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Tuesday 23rd Jan 2018

Don't get too giddy but don't get too depressed. This is the most important advice I can give to fantasy baseball owners right now. But it's also important to pay attention to box scores. Although your league standings mean very little at this point, dismissing one-week-old player stats as meaningless would be a mistake. Even if they seem meaningless to you, some of your league mates might view them more seriously. Now is the time when the buy low/sell high approach can be most beneficial. So, forming opinions about players who are off to either very hot or very cold starts is well worth your time. Making panic trades in April can lead to disaster, but that's only if you are the panicked owner. If a panicked league mate approaches you in an attempt to unload an established star who is off to an ice cold start in exchange for a less proven fast starter, there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of the situation. If you're the owner of the fast starter, don't feel like you have to get rid of him simply because you will net a profit. Maybe this fast starter is on the verge of a career year. We won't know for sure until October.

On that note, let's take a look at some of the hot hitters who have caught my attention so far.

Brandon Belt - Belt has always been a quality hitter, and he's especially valuable in OBP leagues (career .359 OBP), but power has never been a big part of his game. Well, through five games, Belt already has three homers to go along with seven RBI and five runs scored. Belt's single-season high in home runs is 18, so will he easily surpass that mark in 2017? Possibly, but I have my doubts. Note that all of San Francisco's games have been on the road, where Belt slugged 34 of his 47 homers from 2014-2016. Will this early-season power breakout carry over to spacious AT&T Park? I'm going to say no, and those still waiting for Belt's first 30-HR campaign will need to wait longer, perhaps until he joins another team, which is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Yasiel Puig - He's back! Maybe. At one point last year, it seemed like the Dodgers were ready to cut ties with Puig. But the Cuban import is once again showing the baseball world what he's capable of accomplishing on the field, with three home runs, five RBIs and one steal through five games. Whereas he might have been overvalued in drafts over the past few years, Puig could prove to be one of the better value picks of 2017.

Nomar Mazara - I'm not so sure what to make of Mazara's two homers and nine RBIs through four games considering that he faded a bit down the stretch last season. Still, he hasn't even turned 22 yet and is thriving while hitting in the No. 3 spot in the Texas lineup. I'm really starting to believe in this guy, and while he won't continue to produce at this level, is .275-25-90 unreasonable? I think Mazara owners are better off hanging onto him unless they get blown away by a trade offer.

Adam Eaton - More than any other stat, Eaton's two steals through four games stand out, and Dusty Baker has always been known as an aggressive manager when it comes to stolen base attempts. Despite excellent speed, Eaton has never swiped more than 18 bags in a season. If the new Nationals centerfielder can reach the 30-SB plateau this year, in addition to being a major contributor in runs and AVG, he will be deserving of top-20 fantasy outfielder status. If you own Eaton, hold onto him. If you don't own Eaton, try to acquire him.

Eduardo Nunez - Speaking of steals, Nunez is coming off a breakout season in which he stole 40 bases while batting .288 and showing decent power with 16 home runs. I think it's now safe to say that 2016 wasn't an aberration, as Nunez has already collected three steals through five games and is batting .400 (8-for-20). Being that many of the dominant speedsters these days are merely one-category specialists, the Giants third baseman offers plenty of fantasy appeal as a high-end stolen base source who will not hurt you in any other category. Just a few weeks ago, I was a Nunez doubter. I'm a Nunez believer now.

That didn't take long. 

Zach Steinhorn is the 2016 Mixed Auction Tout Wars Champion. Follow him on Twitter @ZachMLB

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