StrategyApril 29, 2009

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Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers: Bringing the Bats

By Tom Huffman

Can you believe we are already in the fourth week of the season? The season is flying by and the dust is beginning to settle in fantasy leagues. You aren’t going to see many 15 point gains and losses overnight anymore. The standings are starting to come into focus and you should be getting a feeling for your team and where you need help. It is still a little too early to press the panic button, but it is never too early to look around and see where you can improve.

Chris put forth some nice suggestions in last week’s edition. Bartlett has cooled off but is still a solid play. I really like the Drew pick and have added him in a few leagues. Lugo has yet to see action but has been recalled and should find his name on the lineup card very soon. Hampton has done his part by staying off the DL. There are some interesting pitchers available but my favorites this week are all hitters.

For Week 4 of Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers, I’ve done some digging and found a quartet of players just begging to be owned.

(A reminder that the qualifying mark for Standard Mixed Leagues is between 20% and 50% ownership in Yahoo, whilst deeper leagues are 20% and under ownership).

Standard Mixed Leagues

Coco Crisp, OF, KC

Owned %327567

Week 3 Stats7022.333

With Boston in the rear-view mirror, Crisp is set to make a fantasy impact in 2009. He’s batting lead-off for the Royals and looking more like the hitter he was when he was with Cleveland several years back. I’m expecting 15+ HR, 20+ SB and 100+ R. If he shows signs that he’s capable of producing like that, Crisp isn’t going to be on the waiver wire for long.

Yunel Escobar, SS, Atl

Owned %482875

Week 3 Stats4140.231

After starting the season off well, Escobar was recently slowed by an abdominal strain. He looks to be back after having a monster night Saturday, picking up 4 RBIs and 3 runs along with a HR. Escobar doesn’t steal much but hitting second in front of Chipper Jones should surely net him plenty of runs. As long as Escobar can stay healthy, he should have a nice year.

AL-Only Leagues

Russell Branyan, 1B/3B, Sea

Owned %12829

Week 3 Stats426.417

Branyan is a big-time power threat. He missed five games with a sore back, but that hasn’t stopped him from posting an OPS over 1.000. His batting average is going to come back to Earth, but Branyan should keep launching long balls as the Mariners’ regular 1B. Yahoo players have the additional option of playing him at 3B.

NL-Only Leagues

Eric Byrnes, OF, Ari

Owned %94030

Week 3 Stats3222.316

Byrnes has started to get regular playing time this past week and has made the most of it. A pair of HRs and a pair of SBs last week shows there is promise. Byrnes has never hit for a great batting average but has shown in the past that he can be a 20/20 hitter. Last season’s injuries have caused him to fall off many players’ radar. Pick him up now, because another week of this and he won’t be available.

That is all I have for this week, four hitters looking for good homes. Chris will return in seven days with four new suggestions. Until then, keep watching that waiver wire!

Tom Huffman is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Tom in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Pogotheostrich.
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