Melchior: Rotation Roundup for Week 2

This time a week ago, if you made a trip to the waiver wire to look for decent two-start pitchers, you probably came away empty, as there were few of them who weren't already owned. For Fantasy Week 2 (April 13-19), you're likely to face a different problem. There is a larger selection of two-start pitchers on waivers, but most of them are not worth your time in standard mixed leagues.

If streaming is your thing, you might have to wait until Fantasy Week 3 (April 20-26) to let loose. Particularly in mixed leagues of 12 teams or fewer, if you're swapping in more than one new starter, you're probably overdoing it. It might be tempting to go after, for example, a two-start Wei-Yin Chen or Tom Koehler, but they are sufficiently unsafe that I'd just as soon keep a one-start pitcher like Drew Hutchison or Jesse Hahn active.

Though there are more options on waivers this time, the bulk of the players on the two-start pitchers list are already owned in at least 70 percent of the leagues on Each is worth keeping active with the exceptions of Mat Latos and Shelby Miller. Latos' meltdown in his Marlins debut speaks for itself, especially in the wake of a disappointing 2014 and a poor spring. Miller's debut went well, as he tossed five scoreless innings versus the Marlins, but he lacked swings and misses and efficiency, and given his track record of inconsistency, I fear the disaster potential of a two-start week that includes a trip to Toronto.

Moving on from the highly-owned two-start pitchers, I'll be focusing on the less popular pitchers in the two-start pool, as well as a few potential one-start options.

Recommended starters for standard mixed leagues

Danny Duffy, Royals (at MIN, vs. OAK): It won't be often that I recommend Duffy as a one-start pitcher, since he hasn't been much of a strikeout pitcher since returning from Tommy John surgery. Due to his flyball tendencies, he is also not a lock to use with two starts, but anytime he gets a pair of starts in pitcher's parks, he's a great option. Though Kauffman Stadium is conducive to doubles and triples, it sufficiently squelches homers to make Duffy a good start at home. That description works for Target Field -- Duffy's other destination -- as well. The matchups are good, too, so you should have no reservations about starting the lefty.

I'd start Duffy over: Andrew Cashner, Daniel Norris.

I'd sit Duffy for: Scott Kazmir, Matt Shoemaker.

Mike Leake, Reds (at CHC at STL): Leake's season debut against the Pirates was highly uncharacteristic: not many grounders but six strikeouts and six walks in 5 2/3 innings. I'd expect to see Leake pitch with greater control and efficiency going forward, and those are qualities that have made him a useful two-start pitcher in the past. I also like Leake better when he's away from Great American Ball Park, where he has predictably been more homer-prone. Maybe just for this one week, he can continue his strikeout-per-inning pace, given that he will start off this scoring period with the whiff-happy Cubs.

I'd start Leake over: James Paxton, Jake Odorizzi.

I'd sit Leake for: Daniel Norris, Drew Hutchison.

Jason Hammel, Cubs (vs. SD): Recommending Hammel before seeing him pitch this season is slightly nerve-wracking, but aside from the four-game blip that kicked off his tenure in Oakland, he was highly consistent in 2014. While much has been made of the Padres' upgrades on offense -- and they should be a better-hitting team -- they could still be a favorable matchup. Outside of Matt Kemp and Justin Upton, the lineup could be full of holes, and they present the potential for consistently high strikeout totals. I'd rather roll with Hammel than with most of the available two-start pitchers on waivers.

I'd start Hammel over: Shelby Miller, Rick Porcello.

I'd sit Hammel for: James Paxton, Mike Leake.

Scott Feldman, Astros (vs. OAK, vs. LAA): There aren't many instances in which I evaluate a veteran pitcher differently based on a single start, but Feldman's season debut against the Indians was genuinely impressive and merits a closer look. He induced a lot of weak contact against a tough lineup, and while Feldman is not a hard thrower, he did pitch with greater velocity in his first start than he did on average all of last season. He also threw cutters for nearly half of his pitches, and since that was his most effective offering in 2014, that could be a good trend, should it continue. Even if Feldman regresses to his usual level, you'll be getting a safe, if unexciting two-start pitcher for your rotation.

I'd start Feldman over: Jesse Hahn, Chris Heston.

I'd sit Feldman for: Jason Hammel, Rick Porcello.

Jesse Hahn, Athletics (at KC): Due to a lack of run support, Hahn didn't nail down a win in his season debut against the Rangers, but he pitched well enough for a quality start. That sort of performance makes Hahn viable in weeks with two starts, but why would I recommend him for next week with just one start? It's all about his matchup. I don't anticipate Hahn getting many strikeouts, regardless of his opponent, so that fact that the Royals don't strike out much doesn't depress his value. Their aggressive approach means they won't draw many walks, and even though Hahn had good control in his first start, it's something that could be a problem down the line. In this start, Hahn could easily pile up one ground ball out after another.

I'd start Hahn over: Tom Koehler, Tim Hudson.

I'd sit Hahn for: Jake Odorizzi, Scott Feldman.

Strictly deep league options

Chris Heston, Giants (vs. COL, vs. ARI): I have no problem with the idea of picking up Heston, who has pitched all of 11 1/3 innings in the majors, in 12-team mixed leagues. I've even been tempted to start him in that format for this two-start week, especially in Head-to-Head leagues, where I can use him in an RP slot. Given the lack of enticing waiver options, there's allure in taking a flier on the strikeout potential he showed in his season debut against the Diamondbacks. Heston was not much of a strikeout pitcher in the minors, but he made the Diamondbacks swing and miss 14 times, and he's already throwing harder than he did at the end of last season. Still, there is his lack of major league experience to consider, as well as a matchup against a powerful Rockies lineup (fortunately away from Coors Field). Also, there is no guarantee he will still be in the rotation by the time his turn comes up against the Diamondbacks next weekend. Starting Heston this soon outside of deeper leagues is just too risky.

I'd start Heston over: C.J. Wilson, Drew Pomeranz.

I'd sit Heston for: Shelby Miller, Jesse Hahn.

Tom Koehler, Marlins (at ATL at NYM): Koehler's first outing of the year was a quality start against the Braves, but even though he will face Atlanta again in Week 2, things could go much worse in both of his starts this week. He's not a big strikeout pitcher to begin with, and his average fastball velocity has dropped by more than 1 mph as compared to early last season. He also lacked control in his season debut (51 strikes, 41 balls), and while he's not been an especially wild pitcher, throwing strikes has not been a strong suit of his either. Koehler's ability to capitalize on Marlins Park's spacious dimensions makes him a decent option when he pitches at home, but both of his starts this week come on the road.

I'd start Koehler over: Matt Garza, Aaron Harang.

I'd sit Koehler for: Trevor Bauer, Chris Heston.

Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles (vs. NYY, at BOS): Chen frittered away half of a six-run lead he was given early in his first start, which didn't even last five innings. That wasn't Chen's best work, and while there will be weeks in which he can be trusted, this doesn't look like one of them. The homer-prone lefty could struggle against a potentially power-laden Red Sox lineup, and he's no sure thing for his home start against the Yankees. Chen has a career 3.86 ERA and 1.25 HR/9 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, so he needs a clearly favorable matchup to be a safe bet when pitching there.

I'd start Chen over: Doug Fister, Drew Pomeranz.

I'd sit Chen for: Tom Koehler, Chris Archer.

C.J. Wilson, Angels (at HOU): After seeing the Indians' pitching staff plow through the Astros' lineup for 36 strikeouts and an .096 batting average, it would be tempting to give Wilson a try for his upcoming start at Houston. That's especially true, given that Wilson had himself a nice 2015 debut against the Mariners. Maybe if this start was at pitcher-friendly Angel Stadium, I would feel better about it, but at some point, the Astros are going to hit for some power. I also don't entirely trust Wilson to keep pitching with good control. Despite the favorable matchup, it seems a little soon to trust Wilson in standard mixed leagues.

I'd start Wilson over: Chris Tillman, Doug Fister.

I'd sit Wilson for: Wei-Yin Chen, Drew Pomeranz.

Doug Fister, Nationals (vs. PHI): Fister may seem like one of those good one-start options to use in lieu of the many mediocre two-start pitchers on waivers, especially since he has the Phillies for an opponent. If anyone other than Cole Hamels were scheduled to take the mound for Philadelphia, I would like Fister's chances to produce a lot better. Despite his poor debut, Hamels is simply the superior pitcher, and he neutralizes whatever advantage Fister has in terms of the strength of his matchup. Given how much contact Fister allowed last season, I think his 3.75 xFIP is a better indicator of what to expect as opposed to his 2.41 ERA. With just one start on his schedule, a mediocre ERA and low strikeout total is just not going to cut it.

I'd start Fister over: Mat Latos, Rubby De La Rosa.

I'd sit Fister for: Wei-Yin Chen, Henderson Alvarez.