Fantasy baseball batter stock watch

Fantasy baseball batter stock watch

By David Ferris contributor
Chase Headley, 3B, Padres: He's been fantasy's best hitter over the last month (.336-20-9-34-2), crushing on the road and doing just enough at home. And maybe the Petco Park giveback will be less next year; there's talk of the club moving the fences in. Headley deserves to be a Top 35 pick in redrafts next year, and the cornerstone of many keeper-league clubs. 
Norichika Aoki, OF, Brewers: He's been around .290.350 for the majority of the year - playable in the leadoff spot - and he's become more aggressive as he learns the NL, scooping 12 steals in the second half. Aoki might be partially screened by the summer of Milwaukee drama; he should be owned in roughly 40-50 percent of mixers, but the current tag is far below that. 
Jordan Pacheco, 1B3B, Rockies: He doesn't offer traditional pop for a cornerman, but a .313 average is always usable in a 5x5 league, especially at this time of the year when you're trying to manipulate categories. The Rockies return home next week, where Pacheco has a zippy .874 OPS. Thin air is always your friend.
John Mayberry, 1BOF, Phillies: Most of his damage comes against left-handed pitching, but the overall second-half line (.289.344.503, eight homers in 149 at-bats) is good enough to justify full-time ownership in standard formats. It's a shame more of Mayberry's teammates aren't going along for the ride; the Phils are a mere 23rd in runs scored since the break, even with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard back. 
Drew Stubbs, OF, Reds: Why give him a strike when he'll gladly hack away at anything (141 whiffs)? That established, Stubbs at least fills three categories well (71 runs, 14 homers, 28 steals), so you can take the batting-average hit in some contexts. And Dusty Baker doesn't seem worried about the low average, so Stubbs will keep his regular spot in the outfield. 
Dan Uggla, 2B, Braves: The 17 homers and reasonable run-production stats weren't enough to keep Uggla installed at second - the Braves got tired of his Mendoza Line flirtation and mediocre defense in the field. While the benching isn't necessarily permanent, it's money time for fantasy baseball - there's no reason to play the waiting game on anyone. Move on. 
Curtis Granderson, OF, Yankees: There are a lot of moving parts to his swing, and now he has a hamstring problem to worry about as well. Granderson's 11 homers in the second half are the extent of his fantasy value - he's not hitting for average (.200) or getting on base (.429), and he's only attempted two steals. In some shallow formats with daily transactions, you could conceivably slide Granderson into a platoon role.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Giving Thanks to the Blackhawks


Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Giving Thanks to the Blackhawks

On a special Thanksgiving Day edition, Pat Boyle and Slavko Bekovic give thanks for the last 11 seasons of Blackhawks hockey. From the way the city of Chicago embraced the franchise (7:00), to the evolution of Patrick Kane from 18-year-old talent to 30-year-old superstar (11:30), they touch on everything that has happened since the Blackhawks franchise was “rejuvenated and reinvigorated” in 2007.

Blackhawks fans have been spoiled by success over the last 11 seasons and there is much to be thankful for! However, the Blackhawks success has also proven costly (3:30) in the salary cap era because winning Stanley Cups means you have to pay players, and that makes longevity difficult in today’s NHL.

We asked the listeners of the Hawks Talk Podcast to tell us what they were thankful for and the resounding response was the return of Corey Crawford (14:25). Other responses were the return of Jonathan Toews to top form (17:00), the prominsing start to Henri Jokiharju’s career (21:00), and the health of Eddie Olczyk (25:45) allowing him to return to the broadcast booth.

As a bonus, Hawks fans are also thankful for the challenge the St. Louis Blues have had winning a Stanley Cup…but could there be a reunion with Joel Quenneville in St. Louis? The guys discuss the fit (23:30) and where Joel Quenneville might eventually end up.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Blackhawks Talk Podcast


Five things Blackhawks fans should be thankful for


Five things Blackhawks fans should be thankful for

Here are five things Blackhawks fans should be thankful for this Thanksgiving: 

1. Corey Crawford is healthy 

When Crawford went down with a concussion last December, things went sideways for the Blackhawks. That was the start of their spiral. And then in the offseason, there was uncertainty whether Crawford would be ready for training camp this year and whether a return was even possible.

The Blackhawks are so dependent on what he brings to the table that it was hard for Chicago to go through hockey life without him. But, more importantly, Blackhawks fans should be thankful that he’s healthy and looks like his old self again. It's been a great comeback story.

2. The top guys are performing like it 

It’s weird to see Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews reach the age of 30. Time is flying by from the time they were both considered rising superstars in Chicago.

But they're not on the downslide just yet. Kane and Toews are both off to terrific starts, and it's encouraging to see because it was an important year for the Blackhawks' top guys to prove that they are still capable of handling the load.

To go along with that, Brandon Saad looks better than he ever has since being traded back to Chicago and Alex DeBrincat has put himself in the conversation as a top player on this team.

3. The pipeline is replenished

After being aggressive at the trade deadline for a decade chasing three Stanley Cups, the Blackhawks have spent the past couple seasons replenishing their pipeline and it’s starting to look exciting for Chicago.

Henri Jokiharju is here and playing top-four minutes. Adam Boqvist could be next, and has a higher ceiling. Nicolas Beaudin and Ian Mitchell might not be far away, either. The second wave will soon be arriving.

4. Cap space and a loaded 2019 free agent class

The Blackhawks have an opportunity to make some noise this summer and bridge the gap between their younger players and core veterans. They had a chance to do so last summer, but the class wasn't nearly as deep, so they elected to make depth signings for the second year in a row.

It's hard to imagine this one playing out the same way. Just look at the firepower and depth of the 2019 unrestricted free agent class: Matt Duchene. Jordan Eberle. Jake Gardiner. Carl Hagelin. Kevin Hayes. Erik Karlsson. Anders Lee. Brock Nelson. Gustav Nyquist. Artemi Panarin. Joe Pavelski. Wayne Simmonds. Jeff Skinner. Eric Staal. Mark Stone. 

And yes, the Blackhawks will have cap space to work with: Marian Hossa's $5.275 million cap hit is off the books and Cam Ward ($3 million), Marcus Kruger ($2.775 million), Jan Rutta ($2.25 million) and Chris Kunitz ($1 million) are among the players whose contracts expire at the end of the season. With the salary cap expected to increase and the Blackhawks already having more than $4 million in unused money, there's a chance to make a splash.

5. A high standard

In the early 2000s, nobody cared about the Blackhawks. And apathy is the worst.

But nobody has been more driven to turn the ship around than John McDonough, and Rocky Wirtz won’t settle for mediocrity either. This is an organization that is losing sleep over how it can get the Blackhawks back to the promised land because that’s the standard they’ve set for themselves.

Appreciate that. Be thankful for it. Because they care just as much as the fans do, which means they won't be satisfied until they get it right.

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