Okay, okay... I thought I could post this as a comment in the fantasy thread, but apparently I wrote too much. Who me?? So, posting a Fanpost as a gag... I promise I won't keep this up all season - for those OTMers who don't care about Fantasy - as originally intended (or I'll figure out just how short it needs to be to post as a "comment" in our fantasy threads...) but anyway...
Depending on my employment status, this could be a weekly feature throughout the season... or maybe just once a month. However, I wanted to have a little fun and post a ridiculously premature "Hot" and "Cold" list for all my fellow OTMers. Today's column is the "Sell High"... stay tuned tomorrow for my "Buy Low" list! Without further ado:
Sell High is for guys that have started hot, and are unlikely to sustain this level of success (in my opinion only... some of you may believe in the guys I've listed here, but I'm saying today is the day to "sell high" on them), in order of probability of sustaining success. The guy at the top of the list is one you should sell now, and the guy at the bottom is one you might hold onto for a week or so, just to make sure his hot start isn't a breakout MVP campaign.
#1 Gerardo Parra: Parra went undrafted in most leagues, with the second to last pick in OTM1 (#367) and drafted at #463 in OTMD, he is the first guy to sell high. After posting a whopping 7 points in the first game of the season, he's on pace for 1134 points this year, which is fantastic for a late round draft pick or waiver wire scrub. Quickly find someone in your league willing to send you a package of Jason Heyward, Jon Lester and Jason Grilli. Do it now, before your fellow managers realize that level of success is just unsustainable (especially once Adam Eaton comes off the DL and Parra is struggling to find playing time.)
#2 Collin Cowgill: Cowgill went completely undrafted across the OTM leagues, so you may have a little harder time convincing your fellow manager to buy him now. However, that grand slam he hit yesterday has quickly seen him scooped up in every league (though, some managers scooped him up, and then waived him right away for some other flavor of the week player). On pace to score 1782 points this season, you should be able to get first round keeper talent back for this future superstar. Ask for someone like Mike Trout or Giancarlo Stanton (both off to disappointing starts this year), and don't settle for anything less than Jacoby Ellsbury.
#3 Jhoulys Chacin: Another player drafted in only the deepest of OTM leagues, his average draft position was #378. After yesterday's gem, however, he's on pace to score a monster 540 points this season, and should allow you to net a true #1 (you know, a guy not pitching for the Colorado Rockies) like Justin Verlander or David Price.
#4 Erik Bedard: A surprising new closer candidate, Bedard got the save in Houston's opening day romp over the Texas Rangers. He went undrafted in some leagues, but had an ADP of 386 in the leagues he was drafted in. On pace for 450 points, which is unheard of from a closer, he should be sold quickly to the highest bidder. Look for a Houston Street, Tom Wilhelmsen or maybe even Joel Hanrahan. Even the Astros are going to win games (and after the opener, it looks like they may win a ton), and Bedard will get plenty of save opportunities the rest of the way. Let someone else play for his upside, and be sure you get an established closer (or two) in return.
#5 Norichika Aoki: I'm not sure what Aoki is going to have to do to earn some respect around fantasy leagues, but after posting 423 points last season, he saw an ADP of only 225 this year in the OTM leagues. That said, his start to 2013 is a blistering pace, with a HR in his first game and on track to post 1215 points in 2013. Sell high on this future HOF RF at your own risk... be sure you're getting top dollar back for him. You know, a Jason Heyward, Justin Upton or Giancarlo Stanton type.
#6 A two-fer at second base: Chase Utley and Dan Uggla. Okay, Utley is obviously miles ahead of Uggla in terms of production, but I've lumped the two second baseman together due to their similar average draft positions in the OTM leagues (Utley: 160 and Uggla: 164). Both have far surpassed that draft position, posting Top 10 hitters points to start the season. Utley's #1 overall, on pace for more than 2100 points. The sky is the limit for this scarce position: Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout sounds like a good starting point. Uggla's 1200 point pacing is a little more modest, but look for a return of something like Albert Pujols and David Wright for that kind of production at second base.
#7 Yonder Alonso: Apparently, moving the fences in for young Alonso really does agree with him. The spray charts showed that he might double his 2012 HR total, and he's already started exploiting the closer fences. Wait, he was playing in cavernous CitiField? Oh wow... then maybe I should move him up this list. Alonso had an ADP of #228, so if you grabbed him, congrats on winning the lottery! Currently qualified at 1B, this young slugger has tremendous upside and is on pace for 972 points this year. If you aren't confident in him keeping this pace up, you should look to acquire another young stud first baseman like Paul Goldschmidt or Billy Butler, or perhaps a more established player like Edwin Encarnacion or Adrian Gonzalez.
#8 Jeff Samardzija: How would you like a SP on pace for 1000 points this year? What if you could have drafted him around pick #126? Okay, Jeff falls just short of 1000, tracking to put up 915 points on his way to a runaway with the NL Cy Young. Or at least a two headed race with Clayton Kershaw. Today is a great day to try to capitalize on that dominant performance, and either spread your risk around by grabbing a pair of young stud pitchers (say, Mat Latos and Johnny Cueto), or swap him straight up for an ace you expect to bounce back from a lackluster opening day: Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver or the like.
#9 Rafael Soriano: While some of you may have lucked into Houston's new closer Erik Bedard, others may have found a real gem in the former MFY's transition to Washington. Obviously, the NL agrees with Mr. Soriano, putting him in position to post a 630 point season from the closer position. Drafted, on average, around pick #119, this is a great opportunity to cash in on the market inefficiency prevalent throughout baseball - too much emphasis and value paid in trade for a closer. Soriano got a mega-contract for the Nationals, so you know he's going to be their closer... but SP is much more likely to put up those points consistently. Look for a nice #1/#2 like James Shields, Madison Bumgarner or Zach Greinke in return.
#10 Bryce Harper: I know, I know. How can this be a sell high? Harper was kept in all three OTM leagues, and drafted #5 overall in the OTM Dynasty format. What could you possibly sell Bryce Harper high for? Well, his start to the season is #2 overall behind only Chase Utley. His two HR performance to start the year (both solo shots, unfortunately, or he'd be on an even more torrid pace) puts him on track for just under 2000 points. Now, you could hold onto him... there's already been discussion across baseball of the potential for an MVP season in his second year in the Majors (much like our very own Dustin Pedroia a few years ago). However, I think it's time to sell high. He'll never have more value than he has right now, so you could trade him straight across for last year's rookie phenom MVP candidate in Mike Trout (who will be eligible in the shallow CF for much longer than Harper), or for a package of established talent and young studs, like Josh Hamilton and Wil Myers or Andrew McCutchen and Oscar Taveras. That way, you get a player this year who will score close to Harper's gaudy numbers, but also a star in the making for the future of your franchise.
Bonus Sell High - Jackie Bradley Jr. : JBJ burst onto the scene in Boston's opening day domination of the Yankees, and posted impressive points in his debut, on pace for just under 900 points this season. And he did all of that without even getting a hit! Now is a perfect time to capitalize on that reach you made in the draft (his ADP was #117, ahead of studs like Utley/Uggla, ace pitchers like Samardzija and even super-closer Rafael Soriano), and sell him. Yes, he made a spectacular spinning catch in LF yesterday, so Sox fans have fallen even deeper in love with him... but fantasy doesn't give you points for spectacular catches. There is very little doubt that JBJ cannot continue to score points without even getting a hit, not to mention the inevitable demotion back to Pawtucket, so the Red Sox can manage his arbitration clock, and keep him in the hometown colors through 2019. Find the biggest homer in your league (OTM2 is exempt, since Rick already owns JBJ) and flip him right away for either an ace starter like Matt Cain or Ian Kennedy.