April 1, 2021
Happy Opening Day! We are extremely excited to bring this weekly Fantasy Baseball post to you all season long. Look to find the best players to start each week, pitching staff and roster updates, waiver wire players to add, and any other relevant information to help win that fantasy week.
A full 162-game season is underway with all but four teams making their debuts on April 1. This Thursday start means a longer “Week 1” in fantasy leagues, for a total of 11 days, concluding on Sunday, April 11.
Eight teams are scheduled to play 10 games during Week 1: ARI, CHW, COL, LAD, LAA, OAK, SD, and TOR. Two teams are tied with the fewest scheduled games during the week (8): CLE and KC.
The Mets vs Nationals series was postponed after multiple Nationals players tested positive for covid. The Mets will presumably make their season debut on Monday against the Phillies at Citizen Bank Park. The Nationals season opener is unclear at the time this was written. They are currently scheduled to start a 3-game series with the Braves on Monday. We would not drop any Nationals or Braves just yet, but we would look for short term replacements in your batting lineups if you have the roster flexibility to do so.
The first Red Sox vs Orioles game was postponed due to rain. The teams will play their opener on Friday, April, 2.
Cold weather will be a factor over the first week of the season, and probably longer. In particular, a mixture of cold air, high winds, and precipitation is expected all over the northeast. Teams mostly effected will include: BOS, CHC, PHI, and NYY. Each of these teams plays the first 7 games of their season at home in outdoor stadiums.
ATL, CLE, KC and MIA are each expected to use a four-man rotation. This, along with an extended Week 1, will give the top ends of those rotations an extra start. However, note that not every team has named their full rotation at this point. Also, some pitchers, like James Taillon and Sixto Sanchez, are expected to be skipped the first time through the rotation. Make sure to check a reliable source for starting pitcher projections on a daily basis.
One group of players that have stood out in all of our models for this week are the Dodgers hitters. LAD open against the Rockies at Coors Field and then play a series at OAK with a DH. While this week will not be the easiest for the Dodgers pitching staff, their offense is in great position to start the season with an explosion of runs. Expect Gavin Lux, available in about 27% of leagues, to pick up some extra ABs this week.
There are a number of other low owned hitters and pitchers who we are targeting this week. This list will continue to grow throughout the week, but for now we are keeping a close eye on the following players/situations:
- The Cardinals announced that Alex Reyes, owned in about 30% of leagues, will start the season as their primary closer. His fantasy value should go up as a result and he should be owned in most leagues.
- Trevor Rogers, owned in about 50% of leagues, has earned a spot in the Marlins short rotation. Rogers had a strong spring and should be added to teams who need more pitching.
- Donovan Solano is going undrafted in most leagues, currently about 30% owned, and could provide some good value while he is hitting third in the SF lineup with multi-position eligibility.
- Mitch Haniger, available in about 40% of leagues, is a batter who can steal more than a handful of bases and he will also score productive runs while leading off for SEA.