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Start and sit hitters for Week 2

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Though normally in Fantasy Baseball, you'd start your best players every week regardless of matchups, in those weeks when you do need a fill-in, whether because of injuries or the total collapse of a trusted starter, Scott White is here to help. At each position, he'll reveal which players are "too obvious" for the upcoming week -- the ones you wouldn't consider sitting for anyone off the list -- and then suggest a start and a sit based on a variety of short-term factors.

All stats are updated through Thursday, April 3.

Matt Kemp made his season debut Friday, returning from offseason ankle surgery. The Dodgers were able to find a lineup spot for him right away with Yasiel Puig benched for disciplinary reasons, but going forward, they'll have to figure out a way to fit four outfielders into three spots. Puig is the safest bet for regular at-bats as the youngest, healthiest and (some might say) best of the bunch, but Kemp's two-homer game Sunday buys him the benefit of the doubt for now. I still wouldn't consider him "too obvious" in the outfield, but in most cases, you'll want to start him.

Emilio Bonifacio still doesn't have a position to call his own, but so far, the Cubs have managed to bat him leadoff every day, making him a worthy mixed-league addition for his speed and versatility. The Cubs don't have the most favorable matchups this week, going against some of the best the Pirates and Cardinals have to offer, so no need to rush him into your lineup (unless, of course, speed is a specific need for you).

The Tigers play five games in NL parks this week, which could have an adverse effect on Victor Martinez's playing time. Just something to keep in mind if you have a compelling alternative.

And with that, on to the position-by-position breakdown ...

Catcher

Too obvious: Joe Mauer, Buster Posey, Carlos Santana, Yadier Molina, Jonathan Lucroy, Wilin Rosario, Brian McCann, Matt Wieters, Salvador Perez

Scott's sleepers for Week 2
Player Own/Start %
1. Anthony Rendon, 2B, WAS 74/49
2. Brandon Moss, 1B, OAK 84/61
3. Aramis Ramirez, 3B, MIL 86/66
4. Brian Dozier, 2B, MIN 87/59
5. Yan Gomes, C, CLE 84/64
6. Angel Pagan, OF, SF 71/52
7. Adam LaRoche, 1B, WAS 62/42
8. Alejandro De Aza, OF, CHW 62/43
9. Norichika Aoki, OF, KC 74/47
10. Dexter Fowler, OF, HOU 60/34

Start: Yan Gomes, Indians
Though his breakthrough performance last year should have probably made him a hotter commodity on Draft Day, Gomes was a victim of the numbers at a surprisingly deep position. But that just makes him more available for a week such as this one, when the Indians are one of just five teams playing seven games, including five against left-handed pitchers. Gomes was at his best against lefties last year, hitting .327 with a .934 OPS.
Instead of: Evan Gattis, Jason Castro, Mike Zunino

Sit: Devin Mesoraco, Reds
Mesoraco is poised to return in Fantasy Week 2 (April 7-13) after missing the start of the season with a strained oblique and is one of this season's more notable breakout candidates as a former top prospect finally getting a chance to play every day. But he figures to be rusty after missing most of spring training with the injury and won't get any favors from the opposition. In six games, the Reds are scheduled to face Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller, David Price, Alex Cobb and Matt Moore.
Instead of: Mike Zunino, Dioner Navarro

First base

Five Best Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. White Sox @COL3, CLE4
2. Astros LAA1, @TOR3, @TEX3
3. Giants ARI3, COL3
4. Blue Jays HOU3, @BAL3
5. Indians SD3, @CHW4

Too obvious: Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion, Chris Davis, Prince Fielder, Freddie Freeman, Albert Pujols, Eric Hosmer, Buster Posey, Allen Craig, Carlos Santana, Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Trumbo, Matt Adams, Jose Abreu

Start: Brandon Belt, Giants
At 74 percent, Belt is started in too many leagues to qualify as one of my top 10 sleepers for this week (see table), but given the type of start he's had, 74 percent still isn't enough. True, after beginning the year on the road, he returns home this week, where he's had a harder time hitting home runs in the past, but the Giants' matchups are among the best of any team. In six games, the best pitcher they face is Bronson Arroyo. David Ortiz owners get a pass since he obviously has to occupy their utlity spot, but the rest can make room for what may be one of this season's biggest breakout players.
Instead of: Anthony Rizzo, Mike Napoli

Sit: Justin Smoak, Mariners
Speaking of breakout players, Smoak has the look of one himself, collecting four hits, including two homers, in his first four games. But unlike the Giants, the Mariners don't have especially favorable matchups this week, in part because they're one of two teams playing just five games. Plus, three of those games are against left-handed pitchers. Smoak had a .548 OPS against lefties last year compared to .839 against righties.
Instead of: Brandon Moss, Adam LaRoche

Second base

Too obvious: Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Jason Kipnis, Matt Carpenter, Ian Kinsler, Martin Prado, Ben Zobrist, Aaron Hill, Jose Altuve

Start: Anthony Rendon, Nationals
For as much upside as Rendon offers -- enough to put him in the discussion for the first pick in the 2011 draft before an injury late in his college career -- he's lacking hype in Fantasy. Especially with the kind of start he's had, he should be a priority play in a week he's scheduled to face Henderson Alvarez, Justin Turner, Tom Koehler and Aaron Harang. Granted, it's a deep position, but knowing his upside, he appears poised to distinguish himself from some of the fringier types at second base.
Instead of: Brandon Phillips, Daniel Murphy, Dustin Ackley

Sit: Jedd Gyorko, Padres
Gyorko has the upside to distinguish himself from the fringier second basemen as well, but unlike Anthony Rendon, he's gotten off on the wrong foot. His power potential is such that you may never want to risk benching him in a Rotisserie league, but his lack of plate discipline could make him frustratingly streaky, as he showed as a rookie. Plus, the Padres' matchups are among the toughest this week. They face pitchers like Corey Kluber, Danny Salazar, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.
Instead of: Chase Utley, Brian Dozier, Rendon

Third base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Adrian Beltre, Evan Longoria, Matt Carpenter, Josh Donaldson, Ryan Zimmerman, Martin Prado, Kyle Seager, Pedro Alvarez

Start: Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
As a 36-year-old coming off a down year, Ramirez fell in Fantasy drafts, but a closer look at that down year reveals it was mostly the result of him playing through knee injuries (yes, multiple) through the first 4 1/2 months. Over the last 1 1/2, he hit .301 with seven homers and a .916 OPS, looking as studly as ever. By all accounts, he's healthy now and is off to a great start for the Brewers. At a weak position, you should take advantage while you can.
Instead of: Chase Headley, Todd Frazier

Sit: Nolan Arenado, Rockies
At 22 and beginning his first full big-league season, Arenado has legitimate breakout potential, but he's off to a slow start and doesn't have the best matchups for righting the ship this week, facing Jose Quintana, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain and Tim Hudson, among others. If you play in such a deep league that he's your only real choice at third base, no need to force anything, but for this week, he's the least advisable of the position's many unproven, high-upside types.
Instead of: Mike Moustakas, Will Middlebrooks

Shortstop

Five Worst Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Reds @STL3, TB3
2. Padres @CLE3, DET3
3. Tigers @LAD2, @SD3
4. Cubs PIT3, @STL3
5. Rockies CHW3, @SF3

Too obvious: Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Jean Segura, Ian Desmond, Ben Zobrist, Elvis Andrus, Everth Cabrera, Brad Miller

Start: Alexei Ramirez, White Sox
Ramirez's career-high 30 stolen bases last year seemed like an outlier for a middle infielder in his early 30s, but so far this season, he already has two. He has also performed well at the plate, taking advantage of the White Sox's favorable matchups to begin the year. Those favorable matchups continue this week, with pitchers like Jordan Lyles, Franklin Morales, Juan Nicasio, Carlos Carrasco and Zach McAllister on tap.
Instead of: Jimmy Rollins, Jhonny Peralta

Sit: Dee Gordon, Dodgers
Gordon has gotten off to an encouraging start, showing he might hit enough to take advantage of his blinding speed. But manager Don Mattingly hasn't settled on him as an everyday player yet, sitting him for the Dodgers' one game against a left-hander so far. They face only one lefty this week, but considering they play only five games, that could mean only four starts for Gordon. And two of them would be against Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez.
Instead of: Erick Aybar, Chris Owings

Outfield

Too obvious: Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Ryan Braun, Adam Jones, Bryce Harper, Jose Bautista, Shin-Soo Choo, Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Gomez, Matt Holliday, Jay Bruce, Justin Upton, Yasiel Puig, Hunter Pence, Alex Rios, Allen Craig, Mark Trumbo, Jason Heyward, Domonic Brown, Jayson Werth, Wil Myers, Starling Marte, Ben Zobrist, Martin Prado, Alex Gordon, Yoenis Cespedes, Carlos Beltran, Josh Hamilton, Curtis Granderson, Alfonso Soriano, Desmond Jennings, Nelson Cruz

Start: Angel Pagan, Giants
Like Coco Crisp, Pagan has been an overlooked Fantasy option over the years because of an extensive history, but he's healthy now and raking for the Giants, showing enough extra-base pop for his speed to matter even in Head-to-Head points leagues. He also has favorable matchups against the Diamondbacks and Rockies this week.
Instead of: Kole Calhoun, Brett Gardner, Dexter Fowler

Sit: Billy Hamilton, Reds
Hamilton is one player to consider sitting in favor of Dexter Fowler, at least in Head-to-Head points leagues. In Rotisserie leagues, where you most likely drafted him as your primary source of steals, you wouldn't want to take the chance of missing a boatload if he does suddenly turn things around, but the matchups suggest he won't. Against Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller, David Price, Alex Cobb and Matt Moore, he could be overmatched again.
Instead of: Alejandro De Aza, Lucas Duda, Pagan

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott at @CBSScottWhite .

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Player News
Orioles pitcher Bud Norris not worried about spring struggles
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:37 pm ET) Orioles pitcher Bud Norris had another tough outing Friday, giving up three runs in four innings of work. But Norris, who has allowed 12 earned runs over 11 2/3 innings, isn't concerned just yet, reports MLB.com.

"Every outing I've given up a home run," said Norris, who has allowed five homers in four official spring starts. "But you are trying to work on things, trying to get comfortable out there. We had a great year last year and [now we're] just trying to get the ball rolling again. Different beast, obviously in the regular season and postseason."

Manager Buck Showalter noted his command has been off.

"Command has not been very good, as good as he's capable of," Showalter said. "He's an athletic guy, can throw it where he wants to most of the time. He hasn't been very consistent with that yet. He's crisp with most things, just not [with the] consistency of command."


Yankees pitcher Scott Baker to throw Wednesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:29 pm ET) Yankees pitcher Scott Baker is expected to throw Wednesday after having his scheduled start rained out Thursday, reports the Journal News.

"We wanted (Baker) to go long," manager Joe Girardi said. "I called him in before that (last) inning and I said, 'We're going to wait, because we don’t want you to go just an inning or a half an inning and all of a sudden it starts pouring and they call the game.' So he'll start tomorrow."


Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda tosses five strikeouts in outing Friday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:13 pm ET) Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda threw five scoreless innings Friday against the Phillies with five strikeouts and five hits allowed. 

Pineda, who has a 1.32 ERA so far this spring, did not allow more than a single to any hitter in his appearance.


Drew Storen returns to mound for Nationals
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5:09 pm ET) Drew Storen pitched one inning in the Nationals' game on Friday, returning to the mound for the first time since having hand surgery on March 13.

Storen had surgery on his left, non-throwing, hand to remove a hook on the hamate bone. He has been throwing bullpens and making minor league appearances to prepare for the game back, per Jamal Collier of MLB.com.

Storen pitched one inning, allowing one hit and one walk.


Denard Span takes swings for Nationals
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5:06 pm ET) Nationals outfielder Denard Span was able to swing a back for the first time since abdominal surgery on March 9. 

Span had a procedure to fix a small tear in his right abdomen. 

Span was able to swing a fungo bat in the batting cage, per MLB.com's Jamal Collier.

"It's good progress," manager Matt Williams said. "It's part of the rehab progression. Of course, yeah, we want him back as quickly as possible, keeping in mind that he's just coming off of surgery. So any time you have to go in there, you have to take time to get well again. But yeah, it's encouraging."


Nationals' Anthony Rendon tests knee with lateral movement
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5:04 pm ET) Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon tested his knee by running in the outfield on Friday. Rendon has been out with a sprained left knee since March 9. He can run straight ahead, but in his Friday workout, he tested the knee with lateral movement, per MLB.com's Jamal Collier. 

Rendon still hopes to be ready for Opening Day. 


Mookie Betts hits second spring homer for Red Sox
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4:46 pm ET) Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts hit his second home run of the spring, and this one left the ballpark. 

Betts' first homer of the spring was an inside-the-parker in his first game back. On Friday, he hit one the old fashioned way, lining a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left center for a two-run homer.

Betts was two for three on the day and improved his spring average to .487.


Report: Delino DeShields closing in on breaking camp with Rangers
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4:43 pm ET) Rangers outfielder Delino DeShields, a Rule 5 draft choice, is nearing a spot on the Opening Day roster, according to the Dallas Morning News. Manager Jeff Banister wouldn't confirm DeShields would break camp with the club, but did reveal that he envisions him as a late-inning speed weapon.

"He has a skill set that can help you win games," Banister said. "If he makes this club and stays with this club, he adds value in winning situations.

"Given the construction of the core guys on our roster, he's unique" Banister said. "I'd hate for us to have a double late in the game and not be able to score from first on the play. I think he has the potential to be a contributor, but there is a ways to go to finalize the roster."

DeShields would be sent back to the Astros if he is not on the Rangers' opening day roster.


Red Sox's Buchholz gives up 12 hits in spring loss Friday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:34 pm ET) Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz had his worst start of the spring during a 4-2 loss Friday against the Braves, which was called after 6 1/2 innings due to rain. Buchholz (2-2) allowed four runs on a spring-worst 12 hits and one walk, while striking out six in five-plus innings.

The Braves did most of their damage against Buchholz during a three-run second inning. Kelly Johnson added a solo home run off Buchholz leading off the sixth inning, which chased the right-hander from the game.

His ERA went from 1.80 to 3.60 in his fourth spring start. Buchholz has allowed eight runs (six earned) in his last two starts.


Rangers release five from minor-league camp
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4:31 pm ET) The Rangers released the following five players from minor-league camp: Right-hander Ryan Bores, outfielder Saquan Johnson, infielder Nick Urbanus, infielder Nick Vickerson, and catcher Fernando Vivili.

 
 
 
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