Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
      
Fantasy Football Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Reality Check: Being proactive about Profar

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

It's the epitome of a no-brainer move. When the consensus No. 1 overall prospect entering the season is awarded a starting job in the majors, you add him in Fantasy.

And yet owners in 25 percent of leagues have said, "Why bother?"

Why bother when the player he's replacing has as much job security as any second baseman in the game?

Why bother when that player is expected to spend only a couple weeks on the DL with an intercostal strain?

Why bother if Jurickson Profar is sure to return to the minors before he even has a chance to get comfortable?

Why? Because you just never know.

You may think you know. You may even pretend to know, like we "experts" are required to do. He's good. He's bad. I like him. I don't like him. In the black-and-white world of Fantasy prognostication, there is no room for "I don't know."

But you know what? I don't know. And frankly, neither do you.

For all you know, one of Ian Kinsler's injury-prone teammates -- be it Lance Berkman, Nelson Cruz or Adrian Beltre -- will go down in the meantime, granting Profar an extended stay in the majors.

For all you know, Profar will put up Jean Segura numbers right away, forcing the Rangers to find creative ways to keep him around, such as moving Mitch Moreland back to the outfield.

For all you know, Kinsler's intercostal strain -- an injury without a definite timetable -- will continue to nag the veteran second baseman beyond the initial two weeks, allowing even more time for one of those first two scenarios to come true.

For all you know, Profar will perform like a top-five second baseman the rest of the way.

To some people, prognostication is the appeal of Fantasy Baseball. They use it as a vehicle to show what they know, proving to friends and acquaintances that they should be in a front office somewhere instead of unfairly confined to something as bourgeois as accounting or pizza delivery.

At its core, though, Fantasy Baseball is a game of managing variables -- some more predictable than others. The most successful participants separate what they know from what they don't and work within the constructs of each.

So then, you can only benefit from acknowledging your limitations, from recognizing that you can't predict the future and admitting that your guesses, well-reasoned as they may be, are often wrong.

If you came across a variable you didn't know in any other game, would you just guess and hope for the best?

Of course not. You'd cover your dang butt.

In Monopoly, if rolling a three would land you on Boardwalk with three houses, putting you at risk of bankruptcy, would you choose then to build houses on your own properties? Three is an unlikely roll, statistically speaking, but because it's within the realm of possibility, you probably wouldn't.

Check out our Fantasy Baseball podcast!
Stay a step ahead of your competition in 2014 by checking out our popular Fantasy Baseball Today podcasts. Adam Aizer, Scott White and Al Melchior will entertain you and help you dominate all season.
Latest episode | Subscribe!

Never made it that far in Monopoly? Thought those little green houses were only meant to deter you from walking around the house barefoot a full two weeks after playing?

Maybe poker is more your speed, then. Ever bet before the river in Texas hold 'em? Most of the time, you have to. You don't know what that last card will be, but weighing the probability of what it could be vs. the risk of what you could lose vs. the reward of what you could gain, you act.

The same is true in Fantasy Baseball. Your baseball knowledge may give you some insight into what the ultimate outcome will be, but in the end, it's still a roll of the dice.

Profar is just the latest and most promising in a class of speculative pickups. The ultimate acknowledgement of "you just never know," a speculative pickup often proves to be a waste of a roster spot, but in those rare cases it isn't, the payoff more than makes up for the cost.

Now that he's back in the minors, Tony Cingrani belongs to that class. He doesn't have a clear path to the majors, but either a Mike Leake implosion or an injury to another member of the Reds starting rotation is plausible enough to make him worth rostering in most leagues, especially since we already know he's capable of succeeding at the major-league level.

Of course, not every speculative pickup is worth it to everyone. To me, Wil Myers, who's clearly next in line for a team that can already fit him into the lineup, is much more deserving of a roster spot than Yasiel Puig, whose arrival hinges on both an injury to Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier and the Dodgers' willingness to promote him directly from Double-A. Still, both stashes have some merit.

And really, every stash deserves that level of scrutiny. While a bench serves many purposes in Fantasy, such as providing you with a reserve pool for playing matchups or safeguarding against injuries, its primary function is to help you protect the players you don't want anyone else to have.

Typically, the players most worth protecting are the ones who could make the biggest impact for your Fantasy team. Sometimes they already have regular jobs in the majors, but sometimes they don't. If you're rostering Zack Cozart when the highly comparable Stephen Drew is available on waivers, what exactly are you protecting?

Matt Adams. Drew Smyly. Christian Yelich. Kenley Jansen. Yasmani Grandal. Zack Wheeler. You can justify rostering any of them if the next best use of that roster spot is a replacement-level player.

But right now, Profar is the priority. He's already here, and he clearly has the talent to succeed. Though hardly a finished product at age 20, he has all the tools of a Fantasy standout, right down to the exceptional plate discipline.

And right now, people like me are writing hundreds upon hundreds of words about him all over the Internet, so if you don't act, one of your competitors will. And if the unlikely comes to pass and Profar sticks around long enough to revolutionize the second base position in Fantasy, you'll wonder why you thought Dan Haren, Dan Straily, Dan Uggla or Danny Espinosa was so worth protecting.

With each speculative pickup, you have to weigh the cost, and maybe on the trade market, an established contributor like Matt Carpenter or Josh Rutledge would cause me to back off Profar.

But as a waiver claim, it's no contest. The cost of the worst player on my roster is well within my budget.

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 .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Four-hit game extends torrid month for Matt Kemp
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(7:12 pm ET) Matt Kemp registered his sixth multi-hit game in September with a 4 for 5 effort in the Dodgers' 8-5 win over the Cubs on Sunday. Kemp slugged a two-run homer off Cubs starter Jacob Turner in the third inning, highlighting an afternoon that produced four RBI and a run.

The home run was Kemp's seventh in September and his 23rd of the season. He is now batting .329 (24 for 73) for the month.


Michael Cuddyer slugs 10th home run Sunday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:10 pm ET) Rockies first baseman Michael Cuddyer went 1 for 4 with a walk and a solo home run in his team's 8-3 win over the Diamondbacks Sunday.

Cuddyer has destroyed the Diamondbacks this weekend, going 7 for 14 at the plate and homering in each of his three games played. His big performance included seven RBI in Friday's win before getting Saturday off. Cuddyer has hit .333/.378/.602 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI in 171 at-bats.


Mark Trumbo homers twice vs. Rockies Sunday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:07 pm ET) Diamondbacks first baseman Mark Trumbo went 2 for 4 with two home runs and three RBI in his team's 8-3 loss to the Rockies Sunday.

Trumbo was the only Arizona hitter to get anything done Sunday, knocking a two-run home run in the sixth inning and following up with a solo blast in the ninth. He's started to get rolling near the end of the season, going 11 for 32 with three home runs and 13 RBI in his last eight games. Trumbo has hit .239/.300/.403 with 11 home runs and 53 RBI in 305 at-bats.


Christian Bergman allows two runs in win Sunday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:04 pm ET) Rockies pitcher Christian Bergman earned a win Sunday, giving up two earned runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings while striking out three in his team's 8-3 victory over the Diamondbacks.

Bergman (3-4) tossed five scoreless innings as his team jumped out to a 6-0 lead. He then surrendered a two-run home run to Mark Trumbo that ended up not having an impact on the final outcome. Bergman owns a 5.29 ERA and 27:10 K:BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings. He's schedule to close out the season next Sunday against the Dodgers.


Collin McHugh stays hot with win over M's
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(7:03 pm ET) Despite allowing more runs than he had in any start since July 27, Collin McHugh pitched well in the Astros' 8-3 win over the Mariners on Sunday. McHugh yielded three runs over his six innings, and it marked the first time in 10 starts that he allowed more than two runs.

Only five batters reached base against McHugh, and of the four hits he allowed, only Michael Saunders' two-run homer was for extra bases. In addition to issuing only one walk, McHugh struck out six Mariners.

McHugh is set to make one more start this season, which will come next weekend at the Mets. He is now 11-9 with a 2.73 ERA.


Wade Miley surrenders six runs in loss vs. Rockies
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:00 pm ET) Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley took a loss Sunday, allowing six earned runs on eight hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings while striking out four in his team's 8-3 defeat against the Rockies.

Miley (8-12) surrendered one run in the second inning and two more in the third before the Rockies pushed three more across in the fifth. It's the second time in three games he hasn't finished five innings, though those two outings are his only non-quality starts in his last eight games. Miley owns a 4.35 ERA and 177:72 K:BB ratio in 196 1/3 innings. He's scheduled to make his last start of the season Saturday against the Cardinals.


Hisashi Iwakuma turns in another subpar start
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(6:46 pm ET) Hisashi Iwakuma entered Sunday's game against the Astros looking for his first quality start of September, and he left with his quest unfulfilled. Iwakuma lasted only 4 1/3 innings in the Mariners' 8-3 loss, as he coughed up four runs on six hits and three walks, though he did manage to strike out eight batters.

In his final regular season opportunity to break his slump, Iwakuma will face the Angels on Friday. He heads into that start with a 14-9 record and 3.54 ERA.


Rick Porcello has rare sub-quality start
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(6:37 pm ET) Heading into Sunday's game against the Royals, Rick Porcello had notched 21 quality starts in 29 tries, but he fell short in the Tigers' 5-2 loss. Porcello lasted only 3 1/3 innings for his third-shortest start of the season, and he allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks. He also struck out only one batter.

Porcello is slated to make one final start, as he is scheduled to face the Twins on Friday. He will enter that contest with a 15-12 record and a 3.31 ERA.


Corey Kluber matches career strikeout high
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst
(6:10 pm ET) Corey Kluber tied a career-best -- one he set in his previous start -- by striking out 14 Twins in the Indians' 7-2 win on Sunday. After getting 14 Ks against the Astros on Tuesday, Kluber repeated the feat and catapulted himself into the major league lead with 258 strikeouts.

Kluber lasted eight innings, holding the Twins to two runs on seven hits and a walk. He is now 17-9 with a 2.53 ERA. The 28-year-old is now set to make his final appearance of the season on Saturday against the Rays.


Jordan Zimmermann suffers bruised pitching shoulder
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6:00 pm ET) Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann suffered a bruised throwing shoulder Saturday when he got hit by a line drive off the bat of Casey McGehee, reports the Washington Post. Zimmermann narrowly avoided being struck in the face.

"It happened so fast, I don't even think my reaction was fast enough to do anything," he said. "It just happened to be that shoulder was in the right spot in the right time."

Zimmermann said his shoulder is sore but he doesn't think it will affect him going forward. It's unclear if he'll make his next scheduled start against the Marlins.


 
 
 
Rankings