The Astros did not contribute much to Fantasy managers this week. The most useful player was Wandy Rodriguez, who with a little run support in his first start, could have been the most valuable pitcher alive, instead of "just" the seventh-most valuable. Still a sub-1.00 ERA and WHIP is pretty awesome, and managers should feel comfortable starting him in all formats from now until the end of time. His strikeout numbers are lower than one would hope, but that should increase over the next few weeks and offset the inevitable increase in ERA.
The only other players who were useful in Fantasy leagues over the past seven days were Jordan Schafer (again) Lucas Harrell, and Jason Castro. Schafer managed to use a high average and good counting stats to keep his rank high even without the five bases he swiped in the previous week. I see no reason to not start Schafer going forward.
Castro was the 9th most valuable fantasy catcher last week, mostly built on his high Average and OPS. In future weeks, I do not recommend relying on Castro as a primary catcher unless he can start putting up some counting stats. His average will not stay around .350 and his OPS will not stay above .900 without a change in approach.
If you started Harrell in your league, you reaped the benefit of a good ERA and WHIP boost, but I still want to see more before I'd recommend him as an every-week Fantasy starter.
Looking forward, feel free to start Schafer, Altuve, Lee, Martinez, and even Lowrie at Milwaukee and Cincinnati, as both teams have suspect pitching right now, and the ballpark in Cincinnati is favorable towards pitchers.
On the other hand, I can't recommend any Astros pitchers other than Rodriguez, due to the high-power lineups for both opponent clubs, plus the park factor at Great American Ballpark. If you want strikeouts, start Norris but be aware that this week isn't the best time to gamble that he will throw low-ERA games.
In the Fantasy Leagues...
In The Crawfish Boxes, I am still holding on to first place, but HMC Wrecking Crew had the best week, with 11-0-1 victory, built on monster weeks by Curtis Granderson (again!) and Matt Joyce.
In TCB Baseball Madness, Dkdio's lemonade is in in first after posting the best week in the league, a 10-2-0 win over Team Mills (I don't like what that portends...). His success was helped by fourteen(!) RBI by Freddie Freeman.
In Boxes O' Crawfish, lowastros is in first place, thus preserving a sense of irony, after a 11-1-0 win over Farmer. lowastros also has Matt Joyce on his team, and his stats were supplemented by a huge week by Josh Hamilton.