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The desirable dozen


Now that Draft Day has come and gone -- along with the good picks and the bad hangover -- it's time to look over that roster one last time to see if there's any fine-tuning that needs to be done to your Ferrari of a team. Do you have enough speed? Is there enough power to contend? Are your closers able to keep their jobs for a full season?

Every team has holes, even in smaller 10- and 12-team leagues, so keep tweaking and pruning it during the next 26 weeks and a championship may follow. In the National Fantasy Baseball Championship, we allow blind bidding for free agents and we started this week since we drafted two weeks ago. Here's a look at the most desirable free agents in the NFBC, who should be targeted in your league as well:

Ryan Perry, RP, Detroit: Yes, Fernando Rodney has been named the Tigers' new closer and, yes, fantasy owners are grabbing him as their second closer in mixed leagues. But next in line is Perry, Detroit's first-round pick last year out of Arizona, who has a 97-98 mph fastball. He's been solid this spring, going 1-1 with a 0.84 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 10.2 innings. He made the Tigers' roster out of camp and will go unnoticed for awhile as a setup man, but don't be surprised if he's the closer by mid-season, a job he should hold for many years after this one.

Brad Ziegler, RP, Oakland: With Joey Devine on the 60-day DL with an elbow injury, Ziegler is now the fulltime closer in Oakland. Ziegler's ADP in mid-March was just 252, but he's now become a viable No. 2 closer on mixed fantasy teams. He converted 11-of-13 save chances last year with a 1.06 ERA, and while he won't be as dominant this year, he still will put up solid numbers in his new role.

Brett Anderson, SP, Oakland: Arizona's second-round pick in 2006 has rocketed through the minors over the last two seasons and he could be the A's best pitcher this season. The 21-year-old had a solid spring, going 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA, as he locked up a spot in the rotation. He's young, but his poise on the mound and his strikeout ability should make him a solid sleeper pick for fantasy owners.

Rick Porcello, SP, Detroit: The Tigers' first-round pick in 2007 out of high school is making the jump from Class A to the majors this year as he earned a spot in the rotation with a solid spring. He earned one win with a 2.30 ERA, while striking out eight and walking five in 16.2 innings. He's capable of striking out more, but the 20-year-old seems to be concentrating more on his curveball and changeup. He's going to be a good one and adding him to your reserve squad now to see how he performs early on is a wise move indeed.

Emilio Bonifacio, 2B, Florida: The Marlins are going out of their way to get Bonifacio in their lineup, starting him at third base and moving Jorge Cantu to first base. Bonifacio will even bat leadoff and could make things happen if he can get on base enough. He stole 61 bases in 2006 at Class A Lansing and he added 41 steals in 2007 at Double A Mobile. He has little to no power and he hit just .243 in 169 at-bats last year between Arizona and Washington, but the speed, dual eligibility and opportunity make him an interesting pickup this week.

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Jordan Schafer, OF, Atlanta: Schafer was a non-factor in mid-March drafts as his ADP was just 468, but his value has skyrocketed in the last week because he's been named the Braves' starting centerfielder. A third-round pick out of Winter Haven, Fla., in 2005, Schafer was suspended for 50 games last year for violating MLB's substance-abuse policy for using human growth hormone. He struggled when he got back, but hit .323 at Double A Mississippi and then had a solid spring. At 22, he's a work in progress who will likely hit eighth in this lineup, but his upside makes him a worthy pickup right now.

Jordan Zimmerman, SP, Washington: He's not even on the Nationals' 25-man roster now, so he might not be eligible to be picked up in your fantasy league. But when the Nationals call him up from the minors for his first big league start on Apr. 19, make sure you're paying attention. This 2007 second-round pick out of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point was 10-3 in the minors last year with a 2.83 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 134 innings. He was impressive this spring and has earned the Nationals' No. 5 spot in the rotation. He will stick with this team and could be the team's ace in a hurry.

James McDonald, SP, L.A. Dodgers: McDonald was the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2007, going 7-4 at Double A and Triple A with a 3.26 ERA, 141 strikeouts in 141 innings and a 1.19 WHIP. The 24-year-old threw six scoreless innings for the Dodgers last September and didn't seem flustered by the pressure of a pennant race. He earned the No. 5 spot in the Dodgers' rotation with a strong spring and could be a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners if he gets off to a fast start.

Austin Kearns, OF, Washington:Elijah Dukes was the hot pick this off-season as fantasy owners felt he would have a bust-out season as the starting left fielder in Washington. His ADP was 200 in the NFBC, but this week it was announced that Dukes would be the fourth outfielder and that Austin Kearns would start in left field. Kearns has burned fantasy owners enough times in the past to leave a lasting tattoo on everyone -- and '08 left a big black mark with his .217-7-32 contribution. Still, he's now the full-time left fielder and he has value if he can at least get back to '07's level (.266-16-74, 84 runs).

David Freese, 3B, St. Louis: With Troy Glaus now out until possibly the All-Star break, it looks like Freese will get the majority of at-bats at the Hot Corner in St. Louis. Brett Wallace isn't ready yet, so grab Freese, who came over from San Diego in a trade a year ago. He hit .306-26-91 at Triple A Memphis last year and seems more than serviceable in a solid lineup.

John Lannan, SP, Washington: With an ADP of 363, it's obvious that nobody really wants to draft a Nationals' starting pitcher. But Lannan is the Opening Day starter for Washington and he's been impressive this spring with his control and location. He's a groundball pitcher who won nine games with a solid 4.20 ERA last year and with better defense behind him he could be a worthy end-of-the-rotation guy for your staff.

Marcus Thames, OF, Detroit: The Tigers are eating $14 million of Gary Sheffield's contract to part ways, leaving the door open for a more vibrant bat in the DH spot of this potentially strong offensive lineup. Look for Thames to get first crack at the job, even though he hit under .200 this spring. The 32-year-old hit only .241 last year, but he did crack 25 homers with 56 RBIs. If your squad lacks power and can handle the potential sub-.250 average, Thames is an ideal pickup right now.

The free agent market can be littered with minefields, but you can't win a fantasy league title without additions during the season. There is your first chance to cultivate from the free agent pool and with any luck you'll be able to pluck a few free agents who can plug the holes you have after Draft Day. Good luck this season.