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The first month of the MLB season is always a strange time for Fantasy players. These games count just as much as the rest of the season does, but it's hard to view it that way. Weird things happen in one-month sample sizes, let alone the four days we're dealing with as I write this.
Take last season, for example. Ten players hit .350 in March and April while racking up more than 50 plate appearances. Included on that list are some All-Star caliber players like Troy Tulowitzki and Yadier Molina, sure. However, you also had Charlie Blackmon (.374/.418/.616) and Devin Mesoraco (.468/.509/.787), as well as Alexei Ramirez (.351/.375/.535) and Kevin Kouzmanoff (.362/.412/.489).
In retrospect, we can see that Blackmon and Mesoraco's hot starts were the beginning of breakout campaigns. At the time, however, who could say for sure they weren't just enjoying fluky months like Kouzmanoff and Ramirez?
We'll be here with our waiver-wire coverage every Monday through Friday this season, and it will be easy to overreact. It will be tempting to look at a strong five games and jump all over the next big thing, hoping you get this year's Mesoraco.
The chances of any early hot streak leading to something big are pretty slim, so let's try not to overreact, huh?
Trevor Bauer, SP, Indians (83 percent owned)
Sometimes it can be OK to overreact, though. Bauer has had some control problems throughout his career, but there's no doubting the immense ability he has shown. Both sides of that came out in his season debut Thursday, as he struck out 11 batters and walked five in six innings of work. This one can go either way: if you want to believe in Bauer, the 11 strikeouts and 16 whiffs he racked up, are a good place to start. Of course, you can just as easily play the other side and point to the five walks as a sign that Bauer hasn't fixed the issues that have held him back. For me, I am willing to gamble on Bauer's upside, especially since he is set to make two starts in Week 2. Those will come against difficult matchups in Chicago and Detroit, so you probably won't want to slot him immediately into your starting lineup. However, if he gets through those two starts reasonably unscathed -- no small feat, given his road struggles a year ago -- you might not get a chance to add him. He isn't available in a ton of leagues, but I'm willing to add him wherever he is available on the off chance the light has switched on.
Derek Norris, C, Padres (56 percent owned)
Norris isn't your typical top-of-the-order hitter, with just 12 stolen bases to his credit in 289 games and more swing-and-miss in his game than more No. 2 hitters. However, he actually makes a lot sense hitting in front of the power hitters the Padres have assembled in the middle of the lineup. He can get on base and doesn't need to advance himself via the stolen bases when Matt Kemp and Justin Upton are mashing extra-base hits behind him. With a walk rate above 11 percent for his career, Norris should get on base plenty for the Padres, and could be a nice source of runs at a position where you don't really get them. He ranks as a top-15 catcher in the rankings of both Al Melchior and Scott White for H2H and Rotisserie scoring formats, and he should be owned much more highly than he is.
Angel Pagan, OF, Giants (41 percent owned)
With Pagan, the question really isn't whether he can be productive. He has hit at least .282 in each of the last three seasons and five of the last six overall. Unfortunately, he hasn't played more than 100 games since 2012, and injuries appear to have sapped him of some of the quickness on the bases that made him a weapon. He stole just 25 bases over 165 games between 2013 and 2014, and has yet to swipe one this season. If he can't wreak havoc on the basepaths, Pagan's upside is probably pretty limited, but he is still capable of providing a .300 average thanks to his contact skills and a decent amount of runs -- 100 over the last two injury-riddled seasons -- and could be a fine fourth outfielder in any format. The question with Pagan is only whether he can stay healthy; as long as he is, he is probably worth owning.