After tossing four hitless innings with seven strikeouts in Wednesday's season debut, taking a speculative flier on Chris Devenski could reward.
The 26-year-old righty was in the rotation conversation this spring, but it appears his best fit is to pitch in the middle innings and high-leverage situations. Many would view it as fantasy downer, but with his duel eligibility as a starter and reliever, there are plenty of formats where he can provide significant value.
In particular, he's a great asset in head-to-head leagues and any setting with daily transactions. There will be plenty of days when you aren't maxed out with starting pitchers scheduled to take the hill, and the ability to slide Devenski into an SP slot allows for contributions from an otherwise idle roster spot.
Banking on seven strikeouts a few times a week is obviously ill-advised, but Devenski is certainly capable of topping up the category while stabilizing your ratios. After all, last season as a rookie, the righty posted a 1.61 ERA, 0.81 WHIP with 83 punchouts over 83 2/3 innings out of the pen. Pitching in high-leverage situations will also provide a shot at the odd win and save.
Devenski's upside mirrors what Andrew Miller and Wade Davis have done in past years, but the 'Stro doesn't need to approach those elite numbers to provide a boost for your virtual club. And who knows, maybe Devenski goes wild. He's been close to unhittable as a reliever.
This recommendation also serves as a reminder to be creative and always on the lookout for players that can help in multiple categories while providing lineup flexibility.