Fantasy Fox: 5 ways to improve your roster after a deflating draft

Mike Trout (far left), Cincy's Billy Hamilton (middle) and Philly's Cliff Lee are all must-have assets on the fantasy trade market, regardless of their sluggish starts to the season.

However, that kind of patience doesn’t apply to low-level fillers from draft day, slow starters like Marlon Byrd, Daniel Nava, Yunel Escobar, Yonder Alonso, Avisail Garcia or even Braves fixtures B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla, who are collectively batting .166 (with two runs and three RBI) through six games.

As such, given the lack of depth and general volatility of third basemen — after the superstar contingent — it’s not prudent to drop any of the four assets … short of a major injury or permanent demotion.

Overall, Lee’s a virtual cinch for 15 wins, a sub-2.80 ERA and 235 strikeouts.

Think of this as a last-resort ploy … made four months in advance.

But to even get this far, an owner must first perform a brutal-truth assessment of their roster — in terms of the multi-category depth/potential amongst outfielders, starting pitchers and corner infielders, relative to how everything stacks up with other teams.

And if the words "epic fail" keep coming to mind … then it might be worth trading the fantasy realm’s most bankable dynamo.

First, alert your fellow GMs to Trout’s time-sensitive availability — in the form of a short but informative email or message-board post.

Second, be extremely vague about what you’re looking for, other than relaying that best offer wins.

Then, set a firm deadline for when all credible offers must be submitted. Emphasize how the blockbuster trade would be completed soon — especially before Week 3 or 4 in head-to-head or weekly leagues.

For those playing in highly competitive leagues, expect an immediate avalanche of respectable trade offers — calling for at least three high-level starters at corner infield, outfielder, starting pitcher or top-notch closer.

Jay Clemons can be reached via Twitter, day or night, at @FOX_JayClemons.