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Fantasy Fix: Be Like George

Fantasy Fix was saddened to hear of the passing of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, for if there is one MLB owner whom all fantasy league owners try to emulate, it's George, by George.

We all want to be the most competitive, the most decisive, the most aggressive at picking up free agents and trading fading players for those just hitting their stride. And, more than anything else, we all want to be standing above the rest at the end of the season, chomping our cigars, and savoring the jealously on the faces of the vanquished.

As the second half begins in a couple days, let Steinbrenner's spirit continue to be your guide. That means, in part, making some bets on which players will reach peak value as the summer wears on. Here are a few ideas among players still widely available in most Yahoo! leagues:

Madison Bumgarner, SP, San Francisco: The youngster was shaky in his first couple starts, but two nice games before the All-Star break suggest he's getting more comfortable.

Edinson Volquez, SP, Cincinnati: A big risk because he's returning from injury, but he'll be pitching for a red-hot team, and has showed in the past how he can dominate.

Stephen Drew, SS, Arizona: Much-lauded as a young prospect, he has yet to be consistent for a full season, but his second halves tend to shine. Nice extra-base potential and speed.

Chipper Jones, 3B, Atlanta: He almost appeared ready to retire after a poor start, but has hit over .300 for the last month, and has shown flashes of his old power and RBI capabilities.

Buster Posey, C/1B, San Francisco: He was inconsistent in his first weeks up from the minors, but stroked five homers in the last week before the All-Star break.

David DeJesus, OF, Kansas City: Always have liked him as a deep-round draft pick, but he tends to be available on the waiver wire well into the second half. He's hitting .326, gets a lot of doubles and scores a lot of runs.

Rajai Davis, OF, Oakland: He's already near the top of the league in stolen bases with 27, but the best is usually yet to come with Davis. He has hit .302 post-All-Star break in his career, about 50 points higher than his first half number.

Brandon Webb, SP, Arizona: More like a candidate for your watch list. Webb has been out of action a full year-and-a-half, but the one-time Cy Young winner is said to be about a month from his first MLB start and could give you a half dozen chances as we head into playoff time.

Expert Wire
* Bleacher Report makes some second-half predictions, including decline of first-half stud Corey Hart.

* ESPN has a massive cross-section of second-half player rankings from some of the brightest minds the LeBron James Network has to offer.

* USA Today reports that the All-Star Home Run Derby jinx is a myth. Tell that to Bobby Abreu and David Wright.

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Dan O'Shea's Fantasy Fix appears in this space (nearly) 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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