It is time to start looking over the waiver wire and picking up those hidden gems that are going to take your fantasy team to the promised land. As always if you have a tough decision and need to know who to start and sit you can hit up our forums and we will answer all questions. Ready? Here we go..
Aaron Hill – 2B – ARI
I am probably one of the few fantasy owners that had Hill active in the first week of the fantasy season. In his first game he batted 8th and didn’t record a hit. I was trying to figure out what Gibson was doing, as Hill was a decent #2 hitter in 2011 for the Diamondbacks. Well on Saturday (as I write this article) he batted 2nd, and launched a HR in his first two at-bats against Madison Bumgarner. Now, granted, Ian Kinsler is my starting second baseman for my fake squad, but I had to choose between Dustin Ackley and Aaron Hill at the MI spot in a shortened week. Ackley only had 2 games, so I went ahead and plugged in Hill. If you play in a deeper format, and need a second baseman with pop, keep in mind the top 3 HR hitting second basemen the last 3 years. Dan Uggla is number one, Robinson Cano is number two, and Aaron Hill is third. There is a decent chance he is available in your league, and if you are in need of a MI or backup second baseman, take a look at Hill.
Lucas Duda – 1B/OF – NYM
Duda was one of our first base sleeper picks entering the season, and with the fences moving in at Citi Field, he has the chance to put up even better numbers than our projected 15 HR’s. He was dropped after a poor showing in his first game of the season, and I wasted no time swooping in and picking him up as I dropped Mark Trumbo. Although Trumbo should have decent power numbers, he is in a time share at third base with Alberto Callaspo, and my fellow fantasy baseball players know how frustrating it is to not have your guys out there playing every day when they are healthy. Lucas Duda will be an everyday player for the Mets this season, and I will have him plugged in at the MI spot for the majority of the season. Oh yeah, he also hit 2 HR’s on Saturday April 7th in a game against the Braves. This kid has pop, is only 26 years old, and deserves to be owned and starting in the majority of fantasy formats.
Kyle Seager – SS/3B – SEA
I currently have Seager on my watch list, but I haven’t made the move to add him yet, as I have Tulo at SS and a lot of depth at 2B, but if Tulo goes down to injury it will be between Ian Desmond and Kyle Seager for me. Seager is available at 3B and SS in my CBS fantasy league, and has serious deep sleeper potential. I already did a writeup on him in the preseason as a sleeper for third base, and the fact he is available at both 3B and SS makes him even more valuable in my eyes. Seager projects as a high average hitter, and should be in the .280’s – .290’s range in his first full year in the bigs in 2012. His power will be spotty at-best, so if you are looking for pop, he won’t be the guy for you, but I consider him a decent stop gap option in 2012. If Tulo does go down to injury, I will turn to Seager and take his modest production until my big gun returns.
Josh Willingham – OF – MIN
If you need a cheap source of power, check your waiver wire to see if Willingham is available. There is a small chance he escaped notice in deeper formats, and he will produce in the 25-30 HR range once again in 2012. Another guy that probably is already owned in the majority of formats is Yoenis Cespedis, but if he is there you need to pick him up as well as he has already shown tremendous power in the early going in 2012. If both those options aren’t available, look for guys like Denard Span, Chone Figgins, and Lorenzo Cain who should all produce pretty decent numbers in the outfield in 2012.
Edinson Volquez – SP – SD
Already a recommended pickup in my two start pitcher article, Edinson Volquez is one of my favorite sleepers in 2012. Although he lost his opening day start, mostly due to excessive walks, I was happy to see him record 7 K’s in 5 IP, and expect his numbers to steadily get better as the season progresses. Pitching for the Padres he has the best pitchers park in the game to help him out, and Volquez’s ownership numbers will start to rise, especially after his two start week in the second week of the season. Keep Volquez on your radar if you need a solid starter in 2012.
That is it for this week, as the season progresses I will update owners on the injury situations for all fantasy baseball teams, and who you need to keep an eye on as the relative unknowns start to produce in big ways.