Daily Dr. Roto—March 29
Fantasy Preview in a Nutshell: Washington Nationals
Players to Watch
Trea Turner — If I had the 4th overall pick in a Fantasy Baseball draft there would be no doubt in my mind that I would select Trea Turner. Some experts (including Adam Ronis) might argue that I would fall behind too much in HRs and RBIs, but I think that I could overlook that because Turner is potentially a monster in three categories. He legitimately could finish with a batting average well over .300, score over 100 runs, and steal 50+ bases. His power isn’t that bad (he did have 11 HR last season) and there is an outside chance that he might get close to 20 in 2018. The bottom line is this: Turner is an impact player who does things that no other player can do. It makes him special. Special players are hard to come by and they deserve to be drafted early whenever possible.
Danny Murphy — Murphy is still recovering from a knee injury and he will miss the first week or two of the season. I love Murphy as a hitter, but something is telling me to avoid him this season. It’s quite possible that he might need another stint on the DL at some point, and I am not ready to risk an early round draft pick on a player with a balky knee.
Adam Eaton — Adam Eaton is the ultimate “What if?” player. What if he can stay healthy? What if the Nationals give him the green light more on the base paths? What if Eaton hits 20+ HR for the first time in his career? I am as big a risk taker as there is in this industry and even I have my limits. I will pass on Eaton and take my chances with a player with fewer question marks.
Bryce Harper — Harper is playing this year for a contract next season which should ensure him giving 100% and providing huge fantasy statistics. There is nothing Harper can’t do, and I am excited to finally see him put an entire season together where he competes for the Triple Crown. If I drafted in the middle of the first round, I would gladly take Harper and hope for monster type numbers.
Victor Robles — Sitting there waiting in the minors for the inevitable Adam Eaton or Michael Taylor injury is Victor Robles. Robles is the Nationals top prospect (although Juan Soto is awesome too) and he is ready to make an impact as soon as he arrives in DC. As I have said numerous times in the past, Fantasy Baseball is a marathon and not a sprint. Robles very well might not play one inning for the Nationals until June 1, however, when he does arrive he could help lead your team to a Fantasy title. Take a shot on drafting Robles and hope for an early call-up.
Max Scherzer — If you are worried about Kershaw’s troubled back, then you might be thinking that Scherzer is the top overall pitcher in Fantasy Baseball. You might also be very right. Scherzer is one of the few pitchers who can still throw 200+ innings and he is always a threat to get 250+ Ks. Many Fantasy owners prefer to start their drafts taking hitters, but I think you can certainly win a league with Scherzer as your anchor. There are very few players in all of baseball that can do what he can, and he is well worth every draft dollar you pay for him.
Stephen Strasburg — I know that Strasburg is a terrific pitcher. In fact, he might have one of the top five or six best arms in the game. However, I never seem to draft him on my team. I think the problem for me is that I consider him to be a 170-inning pitcher. Years ago this might have been a problem when many top starters were throwing over 200 innings, but times have changed and I think 170 innings is a good amount for a starting pitcher in 2018. With that in mind, I think I have softened my stance on Strasburg and would be happy to draft him this year.
Sean Doolittle — Doolittle is a monster coming out of the pen and a very reliable closer—when he pitches. The problem over the past few years is that Doolittle has suffered a myriad of injuries which have affected his status as one of the top players in the game. Doolittle looks fully healed now and has been super in Spring Training, so I am ready to go all in on him this year. He plays on a team that might win 100 games, so the save opportunities will be there for sure.
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