Though there was a considerable amount of unhappy news for fantasy owners from impact players last week, there was still happy news from a couple of unlikely sources. But whose gains are here to stay?
It's tough to argue with this week's drops—Kendrys Morales is out for at least six months thanks to surgery to remove scar tissue from his foot, Chris Young elected to have surgery to repair the shoulder that has knocked him out three years running, and Dallas Braden is having a similar procedure done on his own noodle. Nick Hundley is next up for most drops in the past week, but let's think about this for a moment: He is a catcher who can avoid embarrassing himself at the plate, and there are not nearly enough of those. You don't want to cut him because he will be out for a few weeks. As for the most popular adds of the week…
Homer Bailey, Cincinnati Reds (63 percent owned, +29 percent)
Bailey is the kind of pitcher who, by year's end, will be in the 90s for ownership in mixed leagues. That seems odd to say for a hurler with a career ERA of 4.91, but there are some extenuating circumstances that have made people forget just how good Bailey is supposed to be.
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Welcome Eric Hosmer to the bigs, say no to a certain National, and multiple ways to replace your gimpy third baseman
The top five players added this week are all ones we haven't seen in this space before, and they combine for a diverse set of skills. The most-dropped players are once again an obvious set: Matt Harrison, who (predictably) stinks again, tops the list, and he is followed by players such as David Freese (surgery), Travis Wood (bumped from a job), and Chris Narveson (gravity). You can make the case for keeping Narveson in NL-only leagues due to his strikeouts, but otherwise, let him walk.
Mike Aviles, Kansas City Royals (75 percent owned, +32 percent)
Aviles has third base eligibility and has hit well as of late—with the bottom falling out of the third base market due to injuries in the past week-plus, it's no wonder he has seen a significant uptick in ownership.
Madson has struck out 9.9 batters per nine with a 4.1 K/BB ratio since 2009 (140 1/3 innings pitched), has a 2.95 Run Average in that stretch, and has even finished 52 games without the world ending, so instead of asking yourself if you should acquire him until Lidge comes back, you should be asking why Charlie Manuel waited this long to give him the gig in the first place. Based on the way he uses relievers—did I mention Danys Baez is involved?—it's probably not because he prefers Madson in a relief ace role.
If Jed Lowrie is already snapped up in your league, here are some other names who could help, and some that won't.
If you have been paying any attention at all, the most added player of the week should be obvious. In fact, you may be missing your opportunity to add him just by taking the time to read this. Once again, the adds outweigh the drops, though Joe Nathan and Ryan Franklin, without save opportunities, deserve to be cut loose, at least in the short term.
Justin Masterson and Willie Bloomquist are still who they always were, but there are a handful of early-season gems worth grabbing.
We are hitting the point in the season where some drops are starting to come in large doses: Manny Ramirez's retirement caused him to be dropped in 66 percent of leagues (though, for some reason, 13 percent of leagues still have him), Rafael Furcal's injury forced 22 percent of owners to make a cut, and Daisuke Matsuzaka, despite still having a job, was cut by 17 percent of owners who are as tired of watching him pitch as I am. I can't argue with any of those moves, so let's once again focus on the happier side of things and talk about the most-added players.