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What if somebody dropped Ryan Braun right now?
Would it shake up the league a little? Would it spark a debate about overhauling the waivers process? Would it have owners petitioning the commissioner to kick out the loose cannon for influencing the ever-so-serious playoff picture?
Well, what if I told you (38 percent of you, anyway) that Braun already is on the waiver wire -- or at least someone just as good.
Denard Span is back from his latest bout with a back injury and, with two doubles Wednesday, appears to be picking up where he left off.
Denard Span, OF, Nationals (62 percent owned)
Where he left off was as a borderline elite player in Fantasy, falling short only because of the lingering threat of injury. In terms of Head-to-Head points per game, his 3.30 are actually better than Braun (3.28) as well as J.D. Martinez (3.27), Yoenis Cespedes (3.26) and Charlie Blackmon (3.25).
I emphasize the Head-to-Head format because it's easier for making comparisons, but since Span is a player who excels at batting average, stolen bases and runs scored, it's fair to say he was a high-end option in Rotisserie as well.
He's not out of the woods in terms of health, having shortchanged the rehabilitation process to help the Nationals get back in the race.
"I played one nine-inning game," he said about his rehab, according to MLB.com. "I was sore after that game. Unfortunately, given the circumstances, I didn't have time to play as many games as I wanted to. The first week or two, skip told me to just let them know how I'm feeling. They're going to ease me into it, and hopefully after a week or two I'll be in better shape."
But again, Wednesday's performance was an encouraging sign, as are the back-to-back starts. You wouldn't want to put too much faith in Span, but while he's playing, he'll probably be one of the three best outfielders on your roster. At the very least, you'll want to pick him up so no one else can.
Patrick Corbin, SP, Diamondbacks (71 percent owned)
If you feel like you see Corbin's name here every week, it's because he continues to go overlooked in Fantasy.
Or maybe overlooked isn't entirely accurate. He has gotten some attention since returning from Tommy John surgery July 4, but he has also had his ups and downs. Just when he wins you over, he throws a dud next time, so you drop him. But then he bounces right back, and someone else picks up only to drop him five days later.
Rarely does a return from major surgery go without a hitch, though. All things considered, Corbin's has been pretty impressive. Control is usually the biggest issue for pitchers returning from that procedure, and yet he has issued just 2.3 walks per nine innings -- the same rate as during his breakthrough 2013, when he emerged as a must-start Fantasy option. His swinging strike rate is just as high, and his overall strike rate is actually higher.
Judging by those indicators, he appears to have picked up where he left off, and certainly his better starts -- the "ups," if you will -- would suggest the same thing. I'm betting in September he levels off to more starts like he had Wednesday, striking out seven while allowing one run on three hits over six innings. If you want to see him string two or three of those together before buying into him fully, fine, but he at least belongs on your bench, given the upside.
Steve Pearce, 1B/2B/OF, Orioles (13 percent owned)
Oh no, we're not falling for him again, are we?
I get the feeling Pearce has unfinished business. Obviously, things went sour for him early, but even though he showed just how streaky he could be during a breakthrough 2014 -- putting together two five-week stretches with about a 1.100 OPS, but with a .500 OPS over five weeks in between -- the Orioles were quick to pull the plug on him.
At the time, though, they had viable alternatives. Travis Snider and Nolan Reimold still looked like a halfway decent platoon, and Jimmy Paredes was still everyone's favorite overachiever. During the five weeks (always five weeks with him) Pearce missed with a strained oblique, the Orioles roster has changed quite a bit, and so sure enough, he has started back-to-back games since returning from the DL, collecting two hits in each, including a home run Wednesday.
Is it the start of a long-awaited hot streak? I can't say for sure, but as long as he's playing every day, Pearce is worth monitoring since he's capable of elite production for weeks at a time. Let's not forget he's eligible at second base this year.