In our daily fantasy baseball news and notes column, we'll be discussing hot topics in the fantasy baseball world, as well as offering up tidbits of information to help you set your lineup. Your comments will be answered!
I could easily write about Ryan Braun, who hit three home runs yesterday -- but since I blabbered about him just two days ago, all I'll say is: huh, well that happened.
Let's move onto Yasiel Puig, who's getting all sorts of negative attention these days for doing things that individually is pretty inconsequential, but in totality could make him appear to be a team cancer in the making. Some of the vitriol aimed at Puig is pure hot air, spewed by columnists willing to push the message that he's an out of control troublemaker, whether or not it's actually true.
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Fantasy owners shouldn't care whether or not Puig is selfish, so long as he can hit a baseball. But there is relevance to all the negative press Puig has gotten lately: it's made him a serious buy-low candidate. Sometimes, players can get off to a slow start, and it's still impossible to put in a bargain bid for them because analysts aren't supplementing the idea that that guy is going to be terrible. No one is jumping up and down, for example, and declaring that Edwin Encarnacion and Stephen Strasburg are doomed to have terrible seasons, even though they're off to rough starts.
However, there are negative things being written about Puig every single day, and now he's dealing with a strained thumb ligament. Whoever owns him in your fantasy league may already be doubting him. They may be glancing at those negative columns and find it increasingly-difficult to believe that there isn't something systemic about his behavior, and that it may actually derail his season. This is why fantasy owners should put in a buy-low offer for him right now, right when his owners' confidence in him may be shaken.
Like with Braun, I'm a believer in talent, and Puig has oodles of it. Not only is he a beast who single-handedly carried fantasy teams to glory last summer, but he's also the most dependable of the Dodgers' outfielder core; Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are constant injury threats. As long as Puig is healthy, he's going to be hitting near the top of the most loaded offense in baseball on a daily basis. Before he gets the chance to silence his critics, it wouldn't hurt to see what you can get for the elite outfielder.
For your consideration
• Yordano Ventura was tremendous in his big league debut, striking out six and allowing only two hits against the Rays, while routinely approaching triple-digits on the radar gun. He was a hard-luck loser in this one, since Chris Archer was even better, but man did he impress. If he's still available in your league, stop what you're doing and add him, pronto.
• Tyler Flowers went 2-4 with a homer in Colorado and is now hitting .478 on the year. His career numbers aren't all that pretty, and even last year, he only batted .195 in 84 games. But he's getting regular playing time and is no longer in a platoon with Josh Phegley, so maybe the extra breathing room will help him at the plate. He's not really an option in standard leagues, but he might be up your alley if you're in a deep AL-only league.
• Corey Hart hit a pair of dingers last night, which gives him three on the year. He's been bumped to the No. 5 hole thanks to Justin Smoak's hot start, but he's still a potent slugger who averaged 29 home runs over his last three seasons. It's hard to find power like that on the waiver wire that doesn't also come with a horrific batting average, and yes, he's only hitting .227 so far. But it's early, and he has lots of time to even that out. If you're in need of some power, look no further.
• Pedro Strop was used in the eighth inning of a tied game, and he put on base what wound up turning into the losing run. Jose Veras got a vote of confidence from manager Rick Renteria, so the tides of change may have been stemmed for now. But Veras isn't exactly a natural fit for the role anyway, and with his bloated ERA, he's going to have string together a few solid outings in a row or else he might lose the job to Strop, simply by default.
• Michael Morse has gotten four hits in his last seven at bats (although one of those hits was a gift from the sun). Morse got off to a torrid start last year, and was then horrendous for the rest of the season as he struggled to overcome a variety of injuries. Now with a new team, he looks much more like the player he was in Washington, when he was a serious threat to hit .300 and smash 30 home runs. He's started all but one game this year, is hitting behind Brandon Belt, Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence and Buster Posey, and is now batting .391 with seven RBI. He's a legitimate add in standard leagues.