Many potential fantasy waiver thread gems emerge in the first few weeks of each season. This year I constantly see recommendations to pick up the likes of Steven Kwan, Tylor Megill, Jesus Luzardo and many other players who started the season with waivers in most leagues before producing some inspiring April stats.
Unfortunately, the rosters don’t get bigger after opening day, and each addition means someone has to go. Based on early season numbers, here are some commonly listed players on Yahoo! leagues that can be considered for a drop. Please remember I’m not insistent on dropping these players, but I identified them as having a higher roster percentage than they deserve.
Jesse Winker (OF, 93% registered)
Because he’s unable to hit lefties, Winker won’t produce the necessary volume of tally stats to help those in three-outfield leagues. Additionally, the move from Great American Ball Park to Safeco Field will negatively impact the slugger’s offensive numbers. Winker will have some value this year, but not enough to make it a roster lock in the shallower formats.
Bellinger was a complete bust last season (.542 OPS), hit .179 in spring training and had a poor start to the season heading into the home run on Wednesday. The former NL MVP has a level of advantage worth expecting in some leagues, but I wouldn’t argue with anyone who wanted to move on and air their place in the roster until he finds someone who plays well.
Edman lost huge fantasy value when Cards manager Oliver Marmol moved him from the top spot. The switch will cost the speedster numerous plate appearances, runs, and stolen bases, making it a marginal option in leagues with 12 or fewer teams. I understand that some roto teams will have to keep Edman for his speed potential, but I would be looking for an upgrade.
We only needed one week of regular season action to figure out that Giants manager Gabe Kapler is using a tighter committee. McGee is part of the ninth inning in San Francisco, but his role isn’t good enough to make him a go-to player in the shallow leagues. Managers may consider dropping McGee for someone who could soon become a full-time relative. And I could say the same about Camilo Dovalwhich is registered in 71% of the leagues.
Joey Gallo (FO, 83%)
Gallo is going to give you 30-40 homers and destroy your batting average along the way. You don’t need to sign up for this trade-off – ditch Gallo now and start looking for a power hitter who can hit .240 or better.
Torres is stuck in a crowded Yankees infield that includes Josh Donaldson, DJ LeMahieu, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Anthony Rizo. He may not get enough volume to get out of his long-term slump, which includes just 12 home runs, 67 RBIs and 67 runs scored in 169 games during the 2020-21 seasons.
Ryu faded in the second half of 2021 (5.50 ERA) and struggled in his first start of this season (3.1 IP, 6 ER). The 35-year-old has always survived without good radar gun readings, but his time as an effective Major League starter may be coming to an end. And because he has low strikeout rates, Ryu needs low ratios to help fantasy teams.
Strasbourg have thrown just 26.2 innings since the start of the 2020 season and aren’t worth the wait in most leagues. I’m fine with hiding the right-hander in an open spot in IL, but I’ll send him to waivers as injuries pile up and those spots become valuable in the weeks to come.
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Eugenio Suarez (3B/SS, 63%)
Suarez is the inside version of Joey Gallo – he can get you a lot of home runs but will kill your batting average along the way. And the 30-year-old’s new home park is less favorable than his old one. I would move on now; start looking for a power hitter with a better batting average.
Alex Kirilloff (1B/OF, 47%)
Kirilloff had season-ending wrist surgery in 2021, got off to a slow start this year and is now on IL due to ongoing wrist issues. I believe the 24-year-old still has long-term potential, but he could take some time to shake off the effects of surgery and was never seen as someone who will be a fantastic superstar.
Jonathan Villar (2B/3B/SS, 41%)
Villar will likely have spells of mixed-league relevance this season, but he’ll need the Cubs to struggle with injuries for that to happen. For now, the veteran speedster should sit on waivers in leagues of 12 or fewer teams.
Patrick Wisdom (1B/3B/OF, 41%)
See Gallo and Suarez. Wisdom has a small hitsample in MLB, and it will hurt your batting average even when things are going well. There’s no wisdom in keeping this hitter on your list (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
Akil Baddoo (OF, 37%)
It’s one of my more controversial picks, but Baddoo is bottom of the Tigers roster and hasn’t shown the ability to hit lefties. Although the second has a good power-speed mix, he needs more opportunities to show off those skills. I don’t rule out the possibility that Baddoo will spend some time at the Minors this year.