Fantasy Baseball: Injured Players to Stash

Mar 24, 2011


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An injured player that returns can be like making a one-sided trade for your fantasy team. You can add a star player to your lineup while dropping your worst player. Sometimes the strategy pays off. Sometimes it blows up in your face. You have to take risks to win fantasy championships though. Here are some injured players that you can store in your “bank” in hopes that they will pay dividends down the road.
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Kendrys Morales, 1B, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Morales is a little scary right now because he seems to be getting worse rather than better. You probably remember he broke his leg celebrating a walk off grand slam on May 29th last year. He has been experiencing soreness in toe. Mark Trumbo, who has been dealing with an injury (groin) of his own, will keep first base warm for Morales. Kendrys hit 34 home runs in 2009 and had eleven in 51 games before going down. Unfortunately you’re going to have to still take him fairly early (64 average draft position) because of his potential. Hopefully he won’t spend too much time in your D.L. slot.
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Curtis Granderson, OF, New York Yankees
Granderson strained his oblique, which could cause him to miss the start of the season. While that is disappointing news to fantasy owners, it could give you better value than his ADP (73) before the injury. Granderson hit 17 home runs and carried a .861 OPS after the All-Star Break last year.
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Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies
Utley is another guy that comes with a risk thanks to a knee injury that will likely keep him out on Opening Day. Anytime a knee is involved, it’s a pretty sticky situation. Best case scenario is it heals fast and it doesn’t hinder his production. The likely scenario is Utley playing through the injury, but his numbers will be affected. The worst case scenario is Utley being shut down. We don’t really know what is going to happen with him. That’s what makes drafting Utley so scary. His ADP is 18, but sinking fast.
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Grady Sizemore, OF, Cleveland Indians
Sizemore won’t play Opening Day as he recovers from a knee injury. When he returns, he will probably be limited initially. He isn’t a 30-30 threat this year, but he could post a 20 HR/20 SB season. His ADP is 99, which makes him a little bit of a risk. The payday could be great though.
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Carlos Beltran, OF, New York Mets
Beltran is shooting for Opening Day, but given his injury history I wouldn’t hold my breath. The main reason I like Beltran is his value. His ADP is 228 meaning you can get him around the 19th round of fantasy drafts. I don’t think he’ll ever post the numbers he did as recently as 2008, but he could be a solid power/speed combo.
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Brian Wilson, RP, San Francisco Giants
Like Granderson, Wilson is dealing with a strained oblique. It is an injury that can be aggravated, but it’s not alarming at this point. Wilson remains one of the game’s elite closers.
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Johan Santana, SP, New York Mets
It’s gambling time. Johan won’t like pitch until the All-Star Break, if he pitches at all in 2011. He’s an excellent second half pitcher, but will he be productive without having the first half to get warmed up?  With and ADP of 208 he is certainly worth the risk. If he is 75 percent of what he’s been after the break (65-23, 2.95 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) you could get a huge boost for the stretch run.
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Jake Peavy, SP, Chicago White Sox
Peavy’s return from lat reattachment surgery is dealing with rotator cuff tendinitis. It’s only expected to keep him out a few weeks of the season. He struggled a bit last year going 7-6 with a 4.63 ERA. I think he’ll be closer to the pitcher that went 9-6 with a 3.45 ERA with the White Sox in 2009.
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Johnny Cueto, SP, Cincinnati Reds
Cueto’s shoulder will sideline him for the start of the year. He’s still should have plenty of value for fantasy owners. His ERA and WHIP have gone down in each of the past two years. He’s worth considering towards the end of your draft.
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