It's a lot more fun to write about rankings risers in Fantasy Baseball, especially early in the season. It's fun to look at a hot start like Jared Jones' or Jordan Westburg's and dream that it's the start of a new level of stardom for that player, even though it might just be one good month.

But when it comes to the negative side of the leger, it's typically a lot more prudent to be a bit less reactionary. Part of the reason for that is that the stakes are higher; lowering players who you were investing real draft capital in should require real compelling evidence; but when all it costs to buy into a hot start is some FAB and a spot in your lineup, it's a whole lot easier to be aggressive. 

So, while we saw some pretty significant swings in value in April in my rankings risers columns, you'll generally see much smaller swings in the rankings fallers. I try to be more measured about the players dropping down the rankings, and that's reflected in this list of the biggest fallers, where you mostly see single-digit drops within each position's rankings. I don't want to give up on guys I liked a lot coming into the season in April, and that's reflected here. 

But that doesn't mean nobody can move. Here's who has dropped since the start of the season. 

Mitch Garver, C, Mariners

Preseason: C9 – Now: C14

I haven't dropped Garver in any of my leagues, and I still have faith that he's going to be one of the best hitters at the catcher position. But given how deep the slump he's been in to open the season is, I had to at least move him out of the, "Yeah, there's your No. 1 catcher in a one-catcher league" range of the rankings. From 2019 through 2023, he hit .251/.347/.508, and if he's even 90% that good while serving as the Mariners primary DH, he's still going to be a significant difference maker for Fantasy. But he's also 33 and playing in one of the tougher hitter's parks in baseball, with little in his underlying data to suggest he's just suffering from bad luck. Garver has been awful, and for the most part, he's earned it. It won't take much to bump him back into the top 12, but we've gotta see it first. 

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Cardinals 

Preseason: 1B6 – Now: 1B9

The thing that's tough about Goldschmidt is, we've seen the apparent decline from him before, and he pulled out of it. In 2019, he had just an .822 OPS, with the worst underlying metrics of his career, and then he proceeded to turn things around to the point where he won an MVP in 2022. Do we really want to write him off? Well, he's 36 now, not 31, and his underlying metrics are significantly worse than even in that 2019 campaign; his expected wOBA is down to .315 (it was .359 in 2019) and his whiff rate has jumped from 27.5% to 31.3% this season. I don't want to say he's finished, but if Goldschmidt were finished, this is what it would look like. 

Bryson Stott, 2B, Phillies

Preseason: 2B10 – Now: 2B15

I wasn't much of a believer in Stott coming into the season, so dropping him this far is fairly easy, and I could drop him a few more spots without much concern. His breakout in 2023 depended on him wringing absolutely everything he could from a pretty limited skill set as a hitter, and he made it work for him, thanks to a prime spot in a very good lineup and his ability to steal a bunch of bases. This season, however, Stott is batting exclusively in the bottom half of the Phillies order, and he has started just five of their first 11 games against lefties, which really highlights how pedestrian his bat is. He'll hit better than his .221 batting average moving forward, but I don't have much faith he'll be a standout there, and given the playing time concerns, is he just a stolen base specialist? 

Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates

Preseason: 3B12 – Now: 3B16

"Full-season statistic are more predictive than partial-season statistics" is one of my guiding principles as a Fantasy analyst, and sometimes I just throw it out the window to follow a narrative. Sometimes it works out. And sometimes. … Well, Hayes took a huge step forward in the second half of last season by elevating and pulling the ball more than ever, and then he's come out this season with a 51.8% groundball rate (highest since 2021) and 23.5% pull rate (lowest since also 2021). And now I look like a fool for touting him. We've seen a proof of concept for what a star version of Hayes can be, and maybe he'll find that swing again. But the fact that he's reverted right back to being the same guy he was prior to last summer makes me think we shouldn't be betting on it. 

Nico Hoerner, SS, Cubs

Preseason: SS9– Now: SS11

Now this one, I'm not so sure about. For some reason, Hoerner opened the season batting seventh in the Cubs lineup after finding success at the top last season, and it wasn't until April 16, with both Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki injured, that he started a game in the leadoff spot. Since then, he's started all but one game there, and it's helped him get going: He's batting .322 in his past 13 games. But there's one big problem still: He has just one steal in those 13 games, his only one of the season. Hoerner isn't suddenly a slowpoke, or anything, but the Cubs do have a new manager in Craig Counsell, and they've attempted just 15 steals on the season, the third-lowest mark in the majors. Counsell's Brewers teams weren't especially averse to running, so I'm not sure where this is coming from, but it's really holding Hoerner's value back right now. I still think the batting average and runs are enough to make Hoerner a starting-caliber player, but it has significantly narrowed his margin for error, and this is one skill we can't necessarily say with a lot of confidence will come back. 

Nolan Jones, OF, Rockies

Preseason: OF14 – Now: OF18

I've got Jones in a bunch of leagues, so his slow start has been especially painful for me. This "Now" ranking reflected his drop before the back injury that landed him on the IL, so I haven't totally given up hope on him. But the thing here is, as awesome as he was last season, it's a smaller sample of success than for any of the other players mentioned here. He wasn't even on the Rockies roster until late May, so we're really talking about four months worth of success. 

Now, it was four months of success from a player with both a minor-league track record and pretty impressive prospect pedigree, who had the added benefit of Coors Field on his side, so I was inclined to buy in. And now I'm just hoping that the back injury that landed him on the IL helps explain why he's been so bad so far, because I don't have much else to be optimistic about – his .232 expected wOBA is in the bottom 1% of the entire league right now. Coors Field ain't gonna fix that. I'm not dropping Jones from any of my teams, because the upside is too high, but I can't give you any specific reason to believe he's going to turn things around right now. 

Carlos Rodon, SP, Yankees

Preseason: SP34 – Now: SP44

Rodon would be even lower than this if not for his start Saturday, when he finally rediscovered the feel for his slider, throwing it a season-high 27% of the time. Prior to that, he had basically been throwing his cutter as often as his slider, and it just isn't nearly as good of a pitch for him. The best version of Rodon we've seen threw his fastball and slider almost exclusively, and both pitches were so dominant that he just didn't need anything else. The fastball hasn't really shown that kind of life yet, but at least we got a sign that his slider might be that effective again. If not for that, I would have dropped him even more in my rankings. For now, he's a hold, but if you have someone in your league who sees that 2.48 ERA from Rodon and thinks he's still something close to an ace, I'd be willing to sell. 

Michael King, SP, Padres

Preseason: SP50 – Now: SP61

If not for 38.1 innings at the end of last season where he succeeded in the Yankees rotation, King would have been a total afterthought for Fantasy. Instead, he was like a 12th-round pick in most leagues; not so high that you couldn't see the appeal, but high enough that his busting would certainly hold your team back. And we're now 36 innings into King's season, and he's been pretty awful, with a 5.00 backed up by a 5.13 expected ERA. The 24.7% strikeout rate is nice, but it hasn't been near enough to overcome his ugly 13% walk rate or his league-high 10 homers allowed. Given how small the sample size of King's success was, I'm not especially inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. I'm holding him in H2H points leagues where his RP eligibility boost his value, but in Roto leagues, I'm just about ready to drop him for the next interesting pitcher on waivers (and that might include John  Means and Taj Bradley as they get set to make their returns from injury). 

Gavin Stone, SP, Dodgers

Preseason: SP59 – Now: SP71

I was buying the idea that Stone's struggles last season were related to mechanical issues that led to him tipping his pitches, but now I'm not so sure! He's doing a better job limiting hard contact than he did last season, but that's just about the only place we've seen improvement from him. Otherwise, he's still sporting a 16.5% strikeout rate and 11.0% walk rate, pretty awful marks in both regards. His changeup is a legitimately great pitch, but I'm not sure anything else here plays up against major-league hitters, and clearly, it isn't enough. I don't want to write him off entirely, but yeah, I've lost faith. 

Andrew Abbott, SP, Reds

Preseason: SP75 – Now: SP89

I also liked Abbott as a cheap sleeper with some upside, but that upside is nowhere to be found right now. He showed a ton of strikeout ability in the minors, and then managed a 26.1% strikeout rate and 3.87 ERA in an overall pretty up-and-down rookie season. But he just hasn't looked like the same guy at all so far, with his whiff rate on his four-seamer, sweeper, and curveball all dropping below 20%. There just isn't any swing-and-miss in his game right now, and given his iffy command, flyball tendencies, and extremely hitter-friendly home park, he needs to be a standout in strikeouts to have much Fantasy value, and I just don't see much reason to think he'll be that at this point.