A season that started wacky has not yet regained any normalcy. Almost every closer not named Javy Guerra has been an adventure and a 4th top-15 closer ("The Beard" joins Madson, Soria and Bailey) is out for the year. Albert Pujols has not hit a home run and Tim Lincecum, Zack Greinke and Adam Wainwright have suffered through blowups usually reserved for the Bronson Arroyos of the world. All of this merely tells us that it is still early. Make sure not to panic and then simultaneously hope that people in your league do panic. I did not have any panic moves in any of my NFBC Leagues as of yet, which is a tad disappointing. One thing is for sure though; it's time for these slumping guys to get going!
As we move on to Week 3 of the Head2Head season, we have a very odd week before us. Most of the teams that we like to play home splits with are spending a majority of Week 3 on the road, including Texas, Colorado, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and the White Sox. The Yankees are also on the road for 5 of their 7 games, but present an interesting option with their road games in Boston and Texas. Among teams with fortuitous schedules are Milwaukee and Arizona, who both play seven games at home. No one has a five-game week, which is very nice, as we will not have to automatically avoid anyone.
As for Week 2, it has gone well, but not exceptionally well. As of Sunday night, I hold about a 45-point lead in my matchup, but there are 4-5 teams ahead of me in overall points in my league, which is not what I am looking for. There are still two days of games left, but I am not especially pleased with my Week 2 output. Let's see how Week 3 shapes up.
Catcher: Matt Wieters has been a disappointment in Week 2 with only six points so far. I am leaning towards swapping him out for Miguel Montero this week for the seven-game home Arizona week. It may be a lateral talent swap, but Montero is solid, well-priced and plays in a very nice home park. He may be someone that can be played in multiple week stretches. Another nice option this week is Yadier Molina with seven games. I like Montero a bit more due to his higher power ceiling, but Yadi has been flat killing it.
First Base: After putting my love on display for Eric Hosmer, he has had a fairly quiet Week 2. He has been ok this week, but nothing special. I am leaning towards keeping him in there another week to save a move and hopefully be on board when he gets hot again. He only has six games, but doesn't really face any pitchers I am worried about except Ricky Romero. Mark Teixeira is an interesting play this week with the nice schedule of games as is Paul Goldschmidt if you want to save some cap and bet that Goldy breaks out of his early funk.
Second Base: I am excellent at mixing metaphors and once told a friend that we would tackle that bridge when we got there. So I will just say that Ian Kinsler falls into the category of if it ain't broke, don't fix it (did I actually do that right?). Kinsler is killing it this year and I am going to leave him this week for seven games, even though five are on the road. I love the way he looks, he is not THAT pricey and it saves me a move. If one was to swap in a 2B this week, Robinson Cano is a great call on the high end and it feels like he has to get white-hot soon and if you wanted to go cheaper than Cano, Aaron Hill could be a nice play. Two other names to consider this week are Rickie Weeks with seven home games or perhaps "His Name is Dan Uggla" with seven games if you think he finally gets hot.
Third Base: Adrian Beltre has been ok for me this week, but not great. I will likely just leave him in there with 7 games as his price provides good value, even with five road games. If you want to play great schedules this week, both Alex Rodriguez and Aramis Ramirez are excellent seven-game plays at 3B this week.
Shortstop: Seven-game home version of Troy Tulowitzki has not been quite as explosive as I hoped for and he has just been ok this week, but the joy of all home weeks in Colorado is even when they don't go off, they still do pretty darn well. He still has a couple of games left to explode, but I will definitely be swapping him out this week at his price. The choices that jump out this week are Starlin Castro and Derek Jeter with nice seven-game schedules. Castro has been very solid to start 2012 and Jeter appears to have turned back the clock, at least early this year. Neither guy is cheap, but this is a spot that it is tough to find value so far. I'm going to play some schedule and go with Jeets.
Outfield: The OF has been a mixed bag so far in Week 2. The two Rockies with full home schedules are both over 20 points for the week, but unfortunately, Carlos Gonzalez has been suffering from strep throat and has missed the last three games. Fowler hasn't really gone off, but 22 points so far at his tag will work just fine. We will be back for more Dex when the Rockies have more home weeks. Cameron Maybin has been less than exciting this week, but at $5 million, he is there for cap relief and hopefully helps our scoring at the same time. I will leave Cam in, but swap out both the Rockies.
In one spot, I am going to definitely play the red hot Chris Young with seven games in the desert. He is priced well at $7.9 and we don't have to worry about his batting downside in this game nearly as much. Andre Ethier has seven games and is not too expensive, but I decided to pass after seeing he faced lefties in four of his seven games. At the other spot, I am going to save some more cap (instead of going with Justin Upton for his seven since he is battling a sore thumb) and go with Corey Hart, who has started hot and has seven home games.
Flex: Andrew McCutchen has been a huge letdown with a total of 10 points through five games. He has been a huge waste of a big cap number and we will be swapping him out for Week 3. In his spot, I am going to slide in Nick Swisher for the Yankees schedule we have detailed above. I like the Yankees to break out on offense this week and Swisher is a nice price here at $8.8 in the middle of that Yankees lineup.
Pitching: The Giants have been a solid play this period even with the huge egg laid by Tim Lincecum in their first game of the week. They are up to 38 points on the week (through Sunday) with Lincecum and Bumgarner starts still left, so it appears that they were an excellent value at under $20 this week. As for Week 3, it is going to be very difficult to get away from the Phillies this week. Using them not only gets you Cliff Lee twice, but also gets you 4 games at Petco against the anemic Padres offense. You think Hamels and Doc can deal in Petco a little? Yikes. You may have noticed I went cheap in the OF this week and the reason is that I am taking the leap and using the Phillies at $25. I don't plan on using them often this season, but the schedule this week as well as 2 games from Cliff Lee really calls for it. If you don't want to commit that much money on your pitching staff, a few really good cheaper options this week are Milwaukee at $20.5 with seven games and two Zack Greinke starts, and the Cardinals at $21.9 with seven games and two starts from Garcia and Wainwright. If you want to go even cheaper, I think the White Sox are a very sneaky play this week with seven games and opponents with weak offenses in Baltimore, Seattle and Oakland, with the latter two on the road in a great pitcher's park. You also get two starts each from Peavy and Gavin Floyd who both threw gems last time out. They are the best cheap option this week among the pitching staffs.
In summary, here is my team this week:
C: Miguel Montero ($8.3)
1B: Eric Hosmer ($9.0)
2B: Ian Kinsler ($9.0)
3B: Adrian Beltre ($9.0)
SS: Derek Jeter ($9.0)
OF: Chris Young ($7.9)
OF: Corey Hart ($9.0)
OF: Cameron Maybin ($5.0)
Flex: Nick Swisher ($8.8)
P: Philadelphia Phillies ($25)
Total: $100 on the nose (That has to be bad luck right?)
Good luck to everyone in Week 3, as always feel free to hit me on Twitter @ScottJenstad with anything.