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.
In April, the waiver wire pickups people make can literally change a season. You pick up a Charlie Blackmon, someone who was getting no love pre-regular season, and all of a sudden you have yourself a top 30 OF for free. However, that kind of shit rarely happens after the first few weeks of the season. Sure there might be some hot prospects who come up during the summer, but those guys are likely on many fantasy owners’ radars and you will either A) have strict competition for them if they get placed on waivers in your league after their call-up or B) hope that no one has stashed them already in anticipation of a promotion. At this stage of the year, the pickups you make are likely for one of these reasons:
1) Someone on your team got hurt (pussy) and you have to replace them with a warm body that will hopefully hold down the fort.
2) You’ve had enough of a player you drafted and are dropping them from your roster, and now you are hoping that one of the moves you make to replace them are solid enough to put up starter-caliber fantasy numbers.
3) You are replacing one waiver wire pickup that didn’t pan out for another (in the hopes that this one will work out).
Whatever your reason for making moves the rest of the year, the motivation behind them probably isn’t too positive. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your team. Even if you pick up a guy who is only good for a couple of weeks, those stats still count. Shit, in leagues with three OFs, you can literally let one (or even two) of your OF spots be a revolving door of players on hot streaks. Sounds risky, but there is actually a lot of flexibility in rotating short-term solutions in and out of your roster (as long as your league has no maximum on transactions). Of course, it would be great to pick up a bat or arm and have them go on a tear that forces you to roster them all year. But the reality is, the odds of that happening are worse than my chances of getting turned down by a female (slim to none mu’fucka).
Fortunately, your boy Big Poppa Pockets is here to help guide your fantasy team to helpful alternatives that are sitting on many waiver wires. So without further ado, let’s get to this week’s pickups by tha God.
Ike Davis a.k.a. Snow Ike
Like a consistent cocaine user, Davis has been up-and-down in his big league career. The highs have included a 32 HR season and power surges that can make fantasy owners moist. His lows? They have been about as pathetic as the time your friend dropped his bag of Tony Montana and then spent the next 30 minutes snorting the carpet in hopes of catching some dandruff in his nostrils. Fantasy owners seem to be harping on the lows, as Ike is owned in just seven percent of Yahoo! leagues despite being off to a pretty good start on his new team. Through 21 games and 76 PAs, Davis is slashing .273/.368/.394. He’s walking a lot, which is to be expected. Yeah the power hasn’t be too impressive with Pittsburgh, but he does have five doubles and a HR. What’s encouraging is that he is playing every day and not striking out with regularity (with the latter being a serious issue in his last two full seasons with the Mets). The Pirates are giving Davis a long leash it seems, and if he continues to build confidence and drive the ball, it might be only a matter of time before the power blooms. If you have a need at 1B, CI, or UTIL (especially in leagues with more than 12 owners), I would seriously consider giving Davis a shot. He’s one of the few options readily available in most leagues that actually possesses difference-making power.
Dallas Keuchel a.k.a. Pop Your Keuchel
He doesn’t throw hard, isn’t a former prospect, and is pitching for the lowly Astros. Those are the likely reasons Keuchel is owned in just 12-percent of leagues despite owning a 3.06 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 7.98 K/9. How he is doing it? Well, dude has displayed a really strong fastball/changeup combination that has kept hitters guessing (11.5 Swinging Strike Percentage, which is 13th overall amongst starting pitchers per Fangraphs) while also generating ground balls at an insane rate (65.1 Groundball Percentage, which leads the majors). When you combine his ability to induce mostly weak contact with his propensity for missing bats, you have yourself a very attractive fantasy option. If he keeps it up, he could seriously wind up being a reliable SP3 in fantasy. Even if he slips a little bit, I still like him as an SP5 at worst, despite the low-win total.
Seth Smith a.k.a. The SS Streaky
The fun may be coming to an end soon since the Padres just activated Carlos Quentin, but it would be hard for San Diego to keep Smith on the bench with the way he has been hitting lately. Over his last nine games, Smith is batting .528 with seven RBIs. The notoriously streaky Smith is certainly a “quick fix” option that will only be worth keeping around while he is hot, but hey, might as well make use of him if you have a corpse currently taking up a starting spot on your fantasy lineup.
Phil Hughes a.k.a. Minnesota Stats
The fly-ball pitcher is making a solid transition lately in the move from HR happy Yankee Stadium to pitcher-friendly Target Field. He’s always been the type to own a K/9 around seven, but what’s really been a nice change is the crazy-low walk rate (1.31 BB/9). All those cheap bombs that left the Bronx are now just deep fly outs in Minnesota, and if you are looking for a solid, all-around SP to round out your rotation, Hughes is a solid bet. Yeah he’ll have a few hiccups this year (dude is prone to some blow-ups on the mound), but on a start-to-start basis he should be mostly productive.