Looking for even more fantasy advice? Come here to see which hot week one starters are really fantasy worthy.
If you had the time on Opening Day to do nothing but sit on the couch with chips, popcorn, pizza, nachos, soda, and/or beer, watching baseball and tracking your fantasy team(s), raise your hand if you didn't rush out to try and be the guy with Shaun Marcum, Carlos Gomez, Vernon Wells, and Delmon Young.
Opening Day, hell, opening week, for that matter, is full of the most unexpected players setting the world on fire for a short period of time before fading back to Free Agent status by the beginning of May.
Luckily, for those who are lucky enough, I'm here to offer some advice in terms of these hot starts. I'll tell you which guys to take, and which ones you want to avoid.
Carlos Gomez, OF, Milwaukee: AVOID
Since his 2008 debut with the Minnesota Twins, Gomez has been perhaps the most tantalizingly-frustrating player in all of fantasy sports. After huge 2006 and 2007 seasons in the minors, the New York Mets thought he was the real deal, and he became the centerpiece player in the trade for Johan Santana.
He's had some very exciting games since then, but a game or two has been about the biggest "hot stretch" he's been able to put together. He's fast- really fast- but it doesn't mean much because he can't get on base. He is the
prototype player for which it is said "You can't steal first base."
In his Major League career, his highest batting average was .258, his highest OBP .296. His huge, 4-5 Opening Day performance that included a home run, a stolen base, and a pair of runs, was encouraging, but not the first time he's offered some O.D. excitement before sputtering out.
Granted, if he does learn to get on base at even an average rate of around .345-.360 (in terms of OBP), he could probably give you 30 to 40 steals; he's that fast. That's an unreasonable expectation, however, so I would not advise holding on to him expecting any offensive growth.
In typical Gomez fashion, following that big 4-5 performance on Opening Day, he's mired in an 0-7 skid in the two games since. He's a huge drain on, well, all of your numbers, so save the headache of waiting for him to come around for somebody else.
Vernon Wells: ADD
His numbers aren't really the flashiest, as last year he hit .260 with 15 home runs, but he can get it done, and his terrible contract does not affect his fantasy value (remember, you're on the hook with him for a maximum 7 months, not the 6 years the Blue Jays are in for).
However, he offers some good potential mid-teens to possible low-twenties in terms of home run production, and he should accumulate a healthy total of runs and RBI, as well as a helpful total of stolen bases.
He was uncharacteristically bad against lefties last year, hitting just .206 with a .323 slugging% compared to his career .302 average and .497 slugging% against southpaws. Furthermore, some of Wells' struggles last year can be attributed to his 66.7% flyball rate, which was a clear outlier given his career flyball rate is 39.8%.
It is fair to expect solid production across the board from Wells this year because it only seems natural that his flyball rate should decrease, and he's bound to fare better against southpaws in 2010. Bill James and CHONE agree, projecting a batting average in the .260's or low .270's, and just shy of 20 home runs for Wells.
He's off to a 6-10, 4 HR, 7 RBI start, and in the heart of a solid Toronto lineup led by Aaron Hill and Adam Lind, Wells should have a decent season. He's owned in 80% of Yahoo! leagues and 100% of ESPN leagues, but if you are lucky enough to have him on the waiver wire in your league, grab him like a vulture right now, and if you already own him, hang on to him or sell high (it's safe to say he shouldn't do this well all year even though I say he has a good year).
Edgar Renteria: WATCH
I am completely unwilling to trust Renteria, as his OBP in the previous three seasons has dropped from .390 to .317 to .307, while his K% has been a little higher than his career norms and his BB% has been a little lower than his career norms.
Still, Bill James projects Renteria to hit .276 hit 8 home runs, and score 69 runs, not a bad desperation option if you missed out on the handful of really good shortstops, or if your league uses a really deep lineup with multiple infield positions.
He also faded down the stretch, to the tune of a .233/.290/.331 line with just 10 RBI and 15 Runs scored after the All-Star break. He's 33 now, but he does hit second in the lineup, which offers some pretty good runs scored potential.
However, I don't trust an older guy with meager contact skills who plays half his games in a stadium friendly to left-handed power-hitting juggernauts, especially given the fact he hit .238/.307/.308 at home last year.
It's really your call if you want to add Renteria or not, but I would watch him for another week or two to see how he pans out, because frankly, I see no reason to trust him.