Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Drop List!
In the 16th edition of our weekly drop list article, we are again dropping three more players who are doing you and your fantasy team zero favors.
Two of our drops were drafted in the top 150 while our last drop is someone who has been on my radar for weeks. For some reason, I just didn't have the discipline to drop this starting pitcher. Maybe this year is going to be the one where he turns it around! Yeah, no. It's not.
Let's head into our week 16 drop list and see who we are letting go of this week!
2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Drop List
Jeremy Pena, SS, Houston Astros
In the preseason, Pena was being drafted just outside the top 100 overall (115) and as SS19. Thus far, he is not living up to anything close to those projections.
As a 24-year-old rookie in 2022, Pena played in 136 games while slashing .253/.289/.426 with 22 homers and 11 stolen bases. Not too shabby to be honest.
However, in his sophomore season, Pena has actually regressed. Through 88 games, Pena is slashing .236/.289/.376 with 10 homers and nine steals. While his steals are certainly on pace to surpass the 11 swipes he had in 2022, his home run count and batting average are looking to fall short.
Not only is Pena falling short of his statistical debut in 2022, but his percentile rankings are quite poor as well.
Pena is not hitting the ball hard in any fashion (26th percentile HardHit%) while his Chase Rate and BB% are sitting in the 10th & 8th percentile, respectively.
Moreover, Pena's Avg Exit Velocity is ranked in the 24th percentile while his Barrel % is ranked in the 23rd percentile. To be blunt, Pena is not hitting.
The dreaded sophomore slump seems to be striking Pena in 2023, but I really am hopeful for 2024. However, this season seems to be lost.
Brandon Lowe, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays
Speaking of underperformers, Lowe is having a truly terrible year thus far for Tampa Bay.
Lowe was drafted inside the top 150 in preseason drafts while being taken as a top-ten second baseman. Clearly, this has not been the case for Lowe in 2023.
Not too long ago, in 2021, Lowe batted .247 with 39 homers and 99 RBIs for Tampa Bay while playing in 149 games. Yes, you read that right, 39 home runs. What happened here?
Well, last season, Lowe only managed to play in 65 games due to a disc herniation in his lower back. In those 65 games, Lowe batted .221 with eight homers and 25 RBIs.
In 2023, Lowe has played in 64 games while batting .208/.309/.403 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs. The batting average and lack of home run power truly stand out to me here. Again, Lowe hit 39 homers in 2021. Anomaly? Absolutely.
Lowe has always been able to keep his OBP above .300 each season in his six-year career so you can't take that away from him. He's going to get on base. However, the .208 batting average here is absolutely dreadful while his xBA is ranked in the 6th percentile in the MLB.
Lowe has only played in 64 of the Rays' 103 games this year, so even when he is making appearances, he's not doing a whole lot to help your team.
Lowe has a K% in the 15th percentile while his Whiff% is ranked in the 14th percentile. He is a nightmare for your fantasy team and you should have zero issue letting him walk.
Andrew Heaney, SP, Texas Rangers
I've had my eye on Heaney for a few weeks this year, but I could never pull the trigger to drop him. Looking back, I have no idea why. Probably the high strikeout potential and the random gem that he would toss, but I'm officially over Andrew Heaney.
I've always thought of Heaney and Jose Berrios as similar pitchers.
I dropped Berrios weeks ago, and he turned it around in 2023, so far. Don't count him out though, Berrios could lose you a week in H2H faster than the blink of an eye.
Heaney has severe blowup potential. He does it all the time. One week he'll give you six strong innings with nine strikeouts and in his next start he'll pitch four innings and give up seven earned runs.
Not every pitcher has blow-ups like this but Heaney and Berrios are the two that I remember happening quite frequently.
Through his 19 starts in 2023, Heaney is 6-6 with a 4.58 ERA. He has a 9.3 SO/9 but also a 3.7 BB9.
The month of May was a solid month for the Rangers' starting pitcher, which was most likely the reason I had such problems letting Heaney go. In May, Heaney started five games and ended the month with a 2-1 record and a 3.26 ERA. To me, this was the time Heaney was going to turn it around.
Well, I was wrong again. Heaney started five games in June and went 1-2 with a 5.87 ERA. There's the Heaney we all know and love! July seems to be subpar as well. He has started four games this month with a 1-1 record and a 5.40 ERA. Yuck.
I'm truly unsure how he makes his way onto my roster year after year via free agency, but it always happens. The more I type about Heaney the more I'm hitting myself for delaying the inevitable.
Check out the rest of Fantasy Six Pack's Fantasy Baseball content.