The season's first full week (following a short Week 1) is a light load, with only one team playing seven games. It puts the sleeper recommendations on more equal footing, with matchups having the greatest say.
There are two teams, however, that may have an even lighter load because of COVID-19. An outbreak for the Nationals canceled their opening series against the Mets and has already canceled the first game of their three-game series against the Braves in Week 2 (April 5-11). My suspicion is that they'll be able to play the final two games of the Braves series, needing the first just to get back on the field and conduct some workouts, but they've been taking it day by day so far.
Kyle Schwarber, Josh Harrison, Alex Avila and Jon Lester are among the players who reportedly won't be available for the Braves series, with several more expected to be left of the roster due to contact tracing. Apart from especially high-end types like Juan Soto and Trea Turner, it'll be difficult to start any of your Nationals with so little information available still. Even starting your Braves come with some risk, but at least you know who'll be active for them if those two games are played as scheduled.
As I've said before, most of you have no reason to stray from the players you drafted to fill out your lineup, but where needs have arisen, this list has you covered. All of these players are rostered in less than 75 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
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C.J. Cron 1B
COL Colorado • #25 • Age: 31
He got only one extra-base hit against the Dodgers pitching staff in his opening series in Coors Field, but he'll get some easier pitching matchups this time around.
ARI Arizona • #53 • Age: 30
The middle-of-the-order hitter will also enjoy a three-game series at Coors Field and then gets to beat up on pitchers like Jeff Hoffman and Jose De Leon back home.
CHW Chi. White Sox • #73 • Age: 28
The 28-year-old was long passed over in the minors but is making good on his shot now, and with four lefties on the schedule for the White Sox, he's likely to stick in the lineup for this week.
Bobby Dalbec 1B
BOS Boston • #29 • Age: 25
His power surge last September carried over to this spring, and while he's off to a slow start during the regular season, he should come around against has-beens like Michael Wacha, Matt Harvey and Jorge Lopez.
Josh Rojas RF
ARI Arizona • #10 • Age: 26
A big spring secured this former minor-league standout a starting job, and same favorable matchups, particularly the three games at Coors Field, will help him lock it in.
Justin Upton LF
LAA L.A. Angels • #10 • Age: 33
Injuries sidetracked this middle-of-the-order mainstay the past couple years, but in 38 games between the end of last season and spring training, he hit .313 with 10 homers. Watch him heat up this week.
BOS Boston • #10 • Age: 29
Like Bobby Dalbec, he's off to a slow start, but he has a similar power profile and could send a few out against the bottom-feeders the Rays and Orioles are throwing at him.
Joey Votto 1B
CIN Cincinnati • #19 • Age: 37
Hopefully back to full strength following a spring battle with COVID-19, he's committed to swinging for power again after finding success with it last September and has the right matchups for it this week.
PIT Pittsburgh • #10 • Age: 26
This spring, he looked more like the guy who hit .314 with an .880 OPS as a rookie two years ago than whatever we saw last year, and with nothing but righties on the schedule, he's in a position to do even more damage.
MIA Miami • #2 • Age: 23
He's a high-variance player given his strikeout tendencies, but you hope to be on the right side of the variance against a bunch of back-of-the-rotation guys this week.