Here are the top five players available in no less than 50% of standard Yahoo! leagues:
Franklin Gutiérrez, OF, Seattle Mariners (Available in 51% of all leagues)
Gutiérrez is one of those players that could provide consistency and stability to your fantasy lineup. There’s a very good chance he will be a 20 homerun/20 steal guy this season and should score a solid amount of runs. Batting 5 for 11 (.455) so far this season, he has high-upside and could breakout this year to be an all-star caliber player.
J.J. Hardy, SS, Minnesota Twins (72%)
Hardy is poised to bounce back to his old self, and around the league, it is known that he has worked as hard as anyone to get there. Thus far in the season, his hard work has appeared to have paid off, as he is 4 for 12 (.333) with two homeruns. Hardy has potential to exceed his productive season in ’08 by hitting close to 30 homeruns and batting in 75-80 RBI’s.
Scott Podsednik, OF, Kansas City Royals (79%)
Podsednik could be extremely useful in deeper leagues if you’re seeking a player with very good speed. If he were to manage a season anything like his last one, he’d be a “steal.” Podsednik has reached base successfully four times so far this season and has already stolen two bases. Assuming his batting average drops off a bit, he has the ability to steal enough bases to stay fantasy-relevant.
Édgar Rentería, SS, San Francisco Giants (89%)
Rentería is off to a torrid start having batted 8 for 11 (.727) with three walks and three RBI’s thus far. While he will obviously not post numbers anywhere near this throughout the season, however it is a magnificent sign to see that perhaps he may not have aged quite as much as many people had predicted. Also, with the return of Freddy Sanchez in the near future, Rentería will become a more dangerous offensive contributor in the lineup.
Brett Gardner, CF, New York Yankees (82%)
Gardner is one of those players who immensely benefits from the extremely talented players in which surround him. In the Yankees’ stacked lineup and the fact that the Yankees are an aggressive ballclub on the base paths, he should be able to accumulate a ton of runs scored and stolen bases.
Gardner may also be awarded with a higher RBI total than expected, as plenty of his teammates will be on base at all times. So far this season, he has reached base safely four times and already has two stolen bases and two runs. The only knock against Gardner is that he may share a bit of time when facing lefty starting pitchers, but will be significantly more than just a platoon player, as he will still be put into the lineup later in the game.
Tune in next week for more fantasy baseball waiver wire gems.