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Stock Watch: Buy & Sell Analysis

We have completed the first of twenty-six weeks in the fantasy baseball season, and with such a small sample size, owners are cautioned against overreacting to the events of the first week. Albert Pujols will eventually hit a home run and get his average safely above the Mendoza Line. But, certain players should be on your buy/sell radar at this stage of the season:


  • Chad Billingsley - Excellent first two starts to the season after going drafted late with an ADP of 220.0, and stills carries the name recognition of his big 2008 season. His BB/9 is .63 after exceeding 4.0 last year, and his BABIP is nearly 100 points lower than last year, at .212. I would be targeting owners that are short a starting pitcher to see if they are willing to pay the price of a top 130-150 player in trade for Billingsley.
  • Ryan Dempster - Another starter off to an excellent start whose 2011 SIERA of 3.79 indicated a rebound season was in store. I would again target pitching-weak teams to see if you can sell high on Dempster since he will not get many wins on a poor Cubs team with a suspect bullpen.
  • Carlos Pena - Off to a hot start with three home runs and eight RBIs, Pena is a very streaky hitter whose slumps will cause a batting average drain on your roster when he cools down. Sell to other owners his current two-slot in the batting lineup and return to Tampa, and explore trade offers netting value above Pena's 219.0 ADP.
  • Fernando Rodney - Closer injuries have been widespread early this season, and some owners are left short in saves. See if an owner is desparate enough to give you good value on Rodney before the inevitable blowups occur.
  • J.D. Martinez - .429 BABIP has his average at a lofty .364 and he already has two home runs and six RBIs.  He should be a serviceable OF5 or OF6 in 12-team mixed leagues despite playing in a poor offense, but he's getting enough attention that owners may value him as more than that in trade.
  • Tim Lincecum - Disturbing drop in velocity on fastball from 93.11 in 2011 to 90.89 in 2012, and hit hard in first two starts. Sell to other owners that one of the starts was in Coors and that he is "due" to turn his season around, and explore trade options to see if you can get Round 3 value in trade.
  • Brian Wilson - Fastball velocity averaged 90.00 (compared to 94.99 in 2011) and lacked command (including walking in a run) in shaky save yesterday vs. Colorado. Also turned his ankle and may miss a few days, plus dealt with elbow inflammation last year and arm fatigue in the spring. There are reasons to be concerned about the health of his arm. If you own Wilson, make sure to pick up his handcuffs in Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla.


  • Henry Rodriguez - Brad Lidge blew a save yesterday and has looked hittable, including escaping with a save on Opening Day when Chicago winds kept an Ian Stewart potential game-tying home run out of the right-field bleachers at Wrigley Field. Rodriguez has averaged 98.40 mph on his fastball this season and may run away with the Nationals closer role while Drew Storen is out until at least July.
  • Zack Greinke - His ERA looks terrible after the Cubs strung together a bunch of singles and mounted a big rally against the right-hander on Wednesday. But his fastball reached 94.9 against the Cubs, and there is nothing to be concerned with other than Greinke's tendency to have a dud start on occasion outside of Milwaukee. Hopefully the dud is out of his system and you can target Greinke from an owner that is not aware he had the lowest SIERA among qualifying starters last season. See if you can turn Lincecum into Greinke in a deal.
  • Mike Adams - Joe Nathan is coming off Tommy John, has been shaky, and received the dreaded "vote of confidence" from Ron Washington after blowing a save against the Mariners. Adams picked up the save yesterday,and even when not closing will help in ERA/WHIP while also having chances to pick up a win on an excellent team.
  • Greg Holland - Dropped in certain leagues after Jonathon Broxton was named closer, Broxton has had trouble with command and could lose the job to Holland with a few more poor performances.
  • Jordan Schafer - Still available on many waiver wires, he has shown the ability to steal bases -- with three in one game -- and also shown a bit of pop with an early-season homer.
  • Starlin Castro - Already has five stolen bases, and the Cubs have shown a willingness to try and steal third base under a more aggressive baserunning approach. If Castro can get to 40 steals, he should return second-round value hitting in the three-spot.
  • Jeff Samardzija - Probably picked up off the waiver wire after his dominant first start of the season. His fastball reached 98 mph in the ninth inning of his first start, and most encouraging has been his ability to avoid walks (16:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the spring; zero walks in first start). Will be interesting to see how he bounces back after throwing 110 pitches.
  • Adam LaRoche - Strong start to the season with two homers and eight RBIs shows his shoulder is healthy, and Mike Morse has been shut down for six weeks, which will keep LaRoche in the cleanup spot in the order.
  • Zack Cozart - Settled into second spot in the Reds' order ahead of Joey Votto with a strong start to the season. Power/speed combo could result in top 10 finish amongst shortstops, and may still be unknown enough to acquire for relatively cheap.

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