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Players to Sell in Your Fantasy Baseball Dynasty League (2020)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jan 19, 2020

Jesse Winker’s lack of power is one reason he is a top-sell candidate in dynasty leagues.

When we are evaluating players, it’s a lot easier to identify those who we want on our team, rather than those who we don’t. Because we’ve seen it time and time again. We finally – finally – give up on a player and said player will put together a career year for someone else.

If only we held on for one more day, Wilson Phillips. 

It’s difficult and, honestly, scary to know when to part with a player in a dynasty league, because you don’t want that situation to happen.

Guess what?

It’s going to.

It’s going to happen, just like you’re going to make a bad trade that you wish you could take back. 

You can’t play scared. You can’t play so cautious that you won’t make a move in hopes of improving your roster because you think it might end up being a bad deal.

I traded Eloy Jimenez three years ago for Ryon Healy.

It stings every time I see Eloy’s name, but I’m probably going to make a deal worse than that this year if we are being honest.

In the same league, a year later, I dealt Danny Salazar to a contending team for Vlad Guerrero Jr. 

Things have a way of working themselves out.

Here are some players that I’m looking to deal away in dynasty leagues for various reasons. 

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Jesse Winker (OF – CIN)
It’s not that I don’t like Winker. Oh, the contrary. I really do! Well, I really did for the past couple of years, as I compared him to a young, poor man’s Joey Votto.

But remember the Winker watch that we went through in 2018 where we kept waiting… and waiting… and waiting for Winker to hit a homer? It took him until May 24 to hit one.

So another year seasoned, in a great ballpark, with the ball flying out for everyone, you’d expect more power from Winker, right?

No. 

He hit 16 homers.

Not only was he not hitting for power, but his walk rate substantially dropped, while his groundball rate climbed.

The Reds have a crowded outfield, and with the signing of Shogo Akiyama, Winker could be the odd-man-out unless there’s a great.

See if there are any Winker truthers in your league, and put a package together for him.

Willy Adames (SS – TB)
So, outside of Austin Meadows, if you draft any Rays position player this year you’re going to be pissed. The playing time just isn’t guaranteed for anyone else, and that includes Adames.

Add to it the fact that uber top prospect Wander Franco is cooking in the minors, and Adames won’t hold fantasy value for long. 

He’s young, sure, but what are we really expecting from him? A .250 average with 17 homers? That’s the definition of replacement level. With shortstop being so incredibly deep, if you end up with Adames as your main shortstop in redraft or dynasty, you need to start shopping. 

Aristides Aquino (OF – CIN)
Like Winker, the crowded outfield worries me a bit for Aquino. He was a late Double-A bloomer, who was mashing everything in sight – including once he got the call to the big leagues.

However, for those of you who shifted your focus to football late in the season, you may have missed that pitchers figured Aquino out.

In 27 September and October games, Aquino slashed .196/.236/.382 with a 30.9 K%, 5.5 BB%, and just five home runs. Compare that to his August when he was called up, where he slashed .320/.391/.767 with a 22.6 K%, 8.7 BB%, and 14 home runs.

He was hitting the ball harder in September and October, but he was hitting it on the ground a lot more, as his groundball rate went up from 32.5 to 37.1 percent, dropping his flyball rate from 49.4 to 40 percent.

Pitchers adjusted to Aquino quickly, exploiting the poor plate discipline in his profile. Of the pitches that Aquino saw in September, only 46.9 percent of them were in the strike zone (per FanGraphs).

So maybe it was just a late-season crash, right?

Possibly, but he carried those struggles over to winter league where – in an albeit super small sample, – he struggled.

Aquino slashed just .209/.255/.395 with one homer, seven RBIs, six strikeouts, and three walks in 47 plate appearances.

I’m out on him this year, and I’m OK if that comes back to hurt me.

Shohei Ohtani (UT/SP – LAA)
God, it’s so hard to get a feel for Ohtani’s value. And what makes it even more difficult is that different sites have him eligible at SP and UT, just UT, just SP, or two different players. What’s more is that his value drastically changes in weekly vs. daily lineup leagues.

It’s … a lot.

But, seeing what he’s done as a hitter in 2019, and the glimpses of what he can be as a pitcher in 2018, you’re looking at a first-round player if your league has Ohtani dual-eligible with daily  moves.

That’s, at least, what we think.

How long will this work with Ohtani where he pitches once a week and hits four times per week? Will the Angels eventually say that the best long-term approach is to have Ohtani hit 650 times per year instead?

Or, what’s not really being discussed, is the possibility that Ohtani moves from starter to closer. That would demolish his value in points leagues. His stuff would play up in the ninth inning, but we all know that his command and control weren’t the best in 2018.

I’d like to take the value he earns this year as a starter/hitter and look to flip him at the end of the season if I can. 

Other players to sell

Tyler O’Neill (OF – STL)
The guy just can’t hit a fastball to save his life.

Clint Frazier (OF – NYY)
If he leaves New York, then OK, but will his defense keep him off the field?

Jasson Dominguez (OF – NYY)
I think that Dominguez could be a start, but he’s arguably a top 10 coveted piece in dynasty right now. Try to maximize the return.

Tommy Edman (2B/SS – STL)
He was solid, but it could be another popup Cardinals player whose value sinks.

Zac Gallen (SP – ARI)
Four-plus pitches, but is being treated like a top 30 SP in dynasty. Value may never be higher.

Dylan Carlson (OF – STL)
Better real-life player than fantasy player. Reminds me of Stephen Piscotty.

Josh Bell (1B – PIT)
I’m betting on the career numbers over four hot months in 2019.

Jack Flaherty (SP – STL)
Fantastic pitcher, but we are having recency bias due to his historic second half. He’s more top 20 than top six or seven.

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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