Fantasy Articles

If you play in a league that limits the number of players you can add or drop, or charges a fee for each non-roster move you make it’s often important to have some versatility on your bench.  Most of the really high end super-subs guys like Chone Figgins were swallowed up on draft day or subsequently thereafter but after looking in a lot of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues I realized there are still a lot of good subs out there that you can slot in as needed.

You can probably find better balanced players at each specific position, so if you have the moves, a utility player might not be quite as important but for most of us guys like the following nine - all of who qualify at three or more positions in Yahoo! leagues and are available in many leagues will be of interest to you.

Mark DeRosa (1B/2B/3B/OF, Cubs):  The most owned player on this list has barely any availability anymore especially since his statistics over the last month are a gaudy .341-3-11 with 18 runs scored and two steals.  Still he is floating out there in some of the shallower leagues and even without his versatility is well worth stashing.

Ty Wigginton (2B/3B/OF, Astros): The versatile Wigginton lost almost a month to the DL and over the last two weeks seems to have gotten back on track raising his batting average from .215 back to .278 while racking up 8 extra base hits over that span (7 doubles, 1 home run).  Some of those doubles will turn into home runs as he finds his groove.   Expect a power surge with 10-15 home runs the rest of the way which certainly makes him worth owning even if you just stick him in at second.

Casey Blake (1B/3B/OF, Indians):  Blake’s primary value is power and RBIs as he hits in the middle of the Cleveland order but so far he’s struggled in terms of average.  He’s capable of hitting .280 with 20 home runs but at the moment he’s only hitting .231 with 6 homers and 36 RBIs.  A correction to .260-270 seems inevitable.

Rich Aurilia (1B/2B/3B/OF, Giants):  The 36 year old Aurilia has turned from a shortstop into a solid jack of all trades who mainly handles corner duties.  After a significant down year in 2007 he seems to have once again found at least part of the form that let him post a .300-23-70 season back in 2006.   While he won’t match those numbers he could manage a .265-20-65.  As the weather in SF warms up so should he.

Marco Scutaro (2B/3B/SS/OF, Blue Jays):  Isn’t really going to help your team too much despite the number of positions that he plays.  He’s got single digit home run power, the ability to steal 10-15 bases although he’s never stolen more than five in a season.  That being said he’s already swiped 4 and he could help in runs scored.  Still if you need a warm body that probably won’t hurt you with too many 0-fers he’s a nominal choice.

Maicer Izturis (2B/3B/SS, Angels):  Izturis’ main fantasy contribution is speed although with enough at bats he might reach double digits in home runs too.  He’s on a pace to get the at bats too - mainly due to the injuries to Chone Figgins and Erick Aybar.  Plus at the moment he’s red hot with the bat raising his average over 40 points in the last week and that’s still well below his average the last few years meaning there is still plenty of upside.

Jose Castillo (2B/3B/SS, Giants):  Playing in obscurity at the moment Castillo has a fairly solid case for middle infield use.  He possesses double digit power combined with a touch of speed.  He’s in his prime and could post career best numbers (which shouldn’t be hard).  On the downside, average will be around .250 and his low OBP could prevent him from scoring a lot of runs.  That being said he’s on pace for 70-80 runs scored and just over 60 RBIs.

Brandon Inge (C/3B/OF, Tigers):  Strictly a platoon type of player (he can’t hit lefties) Brandon still has a lot to offer mainly because he qualities at catcher and the fact he has the most power of anyone on this list.  He’s on a pace to get 450-500 at bats which would project him out to be a 15-20 home run type of guy but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him surpass that.  If the Tigers ever get rolling seeing him finish with 70 runs scored and 80 RBIs is not impossible.

Jerry Hairston Jr. (2B/3B/SS/OF, Reds):  The speedy Hairston hasn’t managed 400 at bats since 2002 and it’s unlikely he’s going to get there this year either.  However he has 10 steals and is making the most of his time especially since the injury to Jeff Keppinger and Alex Gonzalez opened up the shortstop position.  With Keppinger still at least 3 weeks away (and not assured of getting the job back) and Gonzalez nowhere close to returning Hairston will get plenty of at bats in the next month or so and that means plenty of steals as he’s averaged one about every 3.5 games.  The fact he’s hitting well over .300 only adds to his value.