Two weeks into the season, it’s time to look at several players who have performed well but aren’t currently on a fantasy roster.
Hector Neris, RP, Phillies – Neris has appeared in seven games, tossing 6.2 innings without giving up a run. He’s only allowed four base runners while striking out nine. Only three of his seven appearances have been in save situations but he’s turned all three into valuable holds. Four times he’s been summoned in high leverage situations. Neris pitched 40.1 innings last year but had only two save opportunities. In 24 of his 32 appearances in 2015, the Phillies either trailed on the scoreboard or were tied. If he continues to excel Neris will earn more high leverage opportunities but, remember, he pitches for the Phillies so temper your enthusiasm.
Jake Lamb, 3B, Diamondbacks – In 390 plate appearances last year, Lamb produced a .716 OPS, 34 RBI, 38 Runs, 1 Net Stolen Base, and 97 Strikeouts. In 56 plate appearances this season, Lamb has a .884 OPS, 9 RBI, 5 Runs, 1 Net Stolen Base, and 12 Strikeouts. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find some horrifying splits. Last year, his OPS vs RHP was .743 while lefties held him to .541. Lamb is off to a hot start but if he can’t hit lefties his value will be limited.
Jhoulys Chacin, SP, Braves – Chacin was cut from the Rockies in 2014 and floated around the minor leagues last season. He did make four starts for the Diamondbacks before signing with the Braves this spring. Chacin had a 4.63 ERA with Arizona in 2015 and a 4.82 ERA in 11 starts with the Rockies in 2014. Now, do you believe in his 2.38 ERA in two starts with Atlanta to open the season? If Chacin can equal his eight-year career ERA average of 3.74 you have an excellent fifth starter.
Melvin Upton, OF, Padres – After two final miserable years in Atlanta that saw Upton his .184 and .208, the 30-year-old outfielder rebounded last year with San Diego, hitting .259 with a .757 OPS and 17 RBI in 228 plate appearances. Upton is starting in left field this season for the Padres and is off to a good start, hitting .289 with a .822 OPS. He’s driven in five runs and scored seven in his first 13 games. Upton has earned a spot in the heart of the order for the Padres but San Diego’s offense is limited which limits Upton’s upside.