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I said in my last post I wanted to start off my articles with small discussions about this common game we play that bonds us. The people demanded, I deliver. Today, I want to talk about awareness. Being an aware fantasy manager. This means having some sense of what’s going on in your league, how the other managers are operating and how your general strategy compares.

Some of you, I’d bet, run your team like a horse wearing blinders during a race. While not always bad in horseracing, I would say this is decidedly a bad thing for a fantasy baseballer with title aspirations. This is because how you should optimally run your team is directly affected by how others are running theirs.

Right now, right this very instant, I encourage you to check out every roster in your league if you haven’t recently. At least the competitive ones. Indulge in a passing glance. I guarantee you’ll learn something that you will find interesting and in some way help you make better lineup decisions.

Maybe you’ll discover that a couple teams have said “F*ck it!” to all starters and are employing a stable of relievers instead. So that’s why their ERAs suck so much. Maybe you’ll learn that one team now has six closers and you might have a chance to acquire one on the cheap before half of them lose their jobs. Maybe you’ll find out that the arrogant douche in first has been streaming pitchers with good matchups and Matt Garza is more droppable than you realized. Might want to think about trying to disrupt his flow. If you didn’t learn anything, you’re league sounds boring and uncreative.

My point is,it’s useful be aware of these things. You might have told that girl that it’s not her, you just don’t have time for a relationship right now (it totally was her). But if you’re in a competitive daily fantasy league, no excuses, you have to find the time to stay aware. That is, if you want to win and break your streak of fourth place finishes sucka.

One last thing I want to touch on is a value of engaging in trade talks every now and then. Besides just making you a more fun and desirable league-mate to others, talking serious trade will force you to be more actively aware of how much you truly value the players on your team. This will ensure you are using all your roster spots optimally and allow you to be more confident when making rostering decisions. Kind of like playing squash to get your fill of cardio instead of straight-up running, trade negotiations are a good way to stay on top of things in a not so boring way.

If you’re still with me, let’s see what we can do to maximize our lineups this coming Thursday.

Thursday Game Stats

22 of 30 teams playing

First game: Giants @ Indians – 12:35 PM

Programming note: My picks have admittedly been a little too Hitter-Tron dependent the last couple articles. Anyone can go to the H-T page and add the highest guys ranked, but I believe you can do a little better than the Steamer ROS projections H-T uses by also taking into account batting lineup position and recent hot streaks (hence, this column). Look forward to a little more of my informed personal opinion infused into the selections in this LM and future editions. -PS

There are not too many teams with off days on Thursday, so most people probably only have a couple empty spots to fill. I just checked my RCL team and it’s got four players with off days. At the very least I’ll do this for my own purposes.

#8 Corey Dickerson (L) – Col – OF – vs ARI (Arroyo-R) – 8:40 PM – 35% owned

This should be your last warning from me or anyone to pick up Dickerson, even in 12 team mixers. In just 85 at-bats this year, he’s batted .340 with seven homers. Girls with breasts like that shouldn’t be miserable, and guys with stats like that shouldn’t be on your waiver wire. Dickerson benefitted this past week from filling in at DH in an AL ballpark, but even playing under the NL rules of engagement again, his bat will find his way into the Colorado lineup more often than not. Serious production ensues.

#236 Craig Gentry (R) – Oak – OF – @NYY (Tanaka-R) – 1:05 PM – 1% owned

Josh Reddick banged up his knee and is headed to the Disabled List, though his .214/.279/.339 slash line makes him a borderline Disgraceful List candidate. This opens the door for Kitten-face Gentry to start everyday in right for Those Shit-Ass A’s. Gentry owns a much more acceptable .270 average and nine steals in comparison. The A’s gave up a serious prospect in former 10th overall pick Michael Choice to acquire him, adding to my belief that a  good showing in the coming weeks could win him the everyday job in right. Gentry doesn’t have a good matchup on Thursday against the AL’s top starter in Tanaka, but definitely add him today against Nuno and for the upcoming series against Baltimore. Side note: I’ll also be at a Yanks-A’s game on Tuesday night (thanks Ticket Oak!). F*#k scouting, I’ll just be drinkin’ beehs but maybe with a little extra focus on Gentry.

#105 Derek Jeter (R) – NYY – SS – vs OAK (Pomeranz-L) – 1:05 PM – 14% owned

The Captain?! Surely, you must be joking Mr. Singman. Nope, I’m Sirius Black serious. I don’t know, something about the way Pomeranz locates his fastball away a lot and Jeter excels at hitting those oppo makes me think he could hit a couple doubles or even a short porch banger this game. That’s a home run, by the way.

#57 Chris Young (R) – NYM – OF – @CHC (Wood-L) – 7:05 PM – 12% owned

With Eric Young Jr. and mah boy Lagares out for the Mets, Young should draw the start Thursday night against the lefty Wood. Young’s batting barely above the Mendoza Line, but offers enough category juice to be a decent fantasy play. Or you could eat some hay and lay by the bay. Whatta you say?

#117 Luis Valbuena (L) – CHC – 2B/3B –  vs NYM (DeGrom-R) –  7:05 PM – 2% owned

For whatever reason, Valbuena is an easily overlooked player. Actually I can name plenty of reasons–he’s a 29 year old journeyman-type player on the Cubs who batted .218 last year and is currently splitting time with Mike Olt. Those are the negatives but there’s also positives worth pointing out. He’s shown good pop for an MI with 12 bombs last season, is hitting well this year with a 127 wRC+ (Sabermetrics points!). While Olt continues to strike out like you read about (he can’t, eyesight too poor), I think the PT scales will begin to tilt in Valbuena’s favor making him 14+ team mixed worthy.

Here are a few more options for your streaming pleasure:

#51 J.D. Martinez (R) – Det – OF

#65 Rougned Odor (L) – Tex – 2B

#69 Michael Choice (R) – Tex – OF

#88 Matt Joyce (L) – TBR – OF

 #242 Ruben Tejada (R) – NYM – SS

Last Time & Season Results

Last Article: 15 AB, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB, .333 AVG

Overall (per game): .27 R, .07 HR, 0.4 RBI, 0 SB, .288 AVG

Another good performance by my picks and I got my first home run(!) courtesy of Michael Saunders. Willingham had a nice day going 2-for-2 with an RBI and also adding two walks for you OBP leaguers. Dyson at least entered the game in the eighth as a defensive replacement and picked up a hit in his lone at-bat. Still looking for the first elusive steal…Check back on Sunday!

 

Paul is a failed Little League top prospect who now writes about fantasy baseball at Razzball. Follow him on Twitter @PolarizedRanger.

  1. Jonas says:
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    Would you rather have Dickerson or Willingham?

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Jonas: Both right now. But choosing I’d go Willingham b/c he’s a guaranteed everyday player.

  2. Donny says:
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    Dickerson or Eric Hosmer, 12 team standard 5×5, fills a bench spot/utility

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Donny: It’s sad but Dickerson.

  3. Ollie says:
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    I’ve got Cashner coming back off the DL Saturday, so I’ll need to drop someone. My OF/UTIL looks like this:

    Pence, Pagan, Bruce, K. Davis, Willingham, A. Gordon, Dickerson, Lind

    I’ve got 5 spots to mix and match these 8 guys. Which one would you drop?

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Ollie: I can narrow it down between Lind and Kh. Davis. I’d be nice if one of them cools off by the weekend… right now Lind.

  4. Patrick McCurry says:
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    Dickerson or Morales ROS?

  5. The Big Yabu says:
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    Need a replacement for CarGo in my util slot:
    – daily lineups, but limited transactions so I can’t stream
    – 7×7 includes 2B and BB
    Best options are: Aramis Ramirez, Josh Willingham, Denard Span, Drew Stubbs, Everth Cabrera.
    Who would you recommend?

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @The Big Yabu: Player I want most of those is Willingham. If you really need speed, Span is an option.

  6. Hawk says:
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    In a 5×5 full season roto 10 team keeper league (start 4 OF + DH) I have:

    Stanton
    Choo
    Cespedes
    Kemp
    Victor Martinez

    Would you drop Kemp for Dickerson now that CarGo is on the shelf?

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Hawk: I’d still hold on kemp.

  7. Tyler says:
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    Just verbally agreed to giving Yordano for Chris Davis. Before I actually offer it, any reason I shouldn’t do it?

    Thanks

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Tyler: You should be a happy man. Make that binding!

      • Tyler says:
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        @paul:

        Haha, thanks. Other dude is stacked w Edwin & Abreu, but that’s still crazy.

  8. Steve says:
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    Please list in order for ROS – Dickerson, BillyButler, Arcia and MiSaunders.

    • Steve says:
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      @Steve: Oh, by the way OBA league with 330 players on rosters.

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Steve: Dickerson, Saunders, Arcia, Butler

  9. Matt Stone says:
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    10-Team, 6×6 Roto: Would you value Dickerson over Khris Davis, Yelich, or Coco?

    Thanks!

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Matt Stone: Dickerson over K Davis

  10. Kenny Powers says:
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    Who do you like more ROS – Dickerson, Fowler, Ozuna?

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Kenny Powers: All pretty close. Dickerson a slight edge over Ozuna and then Fowler a few bucks behind.

  11. DL Haven says:
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    As usual, thanks for the write up!

    12 team Head to Head points league

    Chris Davis
    Jason Kipnis
    Ryan Zimmerman
    José Reyes
    Leonys Martín
    Khris Davis
    Carlos González
    Adam Lind
    Jay Bruce
    Oswaldo Arcia
    Matt Kemp
    Joey Votto
    Mark Trumbo
    Bryce Harper
    Shelby Miller
    Dan Haren
    Ernesto Frieri
    Phil Hughes
    Ryan Vogelsong
    Wily Peralta
    Tyler Skaggs
    Matt Garza
    Nathan Eovaldi

    Which players would you drop to stream pitchers?

    Thanks so much for all of your work!!

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @DL Haven: Sure thing Mr. Haven! Vogelsong’s spot is definitely better used with streamers. Skaggs I wouldn’t feel too bad about cutting. And if Shelby doesn’t offer a good start in his next couple, he’s honestly cuttable too.

  12. DL Haven says:
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    I apologize if this is an ignorant question up front

    My Cargo for werth and eaton

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @DL Haven: With Cargo going on the DL, not out of the question, but I’d pass.

  13. Eddy says:
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    Blockbuster trade here: I give up Cutch, Abreu, Ryu, Anibal for Freeman, Tulo, Sale and Fister. Should I do it?

    • Shawn of the Livid says:
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      @Eddy: No. You should not do that

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Eddy: Agree, I’d pass. If Tulo and Sale stay healthy it’ll be close but i wouldn’t count on that.

  14. Shawn of the Livid says:
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    Dickerson or K Davis?

    • Shawn of the Livid says:
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      @Shawn of the Livid: Actually my choices are K Davis, Dickerson, or Wilingham. I can’t seem to make the decision! I feel they are all the same player

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Shawn of the Livid: But they are all close… Dickerson I’d rank a couple dollars higher above the other two.

  15. Goose! says:
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    Do I start Verlander tomorrow at home vs Toronto? Yahoo! 12 team keeper h2h category wins, pitch categories are W, K, HR allowed, ERA, WHIP, and NSVH

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Goose!: I think he’s better sat.

  16. Steve says:
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    Would u drop Laroche for Dickerson ??
    Thanks

    • bored says:
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      @Steve:

      I would. ;]

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Steve: I have a hard time believing there’s no one worse on your team than LaRoche… Don’t drop him.

  17. bored says:
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    I’m glad people are finally beginning to notice Dickerson. Maybe he will get up to 10% own. Either way I already own him in both of my leagues so I am not worried.

  18. Peejer says:
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    dickerson is available in a n espn h2 h -(3of)
    But I have Gordon Bruce Arica Jennings .
    I can drop gallardo and pick up Dickerson for the day but who to sit today

    Or drop Arcia for Corey for Roy?

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Peejer: I’d call Arcia and Corey somewhat of a toss-up. I’d lean slightly Dickerson but that’s me.

  19. Natty Boh says:
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    Good article!

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Natty Boh: Why thank you!

  20. stinky_llama says:
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    is heyward gonna reward us loyal owners by getting his head out his ass for the last 2/3s or should i cut bait and lean towards either dickerson or willingham RoS?

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @stinky_llama: I would say he’s already prairie doggin it with his current nine-game hit streak. Hold.

  21. papasmurf says:
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    I actually dropped Dickerson cuz he wasn’t getting enough playing time.

    Then fortunately I was able to get him back a few days later last week (before this development) as no one picked him up.

    Looking forward to plucking him into CF and seeing what he can do.

  22. Viv Savage says:
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    Hold Morneau for utility (I have Goldie) or grab Arcia?

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