August 05, 2008

Who is the most valuable fantasy player going? Are saves "worth" more or less than stolen bases? How do you compare a hitter to a pitcher on an equal playing field? We at have a tool called the Player Rater, and each week I will discuss the top-50 players based on the rankings provided by this tool using the following parameters: a 12-team mixed league using standard 5x5 scoring with 14 hitters, nine pitchers and a $260 salary cap.

1. Lance Berkman, 1B/OF, HOU: Berkman continues to lose value despite maintaining the top overall spot. He has only three hits in his last 21 ABs (.143) with no RBIs. In fact, he has only three RBIs his past 16 games.

2. Matt Holliday, OF, COL: How is this for a three-week run: .386-7-16-21-2 in 18 games with a 1.234 OPS. The tear raised his average to .346.

3. Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX: The past week has been ugly with a .129 batting average, zero RBIs and steals and only four runs.

4. Jose Reyes, SS, NYM: Smoking hot with 11 hits in his last 22 ABs. Toss in three walks and he has reached base 14 times, though he has managed to score just three runs.

5. Josh Hamilton, OF, TEX: Back on the upswing with a .391 average in his last 23 ABs. Hamilton has more than doubled his RBI total of last season (47 to 106) in only 141 more ABs.

6. Hanley Ramirez, SS, FLA: Two-for-18 (.111) and 12-for-65 (.185) has brought his average down to .292, and he has more caught stealing (three) than steals (two) the past 17 games.

7. Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NYY: A-Rod is ripping it up with five home runs, 14 RBIs, 16 runs and a 1.144 OPS over his last 63 ABs.

8. Grady Sizemore, OF, CLE: He has seven extra-base hits the past 13 games (three doubles and four home runs) along with four stolen bases.

9. Ryan Braun, 3B/OF, MIL: Braun went six games without a long ball and with only one RBI before hitting a solo home run Monday. Even with the stretch of inefficiency, Braun still has four home runs and nine RBIs over his last 10 games.

10. Albert Pujols, 1B, STL: In a nasty mini-slump in which he's gone 2-for-17 (.118) in five games.

11. Chase Utley, 2B, PHI: Utley has at least 22 homers in four straight seasons, tied for the second-longest streak by a second baseman (Jeff Kent holds the record at nine).

12. Roy Halladay, SP, TOR: All of those quality innings (175.1) are really starting to add up for a guy ho has posted a 2.77 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.

13. Ryan Ludwick, OF, STL: Are we witnessing the birth of a star? Ludwick has gone deep four times over the past six games with six RBIs and seven runs. Oh, yeah, he is also 11-for-21 (.524).

14. Cliff Lee, SP, CLE: Lee has won four straight decisions and has walked three in his last five starts.

15. Dan Haren, SP, ARI: In his last four starts, Haren is 4-0 with a 9.64 K/9 mark and a K/BB ratio of 15.0. That's dealing, my friends.

16. Chipper Jones, 3B, ATL: Hopes to return Friday from his hamstring injury. He needs only three home runs for his 14th straight season of 21 or more.

17. Francisco Rodriguez, RP, LAA: Just two saves off his career-high total of 47, K-rod has tied Trevor Hoffman for the longest streak of 40-save seasons (four).

18. Carlos Lee, OF, HOU: Still humming along, going 6-for-14 to start August (.429). In each of the season's first four months, Lee hit exactly six home runs.

19. David Wright, 3B, NYM: He's produced only one hit in the last four games. Still ripping lefties, however, with a .387 average and 1.205 OPS in 93 ABs.

20. Jonathan Papelbon, RP, BOS: Over his last nine appearances, the closer has six saves and a win while allowing one run (0.84 ERA).

21. Ichiro Suzuki, OF, SEA: Ichiro finally picked up his 35th steal, though it took him 24 games to do so.

22. Matt Kemp, OF, LAD: Kemp is 23-for-65 (.354) the past 16 games and is showing little sign of slowing down in pursuit of a 30-SB season (he has 26).

23. Kevin Youkilis, 1B, BOS: With three home runs and eight RBIs in his last six games, Youkilis has his first 20-HR season and has pushed his RBI total to 76, one more than his K mark.

24. Carlos Quentin, OF, CWS: He has more Ks (eight) than BBs (six) the past three weeks, but he has gone deep six times with 14 RBIs and 15 runs while hitting .300 over 60 ABs.

25. Jermaine Dye, OF, CWS: Even though he is just 3-for-20 the past week, he still has five homers and 11 RBIs in 12 games.

26. Justin Morneau, 1B, MIN: He might be hitting only .263 in the last 20 games, but with four home runs and 21 RBIs, he has still been an extremely productive bat.

27. Nate McLouth, OF, PIT: He has only one home run and three RBIs in 10 games, though he has scored nine runs and produced two steals.

28. Joakim Soria, RP, KC: Soria owns a 9.41 K/9 mark in addition to a 4.91 K/BB mark, leading to a 0.75 WHIP.

29. Mariano Rivera, RP, NYY: Has missed a couple of days due to back issues, though the injury doesn't appear serious. He has allowed runs in five of his last 10 appearances to add a half a run to his ERA (1.49).

30. Brandon Webb, SP, ARI: Webb has won each of his last four decisions and has posted a 1.75 ERA over his last five starts.

31. Manny Ramirez, OF, LAD: So far, the move to the Left Coast seems to have pushed Manny to even greater heights than hoped for (.615-2-5-4 in 13 ABs).

32. Xavier Nady, OF, NYY: In nine games in pinstripes, Nady has four home runs, nine RBIs and nine runs.

33. Bobby Abreu, OF, NYY: Not many have been hotter the past week than this Yankees' outfielder (.433-4-9-12-1), or for that matter the last two weeks (.408-5-15-17-1).

34. Aubrey Huff, 1B/3B, BAL: It seems like nothing can slow this guy down as he is 23-for-52 (.442) lately, though amazingly, he has only one walk in that time.

35. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS: Working on another hit streak -- it's up to six games (.346).

36. Jason Bay, OF, BOS: Taking to the new digs nicely, thank you, hitting .313-1-4-6 in just four games with the Sox.

37. Tim Lincecum, SP, SF: Though he has only one win in his last four starts, he has posted a 2.89 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 13.2 K/9 mark in that time.

38. Shane Victorino, OF, PHI: Welcome to the top 50, Shane Victorino. A two-week period hitting .354 with five home runs, 12 RBIs, 13 runs and four steals can help to earn a guy a place on this list.

39. Milton Bradley, OF, TEX: Continues to be limited by leg issues. He has only one pinch-hitting appearance in August (he walked). He hasn't gone deep in 13 games.

40. Brandon Phillips, 2B, CIN: Just can't seem to get going with just one home run and a .238 average the past three weeks.

41. Nick Markakis, OF, BAL: Stole his 10th base in late July to give him his second straight 15/10 season.

42. Conor Jackson, 1B/OF, ARI: If he keeps hitting like this (.316 overall and .330 since the start of June), he will be a prime target next season with his dual-position eligibility.

43. Brian Roberts, 2B, BAL: With 28 steals, he now has posted at least 25 in five straight seasons. He is just two steals away from his third 30-SB season in a row.

44. CC Sabathia, SP, MIL: He has been scary good since joining the Brewers: 5-0 with a 1.88 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 3.91 K/BB ratio and a .207 BAA.

45. Ryan Dempster, SP, CHC: Dempster has a 1.38 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over his last four starts (2-1).

46. Joe Nathan, SP, MIN: Has 30 saves for the fifth straight season and hasn't blown a chance in 13 tries.

47. Alex Rios, OF, TOR: With eight home runs, Rios only needs to hit 16 in the Jays' final 50 games to match last year's total.

48. Adrian Gonzalez, SD, 1B: A solo home run has produced his only RBI over his last seven games.

49. Justin Duchscherer, SP, OAK: Winless in four straight starts for the first time this season (0-2 in that stretch).

50. B.J. Upton, 2B/OF, TB: Finally went deep after 27 straight without a tater. He's hitting only .228 in his last 57 ABs.

You May Like