The stunning 80-game suspension delivered to Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte Tuesday is going to hit fantasy owners hard, much like it did a year ago when Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon was caught in the final week of April. Gordon returned in the final days of July, but for many fantasy owners, that was too late. Marte, who tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance, was the No. 29 selection in ESPN average live drafts and fifth among outfielders, after being the 25th-best player overall on the 2016 Player Rater. His absence is clearly a big deal.
Still, fantasy owners in ESPN standard leagues and beyond are going to ask several obvious questions, so here are some answers: First, should Marte be dropped in a 10-team league? He will not get the important asterisk that designates disabled list status, so that means he’ll need to become one of three bench options, but one that won’t be viable to start again until July.