Fantasy Baseball 2012: Injured List Predictions for 2nd Half

Who thinks they have a great fantasy baseball team…..well, except for the small fact that your star players are busy chilling on the disabled list? There is only one thing worse than getting little production, or less than you expected to get, and that is NO production at all. Players like Matt Kemp, Evan Longoria, and Giancarlo (Mike) Stanton, are players that can carry teams but have spent time, or about to spend time on the DL. There is not much you can do with them either. In seasonal fantasy baseball leagues, they are too valuable to cut, you can’t get fair value in a trade for them, and you obviously can’t play them. This can lead to extreme headaches, frustration, and the sucking of all the fun out of playing fantasy baseball. Hopefully this article will help you determine what is best to do with an injured star and what to expect. If you are lucky enough not to own one of these injured players, this may help you determine if you want to trade for one of these players.

 

Matt Kemp, OF LA Dodgers

Matt Kemp is looking to come back from the DL for a very strong 2nd half

Matt Kemp: Kemp was one of the most dominating players right out of the gate. He has 12 HRs, 28 RBIs to go along with a .355 batting average. Those are not terrible stats to have at the all-star break by the average player, but the remarkable thing is that he did all of this damage in the first month of the season. Lately, it has been nothing but frustration to have Kemp on your fantasy team. Many were teased with his comeback after the minimum 15 days spent on the DL, only to have him play a game and a half and proceed to go right back on the DL for another month. There was really no choice but to put him on your bench. As you probably know, he is said to be activated at the start of the 2nd half of the season. You may be getting low ball offers from other owners right now. (I know I have.) Unless you are blown away by an offer, I cannot see trading Kemp. I expect him to hit 20 homers to along with 50 RBIs from this point forward. I know many of you including myself drafted Kemp in the first round for his mix of power and speed. Because of his leg injury, I would not expect many steals from Kemp in his return. He only had 2 when healthy before his injury and I do not think he will end the season with more than 15. I think you will also have to wait a couple weeks before he trusts his legs enough to attempt another steal. If you can get him for a couple good players, I would advise you to do it. He is one of the best players in the game right now when healthy.

Evan Longoria: Unfortunately for those that have Longoria, I am not so sure you have as bright of future as Kemp. Evan Longoria’s hamstring injury is worse. He is not expected to be back to the Rays until August. There is not even a definitive timeline as to what time he will back in August. You will be extremely lucky if you will get 2 months of games out of Longoria. He is also not far enough along in his rehab to see if he will have any setbacks. He has not even been cleared for baseball activities. (I always liked this statement. What are you cleared to do otherwise, eat, walk and sleep? That is not productive.) Anyway, I would be surprised if he hit 15 more regular season homeruns. I am thinking you might be able to expect 8 homeruns and maybe 25 RBIs for the rest of the regular season. If you are in weekly fantasy leagues, I would still not play him for a week or two until he is back and doing well. If you can trade his big name for any decent healthy player, I would advise that you do it. I would easily take players like Todd Frazier, JD Martinez, Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis, and Will Middlebrooks instead of Longoria.

 

Carl Crawford, OF Boston Red Sox

Carl Crawford is trying to come back from his injury, but could face Tommy John surgery in the offseason.

Carl Crawford: Carl Crawford, as everyone knows, has done nothing this year. He has not taken one AB this entire year. If you used a late round draft pick on this guy and still have him, you may hold on to him, but not at the expense of someone you could use. I do not believe at all in Crawford for this season. He has already stated he will probably need Tommy John surgery after the season. I would be stunned if he hit 7 HRs or tallied 20 RBIs this season. I would doubt he would steal much either with Ellsbury leading off. If you get any kind of an offer of a player that you could use now, you should make that trade immediately in any type fantasy league you may be in. With all of the quality outfielders that have stepped up for the Red Sox, I believe they will still get some playing time even when/if Crawford comes back, which will further cut into his value. I would even advise saving yourself the ulcer, and cutting him for a good free agent if you are in dire need at a position where a decent free agent is available. I see Crawford going back on the DL or playing sparingly the rest of this season.

Jacoby Ellsbury: Jacoby Ellsbury is also someone that has been tough to stomach this year. He was not off to a blazing start with .192 average when he hurt his shoulder. However, the good news is that if you held on to him, he will start playing when the 2nd half begins. Shoulder injuries are tough to gage. Ellsbury could be tentative swinging the bat hard for fear of tearing his shoulder again. Because of this, you can expect about 6 homeruns and around 22 RBIs for the rest of the year. I do think he could steal around 13 bases if he can stay healthy. I am higher on Ellsbury than Crawford, but I also would trade Ellsbury should I get a decent offer in return for him. He was not playing well before the injury and no way to be sure if he can stay healthy.

Giancarlo Stanton: Call me crazy, but I actually believe that if you have a bench spot available, Giancarlo Stanton going on the DL, is a blessing in disguise. The knee has been bothering him all year long and his production has fallen off the past month before going on the DL. He has 19 HRs and 50 RBIs all while dealing with his bad knee. I think he had the potential to be the best, or at least a top 3 outfielder in seasonal fantasy baseball if he was healthy this season. He showed flashes of that already. Bad news is that he will be out 4 – 6 weeks and will not come back until the middle of August. However, I still believe Stanton will hit 17 more homeruns and drive another 40 runs in upon his return. The Marlins may be out of the race when he returns and he will just be able to let loose and swing for the fences with a healthy knee. The general public may struggle with his name change from Mike Stanton now, but everyone will know him soon, if not already. I do not recommend you trading Stanton. He will burn you for that. I would rather struggle with some other marginal outfielder until he returns. He will be a huge force next year in fantasy baseball as well!

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