This is the weekly Fantasy Roundtable, where the writers of Rotoworld Baseball let the readers of Rotoworld Baseball in on a quick staff discussion. It's water cooler talk ... that we've decided to publish. Look for it every Tuesday.
Drew Silva: The first week of the fantasy baseball season is in the books. Give me a player you didn't consider in drafts this spring that you're suddenly high on now. Or is there a draft sleeper that you see emerging into a true difference-maker now that you've got a slightly different perspective? I know ... it's early.
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D.J. Short: I could go a bunch of ways with this after what we saw last week, but I'm going to say Tigers right-hander Shane Greene. The 26-year-old was great in his season debut against the Twins last Thursday, allowing just one run over eight innings to go along with five strikeouts and one walk. He had a 3.78 ERA with an 81/29 K/BB ratio across 78 2/3 innings as a rookie with the Yankees last season and I'm afraid I didn't take him seriously enough in drafts this spring. But there's really a lot to like here. He has good velocity and improved command to go along with a deep arsenal of pitches and a penchant for inducing ground balls. I think he has a solid chance of sticking on most mixed league rosters this season. The Yankees could regret dealing him.
Silva: I'm with you on Greene, D.J. And the fact that he'll make half of his starts at pitcher-friendly Comerica Park is another attractive element. Good win potential, too, with that offense backing him. Greene is taking his second turn in the Tigers' rotation Tuesday night against the Pirates. The game is in Pittsburgh.
Ryan Boyer: I wouldn't say I'm incredibly high on him, but one guy I disregarded in drafts but am now willing to consider in mixed leagues is David Freese. Freese talked all spring about how good he was feeling and backed it up with a .364/.379/.600 batting line with three homers in Cactus League play. He's now homered three times in his first seven regular-season games, which is 54 fewer games than it took him to get to three dingers last year. Freese is far from a slam dunk -- he's still batting just .222 despite the three longballs -- but he's hitting in the middle of a good Angels lineup that should afford him plenty of RBI opportunities with the likes of Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout, and Albert Pujols hitting in front of him.
Matthew Pouliot: Maybe Mark Teixeira. I was looking for anything to be encouraged about this spring, but didn’t find it, even as he indicated his right wrist issues were completely behind him. However, through six regular-season games so far, he’s already homered three times, with just three strikeouts and six walks in 21 at-bats. The caveat would be that it’s all coming as a right-handed hitter; even his one homer versus a righty came as a righty (he took Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright deep last week). So, we’ll have to wait and see if the power is there from the left side, too.
Silva: Great stuff, guys. One name I'll add is Anthony Gose. I drafted him in a few leagues, but really only thought of him as cheap speed -- a bench guy I could deploy when I needed more stolen bases. The 24-year-old center fielder is off to a 9-for-23 (.391) start this season with a home run, five RBI, and six runs scored through five games. I don't expect the RBI pace to continue, but I do think he'll have a very good shot at 100-plus runs if he continues to bat leadoff in that potent Tigers lineup. Even if Rajai Davis steals some starts from him here and there. The next five hitters behind Gose most days are going to be Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, J.D. Martinez, and Yoenis Cespedes. The dude will be crossing the plate a whole lot.