought that they are done being productive players. But with ownership less than 50% these are guys to at least keep an eye on see how they go this year.
Chicago Cubs Position Players
Now on to Cubs players and let’s take a look at the projected numbers with most of the Opening Day roster and of course soon to be Major League player, Kris Bryant.
No real surprises here as Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro have been good fantasy players with Rizzo going into the upper echelon of players last year. Jorge Soler’s projections have risen since the beginning of spring as he has shown to be healthy and a well advanced approach at the plate. Bryant’s projections at the beginning of spring were for a mid-season call-up and now reflect that of an early season call-up.
The next group is interesting as Dexter Fowler and Miguel Montero have very low ownership and Montero may be due to having three catchers, but Fowler is because no one knows how Joe Maddon will use him, every day or most days. That is a big difference to a fantasy team. Arismendy Alcantara is owned based on potential and hope he plays most every day somewhere. The rest of the guys are unknowns for playing time so far and until that sorts itself out are just flyers for the end of your bench. Chris Coghlan can be useful as a platoon guy and Mike Olt could be if he ends up the starting third base with minimal days off. Tommy La Stella could be useful if he ends up the main starter at second base, but not worth owning except in the deepest of leagues until that is known. Chris Denorfia, Welington Castillo and David Ross are just not worth owning.
Chicago Cubs Starting Pitchers
I think this is pretty accurate with what we see today. Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta are clearly the best starters and I believe Kyle Hendricks will be third as his projection is for only 24 starts and I would expect 32 for him. Tsuyoshi Wada is interesting as he can’t get 10 starts and Travis Wood get 27 starts without someone getting injured and by the number of starts it is Hendricks. But I think from a projection stand point, the fact Hendricks has options leads to the thought he could go to Triple-A when Wada has to be activated, but I don’t see it, at all. If you are ranking who to own it is Lester, Arrieta, Hendricks, Hammel, Wood, Wada.
Chicago Cubs Bullpen
Bullpens in fantasy are usually about saves. Hector Rondon is the obvious guy and is owned accordingly. Some leagues offer points for holds and have deeper relief pitcher slots than the standard two in 10 or 12 team leagues. That is the main reason for minimal ownership in the rest of the pen.
The weekly recap will start up next week and will be about player’s performances. It will include a look at Cubs players and top performances in MLB. We will also have info on our CCO fantasy baseball leagues.
I hope everyone has a good opening week in fantasy, but if you have a bad start, don’t worry, stay on top of what is going on with player movement in your league and grab that free agent that now has a starting job and is producing, claim that player that a team dropped for some reason that only that guy understands, and make that trade that puts you over the top. Go for it, even in keeper leagues you only keep so many, play to win this season until you are eliminated, then play the spoiler role until it is over.