RotoGraphs asked me to post my first-ever column for the site with six days left in the season. That’s right, six days.
This can only mean one thing, of course – they firmly believe that I will bring such brilliant and insightful advice that I can swing a full season of fantasy baseball with 500 words, less than a week before the season ends.
Well, maybe that isn’t what they had in mind, but I am going to give it a shot anyway. So here are six guys who are a) available in at least 90% of leagues (according to Yahoo) and b) will give you a chance to pick up those last couple points to break into the money or take the title.
Joe Benson (0% ownership in Yahoo) – His keeper value has already been covered, but here is a guy with 20-20 potential (over a season, not a week) and that means he could easily steal a base or two and hit a HR or two over the last few days.
Chris Carter (0%) – Sure, the guy strikes out about half the time he gets to the plate. And, no, he does not have a single MLB HR this year. But this is a guy who has consistently put up ISO’s above .250 in AAA – the power is real. And if you have him for the right 6 day period, he could easily boost your power numbers (as long as you are willing to take a hit elsewhere).
Shelley Duncan (10%) – Did you know Duncan is hitting .265/.335/.490 on the year? Or .286/.385/.679 in September? The Tribe finishes the year with 4 against Minnesota (the second worst pitching staff in baseball, by ERA) and 3 against Detoit (who will not be using Verlander or, likely, anyone else they plan to have rest and ready to go for the post-season). He’s also a guy auditioning for a 2012 roster spot.
Brent Morel (6%) – The Sox 3B seemed like he might have fantasy value before the season, in large part due to having SS eligibility in most formats. Then he turned out to be pretty bad for much of the season. But in September? .263/.400/.632 with 6 HR. Miss Tulo? Worried one of your MI (Utley? Cano?) will get some days off? Morel would fill that slot nicely, and if he keeps this up, he’s an a-ok play at 3B, too.
Zach Stewart (5%) – The matchups aren’t ideal for Stewart (he faces KC and Toronto), but in 3 September starts, Stewart has a 3.79 ERA (and a 2.75 FIP), is striking out more than 7 per 9 and walking less than 2. He probably won’t pitch like an All-Star, but he has been awfully good lately and should get two more starts – and at this point, that extra start is worth a lot to someone who needs wins or Ks.
Alex White (1%)/Drew Pomeranz (5%) – Dan Wade just talked them up yesterday, but he focused on this week and that misses half of their value – after the Houston series, each of the Ubaldo-replacements should get another start at San Francisco – another weak lineup away from Coors. Even without Tulo (and they may have him), the Rockies should have enough punch to win some of the four games these two pitch, and White and Pomeranz should provide decent stats to boot.