Fantasy Baseball 2011: 10 Avoidable Flops and Foolish Picks
The first month of the fantasy season is perhaps the most crucial.
Getting off to a good start is very important for postseason seeding. A manager with the top fantasy seed in Yahoo! formats, for example, normally need to win only one game to make it to the finals.
I'll show you how to make the finals and get in the money by getting your team cracking early. The fantasy picks in this slideshow, though, could hinder your start.
Let’s stop the hindrance. Start the show...
10. RP-Brad Lidge: He's Almost Always Too 'Iffy' for the Phillies
Lidge enters this season healthy, but he’s been subject to giving his fantasy managers poor health because of his performances.
Even when healthy, he blows too many saves and his ERA and WHIP are too high to be an elite closer.
While the Phillies should win a bunch of games, Lidge is too much of a risk for champion fantasy managers.
9. SP-Kevin Millwood: The Man Who Would Be an Ace
His value could tend to be overrated because he’s a starting pitcher with the New York Yankees. See A.J. Burnett for a hint on how Millwood’s season could go in NYC.
Even though the Yankees offense is often A-grade, their woeful pitching is hard to hide. Last season, New York's sluggers bailed their pitchers out a lot.
Look for more of the same this year. Millwood was 4-16 last season, but he could win 10 games this year. His relatively low number of strikeouts and high ERA, however, could be detrimental to your team.
8. C-Victor Martinez: Beware of Tigers in Comerica Park
While V-Mart is one of the few .300 hitting catchers in the game, his numbers could suffer in Detroit’s cavernous yard.
The field dimensions of Comerica are 345 feet in left and 420 in center. Detroit’s offense isn’t exactly spectacular either.
7. CF-Jacoby Ellsbury: Jake the Snake Will Be Slithering Later in the Season
Always be wary of players coming off injuries to start a season. Ellsbury fits in that category. While the Red Sox offense is plenty potent, he could struggle from the jump.
If all holds true to form, he’ll be much better in the second half of the season. If you as a fantasy baseball manager can afford to wait on him, then so be it. Most of us cannot.
6. IF-Michael Young: Is His Bat Getting Old in Texas' Persistent Heat?
The All-Star infielder has been hacking off about being misled, and he wants out.
It appears his bat is getting old in Texas. Bouncing around the infield—switching positions consistently—could also weigh on his at-bats.
If you draft him, consider him effective for the first half of the season only.
He does have a few Rangers milestones within reach—including games played, runs scored and doubles. If he is traded to a NL team, then fantasy managers won’t have time for him to adjust to the new pitching.
5. CF-Grady Sizemore: Size Isn't Better
Drafting Sizemore—the erstwhile fantasy superstar and versatile hitter, speedster and defender—is much too big of a risk.
According to his manager, the stated plan is to put Sizemore on an every other game playing schedule for the foreseeable future. Since he’s coming off knee surgery, don’t be tempted to draft him or any other player coming off surgery.
Your fantasy team deserves better managing.
4. P-A.J. Burnett: Burn, Baby Burn Him from Your Roster Before He Burns It
His ERA was a whopping infinity almost it seemed in 2010. He was up and down—down more than up—and when he was down he was really down. He stated himself that his struggles were more mental than physical, which means he could turn it around in 2011.
Who knows how he’ll perform. To me, it’s not worth the risk. The vaunted Boston Red Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays and even the Baltimore Orioles offenses will be lurking for him.
3. P-Jake Westbrook: He Could Get Hit Hard West of the Mississippi River
He could prove to be a valuable asset, but I don’t see it happening this season. The NL hitters will adjust to his delivery and give him a taste of ground and pound.
The Cardinals combination of Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan are known for working wonders with pitchers.
I don’t trust them on this one though.
2. 2B-Chase Utley: Don't Let the Slugger's Reputation Fool You
Some managers will be tempted to draft Utley in the later rounds.
Don't do it unless you can absolutely afford to and even then it's risky. With a Dan Uggla or a Robinson Cano under your belt, it could be worth it.
1. 1B-Carlos Peña: Cubs Slugger Will Freeze by Lake Michigan
With Peña now in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, he should struggle early in the Windy City season. Temperatures could be on the frigid side throughout April in Chicago.
Starting out, the Cubs play 15 games at home in the first month.