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Fantasy Fix: Touch 'Em All

It's one of those times of year when fantasy sports enthusiasts have a lot on their plates: Fantasy basketball drafts are underway, the football season is nearing its halfway point, and the baseball postseason is giving us a few things to ponder as we make some mental notes for next year. I will try to touch 'em all in this week's entry.

Basketball
Whether you believe the Bulls' Carlos Boozer, PF/C, injured himself by tripping over a gym bag while answering the door, what's done is done, and you can't count on any fantasy production out of him until at least the end of November.

Yet, if you were already planning on drafting Boozer for your fantasy team, it was because you know he's injury prone and you're willing to accept that. Fantasy managers who can't handle that tend to stay away from him altogether. Like Troy Murphy, another injury prone PF/C, he is still a borderline top 50 player. Given the injury, you might want to wait until the sixth-round, rather than picking him in the fifth, but leaving him on the board any longer than that makes him a bargain. He still averages a double-double when healthy, and he improved his stats in almost every fantasy category last year.

Football
U of I product Brandon Lloyd has never been much more than a No. 3 wide receiver, and that really was only during his earliest years in the league when he played with San Francisco. Yet, now with Denver, he leads all WRs in total receiving yards with 663. Can you continue to count on him?

He's got a tough match-up this week against Oakland. Also, while QB Kyle Orton, who has been a top fantasy player himself, has been focusing on getting the ball to Lloyd, the 2-4 Broncos have not been winning much with that plan. Last week, rookie QB Tim Tebow also made an appearance, getting seven snaps and scoring a TD himself without throwing the ball once. If Tebow becomes a red-zone regular for Denver, it could mean fewer catches and TDs for Lloyd. So, don't expect Lloyd to lead the league in the receiving yards when all is said and done.

Baseball
With Roy Halladay's no-hitter, Tim Lincecum's 14-strikeout complete game shutout and Cliff Lee's ongoing near-perfection, the Year of the Pitcher has extended into the postseason. Then again, you already knew these three guys were great. Has the postseason produced any surprise heroes who may require closer inspection before next year's draft?

How about Cody Ross? The San Francisco OF, a late-season acquisition from Florida, has hit four home runs in the playoffs so far. Ross has always been a borderline OF bench pick, fantasy-wise. He seemed to have a breakout year in 2009 with 24 HRs and 90 RBIs, but took a step back this year, hitting 14 HRs and collecting 65 RBIs. Florida and San Francisco are both pitchers' parks, so it's hard to expect much more next year in terms of power. He has hit .288 since coming to San Francisco, well above his career average of .265. If the Giants continue their run, and Ross continues his - and assuming the Giants sign him for next year - I could see him becoming a late-round sleeper pick next season. But don't expect him to be the next Jose Bautista.

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He welcomes your comments. You can also read his about his split sports fan personality at SwingsBothWays, a new addition to the Beachwood Media family.

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