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Reality Check: Reacting or overreacting?

Senior Fantasy Writer
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You gave Justin Maxwell a look Monday morning, didn't you? Yeah, he won't be the only waiver fodder to get your attention this week.

Jhoulys Chacin with his strong 6 2/3 innings. Jackie Bradley with his three walks. Yonder Alonso with his home run. Collin Cowgill with his grand slam. They all had memorable Mondays.

And that only covers half a day's worth of action.

So many players, so few roster spots. In mixed leagues, that's the frustrating part about this time of year, and it's so frustrating that some people choose not to bother with the early-season headliners at all.

"A couple games can't replace months of research and evaluation," they say.

And it's true. They can't.

But what that line of thinking fails to account for is perception. Most longtime Fantasy owners think they have a good grasp of each player's potential. They think it's why they constructed their rosters the way they did.

But it's not. You know it's not. You may not have thought it through all the way, but you know perception drives the entire drafting process.

Let's say you really like Domonic Brown this year, as I do. Let's say you think he's going to outperform Jay Bruce this year. It's not the craziest prediction. If Brown meets the full extent of his potential, it's perfectly feasible, even. But you knew better than to draft him ahead of Bruce. Even knowing how you feel about Brown, you either opted to draft Bruce in the fourth or fifth round, like everybody else, or passed on him completely, hoping to get Brown 10 rounds later. In both scenarios, you drafted according to perceived value rather than potential value.

Most Viewed Players (as of 4/2)
Player Name Own %
1. Jose Fernandez, SP, Marlins 51
2. Collin Cowgill, OF, Mets 17
3. Brandon Maurer, SP, Mariners 35
4. Jackie Bradley, OF, Red Sox 58
5. Phil Coke, RP, Tigers 22
6. Kyuji Fujikawa, RP, Cubs 42
7. Jhoulys Chacin, SP, Rockies 18
8. Gerardo Parra, OF, D-Backs 11
9. Ryan Ludwick, OF, Reds 50
10. Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, Dodgers 82

Maybe you don't like Brown this year. Maybe Anthony Rizzo is your guy. The illustration still works. Even believing Rizzo is going to hit .290 with 35 homers, you didn't take him over Billy Butler.

You know what kept you from doing that? Perception. At those critical moments in the draft, you ignored your personal assessment of a player for the sake of having it all.

What's more, you probably would have derided anyone who didn't. The practice of drafting according to the majority opinion rather than your own in an effort to maximize the talent on your roster is a strategy that normally goes unspoken because everybody knows to do it.

So why after the draft is there a complete surrender to potential value, ignoring the perceived value that halfway constructed your roster? Based on your own drafting habits, you could argue the latter is at least as important as the former. How you feel about a player matters only as much as how others feel about that player.

And to the nameless, faceless masses, nothing says more about a player than what he just did.

Don't believe me? Well, just look at the "most viewed" list on the CBSSports.com roster trends. The players at the top are the ones who -- like Maxwell, Chacin, Bradley, Alonso and Cowgill -- just did something. People are looking at them. They're looking and thinking.

And some of them are striking, whether because they're just the impatient sort or because they already know what I'm about to advise:

Don't be shy on the waiver wire this time of year.

I didn't say go crazy. You don't want to be afraid to make a move, but if you turn over half your roster before we reach the end of the first week, you might as well quit playing now. Most players were drafted where they were for a reason, and you can rest assured I'm sticking with Brown even if he starts 0 for 18.

But if you allow yourself some flexibility with the back of your bench -- those players who nearly went undrafted in your league, who everyone else passed on 20 times over -- what do you stand to lose?

Maybe you really like Lucas Duda or Carlos Quentin, and that's fine. But if they don't deliver right out of the gate, what do you owe them? And what do you suspect others will do with them if you make them available? They already passed on them the first 20 times.

If the purpose of a roster spot is to protect the players you don't want going to someone else, shouldn't you protect the ones attracting the most attention?

Now, I'm not saying every Casey Kotchman or Philip Humber who has a good day deserves a roster spot. Those players have already proven their mediocrity. But among the players with genuine upside, isn't it possible you targeted the wrong ones on Draft Day?

You don't always see it coming, you know. If you did, you would have beaten everyone to R.A. Dickey, Chris Sale, Edwin Encarnacion and Allen Craig last year, which would have won you your league and given you so much self-assurance that you wouldn't trouble yourself with the inane ramblings of a peasant like me.

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Winning changes a man, man.

If you have the spot to play with, take the chance. It's like getting a lottery ticket with one of the numbers already filled in. Sure, it probably won't do anything for you, but with that little bit of a head start, how can you turn it down?

And here's the glue that holds it all together: It might be your only chance at it. So many other people are watching and thinking that any of those early-season headliners could be just one good at-bat away from going to someone else. And if that player turns out to be the one that rises from obscurity to claim someone else the championship, you'll be upset, to say the least.

So of those players mentioned -- Maxwell, Chacin, Bradley, Alonso and Cowgill -- which would I be willing to pick up solely because of that one game? None, probably. I might pick up Alonso, but because I liked him as a sleeper even before that game. I might pick up Bradley, but because I recognize his upside as a top prospect. In other words, one game shouldn't be the reason you pick up a player, but it could be the impetus to do so. When the spotlight is on him, it's now or never.

Now, if Maxwell, Chacin and Cowgill keep it going for a week or two, I'll obviously have to take notice, particularly if Duda and Quentin are off to slow starts, but for now, I'm content letting them go to someone else. I'm just not convinced the upside is there.

Kind of pulled back the reins there, didn't I? Again, the point wasn't to have you rip apart your roster on opening day, but to remind you that tuning out anything and everything going on this week is potentially as destructive. Even if I'm not acting yet, rest assured I'm watching. And I'm thinking. And when that right guy does that one thing that I know the masses won't be able to overlook, I'm pouncing.

Because in one of my leagues last year, I did get Dickey, Sale, Encarnacion and Craig, and safe to say the rest of the league paid the price.

I owe that championship not to brains, mathematical formulas or even my so-called drafting prowess, which stuck me with players like Daniel Hudson and Ricky Romero. No, what won me the league was a willingness to gamble on what no one else would.

Call it luck, if you will, but the only thing more reckless than relying on luck is not giving it a chance. If you knew now how little you know about the season ahead, you wouldn't turn down that lottery ticket so quickly.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Astros SS Jed Lowrie set to sit Tuesday against Mariners
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(6:10 pm ET) Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie is catching a break Tuesday night in Seattle. Marwin Gonzalez is set to start instead.

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Rest, not foot, keeps Corey Dickerson out of Rockies' lineup
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(6:09 pm ET) Rockies left fielder Corey Dickerson is out of the team's starting lineup for Tuesday's game. However the reason for Dickerson's absence is rest, not the foot that has been giving him trouble. 

Dickerson has been battling plantar fasciitis since spring training and was doubtful for the game. He told MLB.com he thinks he can play.  

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Joe Maddon: Javier Baez could be close to joining Cubs
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(6:08 pm ET) Cubs manager Joe Maddon indicated that infielder Javier Baez could be close to rejoining the big-league club, according to MLB.com.

Baez began his 2015 campaign in extended spring training after collecting just nine hits in 52 at-bats while striking out 20 times. He has been on bereavement leave from Triple-A Iowa since April 9 following the passing of his sister.

"From our perspective, we want him to take as much time as necessary," Maddon said.


Rangers C Robinson Chirinos, OF Carlos Peguero back in the lineup
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(6:07 pm ET) Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos and outfielder Carlos Peguero are back in the starting lineup Tuesday after missing Sunday's game against the Mariners, the team announced.

Chirinos has started eight of the team's 13 games and is hitting .208 with two home runs in 24 at-bats this season. Peguero will make his fifth start Tuesday and is hitting .278 with three doubles in 18 at-bats. The Rangers are currently the underdogs (+130) against the Diamondbacks.


Nolan Arenado out of Rockies' lineup, may pinch hit
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(6:05 pm ET) Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is not in the starting lineup for Tuesday's game. 

Arenado also missed Monday's game with a sore left wrist. He was able to swing a bat earlier in the day and is available to pinch hit, if necessary, per MLB.com.

Rafael Ynoa got the start at third base for the second straight day and is batting ninth in the order. 


Brewers give 3B Aramis Ramirez another night off on Tuesday
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(5:59 pm ET) Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez was given the night off for the second time in three days. Milwaukee will roll with Jason Rogers at third base against the Reds.

Ramirez has been held without a hit over his last 15 at-bats. His batting average has dipped from .194 to .130 over that four-game span.

Milwaukee is favored (-126) at home against Cincinnati.


Struggling Phillies OF Revere has good history vs. Haren
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:49 pm ET) There is both good and bad news regarding Phillies outfielder Ben Revere and his matchup Tuesday night against Miami starter Dan Haren.

The good news is that he is 8 for 18 lifetime against the right-hander, per the Philadelphia Daily News The bad news is that he is immersed in a season-long slump and owns a slash line of .167/.205/.190. He does have two hits in his last five at-bats, making him a bit of a breakout candidate.


Mets' Collins on Lagares moving to No. 2 hole: Our options were limited
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5:34 pm ET) Mets outfielder Juan Lagares moved to the No. 2 spot in the order Tuesday night against the Braves. The move was made after third baseman and everyday No. 2 hitter David Wright was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday with a hamstring issue, and his replacement Travis d'Arnaud suffered a fractured hand on Sunday.

Lagares is hitting .275/.302/.294 with five RBI through his first 53 plate appearances.

"Well, I think our options were a little limited," manager Terry Collins. "And here's a guy that we think is starting to swing the bat much better. We almost started the season with him leading off. So I just thought I'll put him in the two-hole. ... He uses the whole field to hit. If Grandy [Curtis Granderson] gets on, he's got a hole between first and second, which he's very accustomed to hitting something in that hole. And his foot speed helps. If he gets on, he can get himself in scoring position."


Brewers' Martin Maldonado gets first start after Lucroy goes on DL
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(5:21 pm ET) Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado was in the starting lineup Tuesday against the Reds. It was his third start and first since the Brewers placed Jonathan Lucroy on the disabled list due to a broken big toe on his left foot.

Maldonado will likely see the bulk of playing time at catcher with Lucroy sidelined. He entered play Tuesday hitless in nine at-bats.


Ausmus: Tigers DH Martinez looking 'a lot better'
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:21 pm ET) Things appear to be looking up for Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez, who has been struggling so much with a knee ailment that Brad Ausmus has considered sitting him against right-handers.

Martinez told Ausmus on Tuesday that he feels good and the manager thinks he looks good as well. "He actually looked a lot better yesterday than he did the day before," Ausmus told the Detroit Free Press.

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