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Fantasy Fix: What's Really Important About Ryan Braun

The most shocking baseball news since 2011 MVP Ryan Braun tested positive for a banned substance was announced last week: Ryan Braun will not face a suspension for testing positive for a banned substance.

We'll let others debate whether this stinks to high heaven (it does, thanks for asking). The only thing that matters to us in the fantasy world is that we can draft Braun where we originally planned: No. 3 overall and No. 2 among outfielders.

In my overall top 10, that means Matt Kemp and Miguel Cabrera still are No. 1 and No. 2, but everyone gets pushed down a notch starting with Albert Pujols at No. 4.

There was a time before Braun's positive test that I would have considered taking him No. 1, but I'm impressed with Kemp's apparent desire to be the first 50 HR, 50 SB player - and I still wonder how much the loss of Prince Fielder will affect Braun.

Here are my top 10 outfielders:

Matt Kemp, LAD: I wasn't sure about this before, but he has been brash with public statements this winter, and I like the passion. He does have the tools to go 50/50.

Ryan Braun, MIL: I think he could have career years in HRs and RBIs just because he wants to prove everyone wrong. If Kemp is 50/50, he could be 40/40.

Jacoby Ellsbury, BOS: I don't think he'll hit 30-plus HRs again, but could be back above 50 SBs.

Jose Bautista, TOR: He continues to prove doubters wrong. Another 40 HR, 100 RBI year should be a snap.

Carlos Gonzalez, COL: He missed 35 games last year, but still hit 26 HRs and had 20 SBs, and is still only 26 years old.

Justin Upton, ARI: He should probably be in the top five. He could easily go 30/30, which is something at 24, but he's streaky and SBs didn't seem to be a priority last year.

Curtis Granderson, NYY: No way he'll hit 41 HRs again, but I said the same thing about Bautista a couple years ago. He could manage 30/30.

Mike Stanton, FLA: Another young stud, not yet 23. Middling average and lack of speed are weaknesses, but he could collect 40 HRs and 100 RBIs.

Josh Hamilton, TEX: A lot of reasons to be concerned, but he will spend the year shaping his case for free agency, which usually helps fantasy stats.

Andrew McCutchen, PIT: Disappointing average and SBs were down last year, but he is still a 25/25 candidate.

Just missed: Nelson Cruz, TEX; Desmond Jennings, TAM; Matt Holliday, STL; Hunter Pence, PHI.

Expert Wire
* Bleacher Report says our WHITE SOX have four must-draft starting pitchers. I'm thinking that is a very deep draft. .

* Yahoo! Roto Arcade weighs the merits of young second basemen Dustin Ackley vs. Jemile Weeks.

* Sports Chat Place ranks the top catchers. I'll do that next week.

-

Send Dan your comments and complaints.

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