Fantasy Baseball: What to Do with Returning Studs Michael Morse and Allen Craig

Dan KuklaCorrespondent IIIJune 1, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 27:  Michael Morse #38 of the Washington Nationals is congratulated by Danny Espinosa #18 after hitting a solo homerun during a game against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium on September 27, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Michael Morse and Allen Craig return from injury tonight. With big names such as Matt Kemp and Troy Tulowitzki (and probably Dustin Pedroia) all headed for the disabled list, it's about time fantasy baseball owners got a little good news.

But I would treat these two players differently if I owned one or both of them.

First of all, go pick them up if they are for some reason still available in your league. Morse is owned in only 85 percent of Yahoo! leagues and Craig is owned in only 62 percent. The power is legit for both. The upside is significantly higher than any other free agent at this point in the season.

As for your lineup, however, I would only start Craig.

All of Morse's value is based on his power. Coming off a shoulder injury, that power could still be in question. He strikes out a lot, which also makes him prone to slumps. I need to see signs of both power and consistency before I risk a start on him.

Craig, on the other hand, needs to be inserted into lineups immediately. In his brief 13-game stint at the beginning of May, he showed all of Fantasyland that he can shake off any rust rather quickly. Craig collected four hits in his first nine at-bats of the season. He then launched five home runs in seven games.

There are concerns that Craig and Matt Adams will split time at first base for the St. Louis Cardinals. Both are in the starting lineup tonight, even with lefty Johan Santana on the mound. It's a perfect excuse to sit Adams (3-of-15 versus left-handed pitching, 10-of-26 versus right-handed pitching), but Cardinal manager Mike Matheny still wants him playing.

But that's not stopping him from playing Craig too. He's in right field tonight. He may move around a bit, but he will play regularly when healthy. No platoon here.

Matheny will find ways to squeeze him into his lineup each night. You should too.