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Fantasy baseball: Sell high on these young stars

In the case of fantasy baseball, regression back to the mean always lurks in the shadows.

Yordano Ventura Yordano Ventura has a lot of talent, but it's time to sell high on him this season.
Credit: Getty Images

We form emotional bonds with players who carry our fantasy teams. That’s why it’s so hard to pull the trigger on a “sell high” kind of deal.

But in the case of fantasy baseball, regression back to the mean always lurks in the shadows. Breaking up with the players we know will eventually stab us in the heart is key to sustaining season-long success.

Some white-hot guys to sell high on as soon as possible:

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Ace Ventura

One day, Royals starter Yordano “Ace” Ventura will be an annual All-Star. His stuff is that good. But right now, he is a 180-pound, 22-year-old kid who is going to struggle for run support and get coddled by an organization desperate for a front-line starter down the line. Ventura is unlikely to throw more than 180 innings this season, meaning head-to-head owners could be without him in their playoffs. He’s also not going to sustain his current 2.00 ERA while struggling with command (11 walks in last five starts).

Power packed

Through Tuesday’s action, White Sox import Jose Abreu had 12 homers in 134 at-bats — a ratio of one homer for every 11 at-bats. It’s an unsustainable rate, especially once opposing pitchers get a read on the Cuban sensation. Note that Miguel Cabrera’s career home run rate is one per 17.2 at-bats and Ryan Braun’s is 17.4. Even strict power hitters like Adam Dunn (14.7) and Chris Davis (16.5) think the free-swinging Abreu will slow down.

Flash Gordon

With the entire fantasy world starved for stolen bases, we should be able to get a ton for Dee Gordon. His 19 steals are seven more than any player in the league, and he’s also hitting .341 with a .373 OBP. However, Gordon is sporting a .404 BABIP (batting average on balls in play), fifth-best in the league and 80 points above his career average. Once his luck reverts back to normal levels, Gordon won’t be on base enough to win the steals category for you every week.

MLB pickups ...

1. Grant Green, OF/IF, Angels – One of Triple-A’s best hitters this season is now in the bigs and getting regular at-bats all over the diamond.

2. Casey Janssen, RP, Blue Jays – Finally nearing a return from back/oblique issues, Janssen is the long-term favorite for saves in Toronto.

3. Brandon McCarthy, SP, Diamondbacks – He’s 1-5 with a 4.67 ERA overall, but his strikeout rate and velocity are way up.

NFL stock ...

Upgrade these guys based on recent news:

1. Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles – Everyone from coaches to front office to media expect Ertz to be a huge part of the DeSean Jackson replacement plan.

2. Arian Foster, RB, Texans – He is participating fully in OTAs following back surgery and Ben Tate is gone.

3. Cecil Shorts, WR, Jaguars – It’s looking more and more like the Jaguars won’t have Justin Blackmon at all this season.

NFL landing spots ...

Fantasy football is often about situation. But in terms of raw talent, these prospects have the most statistical upside:

1. Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M – He ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at 6-foot-5 and 231 pounds. Think of Vincent Jackson but with more red-zone physicality.

2. Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina – As the league trends toward “12” formations, Ebron fits as a dynamic, athletic pass catcher.

3. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M – We’re always intrigued by quarterbacks who can pile up rushing stats. Johnny Football ran for 2,160 yards and 30 touchdowns in 26 games as an Aggie.

Follow Metro fantasy writer Adam Levitan on Twitter @adamlevitan.

 
 
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