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There was a time when I would have encouraged my opponents in fantasy leagues to trade or drop the likes of Alex Rios, Adam Dunn and Gordon Beckham from their fantasy squads, the better for me to pick them up just in time for them to get hot in the second half.
But, like a lot of White Sox fans, I've stopped believing any of these guys will ever get going. That is not necessarily the case with everyone who had a bad first half. Some of those July cast-offs can still manage to deliver some value in August and Septembers.
Here are a handful of guys with lousy first half numbers who I would gladly scoop up from the wire or trade for if their owners have grown tired of them:
Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Colorado: His strikeout totals have been creeping upward, and his ERA sliding downward. One of Colorado's patented late-season runs could be what he needs to finish strong, unlike last year, when he appeared simply worn out after an overpowering first half.
Dan Uggla, 2B, Atlanta: He was hitting so poorly that his current (as of Tuesday) 16-game hitting streak only managed to raise his average to .195. Seven of his 18 home runs have come in the last month, and I think he's a good bet to end up with more than 30 for the fifth straight year.
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington: After a long injury, much of the last month or so was like spring training for him, and he has shown signs the last week or so of finding his hitting touch.
Zack Greinke, SP, Milwaukee: An up-and-down year has him 7-4, but the Brewers have lost a few games in which he left with the lead. He has been pitching like a starter who should have double-digit wins, and should get there quick as Milwaukee makes a stretch run.
Neftali Feliz, RP, Texas: After blowing four of his first 16 save opportunities and seeing his ERA balloon, he is six-for-six in the last month and his ERA has settled back under 3.00.
Raul Ibanez, OF, Philadelphia: For much of this year, it looked like a terrible 2010 was the beginning of a career slide, but he has bounced back in the last month, hitting about .300 during that span, including six of his 14 home runs.
* USA Today wonders whether B.J. Upton will be traded. Prepare for Desmond Jennings' value to rise.
* ESPN thinks John Danks is worth a pick-up (speaking of guys who had lousy first halves).
* Bleacher Report says Carlos Beltran's fantasy value will take a hit if he's traded.
With the lockout unlocked, I'm scrambling like everyone else, trying to make sense of the free agent market and judge talent that hasn't set foot in training camp yet. I'll roll out my top 20 next week, but for now I leave you with this: Arian Foster vs. Adrian Peterson vs. Chris Johnson for No. 1. Discuss.
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