Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Is It Time to Get Rid Of (Insert Your Player Here)

Every year, the same questions inevitably arise in fantasy circles. Should I get rid of such-and-such a player because he's off to a slow start/isn't producing/is killing my team because he has a 10+ ERA?

I've been turning this question over in my head the last few days, and was ready to write a long piece of analysis, filled with a gratuitous amount of charts, data and evidence that reviewed whether or not it was a good idea to dump a player overboard early if he isn't performing. But the great Jonah Keri took my idea and summed it up in 13 beautiful words.
Too early to dump anyone unless role changed/injury/great player on waivers
Keri is dead on. We're 12 games into the season. Unless there's an obvious sign that the guy you bought is hurt, there is no good reason to suddenly decide that the player you bought is suddenly garbage and should be replaced by the driftwood in the free agent pool.

This is especially true for hitters. If you're suffering through Marlon Byrd right now, it's probably because you decided that Marlon Byrd still had something left in the tank. If the Cubs start benching Byrd in favor of Reed Johnson, then you might want to consider making a move. If you hear that the Cubs are calling up Brett Jackson, then it's time to cut bait with Byrd.

Otherwise, sit tight.

It's a little more tempting with pitchers to cut the cord. And with arms that you paid $1-3 for, you certainly should consider it. But, again, there's no need to push the panic button on higher quality arms. Yes, Ervin Santana is killing your team right now. I'm not blind to that. But unless Santana's hiding an injury, there's no reason not to expect his numbers to get better over the course of the season. He might not put up a great year, but he wasn't a great pitcher in the first place and you probably knew that when you bought him.

It's tough to hang back - particularly when you're not doing well. However, it's the best advice I can give two weeks into the season. You might not win...but if you don't it's going to be because the team you put together at the auction was insufficient, not because you didn't make that great pick-up off the waiver wire on April 19.

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