Fantasy Articles
I want to ask a simple question. When doing research for your fantasy draft, did you notice that Lance Berkman performed better in even-numbered years than odd-numbered years? A glance at the ol’ calendar says that it’s 2008, and, wouldn’t you know it, Berkman is tearing the cover off the ball. You can never do too much research.

I’m in an interesting predicament. After the draft in my nine-team league, I was extremely excited about my chances for the season, and genuinely thought it was my best draft ever. Due to a number of just plain horrible starts, and more recently a couple of key injuries, I am second-to-last in the league. I’ve triaged a bit by picking up a few people, but who should I expect to return to form, and who should I dump? We use 5x5 plus OPS and Complete Games.

C Ryan Doumit
1B David Ortiz
2B Aaron Hill
3B Edwin Encarnacion
SS Carlos Guillen
OF Torii Hunter
OF Jermaine Dye
OF Chris Young
UT Paul Konerko
UT Ryan Ludwick
Bench Carlos Quentin
Bench Clint Barmes
Bench Conor Jackson
Bench Kenji Johjima
DL Chone Figgins
DL Alex Rodriguez

SP Jake Peavy
SP Chris Young
SP Joe Blanton
SP C.C. Sabathia
SP Clay Buchholz
RP Mariano Rivera
RP Francisco Cordero
RP Brian Wilson
Bench Greg Maddux
Bench Max Scherzer
DL Chad Cordero
--Mike, Mt. Vernon, IL

This e-mail teaches everyone an important lesson: You cannot win your fantasy league on draft day, only lose it. When you exit your fantasy draft, you should give yourself a few minutes celebrating your steals, but you should get to work improving your team right away. An injury here or an underperformance there can ruin even the best-laid plans. You can’t plan for injuries to guys you draft in the first round, but you should assume the worst will happen.

I like this team overall. Once Alex Rodriguez returns, you’ve got power, but I don’t really see that many guys who can bring up your batting average. I would deal Carlos Quentin since his value is high and going after someone like Placido Polanco. Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko are both 25-30 home run guys, but they’ll probably bring a .250 batting average. I’m not real sure what you expected from them. I’d keep everybody, but move Quentin, Ryan Ludwick, Clint Barmes, and Greg Maddux. (Note: Doumit should miss the next three to four weeks with a fractured thumb. You may want to get rid of him, too.)

Jake Peavy is missing Monday start. Are there alarms going off?
--Andrew, Long Island, NY

Peavy is going to have his elbow looked at by team doctors today, and he said that he has been pitching with some pain lately. His delivery is very awkward, which means elbow trouble should not be a surprise to anybody. The Padres will likely put their ace on the disabled list, so be ready for that. As for this requiring surgery, I do not know about that.

When are two of my infielders, Rafael Furcal and Chone Figgins, expected to play?
--Jack, Philadelphia, PA

I expect Figgins to be activated in the next couple of days, possibly as early as today. I am a little more pessimistic about Furcal. You should expect him coming back this weekend, at the earliest.

What should we expect from Stephen Drew? Is he legit?
--Aaron, Washington DC

Yes, he is. Drew is a talented hitter who can line balls in the gap until the batting practice pitcher needs Tommy John surgery. Now, he’s not Nomar Garciaparra in his prime, but in a 12-team league, he should be owned and probably starting.