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Fantasy Baseball Risers, Fallers: April 16, 2018

April 16, 2018
The weather continues to be the top storyline in baseball, as nine games were postponed from April 14-15. This comes as no surprise, but it's hard to make a fantasy impact when your player isn't on the field. Patience is being tested more so than other seasons, but fantasy owners have to continue to trust that the work they put in throughout March will pay off.

Three Up:

1. Arizona Diamondbacks First Baseman Paul Goldschmidt -- It was a rough start to the season for the veteran, as the 30-year-old was batting .118 with no home runs April 9. But the first baseman has heated up in a big way, collecting 10 hits, including four homers. Goldschmidt also drove in eight runs during the last seven days. The only knack on Goldschmidt is that he has yet to steal a base this season. The veteran is usually good for 15 stolen bases, so hopefully he will begin to improve in that area, too.

2. Washington Nationals Starting Pitcher Max Scherzer -- It's comforting for fantasy owners when a player they invest highly in pays off immediately. I feel like I can put Scherzer on this list every week, as he simply dominates. The right-hander made two starts this past week and struck out 21 hitters while only allowing three hits and two earned runs. These dominating performances prove that having an ace on your fantasy roster is worth it.

3. San Diego Padres Closer Brad Hand -- We know the volatility surrounding closers in fantasy baseball, so it's always a positive when someone pitches well. Hand recorded four saves this past week and struck out seven hitters in his four innings while only allowing one hit. The left-hander ranks third in baseball in saves with six and looks to be on his way to surpass last season's total of 21.

Three Down:

1. New York Mets Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes -- The Mets may have one of the best records in baseball, but their slugger has started off the season slowly. Cespedes is batting .190 with 26 strikeouts and only three home runs. This past week, the outfielder collected only four hits while striking out 12 times. It's a rough stretch for a player many fantasy owners are banking on to hit 30 home runs. I'm hoping the slow start is weather related, but fantasy owners need to keep an eye on Cespedes during the next couple of weeks to see if he begins to heat up.

2. Tampa Bay Rays Starting Pitcher Chris Archer -- The right-hander continues to frustrate fantasy owners, but this season it's happening more consistently. Archer has always been too talented to have the types of pitching performances he often has throughout the year, and so far in 2018, the 29-year-old has failed to pitch more than six innings. In his last start April 14, Archer allowed seven earned runs. I don't know if this is a situation in which Archer needs a change of scenery or if it's just early-season struggles. Whatever it is, the right-hander needs to snap out of it quickly. 

3. Cincinnati Reds Outfielder Billy Hamilton -- Hamilton is overdrafted every March due to his ability to steal bases. However, the old adage of you can't steal first base applies to Hamilton every season, as he has never had an on-base percentage higher than .321. This season has become even more troublesome, as Hamilton is hitting .170 with a .291 on-base percentage. Hamilton has only recorded four stolen bases this season. Fantasy owners have overlooked Hamilton's other shortcomings because he will steal more than 50 bases, but that might not be the case this season, and his inability to make an impact in other offensive categories has his stock falling, quickly.