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Week 4 Buy and Sell Hitters for Fantasy Baseball


It's Week 4 of the 2015 MLB season and you need to make some moves. None of your pitchers can throw a strikeout, you've got three potential stars sitting on the 15-Day DL and you have way too many outfielders to wait for slumping hitters to turn it around. Seriously, where did all these outfielders come from?

Real trends are beginning to emerge across the league. But that won't stop owners in your league from making short-sighted decisions based on the past week of play. This week, let's focus on a trend that usually emerges at this point of the fantasy season. Whether in first place or last, a great deal of owners are willing to part with quality outfielders in order to upgrade infield positions and pitching. Sometimes this comes in the form of slumping outfielders being dealt for much lower than their true value. I'll outline some infield pieces that can be moved for a high price and suggest some worthy replacements that can be found on most waiver wires.

 

Week 3 Sell High Candidates

Adeiny Hechavarria (SS, MIA)

Hechavarria has been a generally worthless fantasy asset for the entirety of his short career. He's got no power, no speed and isn't very good at getting on base, either. Well, the shortstop from years past is nowhere to be found, as he is now batting .333 with a pair of homers, a stolen base and a staggering 16 RBI.

Based on his history, Hechavarria won't be the easiest sell in the world. But, if you were smart enough to pick him up on waivers he can undoubtedly be swapped for well above his value. Turning nothing into something - isn't that what fantasy is all about? It's unlikely you will receive any elite talent in return, but there's not much reason beyond desperation to hold on to Hechavarria. Look for the likes of Zack Cozart, Wilmer Flores, and J.J. Hardy as acceptable waiver wire replacements.

 

Mike Moustakas (3B, KC)

Moustakas went undrafted in most formats this year for a few good reasons. He hit .212 last year with only 15 HR (not a ton for a third baseman) and nothing else particularly impressive. However, Moose was a huge part of the Royals postseason run last year and that success has continued into this season. He's batting .310 thus far with 3 HR and an OPS of .888. This could be the year that the 26 year-old develops some upside along with some consistency. Plus, almost anyone on Kansas City's stacked lineup right now can be pushed for more than his worth.

What makes this move particularly appealing is the amount of serviceable talent lurking on most waiver wires. If he's still available, pick up Will Middlebrooks immediately. If not, Brock Holt, Yunel Escobar or Yangervis Solarte should do just fine.

 

Mark Teixiera (1B, NYY)

The veteran Teixiera did not garner much attention before this year's draft, in part due to his obvious decline over the past two seasons. After an injury ridden 2013 campaign and an overall unimpressive 2014, most considered him to be in the waning stages of his career. Wrong. In 18 games this year, Teixiera already has 8 HR and a whopping 18 RBI, with both totals in the top-two for 2015. But, let's be honest: do we really think Teixiera will keep up this pace? Is he going to hit 72 HR with 162 RBI? Obviously not. But it shouldn't be hard to convince your gullible leaguemates that he has returned to his previous, MVP-caliber form.

He could rival Nelson Cruz and the other big boys to lead the power categories, right? You shouldn't count on it. There are undoubtedly plenty of owners in your league searching for a power boost and most of them will pay top dollar for a hitter that even resembles the Teixiera of old. Ike Davis and Logan Forsythe could serve as replacements, but hopefully Teixiera wasn't the only first baseman on your roster in the first place.

 

Week 3 Buy Low Candidates

Denard Span (OF, WAS)

Span's draft stock was severely limited due to an abdominal surgery that kept him out for the first few weeks of the season. In his 25 at bats since returning last week, Span has been relatively cold at the plate. The logical observer will give the centerfielder the benefit of the doubt and give him time to recover and build upon last year's efficiency. In 2014, Span batted .302 with 31 SB and 94 runs.

Right now, he's just taking up space on the roster with performance that could be bested by a handful of outfielders sitting on the waiver wire. No one wants to wait for an outfielder to improve. We want results and we want them now. See if you can push a mid-level infielder on Span-owners and you'll receive one of the leagues quickest and most consistent hitters in return.

 

Christian Yelich (OF, MIA)

Yelich landed himself on the 15-Day DL this week with a bulging disk in his lower back. No one likes to see that from such a young and promising outfielder. He was solid in 2014, batting .284 with 21 SB and 94 runs. Come to think of it, he was a poor man's Denard Span. Plus, he was only expected to improve as he matured and gained more league experience.

Well, it doesn't help owner confidence that Yelich was playing poorly prior to the injury with a .200 AVG and 28.9% strikeout rate. Still, he's not expected to miss more than the minimum 15 games and has plenty of season ahead of him. Let's not forget - owners become impatient early in the season when it comes to injured, underperforming outfielders. Yelich should come cheap this time of year.

 

Jayson Werth (OF, WAS)

Along with the rest of the Nationals lineup, Werth can't seem to find any success at the plate. The wily, bearded veteran is a huge asset to any team as a leader. Being a leader doesn't count for much in fantasy (just like hitting really deep home runs isn't a skill set, Bryce Harper.) At the end of the day, Werth's biggest asset is that he doesn't really hurt you in any category.

With a .873 OPS and .302 AVG over the past three years, Werth has proven to be a serious and steady slugger. Aside from that, he usually steals double-digit bases and benefits from the talent around him in Washington. This year, Werth is hurting his owners in nearly every category, with a paltry .173 AVG and almost no counting stats of which to speak. In my fantasy league, Werth just got traded for Aaron Harang. That's just wrong. Make no mistake - Werth and the rest of the Nationals roster will rebound sooner rather than later and you now have the power to make a fellow owner feel very stupid down the line, especially if you currently own Aaron Harang.

 

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