It looks like Hanley Ramirez won’t be helping the big splash Dodgers for the first next eight weeks. For the purposes of this site, it also means that his fantasy owners will be without him the next eight weeks.
Hanley was a unique player this fantasy season because he was at an all time low in terms of his value, but also carried SS and 3B eligibility. He was a perfect buy-low candidate, poised to help any and all fantasy teams charge to a championship.
So, what do you do now in filling in for Hanley on your fantasy squad? Well I have a few suggestions of guys that should be available in your leagues at both SS and 3B.
Let’s start with SS:
First and probably the best option for Hanley that there can be at this point is Zack Cozart. Cozart has speed, power, and has a slight possibility to move into the two spot in a pretty nice lineup in Cincinnati. We have Cozart projected at a conservative 65 runs, 15 homers, 67 RBI, 7 steals, and a .264 average. A hot start out of the gates he could really make an owner forget about Hanley.
Another guy that can be a viable option is Jhonny Peralta. Peralta is not much of a threat to steal bases but his power numbers should give you reason to roster him in the absence of Hanley. He is not a great longer term solution at SS or as much upside as Cozart (or the next player I will mention), but he is good enough in the short term.
Lastly I will suggest Josh Rutledge. He is actually the best of the 3, is probably not available in too many leagues at this point. The news is out on this kid and Coors Field has been known to boost some numbers. He should actually be nabbed up even if he is not replacing Hanley.
Moving to 3B:
We have a homer pick for all my Minnesota friends, Trevor Plouffe. Plouffe was actually a very rosterable player last season with 24 bombs. It would be nice if his average could find the right side of .250 this year and keep that power production.
Next we have Josh Rutledge’s teammate, Nolan Arenado. As is the case with Rutledge, you better act quick though, cause this kid’s stock is rising. He has all but locked up his place as the starting 3B for the Rockies on opening day, and so you may already be late to the party in your league.
Lastly, there is always Jeff Keppinger. He is always a viable fill in at 1B, 2B and 3B in a pinch, as he’ll hit for a high average. However, he’s not much in the power department so if someone in your league has him, do not trade for him because you will most definitely be giving up too much.
I hope you are able to nab one of these guys to hold down Hanley’s spot. If you do not, then feel free to email me and I will shoot you some other names. Also, remember, it is a long season, and 8 weeks really isn’t worth a knee-jerk reaction where in you mess up your chances at the championship by overpaying in a trade.