Buying low and selling high at the right times is an important part of being a successful fantasy manager. There’s always a manager or two in your league that is panicking over an injury or a slow start. Finding these managers and capitalizing on their panic is key. Below are five players you should try to target now while the price is maybe a little lower than it should be.
1. David Dahl, Outfield, Colorado Rockies – Dahl burst onto the scene last season in late-July and dazzled the rest of the way. He boasted a .315/.359/.500 triple slash line to go along with seven home runs and five steals in just 222 at bats. There are three key skills that make up a fantasy star: Average, power, and speed. Dahl is a player that possesses all three of those skills. It’s an added bonus that he get’s the luxury of calling the hitter’s haven Coors Field his home ballpark. He raked to the tune of a .310 average in his 3 ½ minor league seasons and showed more and more power each year. Dahl blasted 47 homers to go along with a whopping 111 doubles and 26 triples in the minors.
Everything was lining up for a big first full season from Dahl in 2017 until a stress reaction in his ribs caused him to start the year on the disabled list. Barring a setback, he is slated to return to the Rockies lineup in early-May and should pick up right where he left off last year. With his return still at least a couple weeks away, act now while his trade price might be a little low. Once Dahl returns he should be a top 20 outfielder that excels across the board. You’re going to want this guy in your lineup this year and for years to come. If you play in a keeper/dynasty league, give a little extra to get him. You won’t regret it.
2. Trevor Story, Shortstop, Colorado Rockies – April of 2016 was the Trevor Story show in fantasy baseball. With the shortstop position finally open in Colorado, Story seized the opportunity and mashed his way to fantasy stardom. Over the first five games of the season, he blasted seven homers and finished April with an even ten. That pace didn’t continue, but Story displayed prestigious power all season until a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb ended his season on July 30th.
Thumb injuries have been known to limit a player’s power upon return. All eyes were on Story this spring to see how he’d come back from this injury. Five home runs in 63 at bats, albeit against lesser quality pitching, made it seem like the injury was behind him. However, that spring success hasn’t carried over into the regular season thus far. He currently sits well below the Mendoza line and only has managed to hit three home runs, two of which came in the last couple days. Power and Coors Field go together like peanut butter and jelly. It surely won’t be long before Story starts racking up the homers. Elite power from the middle infield is hard to find in fantasy. Grab him now while he’s struggling and reap the benefits later in the season.
3. David Price, Starting Pitcher, Boston Red Sox – The first season for David Price in a Red Sox uniform was a rocky one. There were sky-high expectations for him after signing a 217 million dollar contract prior to the 2016 season. The pressure of a large contract and new team seemed to have an effect on Price. He scuffled out of the gate posting a 5.11 ERA over the season’s first two months. Things did get better for Price and the final four months of the season went much smoother. He finally turned into the pitcher the Red Sox and his fantasy owners expected him to be. When the season concluded Price had 17 wins, over 200 innings once again, and 228 punch outs. The 3.99 ERA was a letdown but when you factor in that is was 5.11 at the end of May, it doesn’t look as bad.
Many expected a better season from Price this year now that he has gotten used to pitching in the rough Boston market full time. Elbow pain and a corresponding visit to Dr. James Andrews at the beginning of spring training put his season in doubt. However, Tommy John surgery was avoided and the rehab process began. All indications are that rehab is going smoothly and that Price is progressing very well. His return, though a little uncertain, has been slated for late-May. If you’re pitching staff needs a little help, try trading for Price now and stash him until he comes back. It could pay big dividends for you the rest of the season.
4. J.D Martinez, Outfield, Detroit Tigers – After a lackluster three years in Houston, J.D. Martinez has developed into one of the best fantasy outfielders in the game. In his three seasons in Detroit, Martinez has batted .299 with 28 HR and 82 RBI per season. Those numbers would look ever better had he not missed 85 games collectively over that span. He’s never been the most durable player around, but when he’s on the field good things happen. During his one full season in 2015, Martinez hit .282 with 38 homers, 102 RBI, and 93 runs scored. Speed has never been an aspect of his game but he’s proven to be a strong four category contributor in his time with the Tigers.
It all circles back to his health. Martinez hasn’t played yet this season due to a foot injury suffered early on in spring training. His return, however, is going to be sooner rather than later. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was quoted as saying “He’s pretty close.” If you need a boost in the outfield, make an offer for Martinez. With this foot sprain seemingly behind him, he should be a top 20 outfielder the rest of the way and a great piece to have on your roster.
5. Alex Reyes, Starting Pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals – This one is for you dynasty league players. Reyes has been a highly regarded prospect since being signed by the Cardinals back in 2012. He combines a high-90’s heater with a nasty curve and developing change-up. Those offerings were all great weapons for him throughout his minor league career. The one real weakness in his game is that he can get quite erratic at times with his control. Reyes’ minor league walk rate mirrors his major league rate at 4.6 BB/9. Iffy control is not an aspect that is overly surprising with a young flamethrower. Reyes is still very young and has a great organization around him to help better his control as he gets older.
This season was supposed to be Reyes’ first full year in the Cardinals rotation. A torn UCL and subsequent Tommy John surgery in February will delay that and sideline him into the 2018 season. The Cardinals will surely limit his innings upon his return but the future is bright with this kid. It’s always difficult to tell how a player will comeback after major elbow surgery but Reyes has the makings of a future fantasy ace. If you play in a keeper or dynasty league and have the room, go get Reyes now. The price for him will never be lower.