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Setting the Trends: Free agents of all shapes and sizes

by | Senior Fantasy Writer
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We're going to pull back the curtain a little bit here.

Every day, in preparation for the Fantasy Baseball 360 show, we have meetings. And in these meetings, we go over the Roster Trends for that dedicated segment of the show.

It seems like Nolan Reimold has been on top of the Roster Trend list -- either as one of the 10 Most Viewed or 10 Most Added -- for a solid week. This is a pretty big deal for a player, as he will usually see two or three days of jumping to the top of the list, followed by a plateau as another player takes over. But Reimold remains. Even when he started to hit the 70 percent range, there was still room to go up. He haunts our days. He haunts our nights. If you say his name three times while looking in a mirror, he appears on your Fantasy team.

It's not all about Reimold, though. And knowing he's trending won't help many teams, as he's unowned in just 19 percent of leagues right now. So gaze upon the rest of the remaining players to see who's shooting up the charts and being added in CBSSports.com leagues.

Most added players (complete list)

Less than 50, more than 50
Players owned in less than 50% of leagues who should be owned in more than 50%
Player % owned
1. Danny Duffy, SP, Royals 47
2. Francisco Cordero, RP, Blue Jays 41
3. Bruce Chen, SP, Royals 35
4. Raul Ibanez, OF, Yankees 34
5. Drew Smyly, SP, Tigers 26

Philip Humber, SP, White Sox
Jump in ownership: 38 percent (from 29 percent to 67)
Reason for the jump: He threw a perfect game
Why you should join the crowd: Humber, a former first-round pick, seems to have finally realized his potential, and this transformation actually happened before he threw the perfect game. In 2011, Humber threw 163 innings for the White Sox, producing a 3.76 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. His 26 starts last year weren't just a career high -- they blew away his previous work, as he had only two major league starts over parts of six seasons. Credit here goes to white Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, who convinced Humber to change his delivery and add a slider to his repertoire. The move seems to have paid off. Humber isn't just a knee-jerk add for owners who saw the perfect game and expected another; it likely put him on the radar and allowed Fantasy players to see just how good Humber was over almost an entire season last year.
Devil's Advocate: Since we're pulling back curtains today, and if you choose to ignore Cooper's work in harnessing Humber's talent, a look at Humber's minor league numbers may explain why he had only two career MLB starts before last year: in 669 1/3 minor league innings pitched, Humber had a 4.50 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. In 2009, pitching for Minnesota's Triple-A affiliate in Rochester, he sported a 5.34 ERA, with just 87 strikeouts in 119 2/3 innings. The following year, with Omaha (in the KC system), Humber struck out just 80 in 118 2/3 innings.

Owners are sick of these guys
Some of the most deactivated players in our leagues
Player Start %
1. Justin Masterson, SP, Indians 84 - 36
2. Chad Billingsley, SP, Dodgers 88 - 60
3. John Danks, SP, White Sox 69 - 42
4. Francisco Liriano, SP, Twins 40 - 14
5. Brandon McCarthy, SP, Athletics 62 - 37

Bartolo Colon, SP, Athletics
Jump in ownership: 37 percent (from 48 percent to 85)
Reason for the jump: Colon has a 2.62 ERA and 0.93 WHIP so far this season.
Why you should join the crowd: Colon's been pretty great so far this year, kicking off the season in Japan with an eight-inning, one-hit performance, then surviving a shaky outing and rattling off two more starts without surrendering an earned run.
Devil's Advocate: Seattle torched Colon for seven earned runs in his second start of the season. And he had two other starts against the Mariners already in 2012. Seattle isn't as hopeless as people many think -- they're bottom nine in runs scored, for instance, as opposed to botton five -- but it helps to have faced them three times already. On top of that, Colon hasn't pitched 200 innings in a season since 2005.
Why is this Colon capsule so small, dude?: It's Bartolo Colon . There's not much more to say about him except ... beware. The same way you can play games on your phone for free, but they're eventually going to hit you up for some money to play the higher levels; this cannot last forever.

Cody Ross, OF, Red Sox
Jump in ownership: 15 percent (from 36 percent to 51)
Reason for the jump: Ross is batting .283, with five home runs and 13 RBI so far this season.
Why you should join the crowd: Ross was going to play every day in the Boston outfield when it was just Carl Crawford missing from the lineup, but now that Jacoby Ellsbury is gone as well, Ross has suddenly become Boston's most valuable outfielder. He's responded by hitting five home runs through 15 games, which puts him on pace for over 50 on the season (but let's just take that with a grain of salt for now). Of his last six games, three have been multi-hit efforts. Ross also has two 20-plus home run seasons under his belt.
Devil's Advocate: Two 20-plus home run seasons are not the same as, say, four 25-plus home run seasons. Ross also hasn't hit over .270 since 2007. Boston's 2012 offense isn't as presumptively high-octane as it had been in the past, and the eventual return of Crawford and Ellsbury might push Ross into some days off as the outfield becomes more crowded. Also, Ross is batting a relatively-low seventh in the lineup.

We are the 1 percent!
Players owned in 1% of leagues who may see an ownership spike in the near future
Player % owned
1. Michael Bowden, RP, Cubs 1
2. Luke Hughes, 2B, Athletics 1
3. Andrew Miller, SP, Red Sox 1
4. Hideki Matsui, DH, Athletics 1
5. Chris Denorfia, OF, Padres 1

Ross Detwiler, SP, Nationals
Jump in ownership: 33 percent (from 13 percent to 46)
Reason for the jump: Detwiler has a 0.94 ERA and 0.56 WHIP in three starts for the Nationals.
Why you should join the crowd: Washington saw enough potential in Detwiler to send John Lannan and his large contract to Triple-A before the season began, crowning Detwiler as their fifth starter. Detwiler, the sixth overall pick in 2007, had a 3.00 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 2011 over 66 innings pitched and seems to have come into his own as a wonderful parallel to Philip Humber. So far this season, he's raised his ground ball/fly ball ratio dramatically, getting almost two-and-a-half ground balls for every fly ball (last season, it was about 1.3).
Devil's Advocate: In any season, on any level, Detwiler has never pitched more than 124 innings, bouncing back and forth from starter to reliever. His minor league numbers are rather mediocre -- he posted a 3.97 ERA and a startlingly-high 1.50 WHIP across five seasons in the Washington farm system. And while his hot start will probably not have him in the crosshairs, Chien-Ming Wang is on his way back from injury, and if Detwiler takes a downward turn, he could be the odd man out.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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