All stats are updated through Wednesday, June 12.
|Player Name||% change|
|1.||Kyle Blanks, OF, Padres||39|
|2.||Carlos Quentin, OF, Padres||25|
|3.||Adam Lind, 1B, Blue Jays||22|
|4.||Mike Carp, OF, Red Sox||17|
|5.||Anthony Rendon, 2B, Nationals||14|
|6.||Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, Red Sox||13|
|7.||Jose Iglesias, SS, Red Sox||12|
|8.||Mike Zunino, C, Mariners||11|
|9.||Adam Dunn, 1B, White Sox||10|
|10.||Brett Gardner, OF, Yankees||8|
Worth a second look: Jason Castro, Astros
Castro's matchups aren't abnormally good this week, but he's "worth a second look" just because he's so overlooked. In Head-to-Head points leagues, he's the third-best catcher over the last 28 days, batting .309 with five home runs and a .976 OPS during that stretch, and yet he's owned in just 69 percent of leagues. Yeah, he has cooled a little in June, but not on the level that Wilin Rosario, J.P. Arencibia and Evan Gattis have.
Approach with caution: Mike Zunino, Mariners
Normally, a top prospect claiming a starting role at the major-league level is cause for celebration in Fantasy, but in this case, you have to wonder what the Mariners were thinking. At Triple-A Tacoma of the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, Zunino was batting just .238 overall and .215 over his last 42 games, without any of his usual plate discipline. If he was overmatched there, you have to think he'll be overmatched here. Avoid him until he gives you reason not to.
No-brainers: Buster Posey, Carlos Santana, Joe Mauer, Yadier Molina, Mike Napoli, Matt Wieters, Brian McCann
Advisable starts: Jason Castro, A.J. Pierzynski, Jonathan Lucroy, Salvador Perez, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Evan Gattis, Ryan Doumit
Shaky starts: Wilin Rosario, J.P. Arencibia, Russell Martin, Miguel Montero, Mike Zunino, Yasmani Grandal, John Buck, Chris Iannetta
Strictly AL/NL-only: John Jaso, A.J. Ellis (oblique), Carlos Ruiz (hamstring), Welington Castillo, Tyler Flowers, Devin Mesoraco, Yan Gomes, Kurt Suzuki, Derek Norris
Don't bother: Ryan Hanigan, Alex Avila, Rob Brantly, Chris Stewart, Michael McKenry, Hank Conger, Geovany Soto, Nick Hundley, Erik Kratz (knee), Wilson Ramos (hamstring), Francisco Cervelli (hand), 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 legitimate first baseman.
Yonder Alonso is on the DL with a broken hand, but the Padres have found someone perhaps even more exciting to replace him. Kyle Blanks, a one-time top prospect derailed by Tommy John surgery just when he was emerging as one of the game's better up-and-coming power hitters, is back playing every day and doing a good job of it, batting .341 (10 for 41) with three homers and a 1.047 OPS over his last 12 games. He's not the most advisable start this week with the Padres scheduled to face the Giants and Dodgers rotations, but he's an enticing pickup for the long haul.
Worth a second look: Adam Lind, Blue Jays
Also enticing is Lind, whose resurgence was pretty easy to ignore when he was sitting against lefties, but apparently now he isn't, having started against the last three. And they haven't been able to slow him down. He's batting .447 (21 for 47) over his last 10 games and .344 overall. Now that you have some hope of him playing every day, starting him is an easy call against pitchers like Jorge De La Rosa, Jeff Francis, Juan Nicaso, Freddy Garcia and Jason Hammel.
Approach with caution: Nick Swisher, Indians
If you've owned Swisher in previous years, you know just how streaky he can be. Last year, he hit .284 with a .972 OPS in April, .207 with a .567 OPS in May, .321 with a .954 OPS in June, .222 with a .732 OPS in July and so on. So really, it shouldn't surprise you that he's 4 for 48 (.083) over his last 13 games. And you shouldn't expect it to end overnight.
No-brainers: Joey Votto, Prince Fielder, Edwin Encarnacion, Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Davis, Allen Craig, Buster Posey, David Ortiz*, Mark Trumbo, Freddie Freeman, Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez
Advisable starts: Matt Carpenter, Billy Butler, Anthony Rizzo, Joe Mauer, Carlos Santana, Michael Cuddyer, Mike Napoli, Mark Teixeira, Adam Lind, James Loney, Adam LaRoche
Shaky starts: Adam Dunn, Mark Reynolds, Kendrys Morales (back), Brandon Belt, Brandon Moss, Todd Frazier, Victor Martinez*, Kyle Blanks, Lance Berkman, Nick Swisher, Ryan Howard, Justin Morneau, Eric Hosmer
Strictly AL/NL-only: Kevin Youkilis, Travis Hafner*, Michael Young, Paul Konerko, Logan Morrison, Garrett Jones, Carlos Pena, Todd Helton, Chris Carter, Chris Johnson
Don't bother: Matt Adams, Jeff Baker, Tyler Colvin, John Mayberry, Mike Carp, Gaby Sanchez, Juan Francisco, Lyle Overbay, Yan Gomes, Yuniesky Betancourt, Chris Parmelee, Jeff Keppinger, Jordan Pacheco, Nate Freiman, Mitch Moreland (hamstring), Yonder Alonso (hand), Justin Smoak (oblique), Joe Mahoney (hamstring), Corey Hart (knee), Mike Olt, Jonathan Singleton, Ike Davis
|1.||White Sox||@HOU1, @MIN3, @KC3|
|4.||Blue Jays||COL3, BAL3|
Worth a second look: Dan Uggla, Braves
Uggla is still batting under .200 on the season, but he's also on pace for 32 home runs after an encouraging nine-game stretch in which he has hit .300 (9 for 30) with three home runs. He has also eclipsed 20 Head-to-Head points in three of the last six weeks. He's an all-or-nothing player for sure, but I have a hard time believing he'll get nothing in an eight-game week with pitchers like Jonathon Niese, Shaun Marcum, Wily Peralta, and Alfredo Figaro on tap.
Approach with caution: Kelly Johnson, Rays
Once again, Johnson has proven to be the streakiest of streakers, unable to buy a hit in his last 10 games, during which he's batting .100 (4 for 40), after looking like a world beater over the previous six weeks. Chances are he'll get hot again at some point, but this regression to the mean is exactly why you made a point to keep another second baseman on hand. You did, didn't you?
No-brainers: Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Brandon Phillips, Matt Carpenter, Ben Zobrist, Jason Kipnis
Advisable starts: Ian Kinsler (intercostal), Howie Kendrick, Jose Altuve, Jed Lowrie, Nick Franklin, Dan Uggla, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon
Shaky starts: Jurickson Profar, Martin Prado, Neil Walker, Kelly Johnson, Omar Infante, Gordon Beckham, Rickie Weeks, Derek Dietrich, Marco Scutaro (finger)
Strictly AL/NL-only: Mike Aviles, Darwin Barney, DJ LeMahieu, Mark Ellis, Emilio Bonifacio, Logan Forsythe, Willie Bloomquist, Jordany Valdespin, Brian Dozier, Omar Quintanilla
Don't bother: Jeff Keppinger, Daniel Descalso, Yuniesky Betancourt, Scooter Gennett, Nick Punto, Jamey Carroll, Ryan Raburn, Freddy Galvis, Marwin Gonzalez, Chris Getz, Eric Sogard, Maicer Izturis, Jedd Gyorko (groin), Aaron Hill (wrist), Chase Utley (ribs), Danny Espinosa (wrist), Brian Roberts (hamstring), Josh Rutledge, Jemile Weeks, Dustin Ackley, Kolten Wong
Third baseWill Middlebrooks is back after once again proving he could hit minor-league pitching, going 5 for 17 with two homers on a rehab assignment on Triple-A Pawtucket. Unfortunately, in his absence, Jose Iglesias gave the Red Sox much more consistent production than Middlebrooks was giving them before landing on the DL with a strained back. Middlebrooks is still the Red Sox's primary third baseman, but they haven't promised him everyday at-bats. You should probably avoid him with Matt Moore, Anibal Sanchez, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander on tap this week.
Worth a second look: Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
Alvarez is one of those frustrating hitters who does 80 percent of his damage in 20 percent of the season, but he seems to be doing it now, batting .288 (15 for 52) with six homers over his last 15 games. Of course, you never know when it'll end, but with the Pirates facing six righties and playing seven games on the road, where Alvarez has a .257 batting average compared to .170 at home, it has a decent chance of continuing this week.
Approach with caution: Chase Headley, Padres
Benching a player as high-profile as Headley is always risky because you don't want to miss out on the week when he makes up for lost time, but I have a feeling this week won't be that week. Not only are the Padres facing the best the Giants and Dodgers pitching staffs have to offer, but they're also facing four lefties. Headley, like many switch-hitters, fares better from the left side of the plate. His OPS was about 100 points lower against lefties last year and is nearly 200 points lower against them this year. You can expect more of the .168 (20 for 119) hitter you've seen over the last month.
No-brainers: Miguel Cabrera, Edwin Encarnacion, Adrian Beltre, Evan Longoria, David Wright, Josh Donaldson, Matt Carpenter, Ryan Zimmerman, Manny Machado
Advisable starts: Kyle Seager, Pedro Alvarez, Anthony Rendon, Nolan Arenado, David Freese
Shaky starts: Mark Reynolds, Todd Frazier, Chase Headley, Aramis Ramirez, Hanley Ramirez (hamstring), Martin Prado, Will Middlebrooks, Kevin Youkilis
Strictly AL/NL-only: Michael Young, Mike Moustakas, Chris Johnson, Mike Aviles, Matt Dominguez, Trevor Plouffe (calf), Alberto Callaspo, Luis Valbuena, Jayson Nix
Don't bother: Jeff Baker, Jose Iglesias, Juan Francisco, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jeff Keppinger, Daniel Descalso, Yuniesky Betancourt, Ed Lucas, Placido Polanco (back), Nick Punto, Jamey Carroll, Jordan Pacheco, Maicer Izturis, Pablo Sandoval (foot), Jedd Gyorko (groin), Brett Lawrie (ankle), Alex Rodriguez (hip), Eric Chavez (oblique), Wilson Betemit (knee), Lonnie Chisenhall, Nick Castellanos
|2.||Red Sox||TB3, @DET4|
Worth a second look: Andrelton Simmons, Braves
Like Dan Uggla, Simmons gets to take advantage of a rare eight-game week for the Braves, and though he doesn't have the same explosive potential as Uggla, he has been hitting much better of late, batting .301 (25 for 83) over his last 18 games. Judging by the pitching matchups in the final five of those games, the Braves should pile up some runs this week, and their leadoff hitter figures to be one of the biggest beneficiaries.
Approach with caution: Didi Gregorius, Diamondbacks
Gregorius is batting .307 with an .843 OPS on the season, making him still nothing but a pleasant surprise for Fantasy owners. But he has begun to regress somewhat, batting .143 (2 for 14) over his last five games. With pitchers like Jose Fernandez, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Mat Latos on tap for the Diamondbacks in a six-game week, you can probably do better in standard mixed leagues.
No-brainers: Jean Segura, Ben Zobrist, Ian Desmond, Everth Cabrera
Advisable starts: Troy Tulowitzki (ribs), Elvis Andrus, Jimmy Rollins, Starlin Castro, Jed Lowrie, Nick Franklin, J.J. Hardy, Andrelton Simmons
Shaky starts: Jhonny Peralta, Hanley Ramirez (hamstring), Alexei Ramirez, Didi Gregorius, Stephen Drew, Alcides Escobar, Erick Aybar, Brandon Crawford, Yunel Escobar, Derek Dietrich, Zack Cozart, Marco Scutaro (finger)
Strictly AL/NL-only: Mike Aviles, Pete Kozma, Willie Bloomquist, Brian Dozier, Munenori Kawasaki, Pedro Florimon, Omar Quintanilla, Jayson Nix
Don't bother: Daniel Descalso, Adeiny Hechavarria, Nick Punto, Marwin Gonzalez, 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
OutfieldRyan Braun, who has yet to play in Fantasy Week 11 (June 10-16) because of a thumb injury that has plagued him for several weeks, hopes to return to the lineup Friday. The Brewers are skeptical that putting him on the DL would do him any good and, therefore, are reluctant to do so. Still, you have to wonder if playing through the pain is really the best thing for him considering he's batting .260 with a .682 OPS over his last 20 games. As long as he's playing, you have to start him in Fantasy, but keep an eye out for setbacks over the weekend.
Worth a second look: Alejandro De Aza, White Sox and Brandon Moss, Athletics
Neither De Aza nor Moss belongs in the "advisable starts" category for this week, but most Fantasy owners have to dig deeper than that to fill their final outfield spot anyway. The White Sox do have some enticing matchups against pitchers like Bud Norris, Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Correia, Scott Diamond and Wade Davis, and all seven of their games are on the road, where De Aza is a .293 hitter compared to .246 at home. Plus, he's been hot lately, batting .377 (20 for 53) over his last 13 games. Moss hasn't gotten to play much lately, but that's because the Athletics have faced five lefties in their last six games. Each of his last five hits were home runs, though, including two Wednesday. With the Athletics scheduled to face seven righties this week -- including some hittable types like Nick Tepesch, Justin Grimm, Josh Lindblom, Aaron Harang and Jeremy Bonderman -- you have to hope the trend continues.
Approach with caution: Shane Victorino, Red Sox and Carlos Quentin, Padres
Victorino returned from the DL June 8 and has started three of the Red Sox's five games since. But that trip to the DL was already his second this season, with only a one-week gap in between, and the injury that put him there -- a strained hamstring -- began acting up immediately upon his return. He'll have to play a good four or five games in a row for you to trust him again in Fantasy, and the Red Sox might not even let him do that. Considering their tough matchups against the Rays and Tigers this week, what incentive do you have to start Victorino? You have plenty of incentive to start Quentin, who's having another of his patented hot streaks after a miserable start to the season, batting .400 (16 for 40) with two homers over his last 11 games. Unfortunately, with the Padres scheduled to face Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu this week, you shouldn't expect it to last.
No-brainers: Mike Trout, Jose Bautista, Andrew McCutchen, Shin-Soo Choo, Justin Upton, Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Allen Craig, Alex Rios, Jay Bruce, Matt Holliday, Jacoby Ellsbury, Hunter Pence, Domonic Brown, Carlos Gomez, Carlos Gonzalez (foot), Carlos Beltran, Mark Trumbo, Ben Zobrist, Matt Carpenter
Advisable starts: Yasiel Puig, Jason Heyward, Giancarlo Stanton, Ryan Braun (thumb), Coco Crisp (heel), Dexter Fowler (hand), Nelson Cruz, Alex Gordon, Nick Markakis, Josh Hamilton, Desmond Jennings, Starling Marte, Michael Cuddyer, Brett Gardner, Norichika Aoki, Daniel Nava, Melky Cabrera, Gerardo Parra, Nate McLouth, Michael Bourn
Shaky starts: Josh Willingham, Shane Victorino, Brandon Moss, Alejandro De Aza, Yoenis Cespedes (hamstring), Matt Joyce, Kyle Blanks, Nick Swisher, Kelly Johnson, Jayson Werth, Martin Prado, Ryan Doumit, Alfonso Soriano, Austin Jackson (hamstring), Michael Morse (quadriceps), Evan Gattis, Torii Hunter, Ben Revere, Vernon Wells, Lorenzo Cain, Michael Brantley, Denard Span, Carlos Quentin, Colby Rasmus, Marcell Ozuna, Peter Bourjos, Josh Reddick, B.J. Upton, David Murphy, Logan Morrison, Jon Jay, Drew Stubbs, Lucas Duda
Strictly AL/NL-only: Garrett Jones, David DeJesus, Andre Ethier, Leonys Martin, Chris Carter, Oswaldo Arcia, J.D. Martinez, Michael Saunders, Dayan Viciedo, Travis Snider, Chris Denorfia, Andy Dirks, Nate Schierholtz, A.J. Pollock, Cody Ross, Seth Smith, Raul Ibanez, Emilio Bonifacio, Jordany Valdespin, Will Venable, Juan Pierre, Ichiro Suzuki, Justin Ruggiano, Rajai Davis, Chris Young, Marlon Byrd, Jason Kubel, Delmon Young
Don't bother: Jeff Baker, Tyler Colvin, John Mayberry, Jeff Francoeur, Craig Gentry, Jason Bay, Mike Carp, Ryan Raburn, Avisail Garcia, Chris Parmelee, Jonny Gomes, Gutierrez (hamstring), Matt Kemp (hamstring), Bryce Harper (knee), Carl Crawford (hamstring), Curtis Granderson (hand), Angel Pagan (hamstring), Corey Hart (knee), Adam Eaton (elbow), Justin Maxwell (hand), Aaron Hicks (hamstring), Ryan Ludwick (shoulder), Cameron Maybin (knee), Darin Mastroianni (ankle), Nolan Reimold (hamstring), Wil Myers, Oscar Taveras, Christian Yelich, Jackie Bradley
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.
Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott White at @CBSScottWhite . You can also e-mail us at email@example.com .