All stats are updated through Wednesday, June 5.
|Player Name||% change|
|1.||Yasiel Puig, OF, Dodgers||47|
|2.||Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals||29|
|3.||Matt Joyce, OF, Rays||25|
|4.||Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins||20|
|5.||James Loney, 1B, Rays||16|
|6.||Jason Castro, C, Astros||16|
|7.||Adam Lind, 1B, Blue Jays||15|
|8.||Ryan Doumit, C, Twins||13|
|9.||Jonathan Lucroy, C, Brewers||11|
|10.||Nick Franklin, 2B, Mariners||11|
Worth a second look: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox
More than one-third of the way into the season, Saltalamacchia finds himself in an unfamiliar position. He's batting close to .270. A .313 batting average (25 for 80) over his last 23 games is largely to thank. As often as he strikes out, it obviously won't last, but against seven righties this week, against whom he has a .919 OPS this year and a near-.800 OPS for his career, he should keep it going for now, especially since most of those righties are hittable or unproven types like Roberto Hernandez, Chris Archer, Kevin Gausman, Freddy Garcia and Miguel Gonzalez.
Approach with caution: Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks
With 11 hits over a recent nine-game stretch, Montero looked like he was finally getting on track after a horrendous slump to open the season. But since then, he's 1 for 10, and he'll have a hard time reversing course with four lefties on tap this week -- especially since two of them are Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu. For his career, he has a .696 OPS against lefties, and chances are it's even lower than that in pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium and Petco Park.
No-brainers: Buster Posey, Yadier Molina, Carlos Santana, Joe Mauer, Mike Napoli, Matt Wieters, Brian McCann
Advisable starts: Wilin Rosario, Jason Castro, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, J.P. Arencibia, Evan Gattis, Ryan Doumit
Shaky starts: A.J. Pierzynski, Jonathan Lucroy, Salvador Perez, Yasmani Grandal, John Buck, Russell Martin, Miguel Montero, Chris Iannetta, Erik Kratz
Strictly AL/NL-only: Welington Castillo, John Jaso, Yan Gomes, Kurt Suzuki, Ryan Hanigan, Derek Norris
Don't bother: Tyler Flowers, Devin Mesoraco, Alex Avila, Brayan Pena, David Ross, Rob Brantly, Kelly Shoppach, Chris Stewart, Michael McKenry, Geovany Soto, Nick Hundley, Martin Maldonado, A.J. Ellis (oblique), Carlos Ruiz (hamstring), Wilson Ramos (hamstring), Francisco Cervelli (hand), Mike Zunino, Travis d'Arnaud, Jesus Montero
First baseThe few players who qualify only at DH now appear alongside the first basemen so that their owners might have some context for how to approach them this week. If you see an asterisk (*) next to a player's name, it means he's DH-only and not a lecgitimate first baseman.
|1.||Red Sox||@TB3, @BAL4|
|4.||Blue Jays||@CHW3, @TEX4|
After straining his right hamstring Wednesday, Mitch Moreland had to go on the DL Thursday, which is unfortunate with the Rangers scheduled to face the Indians and Blue Jays pitching staffs in seven games this week. Chris McGuiness figures to fill in at first base, and his combination of power and patience could allow him to factor in AL-only leagues. Or the Rangers could opt to stick Lance Berkman at first base, which would free up the DH spot for their glut of outfielders.
Worth a second look: James Loney, Rays
Loney has cooled off a bit after homering three times in two games to close out May, but now that he's maintained a batting average over .320 for nearly 40 consecutive games, he deserves some measure of trust among Fantasy owners. If he keeps his strikeout rate low, he could conceivably keep hitting for a high average, like he did when he first broke into the league. In a seven-game week, he has a good chance of outscoring some of the more all-or-nothing types at the position.
Approach with caution: Justin Morneau, Twins
Morneau isn't any more of a power hitter than Loney these days, having hit just two home runs so far. He had been getting by without his usual power numbers because of a high batting average, but over his last 10 games, he's 7 for 37 (.189) with just two doubles. Pitchers like Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Anibal Sanchez and Doug Fister should keep him at bay in a six-game week.
No-brainers: Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion, Prince Fielder, Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Davis, David Ortiz*, Buster Posey, Allen Craig, Mark Trumbo, Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez
Advisable starts: Michael Cuddyer, Billy Butler, Anthony Rizzo, Freddie Freeman, Matt Carpenter, Carlos Santana, Joe Mauer, Mike Napoli, Kendrys Morales, Mark Teixeira, James Loney, Nick Swisher, Adam LaRoche, Ryan Howard
Shaky starts: Mark Reynolds, Lance Berkman, Justin Morneau, Todd Frazier, Kevin Youkilis, Adam Lind, Eric Hosmer, Brandon Belt, Victor Martinez*, Michael Young, Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, Brandon Moss
Strictly AL/NL-only: Travis Hafner*, Carlos Pena, Ike Davis, Chris Carter, Chris Johnson, Lyle Overbay, Garrett Jones, Todd Helton
Don't bother: Matt Adams, Gaby Sanchez, Yan Gomes, Yuniesky Betancourt, Chris Parmelee, Jeff Keppinger, Jordan Pacheco, Nate Freiman, John Mayberry, Mitch Moreland (hamstring), Yonder Alonso (hand), Justin Smoak (oblique), Joe Mahoney (hamstring), Corey Hart (knee), Logan Morrison (knee), Mike Olt, Jonathan Singleton
Second baseWith Danny Espinosa providing nothing offensively in his attempt to play with a torn rotator cuff and bone chip in his wrist, the Nationals finally opted to shut him down for at least the next couple months, turning second base over to top third base prospect Anthony Rendon. It's a less than natural fit, which should give you some idea just how much the Nationals value the 23-year-old's bat. The sixth overall pick in the 2011 draft, Rendon was hitting .307 with a 1.027 OPS in 127 at-bats between Double- and Triple-A. Rarely do players with his offensive potential get an opportunity to play second base in the majors. It's an enticing combination that makes him well worth a flier in all leagues even if you can't bring yourself to start him just yet.
Worth a second look: Jurickson Profar, Rangers
Profar, meanwhile, has shown enough over his first couple weeks in the majors that you can and should bring yourself to start him, especially in a week when the Rangers are playing seven games at home against mostly hittable pitchers like Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister, Mark Buehrle and Chad Jenkins. He's an elite prospect doing exactly what he should be doing with regular at-bats in the majors. What more do you need to know?
Approach with caution: Rickie Weeks, Brewers
Weeks' miserable 2013 season went from bad to worse with the promotion of Scooter Gennett Monday. Now, he's the lesser half of a lefty-righty platoon, which means even if he starts to turn things around -- which he has shown signs of doing lately -- his Fantasy owners won't benefit. Granted, the platoon probably isn't a permanent arrangement, but you should expect sparse at-bats for Weeks this week with only one left-hander on tap for the Brewers.
No-brainers: Dustin Pedroia, Robinson Cano, Matt Carpenter, Ben Zobrist
Advisable starts: Jason Kipnis, Brandon Phillips (forearm), Jose Altuve (groin), Howie Kendrick, Daniel Murphy, Jedd Gyorko, Jed Lowrie, Kelly Johnson (back), Jurickson Profar, Nick Franklin
Shaky starts: Marco Scutaro, Martin Prado, Neil Walker, Omar Infante, Dan Uggla
Strictly AL/NL-only: Gordon Beckham, Darwin Barney, DJ LeMahieu, Rickie Weeks, Mark Ellis (groin), Mike Aviles, Emilio Bonifacio, Yuniesky Betancourt, Derek Dietrich, Jeff Keppinger, Brian Dozier, Omar Quintanilla
Don't bother: Scooter Gennett, Nick Punto, Jamey Carroll, Ryan Raburn, Freddy Galvis, Ryan Roberts, Chris Getz, Cliff Pennington, Eric Sogard, Daniel Descalso, Maicer Izturis, Ian Kinsler (intercostal), Aaron Hill (wrist), Chase Utley (ribs), Danny Espinosa (wrist), Brian Roberts (hamstring), Logan Forsythe (foot), Donovan Solano (side), Josh Rutledge, Jemile Weeks, Dustin Ackley, Kolten Wong
Third baseAfter experimenting with Jose Bautista at third base earlier this season, the Blue Jays have turned to another unlikely source at the hot corner with Brett Lawrie back on the DL: Edwin Encarnacion. Earlier in his career, his defensive lapses at the position earned him the nickname "E5," but Fantasy owners don't care how well he plays it as long as he plays it. With five consecutive starts there, he's suddenly eligible in standard leagues, so don't hesitate to shift him across the diamond if you have a Kendrys Morales or Mark Teixeira type wasting away on your bench.
Worth a second look: Todd Frazier, Reds
During an up-and-down sophomore season, Frazier is overdue for a turnaround and seems to be in the early stages of one with five consecutive two-hit games. Though his upside is limited, he tends to hit home runs in bunches, so maybe you should get him active again with the Reds scheduled to play seven games this week, including three against struggling Brewers pitchers Kyle Lohse, Yovani Gallardo and Wily Peralta.
Approach with caution: Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
I don't mean to pick on Ramirez, listing him here for the second straight week, but his starting rate has only risen since last time. It's up to 80 percent even though his production continues to sag. With all the troubles his knees have given him this year, the Brewers have taken to sitting him about once every three games, and by acquiring slugging third baseman Juan Francisco from the Braves Monday, they more or less confirmed that they plan to stick with that approach. They don't have the most favorable matchups in their six games this week anyway. Don't expect to get much from Ramirez in four.
No-brainers: Miguel Cabrera, Edwin Encarnacion, Adrian Beltre, Evan Longoria, David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, Matt Carpenter, Manny Machado
Advisable starts: Josh Donaldson, Pablo Sandoval, Chase Headley, Hanley Ramirez, Kyle Seager, Mark Reynolds, Jedd Gyorko, Todd Frazier, David Freese
Shaky starts: Anthony Rendon, Martin Prado, Nolan Arenado, Aramis Ramirez, Kevin Youkilis, Pedro Alvarez, Michael Young
Strictly AL/NL-only: Will Middlebrooks (back), Mike Moustakas, Chris Johnson, Mike Aviles, Matt Dominguez, Trevor Plouffe (calf), Alberto Callaspo, Yuniesky Betancourt, Luis Valbuena, Jeff Keppinger
Don't bother: Jose Iglesias, Placido Polanco (illness), Ed Lucas, Nick Punto, Jamey Carroll, Ryan Roberts, Jordan Pacheco, Adeiny Hechavarria, Daniel Descalso, Maicer Izturis, Brett Lawrie (ankle), Alex Rodriguez (hip), Eric Chavez (oblique), Wilson Betemit (knee), Lonnie Chisenhall, Nick Castellanos
Worth a second look: Nick Franklin, Mariners
Through nine games in the big leagues, Franklin has only exceeded what were probably inflated expectations to begin with, ranking first among second basemen in Head-to-Head leagues over the last seven days. Of course, he's eligible at shortstop as well. As long as he maintains the disciplined approach he has demonstrated so far, drawing six walks compared to only three strikeouts, he should distance himself from the waiver fodder at both positions, even if he has no more two-homer games in store.
Approach with caution: Brandon Crawford, Giants
Though the home runs dried up in April, Crawford has remained a serviceable shortstop in Fantasy over the last five weeks, but his one extra-base hit in his last 10 games might be the nail in his coffin. With Francisco Liriano, A.J. Burnett, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Julio Teheran on tap for the Giants, several of his teammates figure to join him in futility this week.
No-brainers: Troy Tulowitzki, Jean Segura, Elvis Andrus, Everth Cabrera, Ben Zobrist, Ian Desmond
Advisable starts: Jimmy Rollins, Hanley Ramirez, Starlin Castro, Jed Lowrie, J.J. Hardy, Nick Franklin
Shaky starts: Marco Scutaro, Andrelton Simmons, Stephen Drew, Jhonny Peralta, Didi Gregorius, Alcides Escobar, Alexei Ramirez, Erick Aybar, Brandon Crawford, Zack Cozart, Yunel Escobar
Strictly AL/NL-only: Mike Aviles, Pete Kozma, Derek Dietrich, Willie Bloomquist, Brian Dozier, Munenori Kawasaki, Pedro Florimon, Omar Quintanilla
Don't bother: Marwin Gonzalez, Nick Punto, Adeiny Hechavarria, Cliff Pennington, Daniel Descalso, Eric Sogard, Maicer Izturis, Clint Barmes, Asdrubal Cabrera (quadriceps), Danny Espinosa (wrist), Ruben Tejada (quadriceps), Eduardo Nunez (rib), Jose Reyes (leg), Derek Jeter (ankle), Dee Gordon, Josh Rutledge, Billy Hamilton
OutfieldJustin Ruggiano, who looked like a fixture in the Marlins lineup to begin the season, has sat out five of the team's last six games, with no apparent reason for the change other than maybe weaning him off regular at-bats for when prospect Christian Yelich arrives. Meanwhile, Carlos Quentin, who was in and out of San Diego's lineup early this season to save wear and tear on his surgically repaired knee, has started six of team's last seven games. Granted, neither player is standard mixed-league fare -- at least not as things stand now -- but because both can be useful at times, you'll want to make note of which one is gaining and which one is losing value.
Worth a second look: Yasiel Puig, Dodgers and Daniel Nava, Red Sox
Whether or not you should own Puig was never really in question. With his two-homer game Tuesday, the recent Dodgers call-up answered whether or not you can trust him in your lineup right away. About one-third of his Fantasy owners remain skeptical, but with him looking to secure a role for the long haul and facing four left-handers this week, you'll want to give the five-category threat every chance to revolutionize your lineup. Meanwhile, Nava has been as steady as they come since the start of the season and doesn't seem to be in serious jeopardy of losing regular at-bats even with Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino on the verge of returning. Even if the Red Sox go back to sitting him for Jonny Gomes against lefties, they don't face a single one of those this week. With seven games, Nava is nearly a lock for 20 Head-to-Head points.
Approach with caution: Starling Marte, Pirates and Gerardo Parra, Diamondbacks
Most figured Marte was performing over his head when he compiled a .336 batting average through May 11, but few expected him to fall quite so hard. In 23 games since then, he's batting .188 (16 for 85) with a .518 OPS. Because he rarely walks, he doesn't contribute much for his Fantasy owners when he's not hitting well. Six games against the Giants and Dodgers pitching staffs are unlikely to get him back on track. Though he's been mostly serviceable this year, Parra has been as vulnerable as ever against left-handed pitchers, batting .246 with a .633 OPS. Not only are the Diamondbacks scheduled to face four lefties this week, but two of them are Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Parra's road OPS is also about 150 points lower than his home OPS, and Dodger Stadium and Petco Park are two especially tough places to hit.
No-brainers: Mike Trout, Carlos Gonzalez, Jose Bautista, Andrew McCutchen, Shin-Soo Choo, Chris Davis, Justin Upton, Adam Jones, Jay Bruce, Allen Craig, Domonic Brown, Carlos Beltran, Alex Gordon, Alex Rios, Mark Trumbo, Matt Holliday, Dexter Fowler (illness), Carlos Gomez, Nick Markakis, Yoenis Cespedes
Advisable starts: Ryan Braun (thumb), Michael Cuddyer, Matt Carpenter, Nelson Cruz, Hunter Pence, Yasiel Puig, Coco Crisp, Ben Zobrist, Josh Hamilton, Melky Cabrera, Desmond Jennings, Jason Heyward, Josh Willingham, Norichika Aoki, Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Daniel Nava, Nate McLouth
Shaky starts: Shane Victorino (hamstring), Kelly Johnson (back), Jacoby Ellsbury (groin), Martin Prado, Starling Marte, Brett Gardner, Matt Joyce, Evan Gattis, Michael Morse (quadriceps), Ryan Doumit, Jayson Werth, Leonys Martin, Alejandro De Aza, Alfonso Soriano, Torii Hunter, Gerardo Parra, Ben Revere, Vernon Wells, Lorenzo Cain, Michael Brantley, Angel Pagan (hamstring), Denard Span, Marcell Ozuna, Carlos Quentin, Peter Bourjos (hamstring), Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick, B.J. Upton, David Murphy, Jon Jay, Lucas Duda
Strictly AL/NL-only: Colby Rasmus, David DeJesus, Raul Ibanez, J.D. Martinez, Drew Stubbs, Scott Van Slyke, Will Venable, Aaron Hicks, Chris Carter, Juan Pierre, Ichiro Suzuki, Michael Saunders, Dayan Viciedo, Andy Dirks, Chris Denorfia, Nate Schierholtz, A.J. Pollock, Cody Ross, Jackie Bradley, Justin Ruggiano, Garrett Jones, Andre Ethier, Rajai Davis, Chris Young, Emilio Bonifacio, Seth Smith, Chris Coghlan (calf), Cameron Maybin, Marlon Byrd, Travis Snider, Jason Kubel, Delmon Young, Rick Ankiel
Don't bother: Eric Young, Jeff Francoeur, Craig Gentry, Jason Bay, Ryan Raburn, Avisail Garcia, Chris Parmelee, Jonny Gomes, Jordany Valdespin, John Mayberry, Franklin Gutierrez (hamstring), Matt Kemp (hamstring), Bryce Harper (knee), Austin Jackson (hamstring), Carl Crawford (hamstring), Curtis Granderson (hand), Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring), Corey Hart (knee), Adam Eaton (elbow), Justin Maxwell (hand), Chris Heisey (hamstring), Ryan Ludwick (shoulder), Darin Mastroianni (ankle), Nolan Reimold (hamstring), Logan Morrison (knee), Wil Myers, Oscar Taveras, Christian Yelich, Oswaldo Arcia
The Hit Parade is your guide to setting your lineup for the upcoming scoring period. Looking at matchups for the week ahead and considering other factors such as streaks, injuries and lineup changes, we sort all Fantasy-relevant hitters at each position into five categories: "no-brainers," "advisable starts," "shaky starts," "strictly AL/NL-only" and "don't bother."
These designations rate each player's Fantasy value for the current week only and have no bearing on his value for the season as a whole. Injuries are shown in parentheses.
Any players not appearing on these lists are presumed to be below "don't bother" status and are obvious sits in Fantasy.