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: Back in a mini slump, going 2-for-20 (.100) the past week, though he is just three home runs and four RBIs from a .300-30-100 season.
2. Albert Pujols, 1B, STL: Will likely undergo Tommy John surgery at the conclusion of the season as he has a legit shot at a .350-30-100 campaign (.359-32-95).
3. Cliff Lee, SP, CLE: Lee has won his last 10 decisions and has emerged with a "W" in seven-straight appearances, having allowed a total of nine earned runs in those seven victories (1.47 ERA).
4. Matt Holliday, OF, COL: Holliday is an uncharacteristic 6-for-43 (.140) over the past two weeks with only one extra base hit, a double.
5. Roy Halladay, SP, TOR: Five straight wins and counting for the guy who would likely be the AL Cy Young winner if not for Cliff Lee as Halladay has posted 18 wins, 185 Ks, a 2.64 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.
6. Hanley Ramirez, SS, FLA: He has suffered a power outage of sorts the past three weeks with only two doubles and two home runs, leading to just five RBI in 18 games.
7. Alex Rodriguez, 3B, NYY: Despite hitting just .278 the past two weeks, he has still crossed home plate 12 times while knocking in 14 runs.
8. Jose Reyes, SS, NYM: One for 21 (.048) and just 20-for-77 (.260), Reyes' average has dropped below .300 down to .299.
9. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS: The leading AL MVP candidate? Pedroia is hitting .426 with 13 RBIs and 14 runs scored over his last 13 games.
10. Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX: His season was finally cancelled when it was revealed that he would need to have surgery on a sports hernia. He should be fully healthy by the start of next season.
11. Josh Hamilton, OF, TEX: Though he has 124 RBIs overall, he has knocked in only 20 runs in his last 34 games.
12. Grady Sizemore, OF, CLE: The last 11 games have been a wasteland for Sizemore, who is without a home run, just three RBIs and only four runs scored.
13. Tim Lincecum, SP, SF: He has to be the leader for the NL Cy Young award after going 5-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 66 K over his last 56 innings while holding batters to a .168 average.
14. Francisco Rodriguez, RP, LAA: His control has been great over his last 10 appearances as he has walked only one batter while striking out 13 on his way to a 0.90 ERA.
15. Manny Ramirez, OF, LAD: How is this for a two week run -- .465 with five home runs, 13 RBI and 12 runs scored.
16. Ryan Braun, 3B/OF, MIL: Braun hit 34 home runs with 97 RBIs last year in 451 ABs, and this year he has 34 home runs and 96 RBIs, though it has taken him 538 ABs.
17. Aubrey Huff, 1B/3B, BAL: He just won't stop hitting. Over his last 15 games he is hitting .407 with four home runs, 15 RBIs and a 1.167 OPS.
18. CC Sabathia, SP, MIL: In 12 starts without a loss since joining the Brewers, Sabathia has struck out at least eight in eight of those games.
19. David Wright, 3B, NYM: Slumping at the worst time for the Mets with a 4-for-24 start to September (.162 with a .442 OPS).
20. Mariano Rivera, RP, NYY: He is right back on the horse after a bit of a bump in the road. In each of the last 12 seasons Rivera has at least 28 saves, and 11 times he has recorded at least 30 (33 this year).
21. Carlos Quentin, OF, CWS: He had surgery on his wrist to insert a pin, and is almost certainly done for the rest of the year as he will finish with a .287-36-100-96-7 line.
22. Jonathan Papelbon, RP, BOS: The Red Sox closer hasn't allowed an earned run in 18 appearances as his ERA has dipped from 2.43 to 1.62.
23. Chase Utley, 2B, PHI: Utley continues to slump hitting just .217 in 23 September ABs which has played into his average work since the All-Star break (six home runs, 23 RBI and 27 runs in 48 games).
24. Mark Teixeira, 1B, LAA: Tex is up to .303-29-111 overall meaning he is one home run away from his fifth straight 30-100 season.
25. Jason Bay, OF, BOS: Bay continues to be a run producing machine with the Red Sox scoring 29 times while knocking in 31 in 33 games.
26. Ryan Ludwick, OF, STL: Ludwick is hitting only .233 over his last 16 games and he has gone deep just once in that time.
27. Carlos Beltran, OF, NYM: Beltran is two RBIs away from his eighth 20-100-100 season.
28. Ichiro Suzuki, OF, SEA: In a mini slump, Ichiro is hitting .222 with five Ks and no BBs early in September.
29. Nate McLouth, OF, PIT: Took a ball off his noggin in San Francisco over the weekend, but he appears to be OK, good news since he has been hot at the plate hitting .440 with eight runs, six RBIs and six steals over the past seven games.
30. Jose Valverde, RP, HOU: After going 10-for-10 in saves in August, Valverde is already 4-for-4 in September.
31. Justin Morneau, 1B, MIN: The Twins first sacker is certainly making a push for the MVP honors as he is hitting .338 with 21 RBIs over his last 19 games.
32. Brian Roberts, 2B, BAL: Just two for his last 14 (.143) and 8-for-38 (.211) over his last 11 games, Roberts average has fallen to .293 overall.
33. Alex Rios, OF, TOR: This kid is coming off one hell of a week that produced a .414 average, three home runs and eight RBIs over his last six games.
34. Kevin Youkilis, 1B, BOS: Youkilis is two RBIs short of 100 after knocking in 14 in his last 13 games as he has been in and out of the lineup.
35. Ervin Santana, SP, LAA: Most people play up Edinson Volquez, and while he certainly deserves the praise, did you realize that Santana has more Ks (191 to 184), the same ERA (3.23) a much better WHIP (1.11 compared to 3.33) and just one fewer victory (15 to 16)?
36. Matt Kemp, OF, LAD: Kemp has been awful for the past 20 games, save for his five steals, as he has hit .195 with just a single home run, six RBIs and eight runs scored.
37. Miguel Cabrera, 1B/3B, DET: Despite the slow start he is just one home run off his career-high (34) while he is just three RBIs short of career best mark (119).
38. Johnny Damon, OF, NYY: Damon is just 4-for-30 the past week to drop his average to .305, the lowest it has been since June 3.
39. Bobby Abreu, OF, NYY: With 87 RBIs, Abreu needs to knock in 13 runs for his sixth straight triple-digit campaign. Oh, he is also 13 runs short of a 100 as well.
40. Johan Santana, SP, NYM: It has been 10 starts since he hurled less than six innings and only twice in that time has he allowed even three earned runs in a game.
41. Brandon Webb, SP, ARI: He must be hurt, right? Over his last four starts, covering 20.2 innings, he has been simply bombed to the tune of a 8.27 ERA and 1.94 WHIP. And you think this guy deserves the NL Cy Young award?
42. Chipper Jones, 3B, ATL: Chipper is 6-for-18 in September (.333) though he hasn't gone deep in that time. As a matter of fact, he has only one long ball in his last 24 games.
43. Cole Hamels, SP, PHI: His Sept. 7 outing was his first loss in six starts and the first time in six outings that he allowed more than two earned runs (he allowed four in five innings to the Mets).
44. Carlos Lee, OF, HOU: Despite being out since Aug. 10, Lee is still the only hitter in the NL with 100 RBIs and a batting average above .300 (.314 with exactly 100).
45. Jermaine Dye, OF, CWS: The loss of Carlos Quentin puts more pressure on Dye who has only one home run and two RBIs over his last 10 outings.
46. Joakim Soria, RP, KC: Few have noticed, but Soria could be the best young bullpen arm in the American League with 35 saves, a 1.77 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP.
47. B.J .Upton, 2B/OF, TB: Besides the shoulder that has bothered him most of the year, Upton is now also dealing with an injured quad that will likely keep him out of action for a couple of days. Upton is hitting .320 over his last 50 ABs with five steals.
48. Alfonso Soriano, OF, CHC: Six games in September have produced four home runs, six RBIs, five runs and two steals.
49. Nick Markakis, OF, BAL: Mired in an awful 2-for-19 slump, Markakis has only gone deep once and produced a total of five RBIs in his last 17 games.
50. Joe Nathan, SP, MIN: Nathan has blown three of his last four save chances though he has allowed only four runs in his last 16 appearances (2.20 ERA).