Tim Dierkes

Waiver Wired

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Down To The Wire

Friday, September 21, 2007

Down to the wire, get it? Me neither. Anyway there's a week and change left for you to make your move. If you come up a half-point short you'll be beating yourself up until next March. That's no fun. Now is a time when many fantasy owners throw in the towel. Don't be that guy. It's time for a full court press - go nuts looking at matchups, dig in to see which teams are running out super-weak September lineups and spot-start against them.

American League

Jamie Walker, RP, BAL – Fernando Cabrera picked up a save this week against the Blue Jays, but he's been battered around since. Walker or maybe Chad Bradford are your best choices for saves in Baltimore depending on the match-ups in the ninth inning. And of course the O's will need to create some save situations first. AL: $5, Mixed: $1.

Jose Contreras, SP, CHA – Though it's a game no one will be watching, Tuesday's Contreras-Greinke matchup is kind of interesting for fantasy owners. That's one reason fantasy baseball is good – it makes some people care about games like this or the Gavin Floyd/Kevin Slowey deathmatch on Sunday.. Anyway Contreras is coming off a shutout against these same Royals and I'd run him out there in most leagues. I wonder how he and Greinke will fare the second time around. AL: $8, Mixed: $1.

Danny Richar, 2B, CHA – Small sample, but Richar's bat has come alive this month (.292/.324/.554 with 3 HR in 65 at-bats). Richar is probably owned in most AL-only leagues but could be helpful in deep mixed. AL: $10, Mixed: $1.

Zack Greinke, SP, KCA – Greinke dominated the listless White Sox on Thursday, and gets them again on Tuesday. He should be owned in all leagues. He might get one more start after that against the Tribe in the Royals' last game. That one would be a tad more risky. AL: $12, Mixed: $3.

Juan Rivera, OF, LAA – Rivera is 4 for his last 11 with two home runs, so he might be shaking off the rust just in time for the playoffs. He's a fine pickup for power in any league. AL: $13, Mixed: $3.

Kevin Slowey, SP, MIN – Slowey against the White Sox on Sunday? Yes. Any rookie starter is risky but the White Sox are running a lot of awful hitters out there right now. You'll want to drop Slowey before he faces the Red Sox though. AL: $2, Mixed: No.

Carl Crawford, OF, TBA – At the time of this writing Crawford's status is still unknown. If your league is going down to the wire and you need the roster space, you should cut him. How much is he really going to run if he does come back for a few meaningless games? AL: No, Mixed: No.

Adam Lind, OF, TOR – The Vernon Wells shut-down should result in more playing time for Lind. He hasn't done much this month but hasn't played regularly. Consider him in deep AL-only for the final week of the season. AL: $2, Mixed: No.

National League

Jeff Bennett, SP, ATL – Great big league season debut for the 27-year-old journeyman, but it seems that he'd draw the Phillies next. I would not chance it. NL: No, Mixed: No.

Peter Moylan, RP, ATL – Desperate for saves? Consider Moylan. He's not getting much buzz right now but if Rafael Soriano sits out his four games for his suspension he's probably the bets candidate for saves. NL: $8, Mixed: $1.

Geovany Soto, C, CHN – The whole "play Kendall over Soto because of veteran experience" idea is looking kind of dumb right now. Soto is raking and has been fine behind the plate. If Lou has any sense we'll see a lot of Soto down the stretch. He's a nice addition in any league given his minor league breakout. NL: $14, Mixed: $3.

Homer Bailey, SP, CIN – The hype on Bailey was huge, but he hasn't helped fantasy teams much this year. He's healthy now and shut down the Triple A-like Giants offense on Thursday. Next up is an Astro offense that isn't much better, so I'd spot-start him. NL: $5, Mixed: No.

Jeff Keppinger, SS/3B, CIN – I'm skeptical of the 27-year-old Keppinger, but he does have a history of batting .300 going many years back. The guy almost never strikes out and that allows for some sweet batting average streaks when the hits drop in. If it's not too late you might as well pick him up as your shortstop in deep mixed. He's been batting second so he can help in runs also. NL: $12, Mixed: $2.

J.R. Towles, C, HOU – His franchise-record eight RBI game might get him some fantasy attention. It also might cause the Astros to wake up and play him every day through season's end. His .976 OPS at Double A is promising. NL: $7, Mixed: $1.

Josh Anderson, OF, HOU – Anderson is a speedy centerfielder without much of a bat. The kid can run but he hasn't attempted a steal in 13 games. I'd try him in NL-only for steals anyway. He might pick up a few and play semi-regularly. NL: $5, Mixed: No.

Andy LaRoche, 3B, LAN – It makes sense to start LaRoche regularly to finish out the season, not that Grady Little will do that. The young third baseman might be worth a look in NL-only. NL: $3, Mixed: No.

Jayson Werth, OF, PHI – Werth is a hot pickup right now. He's playing regularly and driving in tons of runs, plus he has seven steals in 232 at-bats. Granted he's faced a disproportionate amount of lefties and mashed them, plus Shane Victorino is back. But Werth is werth a pickup in deep mixed leagues. NL: $10, Mixed: $1.

Ian Snell, SP, PIT – If you're in a shallow mixed league, it's possible no one has noticed Snell's dominance this month. He gets Arizona Tuesday and then St. Louis. He's a must-start in all leagues. NL: $24, Mixed: $12.

Brett Tomko, SP, SDN – Tomko is gaining popularity after blazing through a couple of weak lineups in his first two Padres starts. He gets the Giants next on Tuesday, so he should be owned if you're pushing for wins. Tomko has said he's a lot more comfortable in San Diego, so maybe he's on to something. NL: $10, Mixed: $1.

Pat Misch, SP, SFN – Should you try Misch in place of the shut-down Tim Lincecum Friday night? Misch has shown decent command this year but hasn't started much. This is really a borderline call as the Reds' offense is worse than the numbers say given the losses of Griffey and Hamilton. Shut-down players will be important to keep in mind when evaluating spot-starts. NL: $1, Mixed: No.

Tim Dierkes contributes to Rotoworld's Fantasy Baseball Coverage. He also runs a fantasy baseball blog at RotoAuthority.com
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