Ask Rotoman: Bench Pressing


Should I start Jordan Zimmermann who has a two start week but is facing Greinke and Kazmir or start AJ Burnett, who has been good his last few starts. Also should I keep Cole Hamels in even though his last two starts weren’t great? Appreciate the help.

“Going Over Jordan”

Dear Going:

Over the past three years Zimmermann has been the 12th best starting pitcher in the fantasy game. Though he had a terrible start his second outing of the season, he’s been solid since then. I have to assume you’re thinking of benching him because you’re in a shallow league, but I don’t think any league is shallow enough to justify benching the 12th or 15th or 18th best starting pitcher in the game.

Look at it this way: If you played in a four-team league Zimmermann would be the third or fourth best starter on his team. Plus, in a two-start week he has extra value because he’ll throw extra strikeouts.

Of course, you’d rather have his two games come against the Astros and the Padres, but that can’t happen every week.

Now, if there is evidence that your chalk hurler is injured or has something else wrong, benching may be the thing to do. And while there is no evidence of anything wrong with Zimmermann, in fact he’s striking guys out at a higher rate than ever, Cole Hamels is just back from the DL and was down with the flu over the weekend.

I had a flu-like condition a few weeks ago and it lingered. The Phillies say Hamels will start on Tuesday, but I don’t think you can count on him this week. If you have a viable alternative, this might be a good time to make a move.