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Fantasy Baseball Risers, Fallers: April 22, 2019

April 22, 2019
It was a rough weekend in terms of injuries in fantasy baseball. New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte and Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Austin Meadows all landed on the injured list.

It's discussed often how fantasy baseball is a marathon and there will be plenty of ups and downs. If you are a fantasy owner who lost one of these players, you have to hope you drafted enough depth or be aggressive on the waiver wire to find capable replacements until these players return.

Three Up:

1. Milwaukee Brewers Outfielder Christian Yelich -- The reigning National League Most Valuable Player is playing at an elite level this season and had another big week for fantasy owners. Yelich hit eight home runs with 16 RBIs to go along with a .417 batting average. The outfielder had a career season in 2018, and he may be even better in 2019. That is incredible news for fantasy owners.

2. Texas Rangers Outfielder Joey Gallo -- There are going to be weeks when Gallo has more strikeouts than hits and a batting average that will make you cringe, so it's only fitting to spotlight the slugger when he has a big week. Gallo displayed his usual power with four home runs this past week, but the outfielder finished with a .478 batting average and only struck out seven times. Gallo has never had a season in which he hit .210, but has started strong with a .281 batting average in 2019. If Gallo can just manage to hit around .240, he will be a big-time fantasy performer with the 40 home runs he'll provide.

3. New York Yankees Starting Pitcher James Paxton -- The Yankees have been decimated by injuries but are staying competitive due to their pitching. Paxton seems to have settled down after his early-season struggles, as he has not allowed a run in his last two starts. The strikeouts are coming at an elite rate as well; he has struck out a combined 24 hitters during those two starts. Even more impressive is that both starts came in hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. I still think Paxton will have his share of struggles due to the division and home ballpark, but the left-hander is providing a nice boost for fantasy owners.

Three Down:

1. Atlanta Braves Second Baseman Ozzie Albies -- The talented second baseman was batting .333 April 16, but the average has dipped to .284 after a week in which he collected just five hits. Albies also didn't walk and struck out 10 times while hitting just one home run. I'm going to be following the slump of Albies to see if he can snap out of quickly. Albies had a strong first half in 2018 but struggled in the second half. We still don't have a full read on what kind of player he will be.

2. Cincinnati Reds First Baseman Joey Votto -- The season-long slump continues for Votto, and he struck out eight more times this past week while collecting just three hits. Votto is now batting just .227 with two home runs and four RBIs. Votto has had only one season with an on-base percentage below .400 since 2009, but right now he's at .311, which is most concerning to me. Votto has finished with more walks than strikeouts in three of the past four season, but he will have to pick the pace up quickly in order for that to happen this year. I stress patience, especially early in the season, but Votto had a down season in 2018, and 2019 hasn't started off in promising fashion.

3. New York Mets Starting Pitcher Noah Syndergaard -- I don't know how this guy struggles with the electric stuff he has. However, the talented righty just hasn't put it all together and is off to a slow start in 2019. Syndergaard has a 5.90 ERA and 1.28 WHIP, and he hasn't pitched six innings in his last two starts. It's time for Syndergaard to start pitching better, as he has one of the top arms in all of baseball.