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Fantasy Fix

I was in the mood to pick on someone, so I decided to go back and look at my pre-season top 40 fantasy baseball picks to see who would qualify as the biggest under-achiever of the group. It had to be someone who hasn't spent extensive time on the disabled list, which ruled out guys like Ian Kinsler, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jimmy Rollins, whose low numbers reflect far fewer games played.

Mark Teixeira looked like a candidate until the last week or so, when his bat really came alive. What about Ben Zobrist, the 2B/SS/OF, whose position eligibility and multi-category HR/RBI/SB/AVG studliness made me list him at No. 34? He had 0 HRs though Tuesday and just 16 RBIs with a .266 AVG. He was redeemed somewhat by his 6 SBs, but has otherwise been a huge disappointment.

Then I stumbled upon Grady Sizemore, the Cleveland centerfielder who was considered one of the most productive leadoff men in baseball just a few years ago. Sizemore's power and speed combo kept him listed in the top 40 in many drafts his year despite an injury-plagued 2009. I had him listed at No. 31, but through Tuesday, he had 0 HRs, 13 RBIs, just 4 SBs and a.211 AVG.

Congratulations, Grady, you're the biggest bust of the year so far.

So, should you keep Sizemore if you have him?

I tend to look at June 1 as the deadline for guys to start pulling their weight, regardless of pre-season rank.

Having said that, last year I dropped Troy Tulowitzki on June 1 when he was hitting .218, and he went on to have a MVP-like season. Do what you have to do.


It's Week 7 in the fantasy baseball world, and Grady Sizemore better take the hint.


Fantasy Find of the Week: Jose Bautista, 3B/OF, Toronto.

A guy with 11 home runs should not be a secret at this point, but Bautista remains only 48% owned in Yahoo! leagues. He is hitting .241 at a pretty deep position, but with 4 HRs and 8 RBIs last week alone, and a little bit of position flexibility, it might be time to buy.

Fantasy Stud of the Week: Justin Morneau, 1B, Minnesota.

He has been looking more like teammate Joe Mauer lately, hitting .545 last week with 4 HRs and 8 RBIs.

Fantasy Dud of the Week: Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee.

Braun was looking brawny just a couple of weeks ago, but a 3-for-17 stretch with no HRs or RBIs last week no doubt dimmed the prospects of many a fantasy team.

Fantasy Match-up of the Week: Javier Vazquez, SP, NY Yankees.

He started horribly this year in his second stint with the Yankees after a winning tour of the National League last year. Interleague match-ups over the next week, beginning with a scheduled start against the Mets Saturday, give him a shot at redemption.

Expert Wire
* Roto Arcade has a piece on the No. 2 pre-season fantasy player, Hanley Ramirez, who was held out at least one game for "doggin' it." Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez will not get much love from fantasy leaguers, regardless of how selfish his top player sounds.

* takes a look at players with lofty prospects as interleague play begins this week. Interleague plays means nothing but confusion in fantasy baseball corners. You've got healthy DHs not playing, random National League utility men getting more at-bats than they will get the rest of the year - I don't like change.

* Bleacher Report asks if Aramis Ramirez is back to his old self after a walk-off homer Monday night. Wrigleyville denizens and fantasy owners sure hope so.

* Bleacher Report reports on two promising Detroit Tigers - SP/RP Max Scherzer and 2B Scott Sizemore - being sent to the minors. Scherzer used to have one of the fantasy world's best strikeouts-per-nine innings and strikeouts-to-walks ratios, but has lost his touch this year.

* USA Fantasy WindUp loves SP Mat Latos, even though he spells his name weird. Latos has been flying off the waiver wire in a lot of leagues, which will happen when you don't give up a run for 18 innings and counting.


Dan O'Shea's Fantasy Fix appears in this space every Wednesday. He welcomes your comments. You can also read his about his split sports fan personality at SwingsBothWays, which isn't about what it sounds like it's about.

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