When drafting a fantasy team, there is one thing that you should be your No. 1 priority—consistency. You need that factor to carry your team from Day 1.
Slumps are inevitable, but you need the players who post strong enough stretches to smooth out the rocky streaks.
Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols and Ryan Braun to name a few are prime examples of this kind of consistency.
Sometimes you have to come to the realization that your early-round pick is either falling fast and you need to salvage his value during a trade, or that the hot streak your stud is on might be the perfect time to sell high as their value will only plummet.
It is never easy to part ways with a player that you took high in the draft, but sometimes you have to know when to bite the bullet.
Carl, Carl, Carl, what is going on with Carl Crawford? Where is the guy who was supposed to put up extraordinary numbers and explode in this potent Red Sox offense?
As the Sox have stumbled out of the gate, so has Crawford. His batting average is a horrific .133 and he only has two stolen bases and three runs scored. A first-round pick—let me rephrase that—a top five pick should not have a WAR of minus-1.1.
Something is wrong here.
Terry Francona cannot for the life of him find a place for Crawford in the lineup. He has hit as high as the leadoff spot—a spot that he tends to frown upon—and as low as seventh. He hasn't found his groove this season.
We all know that eventually Crawford will pick up the numbers. There is no way that he finishes below the Mendoza Line and there is no way that the BoSox finish below .500, but it is time to cut the chord and let someone else be patient with Crawford.
I would deal him quickly and try to salvage his name before it is too late and he is worth far less than what you spent on him.
Jayson Werth broke the bank this offseason, but his on-the-field play is not living up to his contract.
His low average—.200—could be due to the fact that his protection is minimal without Ryan Zimmerman in the lineup, but you still expect more from him. Ryan Howard does not have the protection in the lineup that he used to with Werth gone and Utley on the DL, but he is still producing at an elite level.
Werth strikes out a bit too much and if he could draw a few more walks, he would be able to utilize his speed more and swipe a few more bases.
Werth came into Washington and was the focal point of their offense. It seems that he cannot shoulder the load and won't live up to his worth. Trading him now would be a smart move before it is too late.
When you drafted Stanton, two things were certain. He would hit home runs and he would strikeout. So far, Stanton has only lived up to one side of the billing—the K's.
Stanton has gone down swinging nearly 35 percent of the time this season, which is right around where he finished last year. If you can live with that, fine, but his home runs were suppose to make the rate at which he whiffs easier to swallow.
So far, Stanton has yet to hit a round-tripper and has gone down with a quad injury that seems to be lingering.
The season is young and he could quickly turn this around, but the lack of power at the moment and the early injury woes raises a red flag.
Ian Kinsler might be a bit unlucky at the moment as his BABIP is a miniscule .156, but that might become a constant factor all season.
Kinsler started off the season hot, homering in his first three games, but since then the power has been at a minimum. Since his last home run on the 10th, Kinlser has only notched two extra base hits. For a power-hitting second baseman, that is far from what you would expect.
You also must consider his track record of going down with injuries. A stint on the DL is inevitable for Kinsler so it might be time to sell before one of your early-round picks shacks up on the DL spot on your roster for an extended stay.
There are plenty of better options out there at the deep second-base position that are producing at a higher level and are most likely available on your waiver wire—Freddy Sanchez for instance.
We now come to our first sell-high candidate of the night: Jimmy Rollins.
Rollins is off to a promising start. He is hitting .274, he has scored 10 runs and stolen four bases. Let's not get too excited here. He is performing better than nearly all of the other shortstops not named Tulowitzki or Castro, but the chances of him producing at this level for the course of an entire season are slim-to-none.
Strike while the iron is hot on Rollins. At the moment, his value is at the highest it will be for the entire season and it is only a matter of time before the injury bug comes and bites him.
Another injury-prone early-round pick makes this list here, as he too is off to a strong start.
Rickie Weeks played in his first complete season in 2010, after never accomplishing this feat in his entire seven-year career. Owning Weeks at all is a risk, but when he is healthy, he is one the premier power-hitting second basemen in the league.
Like Rollins, it is only a matter of time before Weeks ends up with an injury. It is sad, but true.
In a league in which power is plentiful, it is worth a shot to see where his value stands on the market since you will be able to find plenty of pop elsewhere.
Ubaldo Jimenez of 2011 is nothing like the Ubaldo Jimenez of 2010. His 19-8 record and 2.88 ERA seems to be a distant memory.
This is a perfect instance in which pitching value comes into play.
Jiminez was one of the first pitchers to come off the board due to his stellar campaign in 2010, and rightfully so. He was downright filthy. His 214 K's in 221.2 innings were a thing of beauty and that was exactly what you hoped you would get this season when you nabbed him in the third round. So far, your early-round pick has produced at a level worthy of not being drafted.
Jimenez's HR/9 ratio is at three, his K/9 is at 1.50 and 22 percent of the flyballs he gives up are leaving the yard.
Before this train comes completely off the track, it is time to send Ubaldo packing in hoping that his name still helps boost his trade value.
Vernon Wells' .169 batting average could be correlated to bad luck since his BABIP is only .220, but I think the problems lie a bit deeper.
Wells is striking out at a high percentage—23 percent—and his isolated power is .062. It just doesn't seem to be clicking for him on the West Coast as it did in Canada. The Angels, though, aren't missing a beat at 11-6, but I doubt you are quite as lucky with Wells on your fantasy roster.
Playing in Toronto helped to boost his power numbers, which is exactly what you were hoping to get when you drafted him.
Vernon has turned it around a bit over the past few games, but we are looking at a down year for Wells.
Jose Reyes is an exceptional player when he is on the field. He has the potential to be one of the best shortstops in the game, but he has difficulty staying off the trainers table.
The last full season he was able to put in was in 2008, but even in a walk year, Reyes will spend time on the DL.
He can be a five-tool player, but his injury woes are a cause for concern.
Injury history is a common theme on this list of players to sell now before it is too late. Frankly, there is nothing better in fantasy than a player who starts out the season hot and is nearly a lock to go down at some point of the season. You can cash in when their value is at their highest and get a player who might be starting off slow, but seems to have a knack for finishing near the top.
Rios had a fantastic 2010 season and was looking to produce at the same level this season, but that has not been the case.
His average and OBP are far from his 2010 numbers—.203 and .292 respectively. So this means that, at this rate, the chances of coming close to his stolen base number from last season—34—is less than likely.
Rios' power has also taken a turn for the worse as his isolated power is at .063.
From what we have seen thus far, it seems that the Rios of 2010 is nowhere to be found. Rios came off the board before guys like Chris Young, Colby Rasmus, Drew Stubbs and Hunter Pence, who are all providing exactly what you thought you were getting in Rios this season.
Deal him before this ship sets sail.