Weekly Fantasy Baseball Update: July 23rd – July 29th
It was a wild week that included some star players being traded to new teams, something that can greatly affect the outcomes of the upcoming weeks in your fantasy league. The Phillies, as they have now become accustomed to, made a splash on the trade market by pulling off another blockbuster deal at the deadline, acquiring Hunter Pence from the Astros for some highly touted prospects. Carlos Beltran was traded to the Giants. A package of Cardinals, including young outfielder Colby Rasmus, went to the Jays, who sent back a package of players including recently acquired starting pitcher Edwin Jackson. These trades could have a huge impact in your league, as Pence will now be hitting with Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, Beltran will no longer be hitting with Jose Reyes on base, Rasmus will be hitting in front of the dangerous Jose Bautista, and Edwin Jackson will have the Cardinals lineup to support him.
Fantasy Stud of the Week – Justin Upton, OF, Diamondbacks
Upton was the subject of many trade rumours in the offseason, and this week he showed why the Diamondbacks just could not give him up. He was a staggering 12-24 (.500 AVG) at the plate, with 5 home runs and a monstrous 14 RBIs. He also scored 10 runs, and stole 2 bases. He only struck out 3 times, and he managed to make up for even that by walking 3 times as well. Simply put, Upton was a monster this week. He managed to contribute enough this week to make any team dangerous in your fantasy league.
(Honourable mention: Hideki Matsui, DH/OF, Athletics, .533 AVG, 16 H, 8 RBI, 8 R)
Fantasy Dud of the Week – Aramis Ramirez
After being the Stud of the Week in last week’s edition, Ramirez has fallen to the bottom of the barrel. He only managed 2 hits in 24 at-bats, which leaves him with a brutal .083 AVG. He managed to hit one home run, but he only got two hits in the entire week, so his value is completely lost in his other hitless nights. He managed to drive in 3 runs, but that is a far cry from his previously fantastic production.
(Dishonourable mention: Kevin Youkilis, 1B/3B, Red Sox, .095 AVG, 2 H, 2 RBI)
Rookie to watch – Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals
The man who moved Billy Butler from first base had a great week, managing 13 hits in 32 at-bats, which was good for a .406 AVG. He also hit a home run and 4 doubles, with 6 RBIs. He scored 5 runs and walked twice, all the while managing to pick up a stolen base. If you have the need, you might want to pick him up fast: He’s 95.2% owned and that increased 8.9% last week, so if you need a solid backup, or even a starting first-baseman and you are in a deep league, Hosmer may be your man.
Waiver Wire Player of the Week – Desmond Jennings, LF, Rays
The heir to Carl Crawford’s throne in Tampa’s left field showed that he could fill Crawford’s shoes this week. He managed to go 11-26 (.423 AVG) with a home run and 8 RBIs. The production didn’t stop there, as he managed to score 6 runs, walk 6 times, and steal 4 bases. Jennings has always been a top prospect, and this weekend he showed that he can provide value in every offensive category of fantasy baseball. If you are looking for someone to fill in for the outfield, Jennings could be a great solution. The only suggestion I have for you is to pick him up fast: he’s now owned in 91.9% of ESPN leagues, which increased a whopping 87.1% in the last 7 days.