As we approach the climax of the 2010 fantasy baseball season, we see teams selfishly taking the future of their organizations into consideration with no regard for our fantasy baseball playoffs and rotisserie finales. We now are forced to adjust to non-playoff teams shutting guys down and innings-caps being reached for young hurlers.
With that said, fantasy owners are more-or-less doing the opposite. Our goal is to set the best lineup for THAT WEEK. No different than any other time during the season, this is true. However, we may find ourselves taking a few more chances during these last few weeks. Without further theatrics, let’s take a look at this week’s Top 5 Risers and Fallers.
Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati Reds
In Bruce’s first game since August 30th, he belted two home runs last night in his first two at-bats. The Reds play seven games this period, and there are no pitching match-ups I would be overly concerned with. Keep in mind that Cincinnati’s NL Central lead is only at six games going into Monday, so I would expect that Bruce will be in the lineup for at least six of these games barring any re-aggravation of his injury.
Emilio Bonifacio, 3B/SS/OF, Florida Marlins
Bonifacio hit a cool .424 with nine runs scored in the last fantasy period and has quietly brought his 2010 batting average to .320. You may have better options, but seeing as how he is eligible at three positions, you can probably find a spot for him.
Coco Crisp, OF, Oakland Athletics
Crisp now had nine stolen bases in his last five games (Roto Alert!). As for head-to-head teams, he hit .444 during the last fantasy period, including two home runs and seven RBI. Not to mention he’s scored a run in each of his last eight games.
Carlos Zambrano, SP, Chicago Cubs
Zambrano has been on fire since returning to the Cubs starting rotation. After throwing a scoreless eight and two-thirds innings against the Brewers on Friday, he’s now earned wins in his last four starts. He’s got a tough match-up against St. Louis this week, but he was able to earn a win in his only other start against the Cards this season.
J.A. Happ, SP, Houston Astros
Happ had a stellar two-start week, allowing just three earned runs in 12 innings while fanning 11. Happ has now won his last three decisions and has a good shot for his fourth against Milwaukee on Wednesday.
Phil Hughes, SP, New York Yankees
Hughes had a start pushed back last week and will now face James Shields and a tough Rays team. He is a perfect example of a guy on a strict innings limit and it’s difficult to say how long he will remain in the game unless he’s lights out.
Andrews Torres, OF San Francisco Giants
Torres will have surgery to get his appendix removed, keeping him out of fantasy baseball lineups for the next week and a half or so. Even before this, he’s had only four hits in the month of September with no home runs or RBIs.
Jonathon Broxton, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers
With Hong-Chih Kuo notching another save on Saturday, I don’t see Broxton being very useful for the remainder of this season. Time to part ways with the 2009 stud, if you haven’t already.
Leo Nunez, RP, Florida Marlins
Nunez was put into the game in a non-save situation on Friday. He has not converted a save since August 25th and even if the Marlins do find themselves handing out a save opportunity this week (difficult six games against the Phillies and Cubs) there is no guarantee Nunez will be the one called on to nail it down.
Jon Garland, SP, San Diego Padres
Another loss last week makes three in as many starts. He’s given up 11 earned runs in 16 innings over this span, and even though he’s looking at two starts this week, neither are good match-ups (at Colorado and at St. Louis). There are plenty of better options to go with over the slumping Garland.