Whoops! Reports of Albert Pujols' demise have been greatly exaggerated.
The regret of this fantasy writer not formally admonishing fantasy owners that were trading him is about as great as those of the masses that mistakenly have. We had planned to lead one of our fantasy columns with the warning of not giving up on Pujols, even for a star haul.
It now comes one week too late for so many.
Pujols was the most-traded player in fantasy last week. He was easily the most productive player in fantasy thereafter. The monster is out of his cage with a five-homer week and scoring a fantasy-high 59 points in a standard mixed league.
That total is roughly the amount of points Pujols produced in the entire month of May, the four weeks prior, when he went a career-long 21 games without a homer. Pujols scored just 63 points combined from fantasy weeks 5-8. After going 12-for-27 (.444) with 10 RBI, 11 runs, two steals and a pair of walk-off game-winners, Pujols is back in the top 10 of fantasy hitters for the season.
He looks ready to surge all the way back to No. 1 again.
It should have been reminded: He is still in a contract year with the potential to blow away every other player in fantasy for months on end. This big week won't be the last and it could extend for weeks on end. It is why Pujols is ranked No. 1 every spring.
Hopefully you didn't make one of these trades that went down in CBSSports.com's premium single head-to-head leagues before his huge breakthrough:
Pujols and SP Chris Carpenter, STL
Pujols and Zack Greinke, MIL
Trade No. 2 is the least objectionable return, but none of them will be good enough if Pujols stays this hot for even one more week. Sluggers famously do 50 percent of their damage in 25 percent of the season and this is Pujols' market correction.
If you're looking for some more buy-low opportunities, let's make this a lesson learned and look to the most-traded players right now:
1. 2B Dan Uggla, ATL
Save for a potential career decline of Uggla at the age of breakdown for a middle infielder, these players are pretty good bets to be better than they have to date. That is what makes a player tradable. That doesn't mean you should trade them as much as trade
Pujols has taught us once again: Selling low is a costly and regrettable mistake.
Pujols is back with a vengeance! He has been one of the most-traded players in fantasy for most of the first two months of the season and those that bought in low are scoring a huge bargain now. Maybe the year of the pitcher is about to turn to the hitters as we get into the heat of the summer.
1. OF Michael Morse, WAS
Crow is an interesting case, because he got the closer's role while pitching his least impressive baseball of the season. Joakim Soria had two very good outings over the weekend and the struggling Royals were never able to get Crow a save opportunity amid Soria's demotion. Crow could lose his closer's job without nary a save chance. Gee and Collmenter are surprisingly winning games for anticipated non-contenders, while Morse and Craig have streaked into mixed-league starting lineups.
1. SP Kyle McClellan, STL
McClellan is the buy-low candidate here. He should only be out a couple weeks for his injury and he was useful in all formats for much of the first two months of the season. The time off will do his arm some good in his transition from the bullpen to the rotation. Worley is back to being worthless, along with Posey outside of keeper leagues. Carmona and Davis are struggling right now, but the contenders they pitch for are likely to make them sleepers once they start showing more consistency later this month
1. SP Phil Humber, CHW
Humber and Danks have survived in the White Sox rotation, especially of the likely return to the DL by Jake Peavy (groin). Danks is a great buy-low candidate, albeit one too dangerous to start right now in mixed leagues. Volquez is making his return to the Reds' rotation and is a must-add in all leagues, while Morse, Trumbo and Headley are streaking right now. Beltran, Ramirez and Rollins are dealing with injuries. Ramirez is headed to the DL, while Beltran and Rollins should avoid it.