Fantasy Articles

As a whole, this should be considered a high-risk, high-reward team. A pitcher like Ben Sheets may put up the best fantasy numbers in the National League or he may make only 15 starts. Much of their offense may send Bernie the Brewer down his slide many a time this year or he may be stuck at the top. Let’s take a gander at what this team offers.

Top Tier

The Milwaukee Brewers have no one who ranks here.

Second Tier

SP Dave Bush – SLEEPER ALERT! Bush isn’t getting drafted until very late rounds in fantasy drafts or at all, but there is plenty to like. He struck out almost as many as Chris Capuano did last year (whose ERA was 4.08), walked no one (only 38 in 210.0 IP, about the same ratio as Roy Oswalt, whose ERA was 2.98), and had a WHIP that ranked among the best in the league. The stats say he’s poised for a breakout in 2007.

SP Chris Capuano – Capuano is a long-time staple on good fantasy teams. He provides plenty of strikeouts -- 174 last season -- keeps his ERA down, and wins a few games. In other words, he’s a very valuable number three kind of guy. Project him to have another good year in 2007 with the following stats: 3.80 ERA, 180 Ks, and 15 wins, all the while keeping his WHIP low.

RP Francisco Cordero – He lost his job in Texas at the start of the 2006 season, but after joining Milwaukee in the Carlos Lee trade, Cordero took off. While his WHIP and ERA are never pretty -- you can compare him to Brian Fuentes in these categories -- he can save 30, strike out a bunch while doing so, and vulture a few wins along the way. He should be a number two closer on your team.

C Johnny Estrada – There are some players that consistently slip under the radar. Johnny Estrada is one of them. This catcher consistently gets hits, and that has value in fantasy baseball. At a position where power is lacking, why not get someone who will help your team’s batting average? Project him to finish with a .290-.300 average, along with 10-15 homers, and 70 RBIs.

1B Prince Fielder – Many players rank ahead of Fielder on player raters in fantasy baseball, but this is a guy who puts together a solid batting average and has some pop. You can draft players at shallower positions early and then save him for the middle rounds. Plus, he’s turning 23 next season, so it’s not like he’s on the downslide of his career. Expect a .270 average, but with 30 homers, 100 RBIs, and 100 runs scored. Oh, and he’ll even steal 10-12 bases.

SP Ben Sheets – Like with Scott Kazmir, you have to take a gamble on Sheets and pick him early. There’s too much upside with him, despite the injury-riddled past. If healthy, we can project 2.80 ERA, 17 wins, and 210 or so strikeouts. In other words, a Cy Young Award candidate. If not, we can see a repeat of last year, which effectively makes him a number three pitcher in fantasy leagues.

2B Rickie Weeks – His defense at second is definitely in need of improvement and may lead to a move to the outfield, but Weeks qualifies at second, and that ranks him within the top 7 or so guys there. If healthy, you can expect Weeks to steal 20-25 bases and hit 10-15 homers. Combine that with 100 runs scored and a .280 batting average, and you’ve got yourself a solid player.

Third Tier

OF Corey Hart / Gabe Gross – Here’s a pair of outfielders that figure to be platooning next season. Neither offers big time power, but both carry legitimate bats. We should hope that Gross gets the majority of the playing time, as he is the better player. Expect .260/20/70 from him, along with a fair number of runs scored. Hart probably isn’t worth owning.

OF Geoff Jenkins / Kevin Mench – These two are going to be platooning in left field, much to the chagrin of both players. However, the Brew Crew has assembled plenty of outfield talent, and they don’t seem to be alleviating the logjam any time soon. Expect both players to have a batting average around .270-.280, 18 homers, and 40 RBIs, if they split the time evenly. My guess is that Jenkins gets most of the ABs and does something similar to last year.

SP Jeff Suppan – Suppan defected from the St. Louis Cardinals last year, creating a big stir in Milwaukee. However, I don’t believe his to be a good fantasy option. The right hander relies a lot upon his defense, and he won’t be pitching in front of a very good one in Milwaukee. Expect that ERA and WHIP to shoot up a little bit, and he never struck out a lot of hitters or won a lot of games in the past.

Question Marks

SS/OF Bill Hall – Last year can definitely be described as the best in Hall’s career so far. His 35 homers, 85 RBIs, and 101 runs scored are all career highs. The question is, Will he continue producing at this level? He added 18 home runs in one year and about 60 points to his slugging percentage. I think a slight decline is in order: .265/27/80 with 90 runs scored and 10 stolen bases. But the potential is there for him to build on last year’s success. It’s difficult to determine what he’ll do.