Fantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 7 Pitching Planner: Cole World


Things change, rearrange and so do I
It ain’t always for the better, dawg, I can’t lie
I get high cause the lows can be so cold
I might bend a little bit but I don’t fold

— ’03 Adolescence’, J. Cole

I consider myself a very compliant person in everyday life. I rarely get into heated discussions or go against the grain to prove a point. The more open-minded you are, the better you are at creating healthy relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. My life motto in a nutshell.

When it comes to my pitching staffs in fantasy leagues though, I get very stubborn. I hold onto guys like Kevin Gausman or Jharel Cotton because I did all of this analysis in the preseason that said they would be good. Regardless, I start to look at the free agent pool and see names that have hollow statistics. Do I drop the guy I believed in a month and a half ago for some guy I know will regress hard?

Okay, let’s get to the real story here: J. Cole went double platinum with no features.

Remember when saying that used to be so much fun on social media? Social media has gotten exponentially worse since those days. Anyway, let’s use some lyrics from Jermaine himself to get through these rough times.

I might bend a little bit but I won’t fold.

Basically, find the middle ground where you don’t sell out to the recency bias. If you have three or four underperforming pitchers, rank the guys based on your belief in them moving forward. Then, peel off the bandaid and drop the bottom feeder. Snag that hot bat or hand to help you in the short term. This is supposed to be a fun game, so surround yourself with as much positivity as you can.

Once again, I was able to ramble through an intro successfully. I really just wanted to alert everyone that I will be going to see Cole in concert in a few weeks. Be jealous!

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 7 Pitching Planner


The Auto-Start tier strictly includes pitchers that should be started every week regardless of matchup.

Stephen StrasburgNationals@PIT@ATL
Clayton KershawDodgers@SF
Chris SaleRed Sox@OAK
Yu DarvishRangersPHI@DET
Carlos CarrascoIndiansTB@HOU
Max ScherzerNationals@ATL
Justin VerlanderTigersTEX
Jacob deGromMetsLAA
Chris ArcherRays@CLENYY
Rick PorcelloRed Sox@OAK
Zack GreinkeDiamondbacksNYM
Dallas KeuchelAstros@MIA
Marcus StromanBlue Jays@ATL
Johnny CuetoGiantsLAD
Jon LesterCubsMIL
Jake ArrietaCubsMIL
Gerrit ColePiratesWSH


  • As the inspiration behind my title, Gerrit Cole has been a man on fire since his Opening Day screwup. Seven straight quality starts is good enough, but considering the competition he’s faced it’s even more impressive. He has slowly been moving up the Rest of Season Rankings too.


  • I finally had to knock Masahiro Tanaka down a tier, especially with the increase in sample size not playing in his favor. And I’m not just talking about this year, I’m looking at his four-year sample from 2014-2017. Strikeouts are decreasing and walks are increasing each season and it’s not trivial increments. I’m considerably worried about Tanaka’s value moving forward.
  • The White Sox have to be quite upset to see their biggest trade chip Jose Quintana struggle this season. They could have sold him for full value before the season started just as they did with Chris Sale. From a fantasy and reality standpoint, I still expect Quintana to bounce back to his usual self soon.


This tier consists of pitchers who don’t quite reach the trust level of Auto-Starts. However, due to matchup or recent performance, they are capable of having elite level production for the week.


Lance McCullersAstros@MIA
Carlos MartinezCardinalsSF
Michael PinedaYankees@KC
Danny SalazarIndiansTB
Michael FulmerTigersBAL
Tanner RoarkNationals@PIT
Masahiro TanakaYankees@TB
Marco EstradaBlue Jays@ATLBAL
Drew PomeranzRed Sox@OAK
Jose QuintanaWhite Sox@SEA
Kyle HendricksCubsCIN
Julio TeheranBravesTOR
Danny DuffyRoyalsNYY


  • I wanted to take a second to recognize Jameson Taillon and his battle against testicular cancer. Taillon has had some rough injuries and battled through them in his young career, so I’m sure he will overcome this one too! Best wishes, Jameson. JAMO #50
  • I strongly considered bumping Michael Fulmer up a tier. What a pitcher this kid has turned out to be! With over 200 career innings in the books, Fulmer is rocking a sub 3.00 ERA and a 15 K-BB%. That could even improve as the years progress, as the strikeouts from his minor league tenure should return with experience. Impressive start, young’n!

Dream Stream

The Dream Stream group more closely reflects the pitchers that you might find on the waiver wire depending on league size.

Taijuan WalkerDiamondbacks@SD
Luis SeverinoYankees@TB
Ivan NovaPiratesPHI
Robbie RayDiamondbacks@SD
Gio GonzalezNationals@ATL
Jake OdorizziRays@CLE
Alex WoodDodgersMIA
Julio UriasDodgersMIA
Michael WachaCardinalsSF
Jordan MontgomeryYankees@KC
Eduardo RodriguezRed Sox@STL
Aaron SanchezBlue Jays@BAL
Jerad EickhoffPhillies@TEX@PIT
Mike LeakeCardinalsSF
Trevor CahillPadresMIL
Alex CobbRays@CLE
Jason VargasRoyalsNYY
Jeff SamardzijaGiants@STL
Patrick CorbinDiamondbacksNYM
Zack WheelerMets@ARILAA
Zack GodleyDiamondbacksNYM@SD
Jesse HahnAthletics@SEA
Matt AndrieseRaysNYY
Charlie MortonAstrosCLE
Mike FoltynewiczBravesTOR
Miguel GonzalezWhite Sox@LAA
Josh TomlinIndiansTB
Brandon McCarthyDodgers@SFMIA
John LackeyCubsCINMIL
Andrew TriggsAthletics@SEABOS
Lance LynnCardinalsBOS
Joe BiaginiBlue Jays@ATL
Hyun-Jin RyuDodgers@SFMIA
Vince VelasquezPhillies@PIT
Zach DaviesBrewers@SD
Nathan KarnsRoyals@MIN
Dylan BundyOrioles@DET
JC RamirezAngelsCWS
Matt ShoemakerAngelsCWS
Derek HollandWhite Sox@LAA@SEA
Jesse ChavezAthleticsCWS@NYM
Matt GarzaBrewers@SD


  • Luis Severino should make quick work of a Tampa lineup that leads the league in strikeouts versus righties. He should be a popular DFS play this week.
  • I believe a bounce back week is in line for Jerad Eickhoff. Two starts against mediocre competition are just what the doctor ordered. He has got to cut the 9.1% walk rate in half, closer to his 2016 mark (4.2%).
  • Kenta Maeda finds his way onto the DL while Brandon McCarthy works his way back into the mix. By this logic, Hyun-Jin Ryu would be next in line. Speaking of McCarthy and Ryu, how about those two start weeks for those guys? Strikeouts galore.
  • Zack Godley has been someone I’ve been following for a couple of years now. Arizona doesn’t want to trust him, which is understandable given his mixed results as a starter. However, now he’s caught some wind and posted two great outings to start 2017. Now, he gets a two-start week against subpar offenses. He’s a sneaky pickup in 12+ team leagues.
  • Time for another installment of Tyler’s Simplistic Scouting Spotlight with Joe Biagini. The right-hander was a Rule 5 pick for Toronto back in 2015. He has a true four-pitch mix highlighted by a nasty two-seam fastball that helps him get righties out. He has pitched mostly out of relief so far, so Toronto won’t stretch him too far in games. Also, he’s really funny.
  • If I told you to guess a pitcher who had a 17:3 K:BB ratio over 12.1 IP in his last two starts, you could probably list several guys. Then you would get tired of guessing and be super surprised when I said it was Nate Karns. The streaming option attracts the Twins in a mid-week affair in Week 7.
  • If you can sell Dylan Bundy at his ERA/WHIP value, just do it. I’m feeling a big time fall back to Earth for the young ‘stud’. Left on base percentage of 85%, a very pedestrian 9.3% K-BB%, and a matchup with the Tigers at Comerica Park are troublesome. Sell, sell, sell.

Buyer Beware

These pitchers are better left on your bench or the waiver wire. Guys closer to the top could be on the brink of being promoted in the right matchup or with a continued hot streak.

Kevin GausmanOriolesTOR
Ervin SantanaTwinsCOL
Robert GsellmanMetsLAA
Wade MileyOrioles@DETTOR
Joe MusgroveAstros@MIACLE
Jeremy HellicksonPhillies@PIT
Matt BoydTigersBALTEX
Tyler ChatwoodRockies@MIN
Daniel NorrisIndiansTEX
Kendall GravemanAthletics@SEABOS
Scott FeldmanReds@CHC
Sean ManaeaAthleticsBOS
Sonny GrayAthleticsBOS
Tim AdlemanRedsCOL
A.J. GriffinRangers@DET
Adam WainwrightCardinalsBOS
Antonio SenzatelaRockies@CIN
Blake SnellRaysNYY
Mike ClevingerIndians@HOU
Chris TillmanOrioles@DET
Zack EflinPhillies@TEX
Ricky NolascoAngels@NYM
Kyle FreelandRockies@MIN@CIN
Matt HarveyMets@ARI
Matt MooreGiants@STL
Adam ConleyMarlins@LAD
Dan StrailyMarlinsHOU@LAD
Edinson VolquezMarlins@LAD
Jaime GarciaBraves@TORWSH
Tyler AndersonRockies@CIN
Bartolo ColonBraves@TORWSH
Luis PerdomoPadresMILARI
R.A. DickeyBravesWSH
Andrew CashnerRangersPHI


  • I understand those who want to roll stalwart Ervin Santana this week. The matchup just sucks for any right-handed pitcher against the Rockies, Coors Field or not.
  • If you are looking for another two-start guy to employ in deeper leagues, Joe Musgrove could be of service. The Cleveland start is less than ideal, but it’s at home and every Astros pitcher has a good shot at a win each night.
  • Will the real Jeremy Hellickson please stand up? I had to do a double-take when I saw his 3.9 K/9. That’s sure to get better, but to what level? Hellboy scares me moving forward and should be a drop candidate in leagues smaller than 12 teams.
  • Although he isn’t staying up (as of now), I wanted to talk briefly about Jeff Hoffman. He was the main piece received in the Troy Tulowitzki trade with Toronto a couple years back, so obviously he is highly regarded. In his first start, against a scorching hot Dodgers team no less, he pitched very well. 8 K and 3 ER in 5.1 IP is pretty awesome for a debut. Just remember he exists!
  • Boy, Matt Harvey and the Mets are a mess. And this Braves fan is loving every bit of it! Now we just need another Nationals postseason letdown to finish out the typical NL East season.
  • Before the haters ‘at me’, no, please do not use Andrew Cashner. He is terrible. Anyone who recommends streaming him is terrible. I feel terrible for saying these people are terrible. Maybe ‘misinformed’ is a better word. Anyway, anyone with a BB/9 higher than their K/9 should put a red flag up in your mind.

About Tyler Thompson

Follow me on Twitter at @therealwody. For all the latest news and best advice out there, like us on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram.

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