HOWARD'S MONSTER OPENING WEEKEND
Ryan Howard, who has been among the league’s most productive first basemen since his MVP season in 2006, had quite the weekend. Without Jayson Werth and Chase Utley in the lineup many were concerned that he would struggle to drive in and score runs.
Not so fast. In his first three games (13 at-bats) of the season, Howard had seven hits, including a double and a home run, 6 RBI, and 3 runs.
If Howard can stay hot, he could regain his spot as the top fantasy first baseman not named Albert Pujols. Howard was ranked 8th this year, largely because of his diminished power numbers last season and the aforementioned absence of Werth and Utley.
Considering Howard usually doesn't heat up until the weather does, this is a good sign for fantasy owners.
Injuries can cripple your fantasy season. Bring your run at glory to a screeching halt. But don't despair. As I wrote in my fantasy column in today's Inquirer, when you lose a Brad Lidge, there is always a Jose Contreras waiting for you on the waiver wire.
There were a few injuries this weekend, but most of them won't impact you in the long term.
Here is a look at some injured players, and whether or not you should keep them or drop them. Obviously, if you have a DL spot on your roster, you can keep them there.
Zack Grienke (SP - MIL) - Rib cage, 15-day
Matt Holliday (OF - STL) - Appendectomy, Early May
Evan Longoria (3B - TB) - Oblique, 15-day
Clint Barmes (2B - HOU) - Hand, 15-day
Joel Pineiro (SP - LAA) - Back, 15-day
Corey Hart (OF - MIL) - Oblique, 15-day
Jair Jurrjens (SP - ATL) - Side, 15-day
Brad Lidge (RP - PHI) - Shoulder, 15-day
For more injury updates, take a look at MLB.com's Fantasy Baseball Player injury updates.
Here is a look at some of the weekend's top fantasy performers:
1. Mark Texiera (NYY) - 3 HR, 4 R, 7 RBI, .429 OBP
2. Ryan Hanigan (CIN) - 2 HR, 4 R, 4 RBI, .750 OBP
3. Ian Kinsler (TEX) - 3 HR, 5 R, 3 RBI, .571 OBP
4. Miguel Cabrera (DET) - 2 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI, .500 OBP
5. Carlos Quentin (CWS) - HR, 3 R, 7 RBI, .583 OBP
*6. Ryan Howard (PHI) - HR, 3 R, 7 RBI, .500 OBP
*16. Ben Francisco (PHI) - HR, 4 R, 4 RBI, .500 OBP
1. Jaime Garcia (STL) - W, 9 IP, 9K, 0 ER, 0.67 WHIP
2. Jeremy Guthrie (BAL) - W, 8IP, 6 K, 0 ER, 0.50 WHIP
3. Clayton Kershaw (LAD) - W, 7 IP, 9 K, 0 ER, 0.71 WHIP
4. Jared Weaver (LAA) - W, 6.1 IP, 6 K, 0 ER, 0.63 WHIP
5. Kyle Drabek (TOR) - W, 7 IP, 7 K, ER, 0.57 WHIP
5. Travis Wood (CIN) - W, 7 IP, 7 K, ER, 0.57 WHIP
*9. Cliff Lee (PHI) - W, 7 IP, 11K, 3 ER, 0.57 WHIP
Don't forget to sign up to play in our FanDuel fantasy baseball games. Single day fantasy games are awesome, that is all I will say. Also, I will have more information soon on when the next Beat the Expert challenge will happen. Stay tuned.
Matt Mullin is a sports producer at philly.com. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @matt_mullin.