Without any major news impacting the ottoneu player pool this week, no one is attracting the kind of attention afforded to Lonnie Chisenhall or Matt Adams the last two times I wrote this column. But there are auctions on-going and four players have stepped out ahead of the pack.
Two relievers, a starter and an outfielder are atop the list of most current auctions, and if you are deciding whether or not to bid on this fab four, I’ll let you know what I am planning for each of them.
Quintin Berry (OF, DET) – David Wiers gave a pretty good run-down of why you should be bullish on Berry just 24 hours ago, so I am not going to waste many words telling you what you already know (or what you can read by clicking the link above). But from an ottoneu perspective, Berry isn’t quite as attractive as other formats. If you are playing an ottoneu 5×5 league, take Wiers at his word, but in the FanGraphs Points league (where steals have limited value) and 4×4 leagues (where they have none), Berry is more stop-gap than star. If you need OF help, he is worth a buck or two, but unless you need those steals, I expect his value to be somewhat limited the rest of the way. I may make a move for Berry in my 5×5 but I’ll let someone else use a roster spot on him in the other formats.
Wade Miley (SP, ARI) – About two weeks ago, both Mike Podhorzer and Dan Wade told you to steer clear of (or sell high on) Miley. Like Berry, I will just add the ottoneu perspective which is…well…the same. Even in leagues where I am short on SP, Miley is only on the periphery of my radar, and I’ll be skipping the bidding.
Brayan Villarreal (RP, DET) – Lest you think I am not bidding on anyone these days, in the original ottoneu league I started auctions for each of the two remaining players on this list, starting with Villarreal. Jim Leyland is on the record saying Villarreal isn’t ready to close, but unless you really need saves, I am not sure that matters. More than 13 K/9 IP, a 1.16 ERA and a 2.04 SIERA, and a minuscule HR/9 make this middle reliever an incredible asset in either 4×4 or Points leagues. He only has two holds so far, but expect to see that increase. Besides, if you grab him cheap now, you may have a solid closer on your hands for 2013. Find room for him, enjoy the K’s and rates, and thank your lucky stars you play in a league that doesn’t force you to chase every potential closer out there.
Charlie Furbush (RP, SEA) – While Furbush is working out of the pen, he holds SP eligibility in ottoneu, which is quite valuable. The .167 BABIP to date is a bit disconcerting, but if Furbush continues to strike out more than 11 guys per 9 IP while avoiding walks and HRs, he’ll have plenty of room for error even when some of the balls in play start to find grass instead of leather. Besides, while Furbush appears to be a couple spots removed from a closing gig in Seattle, that bullpen has had some struggles this year late in games (6 pitcher no-no notwithstanding), and Furbush may get a shot at some point. I’m not recommending you pick him up for saves, but if you need the rest of the package, he is bringing it right now, and can extend your bullpen into an extra roster slot by sitting in an SP spot.