Weekly Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: Is Dioner Navarro a Must Start?
Week 3 of the fantasy baseball season is already here, with the baseball world just starting to hit its stride. Another week of injuries, poor performances and tough matchups open the door once again for some not-so-usual suspects to do big things. Here’s a look at four under-the-radar players poised for a big week.
Dioner Navarro - C, Toronto Blue Jays
After an above-average year with the Chicago Cubs in 2013, there was much speculation about Navarro’s ability as an everyday player. After a slow start to the season, Navarro is starting to adjust to his new league and division, as he went 5 for 15 with four doubles over his last four games. With matchups against the likes of Phil Hughes, Mike Pelfrey and Kyle Gibson this week, Navarro is a great option in two-catcher leagues, and will likely be dirt cheap throughout the week on daily sites, which makes him a great value if you’re looking to spend big at other positions.
Sean Doolittle - RP, Oakland Athletics
Hey, look, the first pitcher I’ve written about! I’m a big proponent of streaming pitchers, so I generally don’t write about them much, but it’s hard to overlook Doolittle this week. The A’s manager Bob Melvin has removed newly-acquired closer Jim Johnson from the role, leaving it open to a “committee approach.” Doolittle has been lights out for the A’s so far, striking out six of the 24 batters he’s faced in 6.7 IP, with an ERA of 1.35 and an impressive 0.60 WHIP. Doolittle gets to go up against the Los Angeles Angels and their .251 team batting average, as well as the Houston Astros' league-worst .189, so it’s safe to say he’s in line for a big week.
Dustin Ackley - UTL, Seattle Mariners
Ackley is a fantasy owner’s dream this season, due to his eligibility at multiple positions in the outfield and infield (even though he plays almost exclusively in the outfield), which makes him a great option to shift around your lineup as tough matchups and off days occur. Ackley has been playing well to start the season, but really picked it up in his last two games, going 5 for 8 with two doubles, raising his batting average to .308. Despite being owned in 76% of leagues, Ackley was started in just 52% of them last week, leaving a lot of potential points on the bench. Don’t sleep on him though, with favorable matchups against the Texas Rangers and Miami Marlins this week, as well as an impressive 1.98 nERD and 2.65 Fantasy Score; he’s quite likely to stay hot.
Norichika Aoki - OF, Kansas City Royals
Aoki was one of - if not the - best, leadoff hitters in the game last season, so it’s surprising to me he’s owned in just 79.7% of leagues. After a less-than-desirable 0 for 9 start, Aoki has found his form, going 10-20 with two doubles, two triples and a stolen base in his last five games. Don’t let the 0.34 nERD (137th ranked) and -1.61 fantasy score (259th) fool you, as his numbers are clearly on the rise. He faces the Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins this week, with very favorable matchups against Lucas Harrell, Dallas Keuchel, Scott Feldman, Ricky Nolasco and Kevin COrreia. Aoki is a must start all week.