Fantasy Baseball Injury Reaction: Five late-round starters to fill your Noah Syndergaard gap


The list of aces going under the knife got one name longer Tuesday when the Mets announced Noah Syndergaard will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow. Syndergaard joins Luis Severino and Chris Sale among those who will miss the 2020 season, whenever it might be played.

Syndergaard began feeling soreness in the elbow before Spring Training was suspended, and will undergo the surgery Thursday — the original date for opening day. He will miss all of 2020 and likely won’t be ready for the start of the 2021 season either, his final year under Mets team control.

When we started Fantasy baseball draft prep season, Scott White had close to 40 starters he trusted, but that group has taken several hits, and this is just another. Syndergaard was a popular bounce-back candidate around these parts, especially as he started showing signs that he might be rediscovering his harder slider in spring training. His strikeout rate dipped the past two seasons, but the velocity was still elite, so there weren’t really any signs of this coming after Syndergaard had even thrown a career-high in innings in 2019.

What this means for Fantasy players who have already drafted is you’re out of luck. Syndergaard is gone, and you’re going to have to weaken your team elsewhere to find a replacement via trade, or more likely, hit the waiver wire for replacement options.

You might want to consider at least one of Syndergaard’s former rotation mates, Steven Matz. Earlier in the spring it looked like Matz might split the fifth starter role with Michael Wacha, with one or the other serving as a long man. Now, Matz should have a clear path to an every-fifth-day role. Matz’s 284 ADP per FantasyPros.com means there’s at least a chance he’ll be available on waivers in your league, and I still believe there is room for him to break out.

However, Matz wouldn’t be the first name I look for. He doesn’t have ace upside at this point, and you’ll need to swing big to replace an arm like Syndergaard. Here are five starters to look for with an ADP of 249 or below:

Syndergaard Replacement Options





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