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Fantasy Clicks: A Fish called Cody makes Memorial Day memories

Recent Fantasy Clicks 06-01-10: A Fish Called Cody Saves Miami 05-28-10: The Ultimate Draft Do-Over 05-26-10: A PPR Quandary For The Masses 05-24-10: Sunny Rays Take Houston By Storm 05-20-10: Let The Mock Madness Begin 05-17-10: For Whom The Kubel Tolls 05-14-10: Less Bang For Your Bucs 05-12-10: The Marshall Plan Hits South Beach 05-10-10: The Mother Of All Perfect Games 05-06-10: Fantasy Love Is Blind Sometimes 05-03-10: Phantastic Fantasy Fun In Philly 04-30-10: Kings Of Command 04-28-10: The Post-Draft Mock Madness Quotient 04-26-10: Here Come The Sun Kings 04-21-10: Fantasy Breakdown Of 2010 NFL Sked 04-19-10: Nothing Beats A Royal Flush 04-19-10: Nothing Beats A Royal Flush 04-16-10: Oh, The Cantu-Man Can 04-14-10: Santonio's Fly-By-Night Move to N.Y. 04-12-10: Something Wild In The D 04-09-10: The Tao Of Jose Reyes 04-07-10: Donovan's D.C. Cab ... To Landover 04-05-10: Welcome To Opening Night Revelations 04-02-10: Nothing Beats A Real Fantasy Draft 03-31-10: One More Mock For The Road 03-26-10: A Fantasy-Fueled NFL Draft Breakdown 03-22-10: Fantasyland Prose & Cons: Mauer Power 03-19-10: The NL-Only Fantasy Spectacular 03-15-10: The AL-Only Fantasy Spectacular 03-12-10: Post-free agency adjustments in fantasy 03-10-10: In Case Of Emergency: Twins' Closer 03-08-10: Fantasy Preview Breakdown, Part III 03-03-10: Fantasy Preview Breakdown, Part II 03-01-10: NFL Combine Revelations 02-26-10: A Fantasy Preview Breakdown 02-24-10: Green Flag Goodness: Hitters 02-17-10: Green Flag Goodness: Pitchers 02-15-10: Red Flag Alerts: Pitchers 1-27-10: Red Flag Alerts: Infielders 1-25-10: Championship Sunday Revelations 1-22-10: Playing A Championship Sunday Hunch 1-20-10: Early Mock Draft Madness 1-18-10: Divisional Playoff Revelations 1-15-10: Divisional Playoff Round Clicks 1-13-10: Back In The Baseball Business 1-11-10: Wild Card Revelations 1-06-10: Fantasy Clicks Year-End Spectacular 1-04-10: Wild Card Round Clicks 12-28-09: Week 16 Revelations/Week 17 Clicks 12-23-09: All You Need To Know For Week 16 12-21-09: Week 15 Revelations 12-18-09: Thursday Night Revelations (Week 15) 12-16-09: Dontcha Hate When That Happens? 12-13-09: Week 14 Revelations 12-11-09: Thursday Night Revelations (Week 14) 12-09-09: Fantasy Playoff Rules To Live By 12-07-09: Week 13 Revelations 12-04-09: Thursday Night Revelations (Week 13) 12-02-09: The Believers Of Calvinism 11-30-09: Week 12 Revelations 11-27-09: Turkey Day Revelations 11-25-09: All Hail The Perfect Showdown 11-23-09: Week 11 Revelations

Memorial Day Revelations

Chris Coghlan: AP

In an effort to make Fantasy Clicks bigger and better than ever, we'll spotlight one of the weekend's most intriguing MLB games in an NFL-style Revelations. This week's choice -- Brewers @ Marlins from Monday -- was a tough choice over Yankees-Indians (A-Rod grand slam), Nationals-Astros (Nyjer Morgan goes wild on the basepaths) or Angels-Royals (can anyone stop Mike Napoli, Anaheim's new first baseman -- sorry, Kendry). But, in the end, there was just too much fantasy goodness coming out of Joe Robbie Stadium Stadium, er, Starter Field, er, Ace Ventura Park, er, Sun Life Stadium ... or whatever they're calling the Dolphins-Marlins home in south Florida.

Florida 13, Milwaukee 5
What I Liked: Yes, Ryan Braun (1 hit, 1 run, 1 RBI on Monday) has cooled a bit since his prodigious April ... but it's not like he's fallen from the ranks of the fantasy elite. As long as he remains healthy, there's absolutely no reason Braun can't surpass at least one career high in either HRs (37), RBIs (114), steals (20) or batting average (.324). He's the Miguel Cabrera of outfielders, and I would move heaven and earth to acquire him via trade -- even at the expense of Roy Halladay or Ubaldo Jimenez (more on him later).

What I Liked, Part II: I realize Cameron Maybin's window of stardom has yet to open -- and probably won't do so until 2012 -- but the kid looks the part of a burgeoning dynamo in fantasyland. On Monday, he tallied two runs, two RBIs and one inside-the-park HR, thanks to his blinding speed (and Carlos Gomez's shoddy fielding). If Maybin is available in deeper leagues, grab him now ... just in case his days of reckoning come sooner than later.

What I Loathed: I have great respect for what Nate Robertson accomplished for my hometown Tigers in 2006; but right here, right now, he shouldn't be a regular starter in the majors. As evidenced by Monday's 3-walk, 4-run, 8-hit outing, Robertson simply doesn't have the command or stamina to mow through a professional lineup two or three times every five days ... and for that alone, Florida should be exploring other avenues to find a No. 5 starter. Seriously, there's no way the Marlins can compete for the NL East or wild card with Robertson in the mix. The club should either promote one of their stud prospects (Ryan Tucker/Chad James) ... or go to a four-man rotation down the stretch (Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad).

What I Loathed, Part II: The Brewers' pitching prospects are bleaker. After Yovani Gallardo, there are no realistic starter options for real-world or fantasyland baseball ... which could actually work to Chris Narveson's advantage in the short-term, as Milwaukee execs essentially have no choice but to let Narveson find his way in the majors. He held strong for five innings on Monday, before melting down in the wake of Florida's 7-run explosion in the 6th inning.

What I Loved: The fact that we've referenced Maybin, Robertson and now Cody Ross -- all former Tigers -- is purely coincidental. Rather, we're simply in the business of honoring those who make stellar contributions to Fantasy Revelations, and no one could touch Ross's one-HR, two-hit, two-run, four-RBI performance against the Brewers. For what it's worth, Ross is hitting .300 for the season, but gets less fantasy love than Jeff Francoeur or Brad Hawpe in standard-sized leagues.

What Makes Me Indifferent: Chris Coghlan deserves kudos for two runs, two RBIs and three hits against Milwaukee pitching, but he's still way off the pace from winning NL Rookie of the Year in 2009. In fact, he's hitting a less-than-robust .227 this season, a dubious feat that leaves Marlins fans shouting for Mike Stanton -- perhaps baseball's next true superstar-in-waiting.

What Makes Me Say 'Wow': On May 1, I couldn't have snagged a bag of balls, trade-wise, for Corey Hart (1 HR, 2 RBIs on Monday) in the & Friends fantasy league. And now, he's currently the toast of Milwaukee and one of the hottest sluggers on the planet (9 HRs/20 RBIs in that 30-day span). Hmmm ... wonder if he has better trade value than Carlos Lee?

Fantasy 2-Pack: Pitchers

These potentially gold pitchers are scheduled for two starts in Week 9 (May 31-June 6):
Andy Pettitte, Yankees
Francisco Liriano, Twins
Tommy Hanson, Braves
Jaime Garcia, Cardinals
Roy Oswalt, Astros
Tim Lincecum, Giants
Justin Verlander, Tigers
Matt Garza, Rays
Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies
Chad Billingsley, Dodgers
Doug Fister, Mariners
Mark Buehrle, White Sox
Tim Hudson, Braves
Ervin Santana, Angels
Brett Myers, Astros
Jeremy Bonderman, Tigers
Mike Pelfrey, Mets
John Lackey, Angels
Ricky Nolasco, Marlins
Javier Vazquez, Yankees
Rich Harden, Rangers
Bronson Arroyo, Reds
Gio Gonzalez, Athletics
Luke Hochevar, Royals
Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles
Jake Westbrook, Indians
Craig Stammen, Nationals
P.J. Walters, Cardinals
Brandon Morrow, Blue Jays
Brian Matusz, Orioles
Rodrigo Lopez, Diamondbacks
Charlie Haeger, Dodgers
Chris Narveson, Brewers
Dave Bush, Brewers
Ross Ohlendorf, Pirates
Brian Bannister,Royals
Trevor Cahill, Athletics

A Race Against Time

I don't have enough time to fully explain the Super Twos rule when it comes to MLB clubs promoting top prospects around Memorial Day ... and how it affects each player's arbitration status down the line. But I can hazard an educated guess on which touted prospects will be the next to earn permanent promotions to the majors (Buster Posey, Chris Tillman, Austin Jackson, Jason Heyward, Neftali Feliz obviously don't apply here):

1. SP Stephen Strasburg, Nationals (perhaps you've heard of this kid?)
2. C Carlos Santana, Indians (long term, I'd rather have Santana over Bryce Harper)
3. OF Jose Tabata, Pirates (a major piece of Pittsburgh's Rays-like rebuilding)
4. SP Jake Arrieta, Orioles (Baltimore has five dynamite starters of 24 or younger)
5. OF Michael Saunders, Mariners
6. 1B Chris Carter, Athletics (yes, Oakland's leading the AL West, but it needs an imposing hitter)
7. 3B Brett Wallace, Blue Jays
8. OF Desmond Jennings, Rays (meet Carl Crawford, circa 2004)
9. SP Nick Hagadone, Indians
10. OF Michael Taylor, Athletics
11. 1B Yonder Alonso, Reds (his only hurdle from the majors is a big one: Joey Votto)
12. SP Brad Lincoln, Pirates
13. 1B Eric Hosmer, Royals
14. SP Madison Bumgarner, Giants
15. OF Michael Stanton, Marlins (quite possibly the most talented hitter on this list ... and maybe the greatest overall prospect come 2014)

FYI: Here is's Top 50 prospects special from March. Enjoy!

Dare To Compare

In a nod to the classic Pepsi Challenge of 1980s lore, here's a blind taste test for fantasygoers (based on Accuscore projections): Which of the five high-profile third basemen would you most prefer from this point forward (June 1-Oct. 1)? And can you guess which projections represent that of Big Apple icons Alex Rodriguez and David Wright?

Player A
Projected stats: .260 average, .394 OBP, 50.7 runs, 9.4 HRs, 46.3 RBIS, 4.3 steals
Player B
Projected stats: .251 average, .336 OBP, 48.8 runs, 14.6 HRs, 49.2 RBIS, 5.3 steals
Player C
Projected stats: .286 average, .381 OBP, 59.9 runs, 11.5 HRs, 61.6 RBIS, 19.2 steals
Player D
Projected stats: .307 average, .366 OBP, 56.1 runs, 14.2 HRs, 56.8 RBIS, 4.0 steals
Player E
Projected stats: .290 average, .392 OBP, 68.2 runs, 21.3 HRs, 85.1 RBIS, 9.0 stealss

A -- Chipper Jones, Braves
B -- Ian Stewart, Rockies
C -- David Wright, Mets
D -- Pablo Sandoval, Giants
E -- Alex Rodriguez, Yankees

The Road To Wellville

These hitters should fare well against average-to-subpar pitching in Week 9 (May 31-June 6):
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (vs. Cleveland, @ Kansas City)
Johnny Damon, Tigers
Austin Jackson, Tigers
Magglio Ordonez, Tigers
Brandon Inge, Tigers
Brennan Boesch, Tigers
Carlos Guillen, Tigers
Adam Dunn, Nationals (@ Houston, vs. Cincinnati)
Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
Nyjer Morgan, Nationals
Ian Desmond, Nationals
Roger Bernadina, Nationals
Adam Kennedy, Nationals
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees (vs. Baltimore, @ Toronto)
Derek Jeter, Yankees
Mark Teixeira, Yankees
Curtis Granderson, Yankees
Nick Swisher, Yankees
Brett Gardner, Yankees
Robinson Cano, Yankees
Michael Bourn, Astros (vs. Washington, vs. Cubs)
Hunter Pence, Astros
Lance Berkman, Astros
Pedro Feliz, Astros
Carlos Lee, Astros
Jeff Keppinger, Astros

Trouble Ahead

On the flip side ... here's a list of hitters who are likely headed for slow starts in Week 9 (May 31-June 6), due to poor pitching matchups. I'm not saying "Don't start 'em" ... just be wary of these guys, who'll face at least four high-quality hurlers during this period:

Adam Jones, Orioles (@ N.Y. Yankees, @ Boston)
Nick Markakis, Orioles
Miguel Tejada, Orioles
Matt Wieters, Orioles
Ty Wigginton, Orioles
Corey Patterson, Orioles
Luke Scott, Orioles
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners (vs. Minnesota, vs. L.A./Anaheim)
Chone Figgins, Mariners
Franklin Gutierrez, Mariners
Jose Lopez, Mariners
Milton Bradley, Mariners
Casey Kotchman, Mariners
Jack Wilson, Mariners
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays (vs. Tampa Bay, vs. N.Y. Yankees)
Vernon Wells, Blue Jays
Aaron Hill, Blue Jays
Adam Lind, Blue Jays
Fred Lewis, Blue Jays
Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
John Buck, Blue Jays
Rajaj Davis, Athletics (@ Boston, vs. Minnesota)
Ryan Sweeney, Athletics
Cliff Pennington, Athletics
Kevin Kouzmanoff, Athletics
Kurt Suzuki, Athletics
Daric Barton, Athletics
Mark Ellis, Athletics

Total Bases Recall

SI Recommends

Alex Rios: AP

For the loyal Clicks readers of fantasy football, you've heard me prattle on a thousand times about the importance of Targets -- the number of times a receiver is thrown to -- and how it's a fail-safe method for evaluating receivers. Well, I am equally passionate about Total Bases in fantasy baseball. By my way of thinking, TB is the perfect convergence of coveting power hitters and on-base machines who make a living from doubles. It's also a stellar indicator of future success. Here are the top 30 leaders in total bases (through May 30). Note: Kendry Morales, out 10-12 weeks with a broken leg, has been omitted:

1. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers -- 122
2. Robinson Cano, Yankees -- 119
3. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays -- 118
4. Justin Morneau, Twins -- 114
5. Evan Longoria, Rays -- 112
6. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays -- 108
7. Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers -- 108
8. Albert Pujols, Cardinals -- 107
9. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres -- 105
10. Ryan Braun, Brewers -- 103
11. Matt Kemp, Dodgers -- 102
12. Alex Rios, White Sox -- 102
13. Jayson Werth, Phillies -- 100
14. Billy Butler, Royals -- 99
15. Carl Crawford, Rays -- 98
16. Kelly Johnson, Diamondbacks -- 98
17. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox -- 98
18. Alberto Callaspo, Royals -- 97
19. Casey McGehee, Brewers -- 97
20. Josh Hamilton, Rangers -- 96
21. Martin Prado, Braves -- 96
22. Ty Wigginton, Orioles -- 96
23. Adrian Beltre, Red Sox -- 95
24. Marlon Byrd, Cubs -- 95
25. Adam Dunn, Nationals -- 95
26. Dan Uggla, Marlins -- 95
27. Shane Victorino, Phillies -- 95
28. Brandon Phillips, Reds -- 94
29. Joey Votto, Reds -- 94
30. Michael Young, Rangers -- 94

East Coast Bias, Be Damned

For every "baseball fan" who watches only the Red Sox or Yankees, have you heard about Ubaldo Jimenez and his 0.78 ERA? Look, I know it's wayyyyyyy too early to obsess about this ... but if the Rockies ace should break Hall of Famer Bob Gibson's modern-day ERA record of 1.12 (1968), it'll be an accomplishment for all time. Not as big as Roger Maris breaking Hank Aaron's home run record, per se, but likely more substantial than Denny McLain posting 31 pitching victories in 1968. And this is coming from a proud Detroit native.

Football's Always On The Brain

As you already know, Sports Illustrated will publish another fantasy football spectacular this summer (hitting shelves around July 15). The official mock draft for the publication is today, with yours truly drawing the 10th slot out of 12 teams. Unfortunately, Peter King won't be in this mock, but the list of SI experts is still quite impressive: Ben Reiter, Mark Mravic, Adam Duerson, Mike Beacom, Paul Forrester, David Sabino, Damon Hack, Jim Gorant and the incomparable Jim Trotter.

At the No. 10 slot of this standard-scoring draft ... I'm thinking about Cedric Benson, DeAngelo Williams, Andre Johnson, Rashard Mendenhall in Round 1 and Beanie Wells, Shonn Greene or Larry Fitzgerald on the flip side. Regardless of what happens, it'll make for great copy in Thursday's Fantasy Clicks (mark your calendar).

What The ...?

Heading into Monday's action, my first-place club from the & Friends league had a grand total of 32 steals all season; but on Memorial Day -- and without a full complement of hitters in the starting lineup -- The Baltimore Choppas stole five bags, courtesy of Mike Napoli, Ian Stewart (2) and Nyjer Morgan (2). Prior to the weekend, I was resigned to trading Jayson Werth, Paul Konerko, Michael Young or even Zack Greinke -- in the name of acquiring big-time speed -- but now, I'm faced with a new dilemma: Was Monday's output an aberration or sign of things to come?

Analyze This

To the delight of many, there is never a slowdown period with trades in the & Friends league. Whether it's BIG ones involving Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia, or little ones involving Brandon Wood and Aaron Harang, there's always something going down between the graveyard-shift hours of 2-6 a.m. ... which, in turn, gives us an excuse to let the mathematical geniuses at Accuscore be the knee-jerk judge and jury:

Team A gets ... Jorge Cantu, Bobby Abreu, Dan Haren, Andrew Bailey
Cantu (Accuscore yearly estimates -- June 1-Oct. 1)
.287 batting average, .345 OBP, 51.4 runs, 13.6 HRs, 73.6 RBIs, 1.3 steals
.287 batting average, .381 OBP, 69.6 runs, 11.3 HRs, 65.6 RBIs, 19.5 steals
9.4 wins, 3.97 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 149.4 strikeouts
1.4 wins, 27.7 saves, 1.70 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 40.2 strikeouts

Team B gets ... Nelson Cruz, David DeJesus, Derek Holland, Kerry Wood, Mike Pelfrey
Cruz (Accuscore yearly estimates -- June 1-Oct. 1)
.287 batting average, .363 OBP, 44.6 runs, 21.1 HRs, 56.8 RBIs, 13.4 steals
.290 batting average, .363 OBP, 58.7 runs, 9.6 HRs, 49.8 RBIs, 3.7 steals
5.4 wins, 5.71 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 104.2 strikeouts
1.1 wins, 22.3 saves, 5.75 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 31.3 strikeouts
7.8 wins, 4.06 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 84.5 strikeouts

Verdict: It's important to note this trade was consummated beforeNelson Cruz went back on the DL with hamstring problems, as well as Derek Holland's minor ailment from Sunday night. That said, I would have favored Team A's return even with a healthy and productive Cruz in the mix. After all, what's not to love about getting a dynamic fantasy ace (Haren), a top-10 fantasy closer (Bailey) and two of the most underappreciated offensive talents in the game today (Abreu, Cantu)? As for Team B, there's a lot of question marks here, beginning with Cruz's longevity, how/why David DeJesus can't convert his enviable speed into steals, and what kind of value -- if any -- does Kerry Wood hold on a fantasy roster that's already stocked with closers? Heck, even Mike Pelfrey -- who I like -- has lousy Accuscore projections from this point forward. Scary stuff ... and not in a good way.

Depth Of Knowledge

There is no greater resource than the official (and up-to-date) depth charts for each MLB club. In no particular order ...

National League
East: Marlins | Braves | Mets | Phillies | Nationals
Central: Reds | Pirates | Cubs | Brewers | Cardinals | Astros
West: Dodgers | Diamondbacks | Padres | Rockies | Giants

American League
East: Red Sox | Orioles | Rays | Yankees | Blue Jays
Central: White Sox | Tigers | Indians | Royals | Twins
West: Rangers | Angels | Athletics | Mariners

Stock Report

Here's an update for the highly volatile & Friends league (15-team, 5x5-roto):
1. The Baltimore Choppas (Jay Clemons) -- 110 points (pitching just gets better and better)
2. Crotch Bats (Jeff Ritter) -- 98.5 points (just wait till he gets Travis Snider, via trade)
2a. Bronx Bulldogs (Charlie Kight) -- 98.5 points (needs a WHIP boost -- solid in all other areas)
2b. The Youkileles (Lonny Krasnow) -- 98.5 points (living the good life with Carlos Guillen at 2B)
5. Tulo's Dirtbags (Scott Wraight) -- 96 points (amassed 14 RBIs on Sunday alone -- damn!)
5a. From First To Worst (Jon Machota) -- 96 points (this snake is ALWAYS lying in the weeds)
7. TEAM COCO Crisp (Micah Hart) -- 95.5 points (walking the tightrope with three rookie pitchers)
8. Kershawshank Redemption (Danny Lampson) -- 90 points (are the Lind trade rumors true?)
9. Dominican Lous (Cory McCartney) -- 89.5 points (the last of the strong Tier II clubs)
10. Joba Rules (Bobby Kight) -- 80 points (sluggish team still searching for fantasy chemistry)
11. Ruxin's Rabbits (Brandon Marcus) -- 67 points (the curse of Carlos Pena-gate lives on)
12. Cabrera's Cannibals (David Komer) -- 56 points (dreaming of Michigan beating Notre Dame)
13. Albert's On The Big Mac Diet (Andrew Lamb) -- 44 points (dreaming of ND over Michigan)
14. Milwaukee Schlitz (Jeff Lewis) -- 41 points (briefly flirted with last place before boost)
15. Lenny Loves Twizzlers (Drew Packham) -- 39.5 points (could easily land Zack Greinke/Jayson Werth with one simple phone call, text, IM, email or air-mail message sent by a savvy carrier pigeon)

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