<
>

No, you shouldn't trade away Joey Votto for Matt Olson

Joey Votto is off to a rough start, but he has hundreds of plate appearances yet to come. Don't panic. AP

Congratulations to the 2018 World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates. All hail AL MVP Justin Smoak and NL MVP Paul DeJong. Give it up for Cy Young Award winner Jakob Junis.

What's that you say? I'm being a bit premature with my accolades?

Well, of course I am. It's an incredibly long season, and you simply can't make any long-term judgments about how the season is going to go based on one week of games. Yes, baseball fans seem to have no problem overreacting to extreme performances at the start of the season -- but fantasy managers need to be smarter and less reactive than that.

Case in point: Giancarlo Stanton. After hitting two home runs on Opening Day in Toronto, Yankees fans were giddy with glee over their new acquisition. Fast-forward to New York's home opener on Tuesday, and Stanton's 0-for-5 day with five strikeouts prompted a chorus of boos that rained down on the outfielder. Yesterday, Stanton crushed a 458-foot home run in the first inning, and suddenly all was right in Pinstripe Land. Of course, Stanton struck out in each of his subsequent at-bats, and in terms of points league value, he's managed just 3 points over his past five games.

All that said, even though Mitch Haniger has been more productive thus far in 2018, nobody is suggesting you make a one-for-one swap here ... and for anyone to say, on April 5, that drafting Stanton in the first round was a mistake is way out of line. That's as ridiculous as dropping Yu Darvish after his rough outing (5 ER in 4.1 IP against Miami for 0 fantasy points), which 0.4 percent of fantasy managers inexplicably did this week.

And yes, I was the biggest horn-tooter for drafting Kenley Jansen as early as humanly possible in points leagues. No question, he's been poor in his first two appearances, and his loss of velocity is concerning. That said, to outright dismiss the potential value of relief pitchers in points leagues as a result is ridiculous. Edwin Diaz has as many points as Max Scherzer. Jeurys Familia and Noah Syndergaard are level. Entering today's action, Craig Kimbrel and Stephen Strasburg are in a dead heat. Going with closers "in bulk" can and does work -- even if an individual closer goes through a bumpy stretch.

Don't panic. It's early, and nobody is a "steal" or a "bust" just yet.

Yes, a few of these extreme hot or cold starts may indeed end up sticking around for a few more weeks. However, most players will regress to their personal norms. If you don't believe me, then I'll happily trade you my Matt Olson (11 fantasy points) for your Joey Votto (0 points).