Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Winners, Losers, and Waiver Wire Wonders

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Fantasy Baseball Week 16 Winners, Losers, and Waiver Wire Wonders
(Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

by Derek of The Sportmeisters

Another week of baseball in the books means more winners, losers, and waiver wire wonders blog from the fantasy guru.  Keep in mind the stats I show are the players stats for the week, not on the season.  Let’s go!

 

Winners

 

SP – Mark Buehrle – Chicago White Sox – 9 IP, 1 CG, 1 W, 6 K, 0 BB, 0 HA, 0 ER

Perfection!  Buehrle pitched a perfect game last week and has been on fire recently, winning four of his last five starts.  He is 11-3 on the season and looks to be one of the best pitchers in baseball right now.  As long as he stays this hot, continue to start him every week.

 

SP – Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers – 9 IP, 1 CG, 1 W, 4 K, 4 BB, 6 HA, 0 ER

Verlander strikes again.  The Tigers' ace moved to 11-5 on the year and has now won three of his last five games.  He remains a must-start fantasy ace.

 

SP – John Lannan – Washington Nationals – 17 IP, 1 CG, 1 W, 3 K, 1 BB, 12 HA, 1 ER

Lannan has been surprisingly good for the not surprisingly bad Nationals.  He is now 7-7 on the year and has only allowed three runs in his last 23 innings.  He has put together good back-to-back starts and should be started while he’s hot…if he’s owned.

 

SP – Jorge De La Rosa – Colorado Rockies – 14.3 IP, 2 W, 13 K, 1 BB, 11 HA, 3 ER

Where did this guy come from?  De La Rosa has been on fire recently, winning six of his last seven starts and hasn’t lost a decision since June 16th.  Not bad for a guy who was 0-6 on May 31st.  He is an intriguing option while he’s hot and you will probably see him on my waiver wire list later.

 

SP – Rich Harden – Chicago Cubs – 13 IP, 1 W, 14 K, 2 BB, 5 HA, 2 ER

Harden is finally starting to turn it around after coming back from injury.  He is 2-0 in his last three starts and has only allowed two runs in 19 innings.  He looks to be back to his normal self again, so feel free to start him with confidence.

 

SP – Cliff Lee – Cleveland Indians – 16 IP, 1 CG, 2 W, 8 K, 0 BB, 13 HA, 3 ER

Last year’s Cy Young winner is finally getting back on track with three straight wins, two of them being complete games.  He has only allowed four runs in 25 innings and has 14 strikeouts to zero walks.  He was always a must-start and now he is showing why.

 

RP – J.P. Howell – Tampa Bay Rays – 3.7 IP, 1 W, 2 SV, 6 K, 1 BB, 1 HA, 0 ER

Howell has locked down the closer’s role in Tampa and has been lights out, not allowing a run in his last six and two thirds innings.  He has five saves and a win in his last six appearances and has a 6-2 record with 11 saves on the year.  Not to mention his microscopic 1.82 ERA.  The Rays have been rumored to be searching for another closer, so monitor this closely, but continue to deploy Howell while he keeps shutting the door on opponents.

 

RP – Fernando Rodney – Detroit Tigers – 3 IP, 1 W, 2 SV, 4 K, 1 BB, 1 HA, 0 ER

Rodney locked down two more saves last week, moving his season total to 21.  He also picked up his first win of the year and hasn’t allowed a run in his last six innings.  Keep starting him in all formats and enjoy the saves.

 

RP – Jose Valverde – Houston Astros – 3 IP, 1 W, 2 SV, 3 K, 0 BB, 2 HA, 0 ER

Valverde has been on fire in July.  He has five saves and a win, only allowing one run in 10 innings.  He missed all of May with an injury and only has 11 saves on the year because of that.  Continue to start him and expect at least 15 more saves this year.

RP – Mariano Rivera – New York Yankees – 2.7 IP, 3 SV, 3 K, 0 BB, 0 HA, 0 ER

Another stellar week for Rivera.  He continues to rack up the saves, moving his season total to 29.  He is a must-start fantasy closer and should always be in your lineup in all formats.

 

OF – Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals – .556 BA, 15 H, 10 R, 7 Doubles, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 SB

Holliday has started his Cardinal career off on the right foot.  He was traded on Friday and played that night and went four-for-five with an RBI and a stolen base.  He had a total of 15 hits last week and drove in 10 runs.  He was always a must-start and now in St. Louis, he remains as such.

 

1B – Justin Morneau – Minnesota Twins – .333 BA, 9 H, 8 R, 1 Double, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 6 BB, 3 K

Morneau has been good all year and this was just another great week for the former MVP.  He drove five out of the park and tallied 11 RBI.  He is hitting .315 on the year with a total of 26 home runs and 82 RBI.  He is an elite fantasy player and should be in your lineup at all times.

 

SS – Stephen Drew – Arizona Diamondbacks – .500 BA, 15 H, 10 R, 5 Doubles, 2 Triples, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 SB

For all of you who lost your faith and didn’t listen to me when I said he would bounce back…I told you so.  Drew has been on fire recently and has raised his average from a miserable .211 at the end of May up to .279 near the end of July.  He had 16 RBI in June and has nine so far this month.  The move back to the top of the order looks to have helped him reclaim his fantasy glory and he should not leave your lineup, as he is a top tier fantasy shortstop.

 

OF – Andre Ethier – Los Angeles Dodgers – .546 BA, 12 H, 8 R, 5 Doubles, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 BB, 3 K

Ethier is on an eight-game hitting streak and has six RBI in those eight games.  He is benefiting from having Manny Ramirez back in the lineup and is hitting .271 with 20 home runs and 62 RBI’s on the year.  Continue to start him in all formats.

 

OF – Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers – .385 BA, 10 H, 5 R, 2 Doubles, 1 Triple, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 SB

Braun’s fantastic season just keeps on rolling.  He hit three home runs and drove in eight with a stolen base last week, driving his season totals to 20, 68, and nine with a .316 batting average.  He is an elite fantasy outfielder and should be started in all formats at all times.

 

OF – Jason Kubel – Minnesota Twins – .296 BA, 8 H, 4 R, 1 Double, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 7 BB, 6 K

Kubel isn’t an everyday fantasy player, but he has been fantastic this season.  He is hitting .306 on the year and added three home runs and 10 RBI to his season totals of 18 and 58.  He isn’t on a hot streak, but isn’t running cold either.  Go ahead and start him and expect up to 25 home runs.

 

SS – Jimmy Rollins – Philadelphia Phillies – .250 BA, 8 H, 7 R, 2 Doubles, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 SB, 2 CS

Batting .250 for the week isn’t great, but the 10 RBI are really good.  Rollins has bounced back from his benching in late June and has hit .327 in July, raising his average 30 points.  He isn’t having a great year, but is starting to turn it around, so go ahead and keep starting him because he is an elite shortstop when he is going well.

 

Losers

 

3B – Brandon Inge – Detroit Tigers – .200 BA, 4 H, 2 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K

Inge has now had two bad weeks in a row coming out of the break.  His knee injury is obviously bothering him more than he will let on.  He does have 21 home runs and 58 RBI on the year, but you have to start to watch him and that knee injury.  One more bad week and you may need to stash him on the bench, but for now, continue to start him.

 

2B – Freddy Sanchez – Pittsburgh Pirates – .077 BA, 2 H, 1 R, 0 Doubles, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 9 K, 0 SB

Sanchez had a horrible week.  Not just that week, though, as he is stuck in a three-for-36 slump.  He also has a sore left knee, which doesn’t help things.  He is hitting .296 on the year and should rebound from this slump to hit his usual .300 or better, so don’t drop him, just stash him away on the bench until he is back on track.

 

1B – Albert Pujols – St. Louis Cardinals – .208 BA, 5 H, 3 R, 0 Doubles, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 0 SB

This was just a fluke week.  Pujols showed that he is human after all, having just five hits in 24 at-bats last week and no home runs.  However, he is still the best player in fantasy and by no means should be benched at all…ever!

 

1B – Aubrey Huff – Baltimore Orioles – .050 BA, 1 H, 1 R, 0 Doubles, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K

Huff hasn’t been a bust so far this year, but he hasn’t been great either.  He has just 11 home runs and is hitting just .251, down from .275 at the end of June.  However, he hit 18 home runs and drove in 62 after June last year.  Keep him stashed until he turns it around.

 

RP – Scott Downs – Toronto Blue Jays – 3 IP, 2 L, 2 K, 4 BB, 6 HA, 5 ER

Downs has struggled since being activated from the DL.  He has allowed five runs in the last week and just doesn’t appear to be the same.  However, he doesn’t have any real threats to take his closer’s job away, so go ahead and leave him on your bench until he straightens things out.

 

RP – Ryan Franklin – St. Louis Cardinals – 0.7 IP, 1 L, 0 K, 0 BB, 4 HA, 2 ER

Franklin showed a chink in his armor last week allowing two runs in less than an inning.  The Cardinals didn’t get a chance to put him into another game last week, so that was based on just one game.  However, there’s no reason to panic as he has been lights out all year and should still be started in all formats.

 

SP – Todd Wellemeyer – St. Louis Cardinals – 10 IP, 2 L, 7 K, 2 BB, 18 HA, 9 ER

Wellemeyer has been terrible lately.  He has allowed 13 runs in his last 14 innings and hasn’t won a game since July 2nd.  He is now free to be dropped, as he is likely headed to the bullpen.

 

SP – Francisco Liriano – Minnesota Twins – 5.3 IP, 1 L, 3 K, 2 BB, 8 HA, 6 ER

So, I guess he can now be officially labeled a bust.  He dropped yet another game on Friday and is now 4-10 on the year with a 5.56 ERA.  He has not recovered from Tommy John surgery like everyone thought he would, but I wouldn’t drop him just yet.  He still has tremendous potential and should be kept on the bench.  Think of him as a possible keeper for next year if he can right the ship.

 

SP – Nick Blackburn – Minnesota Twins – 8.7 IP, 1 L, 0 K, 1 BB, 19 HA, 13 ER

Yet another Minnesota starter who is struggling right now.  He has allowed 13 runs in his last two starts (8.7 innings) and didn’t strike out a batter in either game.  He is 8-5 on the year with a 3.75 ERA, so he may be able to get it going again.  Don’t drop him just yet, but stash him on the bench until he wins again.

 

Waiver Wire Wonders

 

SP – Brett Anderson – Oakland Athletics – 6.7 IP, 0 W, 1 L, 7 K, 2 BB, 9 HA, 4 ER

Anderson’s streak of scoreless innings came to an end last week, but he still pitched well.  He pitched six-and-two-thirds innings and allowed four runs and nine hits in a losing battle.  He has 25 strikeouts to just five walks in 27 innings and, if he continues to pitch this well, he looks to be a nice addition to your fantasy team.  He is widely available, owned in only 6.5 percent of ESPN leagues and 22 percent of Yahoo leagues.

 

SP – Jorge De La Rosa – Colorado Rockies – 14.3 IP, 2 W, 13 K, 1 BB, 11 HA, 3 ER

Told you that you’d see him here.  De La Rosa has been on fire recently, winning six of his last seven starts and hasn’t lost a decision since June 16th.  Not bad for a guy who was 0-6 on May 31st.  He is an intriguing option while he’s hot and is owned in only 12.2 percent of ESPN leagues and 27 percent of Yahoo leagues.

 

SP – John Lannan – Washington Nationals – 17 IP, 1 CG, 1 W, 3 K, 1 BB, 12 HA, 1 ER

As mentioned earlier, Lannan has been surprisingly good for the not surprisingly bad Nationals.  He is now 7-7 on the year and has only allowed three runs in his last 23 innings.  He has put together good back-to-back starts and should be started while he’s hot…but most people don’t own him.  He’s owned in only 4.7 percent of ESPN leagues and 11 percent of Yahoo leagues, so go ahead and take a flyer on him.

 

RP – Rafael Soriano – Atlanta Braves – 2 IP, 1 SV, 2 K, 0 BB, 2 HA, 1 ER

Here he is again.  He collected another save and, although he allowed a run for the first time in his last seven innings, he remains on fire.  He still appears to be getting the nod more and more over Mike Gonzalez for saves.  He is a must-start right now and if he is available (owned in 60.4 percent of ESPN leagues and 74 percent of Yahoo leagues), go ahead and grab him.

 

OF – Garrett Jones – Pittsburgh Pirates – .464 BA, 13 H, 5 R, 3 Doubles, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 SB

Jones came out of nowhere for Pittsburgh and has produced exceptionally. He hit three home runs last week and now has 10 home runs in just 88 at-bats.  He is also hitting .330 on the year and has 16 RBI’s.  He is going fast, now being owned in 38.1 percent of ESPN leagues and 46 percent of Yahoo leagues, so if you want him you had better grab him fast.

That’s all for now sports fans. If you have any questions or concerns, e-mail me at Derek@Sportmeisters.com.

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