FANFOOD Rule #17: Don’t give up on a Player


The old saying, “Fish or cut bait” doesn’t really apply to fantasy baseball. Early on, you neither have to fish nor do you have to cut bait. I don’t have to tell you that baseball players go through hot and cold streaks throughout the year, some just start cold. If your league has bench spots, use them for the ketchup players (ones that come out slow). If you drafted a player in the early rounds and he starts the season sucking wind, don’t be that manager that just drops him for a hot player, trust your projections and hold on. This doesn’t mean you have to start him (fish) every day, you just have to have patience, It’s April.


So when do you decide to cut bait?

You can gain a tremendous advantage from being ahead of the curve and moving on. However, you also can really shoot yourself in the foot by giving up too early.

Obviously in dynasty leagues where you keep your entire roster, you have to ride it out. But in deep keeper leagues or re-draft leagues it’s different. Start by looking at what your team is and what your goals are for the year. If you truly have a shot at a title, and you have a young guy with upside who just isn’t pulling his weight, I wouldn’t cut bait and release him, but you have to seriously think about dealing him for a more proven player.

You have to hold onto someone who has true ace potential, or 5-tool talent. On the other hand someone who likely is capped at a SP3, or at 3rd tier OF as their ceiling, you don’t lose as badly if you cut bait.


Things to keep in mind…

Rookie Pitchers & Catchers – They take longer to progress, and are more volatile. They are prone to higher highs and lower lows. Rookie catchers need full-time work. For example, look at Matt Wieters. Everyone thought he was the next big thing when he was called up, but actually, it took 3+ years for him to develop to near-peak. The following metrics can help you make the decision to drop the rookie.

  • Contact Rates
  • BB/K ratios
  • O-swing
  • Pitch Count
  • Pitch Speed (mph)

Beware of MLB teams that rush players way too quickly – This will often set the player up for failure. For example, Trevor Bauer had clear command issues in AAA, and while many hoped he would be lights out – the fact he couldn’t control BB’s in AAA did clearly signal there was risk in 2012.

Rebuilding – I know it is very early to talk about calling this year a rebuilding one, but if you are in a dynasty league or a deep keeper league, the opportunity cost is usually quite low in holding on to your young talent. The real issue is if you are contending. If you can hold on to your dynasty gold who is struggling, great., but perhaps instead of holding on to ALL your dynasty assets, identify the core you can’t bear to watch go nuts on another team and then be ready to maximize your win-now chances with a rebuilder who will pay near-full value for a future talent. The worst mistake rebuilders make is selling low on young talent out of sheer frustration.

The bottom line is that you have to have patience. Trust your projections and don’t panic. You can’t win your league in April, but you sure can lose it if you help your competition by dropping the wrong player. You have plenty of options in this game, don’t give up!




Honey Grilled Sweet Potatoes


Grilling Sweet Potatoes is just like grilling regular potatoes. You want to cut the sweet potatoes into small pieces, maybe quarters cut lengthwise. You then want to brush the pieces with olive oil and then grill over a medium to high heat until they brown on the outside and can be easily pierced with a fork. You can marinate the sweet potatoes in an oil and herb mixture to add additional flavors or you can top them with a light dressing after they are cooked. A great way to get the flavor on the sweet potatoes and to keep them from drying out is to baste them with a nice sauce, like a butter, lime and tequila mixture. These grilled sweet potatoes are so good you’ll want to cook them all year round. They are also incredibly easy to make! Just remember to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.


1 pound sweet potatoes
1/4 cup honey
1/4 butter



Preheat grill. Clean sweet potatoes, cutting off any bad spots.

Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Place on medium hot grill and cook for about 8-10 minutes on one side.

Soften butter and mix with honey.

Spread mixture over slices and turn. Continue grilling about 6-8 minutes. Turn and spread on more honey butter. Continue grilling until honey butter gets all bubbly.



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