The first week of baseball.  The sights.  The smells.  The bacon-wrapped corn dogs stuffed with jalapeno cheddar tots.  What a week it was indeed.

A long winter has passed and many things changed.  Most notably, was Ricky Vaughn, who shed his trademark leather jacket and punk rock hairdo for a suit, tie and styling mousse.  Jack Taylor’s knees were weaker than ever, and Pedro Cerrano ditched the rum-loving Jobu for Buddhism. Even Willie Mays Hayes elected to have cosmetic surgery.

Some things need to be replaced.  The classic film Major League was not one of them.  Yet they made a sequel.  Not the worst baseball movie to grace the big screen, but we could’ve done without it.  Unlike the original Wesley Snipes character, in fantasy baseball, finding replacements is part of the game.  It’s how leagues are won.  You can’t just sit back and watch as players are picked up off the wire while you “wait to see how the guys you drafted do”.  That’s one of the most common phrases I hear early on.  Yes, it’s early, so you’re not kicking any studs to the curb, but if the “sleeper” you drafted in the 29th round has begun the season 1-for-16, and there’s a player on the wire who is playing well, go grab him!  Hanging on to an older vet with the delusion that he’ll somehow hit like he’s not 36 years old (Chase Utley, 100 percent owned on ESPN), will keep you from realizing your championship dreams.

This is the “Deep Impact” column, where I’ll only be featuring players under 10 percent owned in ESPN leagues.  During Opening Week I’ve been asked more questions about middle infielders than any other position, so I figured this would be an opportune time to reveal some of my top adds heading into the weekend:

Devon Travis, 2B, Blue Jays (8.0% owned): Travis came over to Toronto this winter in the trade that sent Anthony Gose to Detroit, and it’s only been a few games, but the 24-year-old has found himself in a very nice situation, making him one of my favorite middle infield adds in the early going.  The former 13th round pick of the Tigers had never played higher than Double-A ball, but he’s now the starter at 2B for the high-octane Blue Jays.  A hot spring from Travis, plus an injury to Maicer Izturis, and the usual ineffectiveness from Ryan Goins, allowed him to seize the job — and he’s running away with it.  Through two games, the youngster is hitting .333 (3-9) with a homer, three runs, and 3 RBI.  During his time in the minors, Travis showed the ability to hit double digit homers with 15+ steals, and let’s face it, the Jays aren’t handing the reins back to the 34-year-old Izturis even when he does come back.

Marcus Semien, 2B/3B, Athletics (5.2% owned): Like Devon Travis, Marcus Semien is a new arrival thrust into a starting job.  Semien was the main piece in the package that sent Jeff Samardzija to the White Sox, and he’s already making a name for himself.  By starting their first four games, the A’s have shown their loyalty to him, and he’s returned the favor, going 4-for-13 (.308) with a double and 3 RBI.  Hitting at the bottom of the order won’t allow him many run-scoring opportunities, but he’s a good bet to hit 15 or so home runs (21 between Chicago and Triple-A last year) and get double digit stolen bases.  He’ll be even more fun to own once he’s garnered shortstop eligibility, which should come by next week, as he’s started all four games there so far.

DJ LeMahieu, 2B, Rockies (3.1% owned): Known more for his defensive expertise, the National League’s reigning Gold Glove winner at second base can also be an asset to your offense.  DJ (no periods between the D and J, which is important to know. Like CC Sabathia) won’t give you much pop, but there’s room for a decent average and some speed in his repertoire.  2014 was pretty miserable (.267/.315/.348), but he performed well from a batting average standpoint in 2012 (.297) and in 2013 (.280), and even swiped 18 bags during that ’13 campaign.  The Rockies offense is healthy — for now — and they are on fire, making LeMahieu a sneaky add if you’re looking for some O.  In the early going, he’s hitting .385 (5-13) with an RBI and steal to his credit.  And that’s on the road.  He’s nowhere close to being a must-own guy, even in the deepest of leagues, but he’s a fantastic plug-n-play when the Rox are playing at home in the friendly air of Coors Field.

Brad Miller, SS, Mariners (1.4% owned): Miller was a big sleeper during drafts last year and he ended up being pretty doggone terrible, so he’s a guy that a lot of people gripe about.  Some owners won’t ever touch a player if they’ve been “wronged” by them, but I’m all for giving them second chances.  It’s just human nature (in most cases).  The Mariners were ready to go with Chris Taylor at shortstop, but he broke his wrist in spring training, so Miller got the gig by default.  Taylor is making good progress, but is still weeks away from a return, and Miller is doing everything in his power to make sure he stays the starter when his teammate finally arrives in Seattle.  Miller has started all three games for the M’s and homered off Matt Shoemaker in Wednesday night’s loss to the Angels.  If he gets cold, or Taylor reclaims the job, simply drop him, but Derek Jeter is owned in 1.9 percent of leagues, and Miller in just 1.4.  Yes, the retired Yankees’ icon, who as is we speak is probably yachting in the Maldives with his Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model girlfriend, is on more fantasy teams than a guy batting .400/.400/.700 and starting for an MLB club.

 

 

Follow SethDaSportsMan on Twitter at, you guessed it, @SethDaSportsMan, for quality fantasy sports advice and the deepest veneration of all things Nicolas Cage.

  1. JJ says:
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    Would you go with Semien over Odor? Insert asparagus joke here….

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @JJ: close call there. If you dont need the multiple position eligibility, I’d stick with Odor

  2. Jerms says:
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    So I should drop Jeter?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Jerms: he’s only worth holding on to in 1,468 team leagues. Anything less and hes just taking up bench space

  3. Zeus says:
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    Those players are owned in most non ESPN leagues. I know razz uses their site but they suck. ESPN is basically for morons in 10 team mixed leagues with 3 OF.

    • Ned Shakeshaft says:
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      @Zeus:

      Yeah not to be rude but can we dig a little deeper here? Can’t imagine anyone reading this site isn’t already all over these guys.

    • Steve says:
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      @Zeus: That’s funny, I thought it was the other way around…

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Ned Shakeshaft: @Zeus: you guys seem like a couple of nice fellas. Thanks for reading.

      • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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        @SethDaSportsMan: it is completely despicable that anybody in espn owns jeter. that has nothing to do with this site, but you really might want to use your comparisons for somewhere where people aren’t brain-addled-geeks. that geeks term can’t be referenced to me, i mean the old school def of that.

  4. SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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    what’s up Seth – Devon over Odor?

  5. Jerms says:
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    Would you go Travis or Gennett?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Jerms: as long as Gennett is hitting at the bottom of that order, I prefer Travis

  6. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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    Devon Travis or Howie Kendrick? Prolly Kendrick right? I mean he hits cleanup for the dodgers. Thanks.

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @TobiasFunkeAnalRapist: Kendrick and not even close. That spot in the order is too good. He’s just a better player anyway

  7. Kiss a Bum says:
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    Billy burns was dropped in a 20 team league. Is he worth a pickup and stash? Hank you.

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Kiss a Bum: probably not. They just signed Cody Ross, Josh Reddick will be back this weekend, and Coco Crisp will eventually come back. They even had Canha playing OF yesterday. Plenty of other guys you’ll be able to find for steals if you need them. I dont see Burns playing at MLB level much or at all

  8. Bambinos10 says:
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    Drop Utley for Devon Travis?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Bambinos10: Yeah, I would. I dont see any upside in Utley. Phillies have worst offense in baseball

  9. Steve Stevenson says:
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    Think DJ gets enough consistent playing time to be playable in weekly leagues? He didn’t really last year, but in my 14-tm 9×9 H2H I’m scuffling at MI (Schoop and Iglesias are slap-fighting it out for now), and he’s the best option on the wire. Next best is maybe the injured Nick Franklin.

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: he’s started every game for them so far and they’re not gonna take his defense out of the lineup. Plus, who are they gonna play, Descalso? He has 1 AB all year. DJ only missed 13 games last year. Franklin isnt a bad add and see if you got a DL spot, but otherwise I’d roll with LeMahieu

      • Steve Stevenson says:
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        @SethDaSportsMan: Thanks, maybe I was just misremembering re: PT because I was only willing to start him at home.

        • SethDaSportsMan

          SethDaSportsMan says:
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          @Steve Stevenson: no prob. He’s not gonna be this good all year, but hes definitely a guy you want to stream in weekly leagues when the Rockies are at home. And he’s having a 3-4 day as we speak.

  10. Chuckles Tiddlesworth says:
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    I’ll bet you a million f**king dollars Utley is worth more at the end of the year than LeMahieu.

    • Chuckles Tiddlesworth says:
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      Yeah, you heard right, a million!

      • Chuckles Tiddlesworth says:
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        Oh. Wait, what? I thought you said I am a fool for playing Utley and should pick up LeMahieu. Am I high and reading this wrong?

        • SethDaSportsMan

          SethDaSportsMan says:
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          @Chuckles Tiddlesworth: haha I dont know what you do with your spare time, but no, maybe the wording was off by me. I was using Utley as an an example of a guy that shouldnt be owned in 100% of leagues, while better players are on the wire, but not that you should necessarily drop him.

          I also said this about LeMahieu: “He’s nowhere close to being a must-own guy, even in the deepest of leagues, but he’s a fantastic plug-n-play when the Rox are playing at home in the friendly air of Coors Field.”

          • Chuckles Tiddlesworth says:
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            So, in other words: Rockie Mountain High. We ARE on the same page after all. Thanks Seth!

            • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
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              @Chuckles Tiddlesworth: a reason for it being silly for a guy to be 100% owned in 12 team leagues isn’t the same reasoning that would make somebody worse than lemehieu.

              • SethDaSportsMan

                SethDaSportsMan says:
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                @Crapshoot Kershaw: again, not really getting your point here

  11. tentyme says:
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    what do you think of jose iglasias SS from the tigers? i’m in a 12 team h2h weekly al/nl league… thank you for your insite..

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @tentyme: I don’t think Iglesias is worth the add. He’s not known for his hitting. Just a hot start on a hot team.

  12. icefires says:
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    Points keeper league

    Travis or Odor?

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @icefires: Odor

  13. Luvdarooks says:
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    Please read slowly as option questions will follow:
    NL only. VERY DEEP because after 23 starters we have 15 reserves. 11 teams & 10 KEEPERs/year.( $260). SO OBVIOUS HIGH INFLATION. (Kershaw was 38 in’14 and was hurt)
    .
    Minor players stay the salary till activated while all others get a $5 yearly raise until the owner feels they are no longer worth keeping. BIG POINT IS IF minors are KEPT THE SALARY DOES NOT COUNT TWOARDS THE 260 total allowed in next weeks auction!

    I will ask who to possibly trade for a 35 McCutchen but but may I preface it by noting I hate to release J Gray (trade chip later or hurt my future) at 5 for Hanson Pitt. SYNDEGARD is 15 so not a keeper next year but will be a great call up .

    My keepers are
    Goldy 10
    Harrison7
    Soler 10
    Pederson 5
    Storen 10
    Giles7
    ———minor keepers
    Bryant 5
    SYNDEGARD 15
    —————–I also have
    Polanco 20
    Cashner 14
    Hanson minors 5
    SHOULD I STAY PUT OR who to trade TRADE FOR mcCutch(35) since I can only keep 10.

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @Luvdarooks: that’s a lot to take in!

      You may want to ask one of our more prospect-intensive writers.

      • Luvdarooks says:
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        Thanks like who?

        • SethDaSportsMan

          SethDaSportsMan says:
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          @Luvdarooks: I can always answer keeper questions but this one is very complex.

          Mike is our resident dynasty/keeper guy. I’m sure he’ll be able to help

          https://razzball.com/author/mike/

  14. And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
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    seriously, utley is 100% owned. that’s just sad.

    • SethDaSportsMan

      SethDaSportsMan says:
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      @And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers!: it sure is. I think it’s just nostalgia from some owners and then they can’t give up on the “name”. Bet that % drops this week if he’s still hitting in the .070s

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