Do you ever use the percentage owned column in the FA List of your favorite provider (Yahoo for me, so I’ll use their numbers throughout the article) and wonder what some owners are thinking? It seems as if an exceedingly large portion of the rotosphere just drafts their teams in March and then forgets about them (it’s the only explanation I can fathom), letting terrible stat lines fill their lineups while quality players sit on the waiver wire. However, there is a segment of the fantasy population that doesn’t know any better, one that sticks with a player much longer than it should based on name value and O-Rank. Let’s help those people Pull the Trigger.
Waive Kurt Suzuki (45% owned), add Chris Iannetta (26% owned).
Suzuki has proven in the past to be a meh catcher that can generally help counting stats by playing in more games than most at his position. He was able to club 15 HRs in 2009, which would be more impressive as a catcher if you didn’t know he did it in 570 at-bats. He added another 13 in 495 at-bats last season, but saw his average drop 28 points to .242. The numbers have kept falling this year, with Suzuki owning a .235 average and just four HRs here in mid-June. His last bomb was on May 8, and he’s hitting .193 over the last month.
Iannetta sure isn’t going to help your average much, as he has a .235 mark for the season as well. What he will do is add some HRs and RBIs to your line, as he has nine dingers this season, including four over the last month to go with 15 RBIs. Only four catchers have accumulated more RBIs over the past month, making Iannetta at the very least a two-category contributor. Which, as you can imagine, is better than having a zero-category guy. Make the switch.
Waive Chone Figgins (40%), add Ty Wigginton (19%).
Once upon a time, Figgins was a quality fantasy commodity. He would usually post average-to-great batting averages (remember his .330 performance in 2007?) while finishing at or near the top of the leaderboard in stolen bases. After his average dropped from .298 in 200 to .259 in 2010, it was time to examine whether the stolen bases were worth the negative aspect of Figgins’ game, namely, HRs and RBIs. Turns out he wasn’t worth drafting at all, as he now sits in mid-May with a .195 average and just eight SBs on the year.
Wigginton saw his main competition for playing time at third base in Colorado first demoted to Triple-A (Ian Stewart), then cut outright (Jose Lopez). Playing virtually every day, Wiggy has managed four HRs and a .290 average over the last month, with 17 runs and 11 RBIs to his credit as well. He qualifies everywhere that Figgins does, and he’ll give you the 1B and OF eligibility you may need in a pinch. Time to get Wiggy.
Waive Omar Infante (34%), add Alexi Casilla (22%).
I can see why people may have bought into Infante at the beginning of the season — he qualified at four positions, he hit .321 last year, and he had at least decent power and speed numbers. Those reasons, and a spot atop the Marlins lineup, saw him get drafted in far too many leagues, and the super-sub has wilted under the pressure of everyday playing time. He’s hitting just .253 on the season, with one HR and three SBs in 269 at-bats, roughly 200 less than he had in his breakout 2010 campaign.
Casilla is a guy who just couldn’t put it all together — after a decent amount of steals in 2009 paired with a terrible .202 average in 228 at-bats, he was able to hit .276 in 152 at-bats last season while adding just six SBs. He may have finally figured it out in 2011, as Casilla is the owner of a .270 average and 11 SBs in 185 at-bats. Over the last month, Casilla is hitting .348 with seven SBs. If he can retain a decent portion of this recent hot streak, he could finish the year hitting .280 with 30-plus steals, which is two more positive things than Infante contributes. It’s rare that I can say this, but you want the Twins hitter here.
Waive Alex Rios (67%), add Corey Patterson (36%).
Rios showed last season that the White Sox were smart for taking a chance on him in 2009, delivering a 21/34 season with a .284 average and good run and RBI numbers to boot. However, he’s turned back into the player he was at the tail end of 2009, when he hit .199 with three HRs and five SBs in 41 games after coming to Chicago. This year, Rios has just four dingers and four swipes in 245 at-bats, as well as a .204 average.
Patterson wound up being a halfway decent commodity for Baltimore last year as well — not 21/34 good, but you shouldn’t just dismiss eight HRs and 21 SBs in 308 at-bats out of hand either. He eventually landed in Toronto, where he’s hit five HRs and stolen 11 bases in 247 at-bats thus far. Essentially, he’s giving owners the lite version of Rios’ 2010 season — in fact, if you extrapolate the three HRs and five SBs he’s had over the past month, he comes close to Rios’ 21/34 performance last season. Time for a switch?
Waive Justin Masterson (69%), add Randy Wolf (28%).
Just like his own team, Masterson jumped out to a blisteringly hot start in 2011, winning his first five starts of the season while posting a 2.18 ERA. As the Tribe have fallen back down to earth, so too has Masterson — he hasn’t recorded a single win in May or June, and his control has started to get the better of him, as is exhibited by two five-walk outings in his last four starts.
Wolf isn’t just a flash in the pan pitcher; he has a history of good K:BB ratios and solid ERAs and WHIPs over his career, including a 3.23 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with Los Angeles back in 2009. After a mediocre 2010 that saw his K:BB ratio fall below 2.0, Wolf is back to being a quality fantasy pitcher, holding a 3.20 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 65:26 K:BB ratio this season. Even though it’s not reflected in his win total, he’s been virtually untouchable lately, allowing one or no runs in four of his last five starts. I’d run with Wolf and his quality history over one good month of Masterson.
Which moves do you disagree with? Do you have other untapped fantasy commodities that deserve mention over the guys I listed? Let me know in the comments section.
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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