StrategyMay 27, 2009

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Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers: Looking at DL

By Tom Huffman

Welcome to Week 7 of Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers. Chris made some nice selections again last week. Pierre has cooled off some but is still a good play. Jimenez put up another good start. He’s been very good lately without picking up many wins. Willingham has been slow but is still a reliable source of power. Zobrist put up a good week and that SS eligibility makes it look even better. Chris has set the bar pretty high, and I’ll do my best to top him. Being laid up all holiday weekend with a double ear infection gave me the idea to look at some players returning from the DL. I thought it was a good idea, but then again I have been eating antihistamines like they were candy. As always, the cutoffs are 50% Yahoo ownership in mixed leagues and 20% Yahoo ownership in for NL/AL-only leagues.

Standard Mixed Leagues

Travis Hafner, DH, Cle

Owned %315463

2009 Stats1084.270

A lot of people wrote Hafner off before the beginning of the season. Hafner responded to critics by hitting four HRs with a .370 OBP and a .540 SLG in April before going on the DL with a sore shoulder. He had been destroying Triple-A in his rehab assignment before some back soreness Monday. He should miss a few more days before completing the minor league rehab and be back up with the big club in no time. Hafner has never been the healthiest player but when he is right is a great hitter.

John Smoltz, SP, Bos

Owned %371563

It has been a while since Smoltz was a fantasy factor, so I don’t have any recent stats to wet your appetite. But, I think we all know what Smoltz is capable of when healthy and on a winning team. Smoltz started his rehab with three scoreless IP at Single-A last week and was throwing in the low 90’s. He’ll step it up to Double-A Tuesday and if everything goes well, he should be in Boston in a few weeks.

NL-Only Leagues

Nick Johnson, 1B, Was

Owned %152871

May 2009 Stats15202.338.476.500

Nick Johnson plays for the Washington and is injury prone. O.K., he makes J.D. Drew look like an iron man. But have you seen his 2009 numbers? 15% owned is just crazy for a player that is on pace for 105 runs and 94 RBIs. Nick Johnson has a career .400 OBP and is hitting in front of red hot Ryan Zimmerman and heavy hitter Adam Dunn. As long as Johnson can stay off the DL, he score tons of runs and is a very strong play.

AL-Only Leagues

Dontrelle Willis, SP, Det

Owned %3757

Week 5 Stats13191.082.08

Count me as one that did not think we would see the return of D-Train after he was placed on the DL with anxiety disorder. You can’t argue with his last two starts though, and he was down-right dominating against a very good Rangers team. At only 27 years old, it would not be the strangest thing to see Willis overcome his previous struggles and show some of his old stuff. It is well worth the gamble to pick him up, because if he has another quality start he won’t be available much longer.

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 in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Pogotheostrich.
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