Shit I Do: Erlin Sweatshirt

Toejam and Erlin
Photo Credit: SD Dirk

Most fantasy writers have no problem recommending players you should go after, but do they really pick up all the players they hype up? I’ll answer for them: fuck no. Here on “Shit I Do,” I will discuss players yours truly has personally invested in throughout the five leagues I’m in. If a player is good enough to sit on one of my teams, then surely they are worthy of your attention.

Although April isn’t over yet, it’s never too early to tweak your fantasy roster. Sure you don’t want to abandon ship on all of your players off to rough starts, but most fantasy teams tend to carry dead weight longer than they need to at the start of the year. For example, Oscar Taveras is owned in 20-percent of Yahoo! leagues. Yes he’s a top hitting prospect, but it’s not like he’s lighting up AAA with video game production (.283/.328/.483 in 64 PAs). There is simply no room for him on the Cardinals and St. Louis seems content to wait on him, so he really doesn’t warrant such a high ownership rate in fantasy. Kyle Seager, Chase Headley, and Chris Carter were fringe starting fantasy options on draft day to begin with, yet many of their owners have had a hard time parting ways with them despite the atrocious start. You don’t have to carry a weak player just because you believed in them on draft day. Yes, some guys just get off to slow starts. However, there are just as many dudes who suck early, and continue to suck as the season trudges on.

If you are ready to cut bait with some of your underperforming space wasters, look no further than some of the names I was able to scoop up recently:

Robbie Erlin a.k.a. Erlin Sweatshirt
Erlin is a must-own player for those of you playing in leagues that count K/BB (heading into Sunday’s start, he is at a superb 14.00 mark). That said, mixed league owners in need of pitching depth can take the plunge with Erlin as well. He’s getting a lot of swings and misses early (12.2 SwStr%) and is showing a potentially deadly fastball-changeup combination. Pitching at Petco Park obviously helps any fly ball pitcher, but his career 9.5 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in the minors show that Erlin has the goods to be a quality hurler.

Jarrod Dyson a.k.a. Jarrod the Jeweler
With Lorenzo Cain hitting the DL with a groin strain (an injury I know a thing or two about… just ask your mom), Dyson will see regular playing time in Kansas City’s outfield. Unfortunately, someone in Dyson’s family had the nerve to pass away, putting him on the bereavement immediately following Cain’s move to the DL. Once Dyson returns, he can provide a nice stolen base boost to fantasy teams looking for some steals (he swiped 34 bags last year in just 87 games).

Lucas Duda a.k.a. Duda Math
I already espoused the virtues of Duda in a recent episode of “Homeless Heroes,” and with Ike Davis now out of the picture, Duda should have no problem seeing regular ABs. If you need some extra power and have a hole at 1B, CI, or OF, give Duda a look.

Anthony Bass a.k.a. Classy Freddie Bassy
It’s anyone’s guess who is the primary choice for saves in Houston’s closer-by-committee, but judging by the performance of the Astros bullpen to date, Anthony Bass is looking like your best bet. Bass is the last guy to log a save in Houston (Chad Qualls saw the last save opportunity on April 19th, but blew it in the ninth for a loss) and is the only Astro with two saves in 2014. Jesse Crain is likely to hold down the ninth-inning gig in Houston once (if?) he returns from his biceps injury (which may be in May), but until then, Bass is the RP fantasy owners want to own. Yes, the Astros suck and will fail to present a bevy of save opportunities. Still, saves are saves, and in Houston, Bass is the best bet for them.

John Jaso a.k.a. Jaso Horny
Owned in just one percent of Yahoo! leagues, Jaso is going largely ignored, even in two-catcher leagues. Not sure why. Yeah you’d like to see him get more consistent playing time, but I think that might be on the way. Daric Barton has been terrible as the primary 1B against righties, opening up the potential for Brandon Moss to slide over to first base while allowing Jaso and his high walk rate to play as the primary DH (which was the original plan going into the season before Barton snuck his way into more ABs). Jaso doesn’t have much power, but if his PAs increase, he could be a cheap source of runs and a startable option for fantasy owners in two-catcher leagues (which is nothing to sneeze at considering the players some people wind up starting at catcher in those formats).

Dan Uggla a.k.a. Uggla Duckling Turns Studly Swan?
After a brutal 2013 campaign, no one seems eager to buy into a Dan Uggla resurgence. The high-strikeout/low-brow slugger started off the season terribly, but has now recorded at least one hit in five of his last six games. He’s actually swinging the bat more than ever this year, and is somehow making more contact while doing that. People forget that he was once a premiere middle-infield power threat. Though 34 and still a BA destroyer, the dearth of quality talent at the 2B position make Uggla a player to consider if you need an MI with some pop. I’m not married to the idea of him having a bounce back season, but I’m open-minded to it (stranger shit has happened).

Josh Reddick a.k.a. My Dick Is Actually Beige
Many fantasy owners who drafted him in hopes of a bounce back have already moved on from Reddick, but the A’s outfielder is coming off back-to-back three-hit games. He has the talent to go 25/10 and owners in five-OF leagues who want to take a flier can feel free to scoop up this underrated bat.


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.