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Start and sit hitters for Week 3

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Though normally in Fantasy Baseball, you'd start your best players every week regardless of matchups, in those weeks when you do need a fill-in, whether because of injuries or the total collapse of a trusted starter, Scott White is here to help.

At each position, he'll list the players who are "too obvious" for the upcoming week, meaning the ones you wouldn't consider sitting for anyone off the list, and then suggest a start and a sit based on a variety of short-term factors.

All stats are updated through Thursday, April 10.

Dustin Pedroia's status is up in the air because of a wrist injury. He's getting the wrist examined, so he could potentially avoid a DL stint, but unless we pass on a favorable report early Monday, you probably shouldn't chance it in mixed leagues.

Thanks in part to an illness interfering with his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury, Shane Victorino won't return from the DL when first eligible Tuesday, but will instead begin a rehab assignment. Victorino's return could impact Jackie Bradley's or Daniel Nava's playing time -- the Red Sox haven't decided which yet -- but they'll have another week to duke it out.

With five consecutive starts (including one at third base), Mark Reynolds appears to have emerged as an everyday player in Milwaukee, ending his platoon with Lyle Overbay. That's good news for the Rotisserie owner looking for power off the waiver wire, but we all know Reynolds' limitations by now. He's basically Chris Carter, but with eligibility at third base.

And with that, on to the position-by-position breakdown ...

Catcher

Too obvious: Joe Mauer, Buster Posey, Carlos Santana, Yadier Molina, Jonathan Lucroy, Wilin Rosario, Matt Wieters, Brian McCann, Salvador Perez

Scott's sleepers for Week 3
Player Own/Start %
1. Kyle Seager, 3B, SEA 96/69
2. Norichika Aoki, OF, KC 74/47
3. Jedd Gyorko, 2B, SD 94/61
4. Justin Smoak, 1B, SEA 75/50
5. Charlie Blackmon, OF, COL 71/51
6. Leonys Martin, OF, TEX 78/52
7. Mike Moustakas, 3B, KC 66/26
8. Ben Revere, OF, PHI 56/41
9. Marlon Byrd, OF, PHI 54/31
10. Dustin Ackley, 2B/OF, SEA 76/52

Start: Dioner Navarro, Blue Jays
After a slow start that had everyone questioning if his breakthrough for the Cubs last year would translate to a full-time role, the portly backstop is 5 for 15 with four doubles over his last four games and has favorable matchups this week against the Twins and Indians. He should tee off on pitchers like Phil Hughes, Mike Pelfrey and Kyle Gibson, making him a nice consolation for those who missed out on Devin Mesoraco in two-catcher leagues.
Instead of: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Tyler Flowers

Sit: Russell Martin, Pirates
Martin is even hotter than Navarro, having just homered twice in the same game Wednesday, but he's a notoriously inconsistent player who tends to do most of his damage in short, unpredictable spurts. Starting him because he's the hot hand is typically ill-advised, especially when the matchups aren't in his favor. In his seven games against the Reds and Brewers this week, the only weak link is Mike Leake.
Instead of: Mike Zunino, Devin Mesoraco, Navarro

First base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion, Chris Davis, Prince Fielder, Freddie Freeman, Albert Pujols, Jose Abreu, Mark Trumbo, Eric Hosmer, Joe Mauer, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Carlos Santana, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Adams, Allen Craig, Anthony Rizzo

Start: Justin Smoak, Mariners
Remember how I advised you to sit Smoak last week? It wasn't because I can't fathom the possibility of him finally breaking out this season, but because the Mariners had some of the worst matchups of any team. Well, this week, they have the best, which should help us determine if he has staying power. The "too obvious" list is so deep at first base that you may not be able to fit him into your lineup, but he's worth a shot if you have some flexibility.
Instead of: Brandon Moss, Nick Swisher, Adam LaRoche

Sit: Casey McGehee, Marlins
McGehee has already cooled off from his torrid start, going 1 for 16 over his last four games, but he's still getting too much love from those who overemphasized the first week of games. If you didn't start him from the get-go, you probably missed out on the best he has to offer. His matchups against the Cardinals and Pirates this week should help reduce the career .257 hitter to NL-only status.
Instead of: Corey Hart, Adam Lind, Smoak

Second base

Too obvious: Robinson Cano, Jason Kipnis, Matt Carpenter, Ian Kinsler, Martin Prado, Ben Zobrist, Chase Utley, Aaron Hill, Jose Altuve, Brandon Phillips

Five Best Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Mariners @TEX4, @MIA3
2. Royals @HOU3, MIN3
3. Rangers SEA4, CHW3
4. Padres COL4, SF3
5. Braves @PHI4, @NYM3

Start: Jedd Gyorko, Padres
Gyorko is off to a dreadful start, which is true to form for a free-swinging, all-or-nothing type. OK, so it's unfair to label him such so early his career, but after the ups and downs of his rookie season, you had to expect some inconsistency. The good news is that after two weeks of nothing, he's a good bet to go off against pitchers like Franklin Morales, Juan Nicasio, Jorge De La Rosa, Brett Anderson and Tim Lincecum.
Instead of: Brian Dozier, Kolten Wong

Sit: Emilio Bonifacio, Cubs
While Bonifacio has no doubt proven his worth as the Cubs' leadoff hitter, he doesn't deserve your undying loyalty at what is actually one of the deeper positions in Fantasy, offering more than one quality option to go around in a 12-team league. If he's your primary source of steals in a Rotisserie league, that's one thing, but with only five games on tap for the Cubs this week -- including four against Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Tony Cingrani and Homer Bailey -- you shouldn't expect Bonifacio to perform like a top-12 second baseman.
Instead of: Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon, Gyorko

Third base

Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Evan Longoria, Matt Carpenter, Josh Donaldson, Carlos Santana, Martin Prado, Pedro Alvarez

Start: Kyle Seager, Mariners
Seager was "too obvious" at this position each of the first two weeks, but his 3-for-23 (.130) start has Fantasy owners sitting him in droves. He's proven his worth with back-to-back productive seasons, though, and is a good bet to come around against pitchers like Robbie Ross, Colby Lewis, Tanner Scheppers, Henderson Alvarez and Brad Hand this week. His four games at Texas to begin the week could be especially productive. He has hit .374 with six home runs and a 1.102 OPS in 99 career at-bats there.
Instead of: Aramis Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Xander Bogaerts

Sit: Chase Headley, Padres
Even though the Padres have one of the five best hitting schedules this week, I can't bring myself to endorse Headley, not with the kind of start he's had. Coming off a horrible spring that only added to the skepticism after a disappointing 2013, he's 4 for 32 with no extra-base hits through eight games. He's never performed his best at home anyway, and that's where the Padres play all seven of their games this week.
Instead of: Ramirez, Mike Moustakas, Chris Johnson

Shortstop

Too obvious: Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Jean Segura, Ian Desmond, Ben Zobrist, Elvis Andrus, Everth Cabrera, Brad Miller

Five Worst Hitting Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Cubs @NYY2, CIN3
2. Nationals @MIA3, STL4
3. Cardinals @MIL3, @WAS4
4. Twins TOR3, @KC3
5. Orioles TB3, @BOS3

Start: Jed Lowrie, Athletics
At 75 percent, Lowrie is started in too many leagues to qualify for the sleepers table above, but at the weakest position in Fantasy, he probably needs to be universally started this week. His three games against the Astros alone should be enough to get his batting average up to snuff. Though he hasn't made headlines with his performance so far, he's proven his worth with his patient approach, which has him on pace for 202 walks and 141 runs. You read that right.
Instead of: Xander Bogaerts, Starlin Castro, Andrelton Simmons

Sit: Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals
With two hits in 29 at-bats so far, Peralta hasn't given his owners much incentive to start him just yet, but he's probably better than what they'll find on waivers at the weakest position in Fantasy. Those with options, though, shouldn't hold out hope for a turnaround this week, not with Matt Garza, Marco Estrada, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez on tap.
Instead of: Dee Gordon, Jimmy Rollins

Outfield

Too obvious: Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Ryan Braun, Adam Jones, Bryce Harper, Jose Bautista, Shin-Soo Choo, Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Gomez, Matt Holliday, Jay Bruce, Justin Upton, Hunter Pence, Alex Rios, Mark Trumbo, Jayson Werth, Wil Myers, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Heyward, Allen Craig, Domonic Brown, Starling Marte, Ben Zobrist, Martin Prado, Alex Gordon, Yoenis Cespedes, Carlos Beltran, Matt Kemp, Desmond Jennings, Nelson Cruz

Start: Norichika Aoki, Royals
While the lineup around him can't seem to get it together, Aoki has turned the corner after an 0-for-9 start, going 10 for 20 with two doubles, two triples and a stolen base in his last five games. Though you could make a case for any of his teammates, Mike Moustakas included, against the bottom-feeder Astros and Twins rotations this week, Aoki should genuinely inspire confidence. Which of Lucas Harrell, Dallas Keuchel, Scott Feldman, Ricky Nolasco, Kevin Correia and Phil Hughes is going to trip him up?
Instead of: Angel Pagan, Charlie Blackmon, Carl Crawford

Sit: Kole Calhoun, Angels
The Angels' matchups aren't among the five worst this week, but they do face three legitimately tough pitchers in Dan Straily, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez. That wouldn't keep you from starting Calhoun if he was playing his best, but he still has yet to put together a multi-hit game and was recently bumped from the leadoff spot. He's not exactly a disaster waiting to happen this week, but at a deep position like the outfield, you'll find no shortage of sleepers.
Instead of: Leonys Martin, Marlon Byrd, Ben Revere

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Scott at @CBSScottWhite .

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Player News
Orioles shuffle starting rotation
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(2:19 pm ET) The Orioles will start right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez at the Yankees on Tuesday, allowing them to stick to their plan of giving each of their starting pitchers an extra day of rest heading into the postseason.

"There's a fine line between not having enough rest and having too much rest, so we're trying to have every guy that pitches get one extra day before the start," manager Buck Showalter told the Baltimore Sun. “We're going to try to give everybody, so you're not too far away from the ball but you get a little extra rest. They all seem to respond well to that."

While left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will start Monday at the Yankees, right-hander Chris Tillman won't start again until Friday at Toronto. Miguel Gonzalez will start the team's final game Sunday at Toronto.

As of now, Bud Norris and Kevin Gausman are scheduled to start Wednesday's and Thursday's games at the Yankees, but that could change. Jimenez could end up making a second start before season's end.


Derek Jeter will play final seven games
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(2:05 pm ET) Manager Joe Girardi told the New York Daily News that he intends to have retiring shortstop Derek Jeter in the starting lineup for each of the Yankees' final seven games.

"Obviously, some of those days are going to be DH days to keep him going," Girardi said.

Jeter has begun his final homestand with four straight multi-hit games, batting .471 (8 for 17) with a home run and two doubles during that stretch.

"He's hit the ball with more authority," Girardi said. "That's the ups and downs of a hitter. A lot of times, when a guy is older and they're going through it, everyone's ready to write him off. That's what happens. That's the nature of the business. But he's swung the bat extremely well."


Marcell Ozuna's ankle injury does him in
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:54 pm ET) According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the ankle sprain Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna suffered Sunday against the Nationals is in fact a high ankle sprain that will sideline him for the final week of the regular season.

First baseman Justin Bour could get more playing time with Ozuna sidelined, with Garrett Jones shifting to the outfield.


Domonic Brown looks good for Tuesday
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:28 pm ET) Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown was out of the starting lineup for a third straight game Sunday at Oakland, but his right hand had healed enough for him to pinch hit. He struck out in his only at-bat.

According to MLB.com, he expects to return Tuesday at Miami.

"It's just a bruise," Brown said. "We took the X-ray and everything came back negative. I'm all good to go."


Alex Avila could return Monday
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:23 pm ET) Tigers catcher Alex Avila, who has missed the last week with renewed symptoms of a concussion he initially suffered in early September, took part in batting practice and a simulated game Sunday and could return to action Monday against the White Sox, according to MLB.com.

"Basically for the last three days, everything was just kind of like a guessing game, kind of just hoping I felt better," Avila said. "Definitely happy that [Saturday] was a good day and I was able to follow that up [Sunday] feeling very well. As soon as they give me the thumbs-up, I'm playing as soon as possible."


Desmond Jennings' season over
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:17 pm ET) Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings, who has been out since Aug. 28 with a sore left knee, will spend the final week of the regular season rehabbing the knee in Tampa Bay while the team travels to Boston and Cleveland, according to the Tampa Bay Times. In other words, his season is over.

Jennings said his knee has shown some improvement during his time away from the field.


Joaquin Benoit returns for Padres
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12:58 pm ET) Padres reliever Joaquin Benoit, who had been out since Aug. 26 with shoulder discomfort, returned to the mound Sunday against the Giants, striking out two in a perfect ninth inning of an 8-2 victory.

Benoit was the closer before being sidelined by the injury, and the San Diego Union-Tribune reported earlier in the weekend that the Padres would ease him back into that role. Kevin Quackenbush has closed in his absence.


Mat Latos officially done for season
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(11:43 am ET) Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos, who has missed his last two turns in the rotation with a bruised right elbow, will not return to make one last start, according to MLB.com.

"We haven't gotten beyond the game of catch at this time. It hasn't been fluid or completely pain free," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Daniel Corcino will take Latos' final turn Wednesday against the Brewers. After missing the first 2 1/2 months because of surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, Latos went 5-5 with a 3.25 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 6.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 16 starts.


Jay Bruce homers twice, drives in three
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/21/2014) Reds outfielder Jay Bruce sandwiched two solo homers around an RBI single in a 7-2 win Sunday over the Cardinals. Bruce, hitting .217, is up to 18 homers and 65 RBI.

Lance Lynn fans nine in defeat
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/21/2014) Cardinals starter Lance Lynn struck out nine over six innings Sunday, but took the loss in a 7-2 defeat to the Reds. Lynn allowed three runs on four hits, including two homers to Jay Bruce, while walking a pair.

Now 15-10 with a 2.73 ERA, Lynn is scheduled to face Arizona on Saturday.


 
 
 
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