At this point in the season, owners are looking for just about anything that works. With desperation moves being made left & right by owners attempting to stay in contention, let FBS guide you down the right path and ensure that you’re choosing the most prolific options.
1.Albert Pujols, 1B STL: .313/29/85/78
This is supposed to be a down year for Pujols, right? Wrong. As his owners know, Pujols can be put down for 30+ bombs & 100+ RBI every single season. Despite his lower than usual average, Pujols’ incredible K:BB ratio of 52:70 shows his tremendous patience at the dish. The Machine also has 11 steals this season, a facet of his game that often goes unappreciated in fantasy circles. Pujols is especially hot right now and has scored at least one run in 11 straight games. He should have no problem staying hot this week as the Cards continue to roll towards the postseason.
2.Michael Stanton, OF FLA: .270/14/39/29
Coming into the year as one of the top five prospects in the minors, Stanton has really impressed since getting called up to the Fish. After somewhat of a slow start, the big slugger has really heated up and is now up to 14 dingers for the year. He’s just 20 years old, so he will strike out quite a bit, but his power potential is undeniable. With just 196 AB at the major league level, Stanton has 40 HR potential as soon as next season. He heads into a favorable matchup this week against a bad Pittsburgh club.
3.Ian Desmond, SS WSH: .265/9/48/43
Desmond has been hitting the ball well all month long and continued his hot hitting this week. He’s hit safely in seven of 12 August games, and what’s most impressive is that each of those have been multi-hit performances. Heading into next week he carries a .349 August average and has shown why the Nationals were so high on him heading into the year. Owners can expect a multitude of production from Desmond while he’s hot as he has 12 steals as well, but buyer beware as he does have a tendency to be streaky.
4.Luke Scott, OF BAL: .296/22/53/51
On pace to shatter his previous career high in HRs (25), Scott has been a big fantasy contributor at bargain basement prices for owners who were willing to take a chance. Baltimore’s slugger has been absolutely scorching over his last 11 games, batting .439 with five taters, 11 RBI, and eight runs scored. He’s been ripping the cover off of the ball and doesn’t look like he’s slowing down any time soon. On par for his best season (by fantasy standards, at least), Scott’s power potential is too much to ignore this week as he heads ito a friendly series against Seattle.
5.Troy Tulowitzki, SS COL: .321/11/49/54
Always a strong second half performer, Tulo is making good on his reputation and continues to deliver red-hot results for his patient owners. After missing some time earlier this season, Tulo has really rebounded nicely and proven his elite status as a fantasy SS. So far this month Troy has delivered mightily for the Rockies: .400, two homers, and ten RBI. Look for him to keep rolling as the Rockies line up against division rivals LA & Arizona this week.
1.RA Dickey, SP NYM: 8-5, 2.43 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 71 K
There is something that is critical to Dickey’s success that his numbers will never tell you but is always the first thing out of his opposition’s mouth: that gosh-darn knuckleball. Since re-inventing himself as a knuckler and joining the Mets earlier this season, the 34-year-old journeyman has been one of the best fantasy finds of the season. Now with 111 IP, Dickey continues to impress owners by his continued success. Nobody expected him to be this good as he’s been (arguably) the Mets most consistent option outside of Santana. Owners that scooped him off of the waiver wire are patting themselves on the back, and frankly, they should be, as he’s been nothing short of awesome. He’ll take a 3-4 road record with him as he heads to Houston next week.
2.Francisco Liriano, SP MIN: 11-7, 3.26 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 160 K
Talk about a bounceback year, Liriano has really silenced his critics since his return to All-Star form. He’s pitched well all season long and looks to be the pitcher that the Twins thought that he was prior to his elbow injury that forced him to undergo Tommy John surgery. Now back in full form, the Santana clone has been pivotal to his team’s success this year and doesn’t look poised to fall off any time soon. Not only is he overpowering his opposition with his nasty pitches, but he’s finally learning how to pitch in certain situations and has been much more capable of escaping a (potentially) big inning this season. With the White Sox on deck this week, owners should get ready for another dominating performance as he’s 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA against them this year.
3.Johan Santana, SP NYM: 10-6, 2.90 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 121 K
Simply put, Santana is the best pitcher in the history of baseball in the second half. After his most recent CG shutout of the Rockies, the crafty lefty is now an incredible 64-20 after the All-Star Break in his career. Outside of just two back-to-back outings at the end of July, Santana has been brilliant over the last six weeks. He’s allowed one ER or less and gone at least seven innings in seven of his last nine starts and really appears to be getting more and more comfortable as the season rolls on. He’s a two-start option this week against Houston & Pittsburgh, so owners should be salivating at the thought of what he’s capable of doing in the upcoming week.
4.Dallas Braden, SP OAK: 7-8, 3.56 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 81 K
Despite being a part of history and rifling a no-hitter against Tampa Bay earlier this year, Braden has really had an up-and-down season. He’s struggled with injuries throughout the year but seems to have finally righted the ship at this point. He’s 3-1 with a 2.97 ERA over his last five starts, including a CG against the Mariners in his last outing. He’s not a strikeout pitcher, but his ability to keep his walks down coupled with his efficient pitching makes him a pesky guy to face for opposing lineups. He’ll be a two-start guy this week with the first coming against the Blue Jays, so Braden is once again worth a fantasy flier for those owners looking for help.
5.Jeremy Hellickson, SP TB: 2-0, 1.29 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 13 K
Hellickson is Tampa Bay’s most prized pitching prospect to come through the ranks since former first-overall selection David Price. He certainly looks like the real deal so far as he’s been extremely impressive through his first two starts in the majors. While it is unknown how long the youngster will be with the major league club, he should be able to stick through the end of the year as fellow starter Jeff Niemann remains shelved with a shoulder strain. Rosters expand on September 1st, so Hellickson should get a few more starts to continue proving that he belongs at this level. He’s certainly worth at least a flier in most leagues, but he’s especially value to those in Keeper leagues.