Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Yesterday, I wrote a piece on fantasy players who likely have reached their peak value for the season and therefore should be traded. Today we'll look at the other side of the coin, those players off to a slow start who might be available by a "panicky" owner.
Most of these guys have years and years of statistics which show they are fully capable of giving you top fantasy value if you will just have faith. Assuming they are healthy, they will give you their normal fantasy production and could be obtained in a deal for a fraction of their actual worth.
Carlos Lee, OF, Houston - Lee is normally not a slow starter, so this first two-week slump (.115, 0 HR, 0 RBI in 13 games) has been a surprise to fantasy owners. When the season ends he'll finish with his usual 28-30 HR and 100-110 RBI. In case you didn't notice, Lance Berkman played for the first time this season on Tuesday night and the Astros scored the most runs all year, so perhaps things are ready to change in Houston. If you can get Lee cheaply on April 21st, I'd have go pull the trigger on the deal.
Hunter Pence, OF, Houston - Many of the things I said about Lee, pertain to Pence as well. Over the past two years, Pence has been consistent - posting around 77 runs, 25 HR and 78 RBI while batting around .275. He's off to a slow start (.188, 1 HR, 2 RBI), but by year's end he will return to his normal production level.
Mark Teixeira, 1B, New York Yankees - OK, it's not likely that you'll be able to swing a deal for Teixeira given that his early season problems are so well known that most owners now expect an ugly April, but you never know. Last year he was still batting .191 on May 12th yet finished the season at .292 with 39 HR and 122 RBI.
Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati - Although Bruce is batting just .188, He's raised his average .135 points in the last week and has four runs and five RBI in the last four games. Most projections had him near 30 HR and 90 RBI. With that ugly batting average staring his owner in the face, he might be willing to let him go for cheap.
Prince Fielder, 1B, Milwaukee - Over the winter I wrote a piece stating that Fielder would have a comparative "down year" based on his history of producing in odd-numbered seasons. In even numbers seasons Fielder is averaging 84 runs, 158 hits, 31 HRs and 91 RBIs with a batting average of .273 a slugging percentage of .495 and an OPS of .855. In odd numbered years Fielder averages 106 runs, 171 hits, 48 HRs and 130 RBIs while hitting .293, slugging at a .610 pace and has an OPS of 1.013. If his owner drafted him seventh or higher as needed based on his ADP, he might be concerned enough to trade him. Just remember the reduced totals you should expect from him when making your offer.
Victor Martinez, C, Boston - Martinez is off to a slow start, like the rest of the players on this page, and his .651 OPS is looking particularly bad. He's a 25 HR, 100 RBI guy and if his owner is unhappy with his one HR, five RBI start, you should be more than willing to trade for him.
Adam Dunn, 1B, Washington - At 6'6" and 285 lbs, Dunn is an imposing figure at the plate. Too bad he's not hitting anywhere near his weight (.163) with a single home run and two measly RBIs. If you can get him, do so because you know you can pencil in 35 HR and 100 RBI by the end of the season.
Justin Upton, OF, Arizona - Upton was all the rage on Draft Day and was likely selected near the end of your second round (ADP 19). With only one good season on his resume, it's possible that his owner doesn't have 100% faith after two weeks of batting .200 and an OPS of just .683. If he's willing to part with him for a "discount price," say a player of fourth-or-fifth round value, I say take the plunge. Upton is a five-category guy and as all youngsters (he's just 22- years old) has a tendency to be streaky.
Jon Lester, SP, Boston - Lester is currently 0-2 with an ERA of 8.44 and a WHIP of 1.875. He has faced three tough opponents (Yankees, Twins, Rays) and been much too wild. However, he's still the same guy who went 16-6 in 2008 and 15-8 last year with an ERA of 3.41 and a WHIP of 1.230. His arm is fine, so if his owner is ready to deal at a reasonable price then know he's going to turn it around.
Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit - Like Lester, Verlander has yet to win a game in 2010. If his current owner is willing to trade him, he probably doesn't know that Verlander's career record is 6-10 in April, but 14-6 in May and 11-4 in June.