Fantasy baseball Weekly Planner: Davis and the 27-year-old strategy
If you're wondering where Chris Davis and his 20 home runs came from, just look at the 27-year-old breakthrough strategy. It doesn't work 100 percent of the time, but when it does, it is a thing of beauty. Just ask Davis owners.
With Davis looking like one of the top 27-year-old sleepers, as we previously touted him, we figured this Weekly Planner is a good time to revisit those in his age group. Many of these guys are still buy candidates if you can get them at a reasonable rate with a trade.
1. 3B Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays -- He has struck out at a career-high rate, but a .300-30-100-100 season is well within reach for the first time.
2. C Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians -- He cooled in May (.200) after a scorching April (.389), but he's still headed for a career year.
3. 3B Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants -- Despite a recent slump and a foot injury, he is still on pace to surpass 100 RBIs for the first time.
4. SP Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals -- He is on track for a 20-plus wins with an ERA in the low 2.00s, and a WHIP below 1.00. He's a Cy Young candidate right now.
5. C Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles -- His first two months haven't been great by his standards, but he's still on pace for a career-high 90-plus RBIs. That's a tough plateau to reach for a true backstop that doesn't play much at another position.
1. 2B Gordon Beckham, Chicago White Sox -- A broken bone in his left hand has kept him out since April 9, but he's hitting well over .300 on his Triple-A rehab assignment and should be activated this week. Take a flier on him in deeper leagues.
2. C J.P. Arencibia, Toronto Blue Jays -- You still have to deal with an average just above the Mendoza Line, but he is on pace for career highs in homers (34), RBIs (83) and runs (72). He's a mixed-league starter now.
3. 1B Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles -- We said his upside was 35 homers, but let's make it 50 now. He's legit.
4. 2B/3B Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals -- Most of his preseason hype was related to his valuable position eligibility at second base. He's hitting well enough to start at any position right now. He is scorching and on pace for a .309/12/57/129 breakthrough.
5. RP Jake McGee, Tampa Bay Rays -- OK, so the 27-year-old strategy is not foolproof. He has improved after a cold start, but isn't close to being a candidate to pick up saves for the now untrustworthy Fernando Rodney.
The list of 27-year-old stars doesn't end there either -- Adam Jones, Carlos Gomez and Dexter Fowler have also become huge hits so far this season. It is time to start putting your fantasy eggs in the basket of the players under 30, especially as we enter the dog days of summer. These young, prime bodies are most apt to stay healthy and productive.
OF Domonic Brown, Philadelphia Phillies -- After years of struggling, few could have thought this kind of breakthrough was going to come this year. After hitting eight homers in the past 10 games, Brown is on pace for 40-plus homers. Apparently the comparisons to Darryl Strawberry early in his career are accurate. Brown is now a must-start outfielder in all leagues, and we wouldn't even suggest selling high on this 25-year-old fantasy revelation.
SP Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals -- His lat strain will knock him out of a start, but the Nationals are going to hold off putting him on the DL. They hope to have him start next Saturday, but at this point owners should not use him in mixed leagues. The Nationals are notoriously cautious with their prized right-hander, so expect him to miss that Saturday start even if he doesn't suffer a setback. Heck, he might even serve a DL stint to make sure he can pitch without issue for the rest of the season.
OF Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers -- He had a great spring, a great start in Double-A and proved capable of playing center field. He is going to get his chance every day with the Dodgers right now and he warrants a pick-up in any league. He has the potential to be the best rookie hitter this year and will stick around as long as he hits.
RP Luke Gregerson, San Diego Padres -- With Huston Street (calf) on the DL, one of fantasy's top setup men will get a great opportunity to close games for at least a few weeks. Gregerson has long had closer stuff, making him a solid addition in all leagues where you need saves.
1. SP Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals -- A spectacular debut for the 2012 first round pick makes him an immediate must-add in all leagues. The Cardinals just have great mojo with their young pitchers.
2. SP Tyler Chatwood, Colorado Rockies -- His incredible roll is not equal to his talent, but his availability in 56 percent of leagues makes him an intriguing mixed-league flier while he is going well.
3. SS/2B Nick Franklin, Seattle Mariners -- He hasn't done much outside of a two-homer game, but few players of any level of experience have two-homer games. He figures to be a streaky option better left for AL-only formats initially.
4. C Jason Castro, Houston Astros -- His scorching May makes him a solid mixed-league starting catcher. He could even start in one-catcher mixed formats since he is playing this well.
5. OF Matt Joyce, Tampa Bay Rays -- His 30-homer pace isn't likely to be maintained, but he is a solid fringe mixed-league option that can go on tears like this from time to time.
1. SP Jake Odorizzi, Tampa Bay Rays -- One bad start got him sent to the minor leagues. He will be back, but he is an example of why you cannot trust pitching prospects universally right away.
2. 2B Josh Rutledge, Colorado Rockies -- His demotion to the minors was a curious one because his numbers weren't that bad, but he should only be held in deeper NL-only formats with ample reserves now.
3. RP Kyuji Fujikawa, Chicago Cubs -- Tommy John surgery ends his season and his fantasy value through May of next season. He shouldn't be held as a keeper because he will have to earn any save opportunities he might eventually get in 2014.
4. SP Jaime Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals -- He is hoping to be ready for spring training next year, but veteran fantasy players know just how career-threatening shoulder surgery has been. It is not the sure-fire fix Tommy John surgery has become.
5. SS Dee Gordon, Los Angeles Dodgers -- He started well but his bat just couldn't get him on base enough to let his legs do damage for fantasy owners. We should probably move him to the career underachiever category now.
Most viewed (Rotoworld):
1. SP Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals -- He conveniently comes off that great debut with a two-start week versus Arizona and at Cincinnati. He is a must-start, even if those are tough matchups.
2. SS/2B Nick Franklin, Seattle Mariners -- If you trust him in mixed leagues, you better be prepared to absorb some extended cold streaks. Young players just cannot be expected to be consistently great right away.
3. OF Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals -- The trip to the DL is certainly disappointing for his fantasy owners, but at least they get some clarity until he is eligible to return June 11. You won't be stuck guessing on a daily basis.
4. OF Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers -- Injury is adding to his struggles this season. He still is a solid buy-low candidate if you're looking to capitalize on another owner's impatience.
5. C Yasmani Grandal, San Diego Padres -- He got off to a slow start post-suspension, but he is going to prove to be plenty worthy of mixed-league consideration this season. Be patient.
Most traded (CBSSports.com):
1. OF Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers -- If his owners weren't sick of him before, they have to be sick of him now. This is still a potentially elite fantasy producer once he returns. BUY
2. OF Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim -- He has gone into the tank again, but that just gives you one more opportunity to get him at a low cost. BUY
3. SP Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies -- You still have to figure the Phillies are going to get hot this summer, and Hamels will be a part of it. HOLD
4. SP David Price, Tampa Bay Rays -- He is probably a couple of weeks away from a return, but you cannot expect him to produce at his CY Young levels from last year reven when healthy again. SELL
5. SP Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants -- His last start featured nine strikeouts, no walks and only one bad inning. He won't be his dominant 2012 self this season, but now isn't a good time to sell. HOLD
Taking a flier on Chatwood -- With Strasburg banged up and Fujikawa out for the year, there is room for a flier on a pitcher. If I win the FAAB bidding, I am going to reserve Strasburg for Chatwood. Wacha and Gregerson are already owned, so Chatwood is the next most intriguing option in the 15-team mixed league. He also conveniently is a two-start pitcher.
My daily lineup
If you play in those daily fantasy leagues, here are the players by position that yours truly will be going with for Monday's games. If you want to challenge me, hit me up on Twitter @EricMackFantasy:
SP -- Tyler Chatwood
SP -- Kyle Kendrick
C -- Wilin Rosario
1B -- Kendrys Morales
2B -- Jedd Gyorko
3B -- Mark Reynolds
SS -- Jean Segura
OF -- Ryan Braun
OF -- Carlos Gomez
OF -- Mark Trumbo
DH -- Paul Konerko