Even though the days leading up to the All-Star Game are usually a dead zone for fantasy managers, it's a good time to take stock of your team's needs and prepare for the rest of July. The trade deadline looms at the end of the month, and this presents several opportunities for the smart fantasy manager.
Even now teams are beginning to bring up reinforcements from the minors to replace injured players. But the games played immediately after the All-Star break through the end of July are when we see many teams bring up minor leaguers to showcase them for scouts from teams in the trade market; whether they are buyers looking to load up for a pennant run, or sellers that are throwing in the towel on 2010 and hoping to gather some prospects to rebuild for the future.
So this is a great time to pay close attention to those players coming up. Minor league players are often still developing their power, with many of them still a year or two away from stroking home runs on a regular basis. But these young players can often run like the wind. In fact, I rarely draft speed at the beginning of the season, because speedy players are usually brought up during this part of the season. So watch out for speed coming into the league. In fact, I'll preview one speedy player that has already arrived, and another that is on the way, right here in this edition of NKOTD. So let's get on with it already.