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Setting the Trends: Quality adds to be had

Senior Fantasy Writer
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One of the most enjoyable, underused elements of Fantasy leagues are the "roster trends" pages.

They allow a gentleman to spend a night (or weekend) out on the town -- blissfully unaware of the baseball world -- then wake up, turn on his computer, and discover which players are moving up the ranks. Oh ... you didn't know that Felix Doubront was officially in the Boston rotation because that bartender with the tattoo kept making you do shots with her? Thanks to roster trends, the masses have done the work for you; click on the "most added" page, see whose ownership is skyrocketing, and your problems are solved.

Most Added Players (as of 4/3)
Player % change
1. Bartolo Colon, SP, Athletics 21
2. Mark Melancon, RP, Red Sox 21
3. Jeff Samardzija, RP, Cubs 19
4. Lorenzo Cain, OF, Royals 15
5. Felix Doubront, SP, Red Sox 15
6. Mike Aviles, SS, Red Sox 14
7. Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Athletics 13
8. Mat Gamel, 3B, Brewers 13
9. Daniel Bard, RP, Red Sox 13
10. Sean Marshall, RP, Reds 12

It's not the most exact science and you'll be behind, obviously, a great amount of other Fantasy players (perhaps even your own leaguemates), but it'll at least help cover the gaps you may have over the course of a very involved baseball season, allowing you to be a bon vivant, while remaining a competent Fantasy Baseball owner at the same time.

The "most added" standouts ...

Felix Doubront, SP/RP, Red Sox
Current ownership: 18 percent (+15 percent)
Reason for the ascent: Doubront won a role in the Boston rotation.
Should I pick him up?: It depends how deep your league is. While Doubront's place in the rotation seems safe for now, he's compiled a relatively unimpressive 3.96 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in the minors. He doesn't strike out a batter per inning, but he does come close, so for leagues with daily transactions, Doubront might be a good play to throw in every five days and let him rack up the counting stats and possible wins. He's a great option for his two-start weeks, but probably won't justify being anything more than just-above-waiver-wire/have-to-drop-him-for-someone-coming-off-the -DL material. He's the dude you release when Ryan Howard gets healthy.
How high can he go? He'll probably plateau right around 52 percent ownership.

Cody Ross, OF, Red Sox
Current ownership:
23 percent (+11 percent)
Reason for the ascent: Red sox manager Bobby Valentine mapped out his plans for the Red Sox outfield; a rotation of Ross, Darnell McDonald, and Ryan Sweeney has Ross playing every day.
Should I pick him up?: Ross flexed some decent power in pitcher-friendly parks while mixing in some steals and a .261 career average. While he isn't a slam-dunk to have a great season, he'll play virtually every day in a lineup that should produce some runs. In mixed leagues, he could be a decent fifth outfielder option.
How high can he go? Mix the overrating of big market players with the slow realization that Ross will probably continue to play every day even when Carl Crawford returns, and he should max out at about 70 percent owned.

Beat the rush on these five ...
Player % owned
1. Mitch Moreland, 1B/OF, Rangers 34
2. Justin Smoak, 1B, Mariners 57
3. Chone Figgins, 3B/OF, Mariners 16
4. Grant Balfour, RP, Athletics 68
5. Daniel Bard, RP, Red Sox 51

Alfonso Soriano, OF, Cubs
Current ownership: 71 percent (+8 percent)
Reason for the ascent: A five-game hitting streak to end March, coupled with six home runs on the spring (as of Tuesday morning), has Soriano showing a little life in his bat. While he doesn't have any steals -- that ship has likely sailed -- his 1.061 OPS has owners thinking that maybe he has some gas left in the tank.
Should I pick him up?: Every season since 2002, Soriano has hit 20 home runs. He's averaged 25 over the last two seasons. The batting average isn't going to be there, and those in points leagues should be wary of the strikeouts, but he's got plenty of potential to be a valuable Fantasy asset at the utility or fifth outfield spots.
How high can he go? Just on name recognition alone, he's a built-in 70 percent. If he gets hot to start the season, which is well within the realm of possibility, he can hit 90 percent ownership.

As for the downers ...

Roy Oswalt, SP, free agent
Current ownership: 28 percent (-9 percent)
Reason for the descent: The novelty is wearing off and Oswalt's roster spot is being used for gambles on players who are actually on rosters, like Jon Rauch and Drew Smyly.
Should I drop him?: Hold off if you can. While it might be frustrating to use a bench spot on someone who isn't currently on a roster, he could sign with a team at any moment and still has some skill left. If he signs with a team one random night in May and you aren't one of those people who refreshes the Fantasy news page religiously, you run the risk of someone else in the league adding a top pitcher that you dropped for a ninth outfielder who didn't see one start.
How low can he go?: He'll hit maybe 15 percent, then jump to 80 if and when he signs with a team.

Potential future roster casualties ...
Player % owned
1. Russell Martin, C, Yankees 87
2. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, D-Backs 81
3. Alexi Ogando, RP, Rangers 33
4. Jake Peavy, SP, White Sox 68
5. Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals 76

Derek Lowe, SP, Indians
Current ownership: 12 percent (-6 percent)
Reason for the descent: In his last spring training start, Lowe went three innings, giving up two runs on three hits, before leaving with back spasms. He has just seven strikeouts in 18 innings so far this spring.
Should I drop him?: If you own him, you know what you're getting -- an extreme groundballer who isn't going to get a lot of strikeouts, but can keep his ERA and WHIP low with a sound defense behind him. Don't let the back spasms scare you into dropping him. On the flip side, if you accidentally auto-drafted him and were looking for more of an electric, high-strikeout starter, then yes, by all means, cut him loose.
How low can he go?: Probably down to about seven percent, before he dazzles with a low ERA to start the season and sees a rebound.

Most traded ...

For a brief, ironic window on Monday, the two most traded players across Fantasy leagues were Michael Pineda and Jesus Montero, who were, as we all remember, traded for each other this offseason.

But the tide changed on Tuesday, and now Julio Teheran leads the pack of most traded players, followed closely by Anthony Rizzo, Jacob Turner, Mike Trout, and Adam Lind. Even more youngsters litter the list as you read down -- Jose Tabata, Devin Mesoraco, Domonic Brown, and Shelby Miller. So what's happening?

Owners with roster holes in keeper leagues are realizing they have a day until the season starts and are filling their holes by dangling prospects. Without getting too into look at my team, everyone! annoyance, it's happening in a keeper league I'm in right now -- we're taking top prospects in exchange for some extra pieces we have in the middle infield and outfield. Some gambles worked out for us; some gambles didn't for some others and we're able to pad our keeper stable in exchange for the Brandon Crawfords of the world.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Want an edge in your draft? Download the Fantasy Draft Kit App.

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Player News
Rusney Castillo reports for first official workout
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:01 pm ET) Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo, who recently signed a seven-year, $72.5 million contract, reported to the team's training complex in Florida Wednesday to go through his first official workout. Rusney stretched, jogged and played catch on a practice field.

Alexei Ramirez slugging better than .500 in August
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:52 pm ET) White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez homered for the second straight game during an 8-6 loss Tuesday against the Indians. He finished 2 for 5 with two runs and three RBI.

Ramirez hit a two-run homer off T.J. House in the fifth inning to give Chicago a 5-4 lead. He then tied the game at 6 with an RBI groundout in the seventh.

Ramirez is batting .303 with a .506 slugging percentage, .832 OPS, three home runs, nine doubles, 12 RBI, 13 runs and one stolen base in 22 August games.


Allen Craig hits first home run since trade
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(12:44 pm ET) Allen Craig hit his first home run as a member of the Red Sox during an 11-7 win Tuesday at Toronto. Craig capped a seven-run 11th inning with a two-run homer off Sergio Santos.

Craig finished 1 for 5 with one walk and two strikeouts. He is batting .174 (4 for 23) with one home run, two doubles, two RBI, one run, two walks and eight strikeouts in six games since being acquired from St. Louis.


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(12:34 pm ET) Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner has taken the opportunity and run with it at the plate.

Turner has become an every-day player since mid-August and has hit safely in seven of his last eight games. He has 11 hits in 28 at-bats with seven RBI and five runs scored. His stat line on the season has improved to .316/.387/.442.


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Jay is 24 of 60 against southpaws for a .400 average. He is 23 of 53 since Aug. 7 in raising his batting average from .285 to .310. He has hit safely in 14 of his last 16 games.


Dustin Pedroia homers, drives in four runs during win
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:20 pm ET) Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia homered for the second straight game and drove in four runs during an 11-7 win Tuesday at Toronto. He finished 2 for 5 with two runs, one walk and one stolen base.

Pedroia opened the scoring with a two-run homer off R.A. Dickey in the first inning. He then added a two-run single off Casey Janssen in the top of the 11th inning, which broke a 4-all tie.

The veteran second baseman is having a productive August, batting .304 with three home runs, four doubles, 13 RBI, 18 runs and three stolen bases in 23 games.


Cole Hamels reportedly upset at Ryne Sandberg over hook
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:04 pm ET) Phillies standout left-hander Cole Hamels appeared upset at being removed from the Tuesday night game against Washinton after 84 pitches and seven-plus innings in a no-decision.

Hamels was removed by Ryne Sandberg after yielding a game-tying homer to open the eighth. According to CSNPhilly.com, he clearly looked angry when Sandberg emerged from the dugout. He looked around in disgust, began walking off the mound before Sandberg arrived and handed him the ball.

Hamels, however, would not address the issue when asked about it after the game, eventually won by the Phillies. "Um, I just think it was a good game and we were able to win," he said in avoiding the question. "It was a good game that we won today," he later said. "See you guys."

Hamels has been victimized by a lack of run support this season, which explains a 7-6 record despite a 2.59 ERA that ranks fifth in the National League.


Josh Reddick doesn't like taking strikes
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Reddick has a history of extreme flyball hitting, and while that gives him the potential to hit 30-plus homers like he did in 2012, it also has a little something to do with his career .242 batting average. In 30 games since his disabled list stint, Reddick has a .301 batting average to complement his six home runs and eight doubles for the Athletics, but he hasn't relied on an inflated BABIP to achieve a high average. Reddick's BABIP since his return is .275, which is just three points higher than his career mark.

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Over most of his career, Reddick has been a pretty typical hitter in terms of his tendency to take a strike, so who knows if he can keep this going? We've seen strange things happen before over the course of 100 or so at-bats, but if Reddick continues to blend his new aggressive approach with the decent contact rate he's shown over the years, he could be legitimate as a top 25 outfielder.


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(11:54 am ET) Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista put an end to a 0-for-17 slump when he homered off Alex Wilson in the seventh inning of Tuesday's 11-7 loss against the Red Sox. Bautista became the third player in team history to have at least 25 homers in five straight seasons, joining Carlos Delgado (1996-2004) and Joe Carter (1991-96).

"Even yesterday, he hit two balls on the money, one to center field," manager John Gibbons, per MLB.com. "It's just a matter of time. Everybody goes through those, even your top hitters. But we need him, we need him to heat up."


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