Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Motor City Madness - Can Detroit's Starters Keep Up Their Hot Start?

While the Mariners have gotten most of the attention as the "tanking team that is actually good", the Detroit Tigers have shown glimpses of being better than advertised this season as well.

Most of that has been in their pitching. Expected to be their weakest link heading into the season, the Tigers looked even more destined for disaster when star right-hander Michael Fulmer opted for Tommy John surgery, ending his 2019 campaign before it began.

However, instead of struggling, Detroit's ragtag group of past their prime veterans and unheralded rookies has surprised just about everyone. But is it sustainable? Or is it the product of facing primarily bad teams so far this season? And more importantly, should you be scrambling to pick any of these guys up off the waiver wire? Let's take a look:

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!


Matthew Boyd

(1-1, 2.96 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 40.3(!) K%)

At this point, you don't need me to tell you to go pick up Matt Boyd. He's been absolutely killing it this entire season, and our own Riley Mrack did a fantastic piece on him last week. Boyd is a must-start in all formats at this point, and while the magic may wear off eventually, for now he's a guy that needs to be owned across the board. Let's move on.


Jordan Zimmermann

(0-2, 4.29 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 17.9 K%)

Zimmermann is having his best statistical season as a Tiger, even though his numbers are still the worst among any of the pitchers in the rotation. Zimmermann's "hot" start is the product of an outstanding Opening Day start, where he threw nearly seven innings of no-hit ball against the Blue Jays.

He followed that up with a quality start against the Yankees in New York, but his last two starts have been both been clunkers, where he's combined for just 7 1/3 innings, surrendering nine earned runs and only striking out five. That's more like the Zimmermann Tigers fans are used to, and unfortunately more like the pitcher fantasy owners can expect going forward.

Zimmermann hasn't had a full season ERA below 4.50 since 2015, and he hasn't ever been a strikeout pitcher. I don't expect any of that to magically change this season, and wouldn't be rostering him outside of very deep formats. His WHIP is nice, and he'll have the occasional gem, but he's almost guaranteed to not be worth the headache.


Spencer Turnbull

(0-2, 4.80 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 28.4 K%)

Turnbull has the highest ERA and WHIP of any of the Tigers starters, but he might have the most fantasy relevance on this entire staff, outside of Boyd. That's thanks to his electric stuff, which has resulted in a near 30% strikeout rate on the season.

Turnbull flashed his real potential in an absolute gem against Kansas City, tossing six innings of two-run ball with two walks and 10 strikeouts. He was attacking up with fastballs and down an away with sliders, running his sinker up to 97 and flashing electric offspeed stuff - the makings of a future fantasy stud.

Outside of that one outing, however, Turnbull has surrendered six earned runs in nine innings, albeit with nine strikeouts and only three walks. His 4.80 ERA is not great, but he does boast a much more palatable 3.54 FIP and 3.69 SIERA.

I'm definitely keeping my eye on Turnbull, and have no problem rostering him in deeper formats. He's worth a look as a streamer in 12-teamers as well, particularly when he has bad offenses like Pittsburgh, his Wednesday opponent, on the docket.


Tyson Ross

(1-2, 3.50 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 20.6 K%)

Ross' strong numbers to kick off the 2019 campaign are held up by one gem, a 4/7 start against Kansas City where he tossed seven innings of one-run ball, giving up just five hits and one walk while striking out eight. While that start was fantastic, it was against a glorified AAA team in Kansas City.

His first start was a five-inning, two-run affair that included four walks and two round-trippers surrendered, and his latest was a six-inning stinker where he surrendered four runs and gave up more walks (4) than strikeouts (3).

Ross is a long ways away from being the fantasy darling he was from 2013-2015 with San Diego, although I do think there's some left in the tank here. However, his 4.42 FIP, 12.3 BB% and 24.5% LD rate don't paint an exceptionally pretty picture, even when his 20% HR/FB rate stabilizes.

I'm willing to look at Ross as a streamer in deeper formats, particularly after seeing him dismantle Kansas City earlier this year. But unless I'm playing AL-only or a similarly deep format, I'm leaving Ross on my watch list for now.


Daniel Norris and Matt Moore

(0-0, 4.32 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 10.5 K%)  / (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.40 WHIP, 27.3 K%)

I'll lump these two guys together, as Norris ended up taking Moore's spot after he went on the injured list with a meniscus tear in his right knee. Moore is hoping to only miss four-to-six weeks, but a full reconstruction surgery could keep him out for much longer. As such, his fantasy value is non-existent at this point.

If/when he returns, however, he could hold some value in deeper leagues after throwing 10 shutout innings with three hits, one walk and nine strikeouts to start the season. They were against Toronto and Kansas City though, and Moore hasn't exactly been good since about 2015. I wouldn't clamor to pick him off the wire when he returns from injury, even in the deepest of leagues, but he's at least worth keeping an eye on.

Norris is the beneficiary of Moore's absence, having taken back a rotation spot after losing out on the final spot to Turnbull in the preseason. He has yet to start a game, but has made three appearances out of the bullpen, tallying a 4.32 ERA, a 1.68 WHIP and an ugly 10.5 K%. Norris also sports a 7.94 FIP and a 7.9 BB%, which tells you just about all you need to know about his chances of succeeding as a starter.

The 25-year-old has failed to live up to expectations in the major leagues, and while there is still hope he finds his way, there's absolutely no reason he should be on your fantasy radar until he does.

More 2019 Fantasy Baseball Advice

More Recent Articles


Week 7 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Week 6 is done, and we've seen some outstanding games thus far. We've also seen a lot of surprising teams through six weeks. The San Francisco 49ers, after picking in the top 10 for four straight years, are 5-0 with one of the most complete teams in football. As far as kickers go, we're seeing... Read More

Week 7 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Below are RotoBaller's Week 7 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 7 of the NFL and fantasy football season. In case you missed it, this is our seventh year now writing this weekly column. Our weekly tiered defense rankings are a guide to making waiver... Read More

Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

All of a sudden, the Chargers look like one of the worst teams in football and the Jets look like a playoff contender. Maybe things won't shake out that way in the end but it goes to show how quickly things change in the "Not For Long" NFL. For that reason, we advise looking at... Read More

Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Some of you have been rewarded for your meticulous roster planning by receiving excellent production from your running backs. Unfortunately, many of you have been equally prepared when making roster decisions, but have been undermined by injuries, inconsistent usage, or underwhelming performances. If that applies to you, then those unwanted outcomes have forced you to... Read More

Tight End Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers – Week 7

Another week, another four teams on bye in the NFL. Fantasy football players are going to have to make due this week without Carolina’s Greg Olsen, Tampa Bay’s O.J. Howard and Pittsburgh’s Vance McDonald, not to mention Seattle’s Will Dissly, who was injured this past Sunday. It could be a worse week for fantasy players... Read More

Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 7

It was another big week at the quarterback position, as five quarterbacks topped 30 points and 12 scored more than 20 heading into Sunday Night Football. Most of the big performers were players we expect, such as Matt Ryan and Deshaun Watson, but we also got some surprising starts from quarterbacks who are widely available.... Read More

Waiver Wire Express - Week 7 Lightning Round

The Jets are back! OK, maybe not back because they were never here but at least there's some actual hope and fantasy value to be had from a previously winless team. The tight end landscape has changed drastically again, as Hunter Henry returns right at 60% ownership, while breakout second-year Seahawk Will Dissly's season appears... Read More

Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 6 Amari Cooper (quad) has been ruled out for the game. Will Dissly went down with a non-contact achilles... Read More

Week 6 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

NFL Matchup Ratings Tool - Weekly Player Projections

  If you see the red "Upgrade" button below, then you are not a Premium subscriber, or have not yet logged in. Learn more about our NFL Matchup Ratings and projections system. Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of... Read More

Week 6 Chat - Live Fantasy Football Game Day Q&A

It's Sunday Morning Week 6... Do You Know Who to Start? Each Sunday morning of the NFL season, RotoBaller's experts will be moderating the industry's leading live chat room and answering a bunch of your fantasy football questions, from around 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM ET. Come join in on the fun, and get your... Read More

Updated Week 6 PPR Rankings (Top 300)

Welcome to Week 6 RotoBallers. Below are our updated consensus Week 6 PPR rankings for fantasy football, including some running notes on relevant injuries, player news and rankings updates: Albert Wilson is making his return this week. Tyreek Hill will officially make his return today. Marquise Brown (ankle) will miss this week's game. Kenny Stills is... Read More

Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 6

Welcome to our Week 6 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More

Wide Receiver Matchups To Target in Week 6

In Week 5, Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller was the best wide receiver play of the week. Even if you didn't play Fuller and missed out on his big day, you still had a chance to win your DFS contests if you played other receiver options that were recommended in this column, such as Michael... Read More

The King's Key Starters and Tough Calls - Lineup Spotlights for Week 6

Welcome to Week 6, RotoBallers! Below you will find some of my spotlight plays and tough lineup decisions for the upcoming week of the fantasy football season. These player selections are based off my Premium Weekly Lineup Rankings, available as part of the RotoBaller's NFL Premium Pass. Enter promo code KING at checkout for a... Read More