Table: Do not bench list
Todd Helton, Colorado
Schedule: 6 games - @SD (3), @LAD (3)
Analysis: As if a 10-for-39 stretch heading into last Wednesday's game
wasn't enough of a deterrent, Helton left Wednesday's contest with back spasms
in what manager Clint Hurdle called a "precautionary
move." The Rockies were up big in that game, but
Hurdle said he would've pulled him regardless of the score. This does not help
his situation for the coming week. If possible, try to look elsewhere until
Helton shows his back isn't hindering his swing.
Carlos Delgado, New
Schedule: 6 games - @PIT (3), @WAS (3)
Analysis: Delgado has not clubbed a homer in August but is still contributing
with six RBI and four doubles for the month thus far. The Pirates
should be a favorable situation for Delgado, but the spaciousness of RFK Stadium
has tamed him to a .125 average in two games there this year. However, in the
big three offensive categories, Delgado's road numbers trump his figures at
Shea. He is hitting 40 points higher on the road at a .272 clip, with nine home
runs and 36 RBI away from Flushing, N.Y. Considering the Mets' increasingly
potent offense and this week's feeble opponents, Delgado has a good opportunity
to help your team.
Adrian Gonzalez, San
Schedule: 6 games - COL (3), HOU (3)
Analysis: Gonzalez has danced on the edge of both fantasy stardom and
fantasy evil this year, frustrating owners with his most recent slump. He has
hit three homers with six RBI in his last 10 games, rekindling his fire from
weak pitching staffs in Houston, San Francisco and St. Louis. Even with two
series at PETCO Park, he could once again take advantage of Houston's pitching
woes. He's hitting .389 versus Houston this year and .333 with two home runs
and 11 RBI against Colorado. This is a potential renaissance week for the youngster.
Ryan Garko, Cleveland
Schedule: 5 games - DET (2), @TB (3)
Analysis: The 26-year-old has not contributed a home run or an RBI in
the past five games. Although he has not put up a home run or RBI against Detroit
pitching this season, he is batting .326 with 10 homers at Jacobs Field. He
is also 1-for-5 with a three-run homer at Tropicana Field this season. The young
gun could be valuable with these settings.
Carlos Pena, Tampa
Bay Devil Rays
Schedule: 6 games - @BOS (3), CLE (3)
Analysis: Pena has been one of the pleasant fantasy surprises this season,
with his 26 home runs already eclipsing his previous two seasonal totals combined.
He has just one home run with three RBI in nine games this month, and just 18
RBI since the All-Star Break. With his matchup against two strong pitching staffs,
Pena might not produce at the first-half rate that his owners have been dreaming
of. Be cautious with him until he proves his second half sluggishness won't
Kevin Youkilis, Boston
Schedule: 6 games - TB (3), LAA (3)
Analysis: Youk hit .219 in July, so he was only expected to come back
up. He has jumped out of the gate in August by hitting .323. He had 16 hits
in 73 at-bats in July, and he already has 10 hits in 31 at-bats for August.
With the Sox starting their large second-half stretch against the Rays, this
is a time for Youk to start heating up again. He has driven in a personal best
seven RBI against Tampa Bay this year.
Adam LaRoche, Pittsburgh
Schedule: 7 games - SF (1), NYM (3), PHI (3)
Analysis: LaRoche has just one home run in his last 10 games, and two
in his last 21. Ironically, his batting average was at this season's apex when
it hit .247 on Aug. 4. He's hitting .143 against the Mets, .250 against the
Phillies, and he's 0-for-3 against San Francisco. All of these facts aren't
enticing, and neither is LaRoche for starting fantasy lineups this week.
James Loney, Los Angeles
Schedule: 7 games - HOU (4), COL (3)
Analysis: Loney doesn't have a home run or RBI in his last 10 games.
Sure, Loney is hitting .321, but he isn't doing much else to earn the removal
of "Bench" from his title next week. He's looking more like Sean
Casey - which should immediately scare you.
OTHERS FOR CONSIDERATION
Richie Sexson, Seattle
Schedule: 6 games - MIN (3), CHW (3)
Analysis: Putting Sexson in your fantasy lineup is like adding a brownie
a la mode to your bacon cheeseburger. Sure, his fleeting home runs taste good,
but you will eventually learn to regret the blockage caused by his disgusting
.199 average. When you need to put the name "Mendoza" in the same sentence as
one of your fantasy players, you might need to consider other options. He has
hit only one home run and two RBI in his last 10 games. He is hitting .325 against
Minnesota and .125 against Chicago. He has a home run against each team. His
.178 post-All-Star break average is scary enough to negate those numbers, as
owners should look elsewhere until he hits a few more bombs.
Dmitri Young, Washington
Schedule: 6 games - PHI (3), NYM (3)
Analysis: Even after signing an extension with the Nats at the trade
deadline, Young has not completely returned to Earth. Sure, fantasy owners have
the right to be skeptical when Meathook puts up strong numbers, and his uniform
doesn't give you any further comfort to what he could offer. But this season
has been different; he has actually sustained his success. Young is raking at
.414 in August, with a homer and eight RBI, and he has 19 RBI in 79 at-bats
after the midsummer classic.
Lyle Overbay, Toronto
Schedule: 7 games - @KC (1), LAA (3), BAL (3)
Analysis: Let's just say Overbay's power options won't help much: he
hasn't homered since May 28. Although his RBI production still brings his name
up in discussions of utility players, his trip to the disabled list in June
derailed a promising season. He's not a primary option, but he's not someone
to just outright drop. He's averaged 82 RBI over his last two seasons. Just
because he probably won't reach those numbers, doesn't mean he won't drive in
runs at the same rate for the rest of the season. Daily leaguers should play
the matchups, weeklies should assess their situations before inserting him into
Casey Kotchman, Los
Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Schedule: 6 games - @TOR (3), @BOS (3)
Analysis: Kotchman has four RBI in six games in August, but he has no
home runs in the second half and just three RBI in 20 at-bats. Although he has
seemed to have turned things around since his 3-for-40 slump at the end of the
first half, the Angels are still throwing in Robb
Quinlan as part of a lefty-righty platoon. He is still hovering around the
middle and the bottom of the lineup. If you're desperate, put him in. He could
still be useful in deep leagues, also.
Dan Johnson, Oakland
Schedule: 7 games - @DET (1), CWS (3), KC (3)
Analysis: Johnson has climbed back into the starting lineup this week,
appearing in the starting lineup in seven of his last eight games up until August
7. However, he went 3-for-27 in that stretch, not exactly a ringing endorsement
for Johnson after being dangled as unwanted trade bait. Although Johnson is
0-for-3 at the plate against Detroit and 1-for-12 against Chicago this season,
he has abused Kansas City, going 9-for-24 with three home runs and seven RBI.
Those games, however, were in May, so who knows if Johnson will remember how
to hit against them. Be wary of Johnson's fantasy potential.
Conor Jackson, Arizona
Schedule: 6 games - @FLA (3), @ATL (3)
Analysis: Jackson has no homers or RBI in his last seven games, and
the Diamondbacks lineup continues to shuffle with
the incoming of uber-phenom Justin Upton. Despite
his lack of production, the main benefit of Jackson is that he has hit cleanup
or fifth in the order for all of the aforementioned games. While everyone but
Eric Byrnes, Orlando
Hudson, and Chris B. Young seem to be dragging
weight in that lineup, the fact that Jackson hits behind them might have some
positive influence in the near future. For this week, Jackson's road power numbers
(five home runs, 21 RBI) beat his road numbers (two home runs, 14 RBI). If you
have no other options, Jackson might be worth it.
Sean Casey, Detroit
Schedule: 7 games - OAK (1), @CLE (2), @NYY (4)
Analysis: Despite his underwhelming fantasy stats - surprise there -
Casey has six RBI in his last 10 games. He is 12-for-30 (.400) with eight RBI
against the Indians this year and 2-for-8 with an
RBI against Oakland. Casey will not impress you, but if you need emergency RBI,
Casey is better than nothing.
Mike Jacobs, Florida
Schedule: 6 games - ARZ (3), SF (3)
Analysis: Jacobs' 0-for-28 stretch isn't encouraging for managers considering
playing him this coming week. For those who staunchly believe in the term "due,"
this could bring success in the near future. He is 5-for-16 with a homer and
three RBI this season against Arizona, and 3-for-9 with two RBI against San
Francisco. These numbers aren't enough to convince managers to play him this
week. Wait until he starts contributing before having him take up a spot in
the starting lineup.
KEY PLAYERS ON DL
Nick Johnson, Washington
Nationals - Out until late August
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.