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 Rototimes.com have a tool called the Player Rater, and each week I will discuss the top-50 fantasy baseball players based upon 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: Not taking lightly to losing the top spot in the rankings last week, Berkman has gone 11-for-23 (.478) and 17-for-40 (.425).
2. Matt Holliday, OF, COL: A 2-for-23 slump (.130) knocks him out of the top perch that he held for just a week.
3. Albert Pujols, 1B, STL: How is this for some hitting -- 10-for-22 (.455), 21-for-41 (.512) and 30-for-60 (.455).
4. Jose Reyes, SS, NYM: The flashy shortstop has an 11-game hitting streak and he has stolen six bases over his last seven games.
5. Cliff Lee, SP, CLE: Lee has been the best thing going in the American League and the numbers prove it -- two or fewer runs allowed in 21 of 27 games and 10 games in which he hasn't even walked a single batter on his way to 20 victories.
6. Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX: The Rangers star should be back from his hernia on Sept. 9. He'll need to hit two home runs to record his second straight 20/20 season.
7. Hanley Ramirez, SS, FLA: Over his last 18 games he has scored 12 runs with three long balls, not to mention a .446 OBP.
8. Roy Halladay, SP, TOR: Halladay has won each of his last four outings and went 5-1 with a 2.06 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in August.
9. Grady Sizemore, OF, CLE: Since his seven RBI outburst on Aug. 21, Sizemore has two home runs and four RBIs in 10 games.
10. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS: Talk about a guy who is totally out of control. Pedroia is 15 for his last 30 (.500) and 33-for-79 (.418) the past three weeks.
11. Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NYY: Few have been more productive when playing under a roof than A-Rod (.420-5-13-12 with a 1.320 OPS in 12 games).
12. Ryan Braun, 3B/OF, MIL: Back to bashing, Braun has hit .350-3-10-9 with a steal over the past two weeks.
13. David Wright, 3B, NYM: Though his BB/K mark is strong at 0.84 that ratio has plummeted the past three weeks (0.47) though his average has held solid nonetheless (.289).
14. Josh Hamilton, OF, TEX: The lows include a .167 average in his last 24 ABs and a .243 mark in his last 74 ABs. The highs include 31 dingers and 118 RBI overall.
15. Manny Ramirez, OF, LAD: After an ever so brief "slump" Manny is once again scintillatingly brilliant at the plate going 15 for his last 25 (.600).
16. Carlos Quentin, OF, CWS: What happened to the power bat? Over his last 11 games he is hitting a mere .211 with only a single home run.
17. Francisco Rodriguez, RP, LAA: Fifty-three saves and counting for K-Rod after converting 18 of his last 20 chances.
18. Tim Lincecum, SP, SF: The NL leader in ERA (2.43) and the major league leader in strikeouts (210), Lincecum is also 15-3 thanks to winning his last four decisions.
19. CC Sabathia, SP, MIL: This is getting ridiculous. Sabathia is 9-0 with a 1.43 ERA in Milwaukee, and overall he is 15-8 with a 2.82 ERA and 208 K.
20. Chase Utley, 2B, PHI: After 19 home runs, 49 RBIs and 45 runs in his first 57 games, Utley has just 12 home runs, 38 RBIs and 47 runs over his last 79 games.
21. Aubrey Huff, 1B/3B, BAL: From relative obscurity to fantasy prominence, Huff is hitting .311-30-98 and sits on the precipice of his second .300-30-100 season five years after the first.
22. Ryan Ludwick, OF, STL: Only one home run in 11 games for this slugger, who is but one RBI from his first 100-RBI season.
23. Mariano Rivera, RP, NYY: Over his last six appearances this all-time great has allowed one hit in 8.2 innings.
24. Jonathan Papelbon, RP, BOS: Though his ERA (1.68) and WHIP (0.85) are virtually identical to last year's marks (1.85 / 0.77), his K/9 rate has plummeted from 12.96 to 10.22.
25. Ichiro Suzuki, OF, SEA: Over his last 237 AB Ichiro is batting .333 and is now hitting .311 overall as he needs just 20 hits to record his eighth straight 200-hit season.
26. Mark Teixeira, 1B, LAA: Teixeira is 35-for-85 at Angel Stadium, leading to a .412 average, seven home runs, 19 RBIs and 20 runs scored in 22 games.
27. Jason Bay, OF, BOS: Though Bay has 13 RBIs in his last 12 games, he has hit just .265 with a .291 OBP in that time.
28. Brian Roberts, 2B, BAL: Roberts has been producing across the board the past three weeks as he has hit .309 with 11 RBI, 15 runs and six stolen bases.
29. Matt Kemp, OF, LAD: Kemp hit .279 in August with his lowest RBI total of any month (12). He balanced that out by scoring 22 runs, a monthly high.
30. Brandon Webb, SP, ARI: Talk of the Cy Young award might be premature after his last three starts -- 1-2, 7.20 ERA, 1.92 WHIP.
31. Kevin Youkilis, 1B, BOS: Though he is hitting only .278 with the bases empty that number jumps to .351 with runners on base.
32. Johnny Damon, OF, NYY: Damon has hits in 11 of his last 12 games to boost his average from .311 to .316.
33. Carlos Beltran, OF, NYM: Dealing with a minor knee injury which may or may not affect a suddenly hot power bat (four home runs and 10 RBI in 10 games).
34. Nick Markakis, OF, BAL: Over his last 82 games Nick is batting a strong .336 with nine home runs, 56 RBI, 68 runs and 32 doubles,
35. Carlos Lee, OF, HOU: Lee hit .312 with no one on base, .317 with runners on base, .338 with runners in scoring position and .358 with RISP and two outs.
36. Justin Morneau, 1B, MIN: In each of the season's five months, this slugger has recorded at least 20 RBI leading to a total of 108 overall.
37. Chipper Jones, 3B, ATL: His performance has fallen off since the All-Star break with a .302 average and just two home runs in 27 appearances.
38. Jermaine Dye, OF, CWS: In 155 ABs during the day, Dye is hitting infinitely better (.361-18-43) than he is when playing under the lights (.263-14-40 in 334 AB).
39. Corey Hart, OF, MIL: August was a big month for this lanky outfielder with four home runs, 20 RBIs, 19 runs scored and six stolen bases.
40. Bobby Abreu, OF, NYY: Abreu hasn't gone deep in three weeks but that hasn't stopped him from hitting .384 over 73 AB.
41. Dan Haren, SP, ARI: Haren's numbers have fallen since the All-Star break (6-2, 4.33 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, .306 BAA) following a career long trend of slowly fading down the stretch.
42. Jose Valverde, RP, HOU: Valverde is up to 38 saves after a run of 13-straight save conversions.
43. Ervin Santana, SP, LAA: Ervin has only one win in his last four starts despite a 2.54 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 10.48 K/9 mark in that time.
44. Joe Nathan, R, MIN: With two blown saves in three outings people are panicking. Don't. Nathan will be just fine, and even with the hiccup, he has a 1.11 ERA and 0.89 WHIP.
45. Johan Santana, SP, NYM: Though he has 169 strikeouts, Santana's K/9 mark of 7.76 would be his lowest mark in a season of 100 innings, and it is roughly 1.5 batters less than his career mark (9.27).
46. Cole Hamels, SP, PHI: Over his last five starts he is just 2-1, though his ERA is 2.04 as he has walked just three batters over 35.1 innings.
47. Rich Harden, SP, CHC: Harden's ERA has dipped to 1.99 on the year including 1.50 in nine starts with the Cubs.
48. B.J Upton, 2B/OF, TB: Though he has greatly improved his BB/K ratio (0.74, compared to last year's 0.42 mark), his average has fallen down to .271 (from .300 last year).
49. Alex Rios, OF, TOR: Over the last 12 games Rios has only one home run, six RBIs and zero stolen bases.
50. Miguel Cabrera, 1B/3B, DET: Few have been better at driving the ball the pas two months as he has 19 home runs and 58 RBIs over the last 58 games.