It’s only the middle of April, but fantasy owners are already becoming a tad bit frustrated with some of their struggling stars. Of course, with those struggling stars comes some red hot players, along with breakout guys. All three of these combined make for an interesting decision for fantasy owners. Should you sell the players ate their highest value or should you buy some struggling guys, hoping they turn it around? Let’s take a look at some Buy/Sell candidates.
Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee Brewers: A sleeper of mine heading into the season, Gomez started off the year struggling a bit. However, he is starting to come around lately, posting three straight three-hit games, bumping his average to an impressive .294 on the year. I’d look to buy low on this guy soon because even though he has yet to record a steal thus far, they are right around the corner. This guy swiped around led the majors in steals during the second half of last season, finishing with a solid 37. A great combination of power and speed, solid lineup around him and a lock to play everyday, Gomez will finish the season as at least a top 50 outfielder and makes for a tremendous buy-low candidate.
Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs: We know the young first baseman has great power, hitting three home runs thus far, but can he consistently hit the ball? Rizzo is struggling early on, batting a poor .174 with nine RBI and an on base percentage of .296. He only has one multi-hit game this season and has gone four contests without recording a hit. Still, I’d look to acquire the young talent from a frustrated fantasy owner. He can absolutely crush the ball and the Cubs are aware that he is part of their future. A realistic batting average for Rizzo would be around .265, but you are likely targeting Rizzo for his power and I believe he can approach the 30-home run marker this year.
Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins: Stanton was my pick to lead the majors in home runs this year, so I’m sticking by him. Everything seems to be against the talented slugger. A horrid lineup around him allows pitchers to walk Stanton quite often and now he is dealing with a shoulder injury, though he is expected to return today. Still, go out and get this guy, but don’t pay full price. Remember, Stanton belted 37 home runs and 86 RBI with a terrible lineup last year as well. Besides, the 23-year old typically struggles in the month of April, batting just .241 with three homers in April over the past three seasons. Barring a more serious injury, this stud will be fine. Go get him.
Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds: It pains me to say this, considering he is one of my favorite players in the league, but I’d look to sell high on Phillips. He is off to a sizzling start, batting .345 with four home runs and 19 RBI (1st in NL). Despite hitting at home at Great American Ballpark, one of the better stadiums for home run hitters, Phillips only plays half of his game there. That is important because he normally struggles hitting the long ball away from home, hitting just 15 dingers on the road over the past three seasons. Also, Phillips’ ground ball rate is currently over 50 percent, which doesn’t help his home run potential. Thanks to his hot start, you can probably get great value for him.
Evan Gattis, Atlanta Braves: Gattis is red hot, currently ranking as the number six overall fantasy catcher in Yahoo! leagues. Still, the familiar face Brian McCann will be back from the disabled list pretty soon and will be inserted into the starting lineup as soon as he is healthy. Sure, Gattis will certainly play at time, especially because of his terrific start. However, his fantasy value is clearly going to take a hit after losing significant playing time. I’d try to get something for him now while he is most relevant in fantasy land.
Jed Lowrie, Oakland Athletics: Lowrie is off to a sizzling start for the A’s, batting a ridiculous .373 with three home runs and 13 RBI. He certainly won’t keep this blistering pace up, so now would be an ideal time to reel him out in front of fantasy owners and see if anyone will bite. Lowrie only has 38 career home runs, so there is no indication that he will become a home run threat this season. Also, the Athletics are off to a red hot start, winning eight of their last 10 contests. There is no reason to believe that their offense will continue to produce at this pace, which will hurt Lowrie’s overall fantasy value.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.