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Roto Riteup: September 16, 2012

I’m kind of confused. Yesterday was a big day in baseball, but if my twitter feed was accurate, most people spent the day watching something called “college football.”

• Waiver trade acquisition Stephen Drew popped just his second home run in an Athletics uniform last night. He is still having a disappointing and injury plagued season, but a few weeks worth of production here in the head-to-head playoffs or stretch run of rotisserie leagues could be on his horizon. Drew has batted everywhere in the lineup from lead-off to eighth, so it’s hard to predict exactly where Melvin will plant him going forward. For now, Drew makes for a solid pickup in deep leagues or AL-only formats. He is owned in roughly 20% of both ESPN and Yahoo! formats. I’ve written about (and gotten burned by) him in the past, but fool me seven or more times, and shame on me.

• If you’re in the market for catcher help — and honestly, who isn’t — then Alex Avila is probably the best option for you. After his 3-for-4 game yesterday he is now up to a 106 wRC+ on the season. Of course that value doesn’t directly translate to standard 5×5 leagues, but his offensive prowess is still being showcased this season, even without the fantasy statistics. He’s barely owned in 50% of Yahoo! leagues and just 36% of ESPN leagues.

• For the fourth straight night Carlos Quentin was kept out of the lineup. He’s suffering from knee soreness in his right knee again. The same knee kept him from starting this season on time, as he didn’t get into a MLB game until May 28. When healthy, Quentin is a dependable fantasy roleplayer, unless HBP is a category. If being hit counted the same as a home run, Quentin would be a lock for the Hall of Fame. All of this recent missed time — despite not being placed on the disabled list — has caused his ownership rates to plummet. Quentin is owned in less than 30% of ESPN leagues and is at just 32% for Yahoo! leagues. For those of you in weekly leagues, it seems as though he’ll have to be sat for now. I’ll have an update for you all tomorrow morning.

• The apparent coin flip that is Francisco Liriano happened to land on his good side yesterday. He pitched seven innings, striking out nine and earning the win for his effort. Almost as important as his strikeouts, Liriano allowed just two walks to a fairly patient Minnesota team. Given that he had given up 22 earned runs in his has six appearances and starts, this was very encouraging. If you’re feeling frisky, go ahead and grab him. For me, I don’t think I’ll be rostering him any time soon. He is simple too volatile.

For those of you who play daily fantasy games like FanGraphs: The Game, or just like to stream players, here are a couple matchups you may be able to exploit.

A Pitcher for Today: Dan Haren at KC
Going against every 1990’s fiber in my body, I feel like I keep picking against Will Smith.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Tim Hudson at FLA
A small day (just eight games) plus a quality ground ball pitcher makes this an easy pick for me.

A Hitter for Today: Josh Willingham vs CHW (Jake Peavy)
I feel like Peavy has been tiring as of late and Willingham is having what I would call his greatest season.