At this point of the season, all the high risk-high reward players are either sitting on someone’s bench or on their DL. But there are still some guys out there who can make a difference on your league’s standings, both short-term and long-term. As we pass the quarter-way point of the season, here are some moves that could pay off big time if you make them.
Short-term difference makers:
- RHP Jake Peavy, Chicago White Sox: Right now he is only 62 percent owned in Yahoo! Leagues and coming off a complete game, three-hit shut out. Expect that number to increase. If he is still available, I would grab him. He may not be the Cy Young caliber pitcher he used to be, but he can certainly give you some top end fantasy innings each and every week, as long as he remains healthy.
- OF Delmon Young, Minnesota Twins: This is a guy coming off a season where he posted a 77-21-112-.298 line in the heart of the Twins' order. This year has been a complete turnaround, but after a brief DL stint, maybe Young can get back on track. He was a high draft pick that has been dropped in over 40 percent of leagues. Be the owner who picks him up and rubs it in your friend's face who dropped him.
- RHP Mike Tomlin, Cleveland Indians: The AL Central theme continues, this time with an emerging ace. Tomlin has thrown some gems this year and through 52.2 innings he has a 2.56 ERA and a minuscule 0.85 WHIP. His only downside is a low strikeout total, but if you can afford taking a hit for six strong innings, go for it.
- 2B Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies: I know he is owned in 95 percent of leagues, but the window is still slightly open to make a trade for him. He is playing, and continues to make positive progress in his rehab in the Class A level. We all know what kind of player Utley has been, and while he may never return to that, he can definitely make a difference at a position as talent-scarce as second base.
Long-term difference makers:
- RHP Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles Dodgers: I know he has stunk it up over the last two seasons, but if you have an open DL spot and need help in the saves area, it would be wise to stash him away. This is a guy who can dominate hitters in the National League, especially in the west. This is a closer who racked up 114 strikeouts in 2009 while compiling 36 saves. If he gets his velocity back, look out fantasy world.
- 3B Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants: He was well on his way to a great comeback season before breaking a bone in his wrist a few weeks ago. Now, 16 days after surgery, he is being allowed to play catch and resume baseball activity. Third base is extremely weak right now with both David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman on the DL and Alex Rodriguez speculated to have a problem with his hip again. Swing a deal for the Panda Bear and sure up your hot corner.
- OF Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians: I wasn’t sure where to put him on, but he needs to be on here. We saw what we have been missing for the past year and a half from one of the most exciting players in baseball. His knee apparently has a deep bruise on the kneecap and he could be back in as few as 10 days. But it’s Sizemore so probably in a month.