Daily Dr. Roto — March 12
Fantasy Preview in a Nutshell: Milwaukee Brewers
C Manny Pina — Pina is a decent second catcher who won’t kill your batting average. I might even consider him as a first catcher in NL only leagues.
1B Eric Thames — Thames started last year looking like Babe Ruth (11 home runs in April) before settling down to hit 31 HR on the season. Thames struggles against LHP (I expect that he will lose at bats in a platoon), but he still should get about 420 at bats hitting against RHP. If that happens, another season of 20+ HR is a distinct possibility.
2B Jonathan Villar — Villar took a big step back in 2017 after his amazing year in 2016. I expect his plate discipline to return as I think he fell too much in love with trying to hit home runs instead of just getting on base. Look for Villar’s SB totals to go over 40 this year, which should place him in the top five in the major leagues.
SS Orlando Arcia — I love Arcia and wish that he would bat first or second in the batting order. Arcia got off to a horrible start in 2017 before settling down and finishing with 15 HR and 14 SB. Is 20-20 in his future? I would guarantee it if he hit higher in the order. As it stands now, I think another season of 15-15 is reasonable to expect.
3B Travis Shaw — Shaw came over from the Red Sox and showed that he could be the full-time 3B for the Brewers. Shaw should hit right in the middle of the Brewers lineup and could be a candidate to go 25-100 this season. Shaw also threw in 10 stolen bases last year. If he can replicate those numbers again, his Fantasy owners will be ecstatic.
OF Christian Yelich — Yelich came over from Miami in a big off-season trade and is set to be the #2 or #3 hitter in the Brewers lineup. Yelich should thrive in Milwaukee as the park plays right to his strengths and Craig Counsell will let him take full advantage of his speed on the base paths. I can easily see Yelich going 25-25 this season, and I would be very happy getting him in the third round of my drafts.
OF Lorenzo Cain — The knock with Cain has always been his health. When he is healthy, he is a great offensive player who can get the team going. The Brewers love Cain’s defense in CF, but I think they will love his offense even more. Cain can hit 15 HR and steal 30 bases if he can get 500 at bats.
OF Ryan Braun — Braun is slowing down, but he still is good enough to hit in the heart of the Brewers lineup and knock in a bunch of runs. The interesting thing about Braun is that although his power and speed have declined, he still is a dangerous hitter who I think will change his approach at the plate to make more contact. I would love to make Braun my OF3 in all leagues and hope that he can still play at a high level for another couple of seasons.
Util Hernan Perez — The beauty of Perez is that he has a great combination of power and speed and even qualifies at two (or three) different positions. In deep leagues, I like rostering guys like Perez who can fill various roles over the course of a season.
SP Chase Anderson — Anderson did a terrific job last season, surprising many Fantasy owners (including myself) in the process. What I like so much about Anderson is that he strikeouts a decent number of guys without walking too many batters. Even better is that the Brewers offense looks like they will give their pitchers tons of support this season, so Anderson might be a dark horse candidate to win 20 games.
SP Jimmy Nelson — Be careful drafting Nelson. As of now, it looks like he will return right around the All-Star Break, but his shoulder recovery still has no real timetable for his return.
SP Zach Davies — Going into last season I thought of Davies as Kyle Hendricks-light. However, he was a disaster in the first half of last season before settling down to throw much better after the All-Star Break. Davies disappointed many people last season, so I expect that he should be available in the reserve rounds of your draft.
SP Jhoulys Chacin — I never tend to roster Chacin, but the truth is that he is an above average pitcher. He still walks too many guys and has a penchant for blowing up in games, but he still should win 12-14 games on this team. He is an interesting SP5 in NL Only formats.
RP Corey Knebel — Did you know that Knebel had 126 Ks in only 76 IP last season? Those numbers solidify him as the Brewers closer and I expect him to get close to 40 saves this season.
RP Josh Hader — Hader was a beast out of the bullpen last year, helping hold many leads for the Brewers late in games. The plan for this season is for Hader to start out as a late-inning setup man, but the team is still interested to see if he can be a starter. I like his value way more in the bullpen, and I hope he remains there.
Stash and Cash: SP Brandon Woodruff — Woodruff has a great arm, but he hasn’t shown that he is quite ready to pitch every fifth day in the majors just yet. If he gets off to a hot start in the minors, the Brewers will make room for him in the second half of the season.