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Fantasy Baseball Bests, Busts and Waiver Wire: Apr. 9

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Stay tuned each week to Athlon Sports for a 2012 Fantasy Baseball Weekend Waiver Wire every Monday and a Weekend Rundown every Thursday.

The first weekend is in the books.

No, the New York Mets are not going to finish 162-0 and David Wright will not lead the majors in hitting (.667). No, the Red Sox and Yankees are not going to go winless and finish tied for last in the AL East. No, the Rangers will not finish 12th in the American League in runs scored. No, Miguel Cabrera and Matt Kemp won’t finish as the No. 1 and 2 fantasy players in baseball – okay, well, that one could be 100% true.

So the first weekend of action is more about kicking back and enjoying the fact that America’s pastime is back in action. So be sure to take the current fantasy baseball rankings with a grain of salt. Yet, it doesn’t mean that we can learn a few things to tweak our rosters.

Each weekend, Athlon will analyze the hottest names from around the fantasy diamond and break down who needs to be added to your roster or who needs to be ignored. Here is how the rankings shake out after one weekend of action:

Week 1's Top 25 Hitters:

 

Name

Pos.

Team

R

HR

RBI

SB

BA

OPS

1.

Matt Kemp

OF

LAD

6

2

8

1

.412

1.213

2.

Miguel Cabrera

1B

DET

5

3

8

0

.455

1.806

3.

Carlos Pena

1B

TB

3

2

7

0

.500

1.654

4.

Yoenis Cespedes

OF

OAK

3

3

7

0

.308

1.477

5.

Eric Hosmer

1B

KC

5

2

4

1

.286

1.000

6.

Carlos Beltran

OF

STL

4

2

3

1

.389

1.143

7.

Rafael Furcal*

SS

STL

3

0

3

2

.526

1.234

8.

Alex Avila

C

DET

4

2

5

0

.417

1.500

9.

Corey Hart

OF

MIL

3

3

4

0

.444

2.101

10.

Jay Bruce

OF

CIN

3

3

5

0

.273

1.341

11.

Nick Markakis

OF

BAL

3

2

4

0

.556

2.111

12.

Starlin Castro

SS

CHC

2

0

1

4

.385

.847

13.

Prince Fielder

1B

DET

4

2

3

0

.417

1.346

14.

Cameron Maybin

OF

SD

4

1

2

2

.294

.839

15.

Adam LaRoche*

1B

WAS

3

2

4

0

.417

1.379

16.

David Freese

3B

STL

2

1

6

0

.421

1.000

17.

Dustin Ackley

2B

SEA

4

1

3

1

.316

.790

18.

Austin Jackson

OF

DET

5

0

2

0

.571

1.482

19.

Emilio Bonifacio

OF

FLA

3

0

1

3

.333

.777

20.

Zack Cozart

SS

CIN

4

1

2

0

.545

1.765

21.

Evan Longoria

3B

TB

4

1

1

0

.600

1.792

22.

Kelly Johnson

2B

TOR

5

1

2

0

.357

1.097

23.

Shane Robinson*

OF

STL

2

1

4

0

.667

1.834

24.

Chone Figgins*

3B

SEA

2

0

4

1

.412

1.000

25.

Dee Gordon

SS

LAD

3

0

1

3

.222

.578

* - unowned in the Athlon Sports Fantasy League

Find Your Middle Infield Help Now

Cincinnati’s Zach Cozart is had a top 25 weekend after hitting in the two-hole all three games of Opening Weekend. That puts the rookie directly in front of Joey Votto, Scott Rolen and Jay Bruce. Don’t buy Top-10 shortstop value just yet, but he certainly has the bat to be an adequate producer at a shallow position all season long.

Washington’s Ian Desmond also had a key weekend, hitting with a .385/.429/.462 line for the weekend. He led off all three games and has a chance to provide big return on investment when it comes to stolen bases and runs scored in a much-improving line-up. But he could also easily get to double-digit dingers and a sound slash-line.

Recommended Articles

St. Louis’ Rafael Furcal might have been the biggest surprise of the weekend, however, don’t go wasting a top waiver priority on the aging shortstop. He has topped the 400 at-bat mark only one time since 2007 and has failed to top the 200 AB plateau in three of the last five years. He should be helpful when in the line-up, but like much of the Cardinals' batting order, he needs to stay fully healthy to be valuable.

Kelly Johnson, Aaron Hill, Chris Getz and Rueben Tejada all had solid first weekends that require more observation time.

Yoenis Cespedes is For Real

Normally, it takes time for imports to get acclimated with the speed, control and raw talent of big league pitching. Well, Cespedes is putting that myth to bed as he stroked three home runs in his first four games. He has seven RBIs and has the raw athletic ability to swipe some bases too. I cannot imagine the Cuban defector didn’t get drafted in your league, but if he happens to be sitting on your wire, do not hesistate to snap him up.

Week 1's Top 25 Pitchers:

 

Name

Team

IP

W

SV

K

ERA

WHIP

1.

Chad Billingsly

LAD

8.1

1

0

11

0.00

0.48

2.

Jared Weaver

LAA

8.0

1

0

10

0.00

0.50

3.

Roy Halladay

PHI

8.0

1

0

5

0.00

0.25

4.

Frank Francisco

NYM

3.0

0

3

4

0.00

0.67

5.

Jeff Samardzija*

CHC

8.2

1

0

8

1.04

0.46

6.

Fernando Rodney

TB

1.2

0

2

1

0.00

0.00

7.

Zack Greinke

MIL

7.0

1

0

7

0.00

0.57

8.

Lance Lynn*

STL

6.2

1

0

8

1.35

0.45

9.

Clayton Richard*

SD

7.0

1

0

3

0.00

0.29

10.

Lucas Harrell

HOU

7.0

1

0

4

0.00

0.43

11.

Justin Masterson

CLE

8.0

0

0

10

1.12

0.38

12.

Justin Verlander

DET

8.0

0

0

7

0.00

0.38

13.

Duane Below*

DET

2.2

2

0

3

0.00

0.38

14.

Jake Arrieta*

BAL

7.0

1

0

4

0.00

0.57

15.

Kyle Lohse*

STL

7.1

1

0

3

1.23

0.27

16.

Johnny Cueto

CIN

7.0

1

0

4

0.00

0.71

17.

Aroldis Chapman

CIN

3.0

1

0

5

0.00

0.33

18.

Brandon League

SEA

3.0

0

2

2

0.00

0.67

19.

Jeremy Hellickson

TB

8.2

1

0

4

0.00

0.81

20.

Jason Hammel*

BAL

8.0

1

0

5

1.12

0.63

21.

Javy Guerra

LAD

2.0

0

2

2

0.00

0.50

22.

Ryan Dempster*

CHC

7.2

0

0

10

1.17

0.65

23.

Josh Lindblom*

LAD

4.0

1

0

3

0.00

0.50

24.

Jim Johnson

BAL

1.2

0

2

2

0.00

1.20

25.

Luis Perez*

TOR

4.0

1

0

3

0.00

0.75

* - unowned in the Athlon Sports Fantasy League

Bullpen Happenings

It wasn’t a good weekend for bullpens. Boston’s group is in complete disarray and I would not be rostering any of the names (Alfredo Aceves, Mark Melancon, Franklin Morales, Vincente Padilla) who could get the potential save chances. Look for the Red Sox to go after a rental in early summer — aka Jonathan Broxton, Huston Street, Frank Francisco, Matt Thornton, etc. Speaking of...

Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and Addison Reed were all preseason picks to land in the closing role on the Southside of Chicago. Yet, it appears that Hector Santiago, who pitched a perfect ninth on Saturday to earn his first career save, might be the guy to close games for the White Sox. Robin Ventura still might play the match-ups, but Santiago is worth an add this week. 

With Drew Storen still a few weeks away from returning to action — should his elbow injury not be (gasp) anything worse — it appears that Davey Johnson’s decision to platoon Brad Lidge and Henry Rodriguez was no empty threat. Both Lidge and Rodriguez were effective this weekend, combining for 2.0 scoreless innings with five total strikeouts and one save for each.

-by Braden Gall

Follow @bradengall