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Feeling the roster crunch

By Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer

Jesse Chavez is looking awfully attractive on the waiver wire. (USATSI)
Jesse Chavez is looking awfully attractive on the waiver wire. (USATSI)

I just spent the last couple hours writing individual player analysis -- the kind that shows up like a regular news update -- on players like Evan Gattis, Dee Gordon, Homer Bailey, Lance Lynn, Jesse Chavez, Michael Morse, Devin Mesoraco and Jim Johnson. Go check out their player pages and comment about how I just don't understand. I'm like parents that way.

It's usually a straightforward task. I share what's on my mind and move on. But for Chavez, who needed the analysis more than anyone as the most added and viewed player in Fantasy, I couldn't do that. I still don't know what's on my mind.

Or at least I don't know how to express it. I get that his arsenal is different now and remember how much a cutter transformed Esteban Loaiza about a decade ago, but knowing Chavez's history and track record, complete with all his failures in both the majors and minors, I just can't bring myself to prioritize him the same way others are. In theory, he shouldn't go unowned coming off back-to-back nine-strikeout efforts, but in practice, I can't find room for him in some of my leagues.

It's a dilemma for me because I fully believe that this time of year, when players are still settling into their new selves, is the time to cast a wide net on waivers, getting to those unexpected breakouts before someone else does, but without doing anything stupid.

That last point is key. Coming out of the draft, most owners had two or three roster spots to play with. Some new ones have opened up because of injuries, but others have closed because of other early waiver claims that, to this point, have panned out. I'm talking about Anthony Rendon, Emilio Bonifacio, Dee Gordon, Michael Morse, Dan Straily and Tyler Skaggs, to name of few. Even James Paxton, despite the injury, has earned his place on my roster. I just can't muster the same level of trust for Chavez that I can for that group.

And in the leagues where he's still available, that's who I'd have to drop to add him. That is, unless I go the Homer Bailey route. But I know better than that. Injuries may have opened up new roster spots, but performance shouldn't have, not this early. If you were confident in a player on Draft Day, two weeks shouldn't be enough to change your mind. That goes for you too, Shelby Miller, Eric Hosmer, Jedd Gyorko and Wil Myers owners. "Without doing anything stupid," remember.

Now, if I still had a Nick Markakis or Asdrubal Cabrera glued to my bench in a league where Chavez was available, I'd be fine making the switch, but I'm finding that's not the case.

And so on waivers, he'll remain.

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