StrategyMay 13, 2009

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Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers: The Curse of Chris

By Tom Huffman

Welcome to Week 6 of Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers. Nice job by Chris last week. Guillen, Baker and Morales had solid weeks, while Bourn showed why most don’t trust his batting average (but he did manage to swipe two bases). Chris also managed to send Branyan into a tailspin by complimenting the pick, but don’t worry: the other three selections of mine that didn’t impress him went off last week. If you could say only bad things about this week’s picks, I would appreciate it Chris. I’ve got a nice variety this week with a veteran 1B, replacement closer, rookie 2B, and an improving SP. As always, the cutoffs are 50% Yahoo ownership in mixed leagues and 20% Yahoo ownership in for NL/AL-only leagues.

Standard Mixed Leagues

Todd Helton, 1B, Col

Owned %394280

Week 5 Stats231.375

Anyone interested in a number-three hitter calling Coors Field home? Helton is no longer a big power threat, but you can do much worse. He hits for a great average and gets on base a ton. The runs and RBIs will be pretty respectable too. There is no reason Helton should be sitting on the waiver wire. Go get him.

LaTroy Hawkins, RP, Hou

Owned %382436

Week 5 Stats112.0.001.12

Raise your hand if you have been burned by Hawkins before. Let it go, and run, don’t walk, to pick him up. Valverde is on the DL and Hawkins is hot. Hawkins has been fantastic since coming to Houston: 36 IP, 38 K, 9 BB, 1 HR, and 5 ER fantastic. Valverde isn’t expected back for two weeks and I don’t really consider him the picture of consistency. At the very least you can ride the hot hand for two weeks. If Valverde has a setback, it could be longer.

NL-Only Leagues

Chris Coghlan, 2B, Fla

Owned %1114

AAA 2009 Stats21322.344.418.552

Get in on the ground floor. Chris Coghlan, the Marlins first-round pick in 2006, was called up this past week. The Marlins having been working on getting him at-bats, and the recent demotion of Cameron Maybin should give him even more chances. Coghlan is an all-around fantasy hitter with some speed, power, and a decent average. In his two starts, he has hit second in front of Hanley Ramirez, and that can only help his value. Coghlan will see time at second, third, and in the outfield, and should soon gain eligibility for all three of those positions. He is going to be getting snapped up in leagues left and right, so you need to move fast.

AL-Only Leagues

Brad Penny, SP, Bos

Owned %101161

Week 5 Stats12.4.261.58

Penny is 3-1 with back-to-back quality starts. His ERA and WHIP don’t look very good because of two blowups in April, but remember, this is a pitcher who still doesn’t look 100% recovered from off-season surgery. In his last two starts, Penny has finally thrown more than 90 pitches and has started to see a few more strikeouts. Consider the fact that he didn’t allow a HR in either start, which was his downfall earlier in the season, and it looks like he might be coming around.

Please let us know what you think by posting in the discussion thread. Feedback is always appreciated. Chris will be back for next week’s Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers with four new waiver pickups. I’m sure they won’t compare to mine, but he tries. 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 and his magically changing avatars in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Pogotheostrich.
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