All stats are updated through Thursday, June 12.
The most notable player on the verge of coming off the DL is Shane Victorino (hamstring), who probably won't play the whole week and may not be so productive right out of the gate, but several notable players head into the weekend nursing day-to-day injuries.
|1.||Josh Willingham, OF, MIN||75/67|
|2.||Gregory Polanco, OF, PIT||94/69|
|3.||Aramis Ramirez, 3B, MIL||80/53|
|4.||Howie Kendrick, 2B, LAA||91/68|
|5.||Eric Hosmer, 1B, KC||93/64|
|6.||Billy Hamilton, OF, CIN||86/66|
|7.||Coco Crisp, OF, OAK||81/61|
|8.||Matt Adams, 1B, STL||85/16|
|9.||Erick Aybar, SS, LAA||80/66|
|10.||Desmond Jennings, OF, TB||90/66|
The most concerning is probably Hanley Ramirez. He got a cortisone shot in his right shoulder Wednesday, hoping to relieve the soreness. We'll know by the end of the weekend whether it worked or not, and you'll want to start him if it did. Brian Dozier's (back), Jose Altuve's (hand) and Jacoby Ellsbury's (hip) injuries don't appear as serious, making them still "too obvious" at their respective positions, but you'll want to keep an eye on them over the weekend.
Wonder where Kole Calhoun has been since returning from a sprained ankle? The Angels have taken to sitting him in favor of Collin Cowgill against left-handers and have faced four lefties in their last five games. Granted, platoons can come and go on a whim, as we've seen recently with Lonnie Chisenhall and, on the other end of the spectrum, Charlie Blackmon, but Calhoun, for all his sleeper appeal coming into the year, isn't productive enough to factor in mixed leagues in his current capacity.
And with that, on to the position-by-position breakdown ...
Start: Russell Martin, Pirates
Since returning from a DL stint for a strained hamstring May 23, Martin has been the fourth-highest scoring catcher in Head-to-Head points leagues. And while his .327 (16 for 49) batting average during that stretch is too good to be true, he managed to finish 13th in Head-to-Head scoring despite a .226 batting average last year. He tends to run hot and cold and is certainly hot now, so give him a look if you have a gaping hole at catcher.
Instead of: Mike Zunino, John Jaso, Dioner Navarro
Sit: Carlos Ruiz, Phillies
Speaking of running hot and cold, Ruiz has been on a roller-coaster ride of his own this season, rebounding from a mostly crummy May to hit .333 (15 for 45) with a home run and an .867 OPS in his last 12 games. But the Philies have especially tough matchups against the Braves and Cardinals starting rotations this week -- facing pitchers like Julio Teheran, Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha -- and play all seven of their games on the road, where Ruiz is batting .253 compared to .300 at home.
Instead of: Martin, Jason Castro, Kurt Suzuki
Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Abreu, Albert Pujols, Anthony Rizzo, Freddie Freeman, Chris Davis, Victor Martinez, Brandon Moss, Joey Votto, Todd Frazier, Jonathan Lucroy, Adrian Gonzalez, Allen Craig, Michael Morse, Adam LaRoche
Start: Matt Adams, Cardinals
After spending two weeks on the DL with a strained calf, Adams returned to the lineup Friday looking to get back to doing everything his pedigree and peripherals say he shouldn't be doing -- i.e., trading off all of his home run power for more singles than he has any right to hit with such poor plate discipline. OK, so maybe that's not his aim, and maybe the time off will allow him to hit the reset button on his swing and get back to driving the ball like we all know he can. He certainly has the right matchups for it this week, facing hittable righties like Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon, David Buchanan, A.J. Burnett and Kyle Kendrick.
Instead of: Mark Teixeira, Jon Singleton
Sit: Justin Morneau, Rockies
Morneau came to life in his recent series against the Braves, even homering Thursday, but has mostly been a disaster since mid-May, batting .216 (16 for 74) over his last 21 games. He kicks off this week against Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, which could put him back in a funk right away, particularly if he sits against one or both of the lefties. And his matchups to end the week against the Brewers starting rotation aren't the best either.
Instead of: Eric Hosmer, Mike Napoli, Adams
Start: Howie Kendrick, Angels
Kendrick isn't far removed from being "too obvious" at the position, but a 13-for-71 (.183) slump has his starting rate down to 68 percent. He has the kind of matchups this week, though, that should get him back on track, particularly in the second series against Rangers. None of Joe Saunders, Nick Martinez and Colby Lewis deserves to be starting every fifth day in the majors. Combined, they've allowed 12.1 hits per nine innings this season.
Instead of: Brett Lawrie, Yangervis Solarte
Sit: Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks
Hill isn't far removed from being "too obvious" at the position either, but more because of reputation than actual production. He hasn't done much of anything for Fantasy owners this season, scoring 15-plus Head-to-Head points in just three of the first 10 weeks, and isn't trending the right direction with a .205 (8 for 39) batting average so far in June. He's also batting just .228 against righties, who the Diamondbacks face in six of their seven games this week.
Instead of: Kendrick, Ben Zobrist, Solarte
Too obvious: Miguel Cabrera, Josh Donaldson, Adrian Beltre, David Wright, Matt Carpenter, Todd Frazier, Evan Longoria, Anthony Rendon, Martin Prado, Ryan Zimmerman, Lonnie Chisenhall, Kyle Seager, Xander Bogaerts, Pedro Alvarez
Start: Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
Ramirez was slumping just before hitting the DL with a strained hamstring May 10, costing him "too obvious" status at the position, but that slump appears to be behind him now. He's batting .300 (9 for 30) with two home runs in eight games since returning from the DL. The Brewers have far and away the best matchups of any team this week, facing the Diamondbacks' lousy starting rotation for four games at hitter-friendly Chase Field and the Rockies' slightly better than lousy rotation for three games at hitter-crazy Coors Field. Ramirez figures to be just one of the beneficiaries.
Instead of: Brett Lawrie, Yangervis Solarte, Casey McGehee
Sit: Pablo Sandoval, Giants
Sandoval had a great run the second half of May, briefly becoming "too obvious" at the position, but he's cooled off a bit in June, batting .289 (11 for 38) with just two extra-base hits (both doubles) in 11 games. That alone wouldn't be reason enough to sit him, but the Giants are also the only team playing just five games with week, including three against left-handed pitchers. Sandoval is batting just .169 against lefties.
Instead of: Ramirez, Manny Machado
|2.||Blue Jays||@NYY3, @CIN3|
Start: Erick Aybar, Angels
Aybar is currently tied with Ian Desmond for sixth at the position in Head-to-Head points leagues, which is clearly too good to be true. But it gives you some idea just how hot he's been lately, batting .333 (27 for 81) with seven doubles, two homers and two steals in his last 21 games. His batting average is bound to regress and his RBI pace to slow down, but perhaps not this week against the Indians and Rangers rotations.
Instead of: Jimmy Rollins, Yangervis Solarte, Alcides Escobar
Sit: Andrelton Simmons, Braves
Looks like Simmons is having a good week for once, doesn't it? That's what hitting a grand slam can do for a player. Overall, though, he went only 2 for 15 in the Braves' four-game series at Colorado, flopping in his best chance yet to snap out of his season-long slump. It won't get any easier this week against pitchers like Cole Hamels, Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister and Tanner Roark.
Instead of: Aybar, Jhonny Peralta, Asdrubal Cabrera
OutfieldToo obvious: Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Bautista, Giancarlo Stanton, Yasiel Puig, Carlos Gomez, Adam Jones, Ryan Braun, Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Upton, Michael Brantley, Brandon Moss, Matt Holliday, Hunter Pence, Nelson Cruz, Shin-Soo Choo, Alex Rios, Melky Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig, Michael Morse, Jayson Werth, Jason Heyward, Josh Hamilton, George Springer, Alex Gordon, Jay Bruce, Martin Prado, Charlie Blackmon, Khris Davis, Ryan Zimmerman
Start: Josh Willingham, Twins
Willingham claims this spot for the second straight week. He doesn't have quite as much momentum as he had then, but particuarly because of his high walk rate, he's still contributing starter-caliber numbers in Fantasy. And the Twins' matchups this week are a little more in his favor. He's the type of hitter who could take advantage of the Green Monster in three games at Boston, and his matchups against the White Sox to close out the week are far from imposing. In four games, he'll face Jose Quintana, Hector Noesi, Andre Rienzo and John Danks.
Instead of: Nick Markakis, Angel Pagan, Brett Gardner
Sit: Corey Dickerson, Rockies
Starting Dickerson may seem to be obvious given the kind of run he's on as a fill-in for the injured Carlos Gonzalez (or Michael Cuddyer, depending on how you look at it), but the Rockies' series at Dodger Stadium to begin the week could put him in a hole before the team returns to Coors Field for a three-game series against the Brewers. Not only are the matchups against Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw unfavorable, but two of those pitchers throw left-handed, making Dickerson a good bet to sit against one or both. Sitting him in a five-outfielder league may be harder to justify, but in a three-outfielder league, you can do better.
Instead of: Willingham, Billy Hamilton, Coco Crisp
Though normally in Fantasy Baseball, you'd start your best players every week regardless of matchups, in those weeks when you do need a fill-in, whether because of injuries or the total collapse of a trusted starter, Scott White is here to help.
At each position, he'll list the players who are "too obvious" for the upcoming week, meaning the ones you wouldn't consider sitting for anyone off the list, and then suggest a start and a sit based on a variety of short-term factors.