Allen Craig rockets way back into Fantasy spotlight with trade to Red Sox

Allen Craig could experience a resurgence in Boston. (USATSI)
Allen Craig could experience a resurgence in Boston. (USATSI)

Granted, Yoenis Cespedes is going to break a lot of windshields blasting homers over the Green Monstah. But the Red Sox did not get enough back from Oakland for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes.

They made up for it in spades, however, with the deal that sent John Lackey to the Cardinals for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly. Fantasy owners should definitely take note.

Those who had rightfully banished Craig to the bench as Mike Matheny did the same thing can dust him off and put him back in their lineups. It's hard to imagine that at 30 years old and coming off three consecutive .300 seasons that Craig is suddenly a has-been. He should play every day for Boston and half his games in a far more hitter-friendly park. The Monster was built for his line-drive swing and he still boasts enough power to reach the short porch in right. Fantasy owners must trust that Craig can again find the stroke that allowed him to hit the ball hard to all fields.

That's just the tip of the iceberg for the Red Sox and Fantasy owners. Kelly is a far more valuable piece in keeper leagues and could be worthy of playing down the stretch in 2014. Any young pitcher whose fastball has been clocked at 100 mph is worthy of attention. A change of scenery and a feeling of security knowing he's safe in the rotation - a luxury he never enjoyed in St. Louis - could prove beneficial to Kelly. The pressure to prove himself with every outing obviously wore on him lately - he gave up 16 runs on 26 hits in his last 19 2/3 innings pitched. But his fresh start in Boston should pique the interest of Fantasy owners and make him worthy of inclusion in lineups with the right matchup.

Lackey will be receiving better run support and working at home in a friendlier setting for pitchers in St. Louis. Fantasy owners are currently starting him at a 59 percent rate - that should rise markedly. But don't expect ace results. His 3.60 ERA and 137 hits in 137 innings pitched - numbers comparable to what he produced in 2013 - marks a resurgence in his career. Lackey is a decent Fantasy option - a third or fourth starter in deeper leagues - no more.

This trade is a boon for owners of Craig and Kelly moreso than for owners of Lackey for some of the same reasons it's advantage Red Sox.

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