Marry, Bury, Date – Week 1
It’s fitting that in my first attempt to give expert advice,
I turn to a childhood game for inspiration.
And not just any childhood game.
Marry, Bury, Date is a staple of slumber parties and has resulted in
more giggling and bright red faces than a Lou Piniella tirade. Since I’m sure my suggestions will be met
with both disparaging laughter and angry responses, the game seems apropos.
The premise of the game is simple. Three names are thrown out and the
participants must pick which one they would Marry (ie commit to long-term),
Bury (get rid of forever), or Date (could be fun in the short-term). When considering trade offers or waiver wire
pick-ups, fantasy players are faced with these same three decisions all the
time, so in an effort to help aid these choices, I’ll name one player who I
like for the rest of the season, one player who I think could help in the
short-term, and one guy I wouldn’t touch in this space each week.
After I’m done, if you want to whisper to the player that I
“like ’em, like ’em” that’s up to you.
If you do, I look forward to the awkwardness that ensues all the way
through the Junior High Prom. Maybe I’ll
get my courage up and ask them to dance during “Endless Love.”
This week’s picks are below.
Jeff Francouer – Coming off an epically bad season where his
VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) was so low, it’s actually not a stretch to
say the Braves could have had a series of radio contest winners play right field
without their being a significant drop-off, Francouer went undrafted in a
majority of fantasy leagues. One pitch
into this season though, he became one of the hottest pick-ups around and you
can count me among the buyers.
Here is what Francouer has going for him. He’s only 25 yet still has two 100 RBI seasons
under his belt. He had an excellent
spring, where he hit nearly .330 and took more walks then ever. And he can’t get any worse than he was last
year (if he does, there is going to be a run on torches and pitchforks at
stores throughout Atlanta). If you can
get him off the waiver wire or acquire him as a throw-in to a larger trade, you
can slot him into your 4th or 5th outfielder slot and
give your line-up significant upside at a low cost. After he finishes the season with a
25/100/.280 line, you’ll find him on a lot of championship rosters.
Cliff Lee – It isn’t just that he got shelled in his first
start, it’s how bad he looked during it.
The Rangers didn’t appear to be fooled or challenged by a single pitch
as they genuinely teed off on the reigning Cy Young winner. Very few people expect Lee to replicate his
excellent 2008 season, and he won’t always be as bad as he was yesterday
(hopefully), but still. His peripheral
numbers were so lucky last year, they demand a regression and when combining
this statistical certainty with what I saw watching yesterday, I’m completely
staying away from him, unless an impatient owner outright drops him and I can
pick him up for free.
Emilio Bonifacio – The Marlins sparkplug really put on
a show yesterday against his former team, scoring 4 runs and stealing an
eye-popping 3 bases in what was basically a Jose Reyes impersonation. If you need speed, it’s worth picking him up
right now, as early evidence indicates he has a bright green light in Miami. He of course won’t keep up his torrid pace
from yesterday and he has no power, so beware of the trade-offs you’ll make,
but his electric show yesterday makes it worth taking a chance on him if you
have an otherwise dead roster spot.
One interesting strategy may be slotting him in for ARod if
he has 3B eligibility in your league.
You can get a jump in stolen bases at the position and then upon his
return, let ARod’s power numbers balance out Bonifacio’s weakness over the
course of the season. You can then move
Emilio to a speed-needy owner for an upgrade elsewhere. Could be a heck of a return on a guy who is
free to pick up today (though he might not be free tomorrow, so if you are
going to act, act now.)