With the exception of a few dependable options like Jonathan Lucroy, Wilson Ramos, and Buster Posey, the catcher position has (somewhat predictably) been one of the least offensively productive positions in fantasy baseball this season. Yasmani Grandal and Yan Gomes currently have sub-.200 batting averages. Yadier Molina and the recently injured Francisco Cervelli have combined to hit one home run. Arizona backup Chris Herrmann has been a top 10 player at the position thus far this season. I suppose that the term dumpster fire would be a more apt description to characterize the catching landscape. It should come as no surprise, then, that recent Chicago Cubs call-up Willson Contreras (30.5% owned; +27.4% over the past week) is this week’s most added player in ESPN leagues. Considered by many to be the top offensive catching prospect in the game, the 24-year-old rookie slashed .353/.442/.593 in 55 Triple-A games this season and launched a homer in his first MLB at-bat against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday night. His ability to make contact (13.3% K%) while hitting for power (.240 ISO) in the Pacific Coast League this year displayed a rare combination indeed, especially for a catcher. Miguel Montero and David Ross are the incumbents in Chicago, but they shouldn’t provide much resistance for playing time if the rookie hits the ground running. Contreras is certainly worth adding if available. There’s massive upside here at a thin position.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Just Damn.  Just Doh.  Just Don’t-tell-me-he’s-out-for-the-year.  Just Depression.  Just Difficulty-feeling-happiness.  Just Dis-stress-is-stressing-me-out.  Just D-negative-words-in-the-thesaurus.  Just Dissolvent.  Just Did-you-say-dissolvent?  Just Don’t-stop-hugging-me-with-your-eyes-Ted-I-can’t-be-alone-right-now.  A fractured elbow for J.D. Martinez.  It happened when he ran into a wall.  Apparently, the wall doesn’t own him.  I hate you, wall!  “If he dies, he dies.”  Oh my God, the wall is imitating Ivan Drago!  I knew it!  The wall is a Russian super-villain.  Martinez will head for a CT scan.  I don’t know how long he’ll be out with a fractured elbow, but it sounds like it will be a while.  Let’s join in the shape of a parallelogram and pray.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Aw, man, now we’re left with the ominous team updates of “Giancarlo Stanton is not in lineup, no other news available.”  I think I need to have a talk with him.  Maybe I’ll hide in the trunk of his car and get out when he parks in his four-car garage, then go in through the kitchen that’s got the espresso machine on the left; not the kitchen with the soft-serve machine.  What?  I memorized his Cribs episode, I never snuck in his house.  So, times are rough for Giancarlo.  The Marlins score 13 runs and he’s not even playing.  Holy sit!  Giancarlo has the lowest batting average for a qualified hitter.  Things are so bad, the other day he hit the hardest recorded ball in StatCast history, 123.9 MPH, and it was a double play.  Digging through his numbers is a little bit encouraging.  His BABIP is way below his career mark; he’s hitting .192, but could hit .250 the rest of the way.  You don’t get him for average; it’s homers you desire like I desire him.  His ground balls are through the roof.  Not literally, unless we’re talking about roofs of ant farms.  All he’s hitting is fly balls and ground balls.  His line drive rate is poor.  He usually kills fastballs.  So far, he’s a negative on them.  That was his bread and butter, and right now he’s toast.  He’s 26 years old; this should be the prime of his beef.  Instead, he’s been getting a steady diet of sliders.  That’s not real beef!  What I think is going on, he’s dealing with some health issues after his collision with OZUNA, he’s not spitting on sliders and waiting for fastballs.  Then when he gets a fastball, he hits it hard, but gets unlucky.  Can all of this be changed with me appearing mysteriously in his Snuggie?  I’m not sure.  The health is an unknown question mark.  Eventually, he should get luckier and do damage on some fastballs, assuming he’s healthy.  I wouldn’t count him out, but health has been an issue for him in the past.  If I were able to get a tasty offer for someone buying him, I could see letting him be someone else’s problem.  For now, I will wait in his bathroom wearing a shirt that matches his wallpaper, and try to ‘talk’ some encouragement into him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Archie Bradley pitched six innings of four hit ball Friday night against the Cubs, allowing one run, walking three and striking out ten. Archie has been a highly touted prospect for a while, but hasn’t really been able to put it all together, until now, dot dot dot, question mark? But the real question mark here–Betty or Veronica? I was always a Ronnie guy, because I am a masochist and I prefer a woman who hates my guts. Regardless, after struggling in spot starts in April and early May (2 GS, 10.1 IP, 14 hits, 9 ER, 7 BB, 6 K), and holding a plus-6 ERA in 10 career major league starts, Archie has returned to the bigs in a big way. In two starts since being recalled, Bradley holds a 2.70 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in 13.1 innings, with a 19/4 K/BB ratio that will make your fantasy team real happy happy. Slightly more impressive when you consider yesterday’s start was on the road against a fearsome Chicago line up. I was gonna stream him, but then I was like, “nah.” That was a mistake. I won’t doubt you again, Archie. Bradley was rocking a 1.99 ERA, 1.08 WHIP with 47 strikeouts in 7 starts at AAA Reno this season, so it’s clear he’s ready for the next level. I would grab Bradley in all leagues where he’s available. Grey told you to BUY and he gets a cushy match up with the Rays next week. Don’t be a Jughead, grab Archie!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As a life long New York Yankees fan it pains me to say it, but I’d rather own Red Sox players on my fantasy team. I have some friends that subscribe to the “fan before fantasy” philosophy, but I’m not drinking the cool-aid. I’m perfectly fine with rooting against the Yankees when doing so is in the best interest of my fantasy team. Carlos Beltran leads all hitters on the Yankees with 127 points. There are six Red Sox players ahead of Beltran. Those six players are David Ortiz (200), Mookie Betts (200), Xander Bogaerts (171), Dustin Pedroia (155), Jackie Bradley Jr. (148) and Travis Shaw (129). That’s two thirds of their starting lineup. The only player with more points than Ortiz and Betts is Jose Altuve with 216.

Total points is important, but by now you all know that I really like to use points per plate appearance to compare players. I’ve only mentioned it about 78 times this season. If I had to include last season I’d actually have to go back and count. Moving to PPPA , David Ortiz (0.966) actually moves ahead of Altuve (0.87). Betts, JBJ and Bogaerts are all in the top 25.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Sonny Gray hit the Disgraceful List with a combination of ineffectiveness and Grey calling him a preseason schmohawk.  My schmohawks:  Schwarber, Pollock, Gray, Tulo and Sano.  If I were Sano, I’d move into the giant bubble that Tulo is apparently living in to still be healthy.  Seriously, if you were placing odds in the preseason on which one of those would hit the DL, Tulo would be 10 to 1 odds as the first one; Pollock likely 2nd since he was nursing an elbow issue in the preseason; third would be Schwarber because he was playing a position he had no business playing and bound to run into a wall; finally, Gray because I put the kavorka on my namelganger, which is a magic spell so hideous that no amount of Creoles with an unlimited supply of chickens to sacrifice could reverse that hex.  By the by, everything I know of Creole black magic I learned from Angel Heart.  Gray has a 6+ ERA, so you can DL him if you have room, but I could see just dropping him if you don’t.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tolleson had his cookies tossed for the last time on Tuesday.  Or maybe Shawn Tolleson caused his owners’ cookies to be tossed?  Sounds too passive, said Flesch-Kincaid, but you get the idea.  By the by, why is tossing food so gross?  Tossing one’s cookies should be a glorious thing.  Who doesn’t want cookies tossed at them?  Please toss your cookies into my mouth!  Then there’s tossing salad?  That sounds healthy and like a spring morn.  Why is tossing salad so bad?  I’d love a salad tossing and a jog around the Maypole!  Any hoo!  There’s no more Tolleson, and Sam Dyson will step in as the Rangers closer.  Glad to see Rangers manager, Jeff Banister, finally react.  Though, it took a long time since Tolleson’s ERA is over nine.  Banister’s reflexes are so slow Bautista could’ve snuck in a punch on him.  Maybe they should’ve let Odor punch Tolleson’s card.  He would’ve been out on April 4th.  “You’re done!”  “That was one pitch.”  “I don’t care, now I will punch you.”  Sam Dyson should be owned in all leagues.  Will Tolleson regain the role?  Maybe, if Dyson gets injured, but it seems highly unlikely otherwise and can be dropped in most leagues.  Hey, Tolleson, don’t let the door hit you, where Odor split your lip.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*walks into a Moroccan marketplace*  I got me some Marra-CASH to spend!  Hoo-ah!  Wow, I sound a little like Al Pacino in my own head.  Okay, I’m going to go over to that table that is filled with players to buy low.  “Hello…*reads name tag* Djibooti, I see you’re selling slow-starting hitters for a deal.”  “Good deal!  Good deal!”  “Well, I’ll be the judge of that.”  *picks up Justin Upton*  “This smells like skunk.”  “No skunk!  Good deal!”  *goes through crates filled with albums that have a player’s face on them, lifts Lorenzo Cain*  “How much?”  “Djibooti need to check MLB Statcast.”  Djibooti looks at his iPad, looks up and snatches Cain out of my hands.  “No longer for sale!”  “Damn, Djibooti, don’t put your emotions in a tagine and get them all heated.”  So, Lorenzo Cain obviously was struggling mightily going into yesterday’s game, and, now, not so much — 3-for-5, 5 RBIs with 3 HRs (3, 4, 5).  This is why I rarely sell low on struggling top 50 hitters.  There was a reason they were drafted there in the first place.  Now the buy low is going to be much more difficult too.  “Djibooti, how much for David Price?”  “You take for free!  He’s yours!”  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Could this finally be Brett Lawrie‘s post-post-post-post-post-post-post-post-POST-post hype breakout?  I don’t want to overrate or prorate or ameliorate a past inveterate obturate to eviscerate execrate, try not to hate, love your mate, mediate or flip through cards like Michael Hutchence forth, Sandoval’s girth, Andrelton’s not from this earth, movie remake that never went anywhere was North by North.  Yesterday, Lawrie went 3-for-3 with his third straight game with a homer, and he threw in a steal on Saturday, not a liar like James Frey, in Florida I need my mosquito spray, I have three albums by The Fray, said no one that wasn’t gay, which is totally okay.  I was very high on Lawrie in the preseason, and right now he’s on pace for 20+ HRs, 12-15 SBs and hitting .290.  On its own this would be implausible, laughable, impossible, insoluble in water, but he hit 16 homers last year, is only 26 years old and has easy 15-steal speed, so it’s not INXS of the possible.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello everyone, Happy May and welcome to Sunday! We have another large slate, with 15 games on the All-Day docket, and 10 games on the Main Slate.

We have a interesting case on our hands today, as there are many games Vegas lists at 6.5 O/U. Why is this? Well, that’s because we have a slate full of many high-priced aces, as Madison Bumgarner, Noah Syndergaard, Chris Sale, Max Scherzer, Danny Salazar, Clayton Kershaw, and David Price, all above the $10,000 salary range, are all scheduled to start today, which begs the question, which Ace do you want? I don’t need to get into a ton of statistics and heavy in-depth research, because arguments can be made to start each guy on any specific night, and you already know why these guys are so dominant. However, we can still get to some digging and eliminate pitchers that we don’t want, digging some more, eliminating more guys, so on, and so forth.

First up, what about the higher-priced guys? Yes, all are expensive, yet are you comfortable with selecting Clayton Kershaw (#1 cash option without thinking), at a crisp $12,300? If the answer is yes, you should also be fairly confident that he should pick up the win against the San Diego Padres, not to mention his elite strikeout upside and low walk rate, but you already knew that. What about Madison Bumgarner? Well, his biggest strength is his low-walk rate (4.5% in 2015) and his 3.00 SIERA in 2015 as well, but he is facing the Mets, which is not only tough, but he has to manage a win behind an offense facing Noah Syndergaard, and the same thing for him, as Thor has to muster a win against Mad-Bum. No thanks. I feel it is much more efficient to find cheaper options to solidify those stud bats we can roster, instead of having to pay for these top studs who are very likely to record multi-strikeout performances, yet equally have the potential to not collect the win, and to record a poor outing.

So who’s up next? There’Let’s get to it.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?