In the bottom fishing column I'll be looking for players with upside who can usually be found either for nothing amidst the free agent pool or who might acquired cheaply via trade. Players selected will either have above average upside or have value that has been overlooked by many players. I'll throw in some stinkers too, not to mention a few players worth being aware of at the time.
In shallower leagues make sure to take a glance at OF Juan Rivera: Owned in just 47% of Yahoo! leagues, it's hard to fathom why Juan Rivera has been overlooked. This is a guy who smacked 25 round trippers in 2009 and has a career .284 BA. Sure he's on the wrong side of thirty, but only by a year, and he's batting in a prime RBI slot for a team that does expect to score a lot of runs in 2010.
While you are there it's hard not to at least take a gander at 2B/3B Alberto Callaspo. He doesn't have much of a track record but Callaspo is entering his prime season at age 27 this year. So far he's posted a .292-4-16 line along with 2 stolen bases. That's a lot better than many guys at either of the positions at which he qualifies. He's a lock to improve on his .300-11-73 of last year and already has matched the number of steals. Twenty home runs is probably a stretch but 15 plus seems more than assured and you know he won't hurt you in any category. His move to the number five spot in KC's batting order should pump the RBIs a bit too.
Shock your friends: Sign a Royal!
Digging a little deeper, I find it hard to believe that Andruw Jones is still only owned in 40% of Y! Leagues. Whatever was missing the last two years seems to be back. His numbers look like the Jones of old, and you only need to look at how the White Sox hitting coaches have revitalized guys like Jim Thome and Paul Konerko over the past few seasons to think that this might not be a fluke.
Also falling in between the 30-40% owned markers are potential 20-20 man OF Corey Hart and the still solid 3B Scott Rolen (.263-5-11).
Admittedly I'd probably opt for the 29% owned David Freese in the 3B slot before Rolen because of his upside and spot in the St. Louis batting order.
Down at 14% ownership it's not a bad idea to keep an eye on OF Drew Stubbs. He's struggled mightily so far but with Chris Dickerson sidelined for at least a month Stubbs will get plenty of chances to show some of the speed he showed at the minor league level.
From the Don't Believe It Files
OF Kosuke Fukudome is lights out right now with a line of .342-5-17-14 with a steal. The 33 year old has never shown this kind of skill at the Major League level and is a career .264 hitter and never hit more than 11 home runs since coming over from Japan. He may get to 12 or even 15, but that's his upside and expecting him to fall back into his underachieving ways is the smart move. If you own him, try to deal him now - you'll never get better value. He also got off to a hot start last season before fading.
Youngsters worth grabbing:
Owned in less than 21% of Y! Leagues you'll find young first sackers Ike Davis (Mets) and Justin Smoak (Rangers) both of whom are capable of putting up numbers similar to what you'll get out of the Dodgers James Loney at a much cheaper price. Smoak has a shot at 20+ home runs and has picked up his game in the past few days to look legitimate; he'd be my pick of the two although Davis is getting all the media limelight because he plays in New York.
At the 2B slot take a look at 7% owned Eric Young who's doing his best to send Clint Barmes packing in Colorado. The sample size is small (just 18 AB) but the minor league record suggest that his .333 average with 5 steals could force the Rox to make room for him.
Worthy of Note:
Catcher Miguel Montero is within a few weeks of returning to the D'Backs lineups following surgery to his right knee. If you are thin in the catching position and want to add some depth, he's available in 52% of Y! leagues.