Before we start clicking on the waiver-wire, let's make some quick (and early) observations from the first week of the season.
Johnny Cueto, P (CIN): Johnny Cueto is the name of the day in fantasy baseball after an impressive Major League debut. Cueto threw seven solid innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a quality opponent. Cueto has some command issues -- not to the level of Daniel Cabrera -- but when he is on, he's obviously pretty good. Cueto was perfect through five innings and fanned 10 Diamondbacks hitters. One thing I like is that the Reds have an improved bullpen so he should finish with double-digit wins if he is legit. Pick him up if you have a spot.
Jeff Keppinger, SS (CIN): Sticking with the Reds, get your hands on Jeff Keppinger while he's hot. He's filling in for Alex Gonzalez right now and might run out of a spot when Gonzalez returns, but he's good in the short term. Keppinger is hitting .429 with a stolen base and an RBI through two games.
Eric Gagne, P (MIL): Eric Gagne has had a rough stretch since his trade to the Boston Red Sox last season. He flopped in Boston, was named in the Mitchell Report during the offseason and now got lit up like Jimmy McNulty after a night shift in his debut with the Milwaukee Brewers. The original sentiment is panic. But at this point, his value is at a low-point, so trading him is useless and dumping him is only worthwhile if there is a better alternative available. Let's face it: if he's on the waiver-wire in a 12-team league because somebody already dropped him, the thought of picking him up for free will be percolating among the other 11 owners. See how he does in his next couple of outings before you dump him.
Kerry Wood, P (CHC): Like Gagne -- actually right after Gagne -- Kerry Wood got clubbed in his first outing as the Cubs new closer. No need to panic yet -- he'll probably settle down. He looked strong in spring training so have a little patience. Injuries are more likely to do him in.
Mark Lowe, P (SEA): If you're sick of Gagne and Wood, then you're probably looking for a short term solution. Mark Lowe, who will be filling in for J.J. Putz over the next couple of weeks, is a decent option. Lowe's got a fastball that is clocked at 97 mph but not many people took much notice until he returned from elbow surgery this spring. He's unproven, but he's handling closer duties for a very good team so he'll be picking up saves.
Ty Wigginton, 1B, 2B, 3B (HOU): Ty Wigginton has had a slow start to the season average-wise (.182) but you have to like his versatility given the amount of positions he can cover for you. I also like Wigginton because he's kind of hidden in the Astros lineup, which is a formidable order. He provides a good amount of power -- more than most -- at second base.