Week 9 of the fantasy baseball season could be referred to as the return of the titans, as perennial sluggers like Albert Pujols and juggernaut teams like the New York Yankees returned to their typical, dominating form. After an uncharacteristic slow start, Pujols stormed back to the top of the weekly rankings after hitting 5 home runs in week 9, including two consecutive game winning home runs against the arch rival cubs.
The Yankees have won seven of their past 10 games to capture the top spot in the highly competitive AL East. Sluggers Mark Teixiera and Alex Rodriguez each hit multiple home runs for the Bronx Bombers, while Curtis Granderson continued his strong play to begin the season.
Offensive Player of the Week: Albert Pujols
.444 5 HR, 10 RBI, 11 R, 2 SB
Albert Pujols, the unanimous first overall pick of the 2011 season, has been anything but spectacular for fantasy baseball owners over the first two months of the season. Pujols struggled with all facets of his offensive game, as he was unable to hit for power or average, and showed an uncharacteristic poor eye at the plate.
After his huge week nine performance that included two walk-off home runs against a division rival and potential suitor, it appears as though Pujols has put his slow start behind him.
- Honorable Mention: Matt Kemp, Elvis Andrus and Rajai Davis
Pitcher of the Week: CJ Wilson
14.1 IP, 1 wins, 17 strikeouts, 1.88 ERA, 0.84 WHIP
With the surprising departure of Cliff Lee to the Phillies, CJ Wilson was thrust into the number one slot in the pitching rotation for the defending AL champion Texas Rangers. Wilson has responded well in his new role as ace, including an excellent week nine performance that including 14.1 innings and 17 strikeouts, while posting a low 1.88 ERA and a .084 WHIP.
- Honorable Mention: Dillon Gee, Ubaldo Jimenez and Bartolo Colon
Ryan Vogelsong joins Bartolo Colon as one of the most amazing comeback stories in recent memory. Originally drafted by the Giants in the 5th round of the 1998 amateur draft, Vogelsong failed to make it with the club and was traded to the Pirates for Jason Schmidt in 2001.
After a few years in the minors, Tommy John Surgery, and a stint in the Japanese League, Vogelsong has returned to his original home in San Francisco.
Vogelsong has earned a spot in the Giants rotation, one the manager Bruce Bochy says will not be taken when the overpriced Barry Zito returns from the DL. Vogelsong is still available in 44 percent of Yahoo leagues, however we believe his ownership rate will increase to the 80 percent mark after a few more weeks.
Other Players to Target
1) Michael Morse (OF/1B WAS)
2) Josh Collmenter (SP AZ)
3) Dillon Gee (SP NYM)
4) Mark Trumbo (1B ANA)
1) Kevin Correia vs. Diamondbacks & Mets
2) Matt Garza vs. Reds & Phillies
3) Gio Gonzalez vs. Orioles & White Sox
4) Zack Greinke vs. Marlins & Cardinals
5) Tommy Hanson vs. Marlins & Astros
6) Felix Hernandez vs. White Sox & Tigers
7) Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Padres & Dodgers
8) Cliff Lee vs. Dodgers & Cubs
9) Jon Lester vs. Yankees & Blue Jays
10) Tim Lincecum vs. Nationals & Reds
11) Shaun Marcum vs. Mets & Cardinals
12) Michael Pineda vs. White Sox & Tigers
Dan Haren leads a list of notable players injured in week nine of the fantasy baseball season. Haren suffered a setback when he tweaked his back while pitching a bullpen session. According to the Angels, Haren will likely miss one or two starts due to this setback.
Other Notable Injuries:
• Brandon Inge (Mono – 15 Day DL)
• Alfonso Soriano (Quad – 15 Day DL)
• Hanley Ramirez (Back – Day To Day)
The Los Angeles Dodgers closer situation has yet to be decided, as both Matt Geurrier and Javy Guerra have failed to secure the position. To make matters worse, Vicente Padilla will likely return from the DL and will certainly cloud the situation further.
We recommend avoiding this situation until it is resolved.
Fantasy Dud: Shin Shoo-Choo
.045 0HR, 0 RBI, 1R, 0 SB
Although the Cleveland Indians have been a huge surprise this season, the club’s right fielder and perennial fantasy stud Shin Shoo-Choo has been anything but great this season.
His futility peaked this week as he let fantasy owners down with a 4-25 slump in which he logged only one run scored.
- Honorable Mention: Adam Dunn, Alex Rios Cliff Lee
This article was originally published on Kramerica Sports, the home of free fantasy baseball news, rankings, and advice. Please visit our site for more fantasy baseball coverage.