As we’ve discussed a few times already this year, knowing when to officially cut bait seems to be a lost art form in the fantasy world. All too often, owners hold onto a sell-high candidate for too long and by the time they get around to shopping him, he’s in the midst of an expected slump and every owner declines to deal because they know you’re going to drop the guy soon enough anyway. Either that or you’ve senselessly fallen in love with the hot start and your false hope causes you to endure weeks of 0-for’s, foolishly thinking he’s going to get back to that early-season dreamland where you first met. Whatever the case may be, it’s important for you to recognize when it’s time to say goodbye to a player as your team will only suffer each and every year until you do. So to help with your fantasy regularity, here’s a few players you should consider dumping to lighten your load.
Daniel Nava, OF BOS — It’s hard not to love what a waiver acquisition like Nava has done for you thus far. His .296 average with five home runs, 21 RBI, and a .905 OPS have been awesome for those who needed someone to fill in for either a slumping or hurt outfielder. But if history has anything to say about it, the time to dump Nava is now. Last season, through his first 38 games, Nava was batting .339 with a .969 OPS only to finish with a .243 average and .742 OPS just 50 games later. His play at Triple-A the year before that didn’t even warrant a call-up and in 2010, his debut season, he was batting .312 with a .890 OPS through his first 23 games and finished with a .242 average and a .711 OPS. He’s 30-years old, so it’s not like we’re talking about some youngster just learning the ropes. His contact and swing rates all jibe with what he’s done in previous years, so it might be safe to assume that his line drive rate will eventually head south and start to kill his productivity. The time to trade him is now.
John Buck, C NYM — Well, well well. Look who’s anticipated decline is right on schedule. His second-inning single Thursday snapped an 0-for-14 streak at the plate and by the end of the game he was a whopping 1-for his last 17 at-bats. You can appreciate that nine home run, 25 RBI performance in April, but since it’s highly unlikely that you get anything of value for him in a trade, you should be scouring the waiver wire for some immediate help. There are probably a few decent backstops sitting out there who will give you more moving forward than Buck will, so don’t sit there and let him drag your average down any further than his current .214 May performance already has. Both his strikeout rate and GB/FB have taken significant increases over the last half-dozen games and while his fluffers will shout “small sample size,” you know the truth. And that truth is that he’s done like dinner.
Melky Cabrera, OF TOR — This could be the most satisfying dump for you all season long. Those who are married and have kids can tell you that kicking Melky to the curb right now would be the fantasy equivalent of having the house all to yourself, giving you the opportunity to sit peacefully with your favorite magazine until your legs start to go numb. His move to hitter-friendly Toronto has done nothing for his offensive totals and he is right back to where he was before his “career year” in Kansas City. Are we still going to turn a blind eye and say that there is no clear evidence that PEDs boost a player’s performance on the field? There is nothing in his batted ball data that says this is just a temporary slump, so if he’s sitting on your roster right now, you’re in serious need of a fantasy bowel movement.
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