I thought I'd hit you all up with a few guys I believe to be either over or undervalued, as well as a few random thoughts that the world may have been better off without.
Victor Martinez: I am well aware that he has zero home runs on the season and that he will be out until August. Still, I think the fact that people are dropping him is a bit stubborn and I certainly would not allow him to spend any time as a free agent in a single one of my leagues. Heís currently owned in under 70 percent of ESPN leagues, behind 10 other catchers. Do you really feel more comfortable with Dioner Navarro? Martinez had been playing hurt all season long and could provide your team with a great boost from the catcher spot at the end of fantasy's regular season and into the playoffs. Letís not forget this guy had been the first or second-best hitting catcher each of the last four seasons coming into this year.
Taylor Buchholz: Taylor certainly doesnít have the buzz of Clay, but he could very well end up being the most valuable Buchholz by seasonís end. He has been lights out in Coloradoís pen this year, posting a stellar ERA (1.40) and WHIP (0.75) to go along with decent strikeout numbers. The Rockies are struggling and could ship current closer Brian Fuentes to a contender, in which case Buchholz would move into the closerís role. If this happens, or if Fuentes gets hurt at any point, Buchholz would not only be very useful in any league as an effective closer, but would be even more valuable in daily leagues, being an SP-eligible player who will pick up saves. I repeat, if you are in a daily league and have roster space or can afford to drop anyone from your squad, add Buchholz immediately.
Kaz Matsui: Matsui should have carried a 100 percent ownership rating before his recent groin injury, which he did not, and should still be held onto in most leagues regardless. Owners, however, are dropping him like a bad habit. He is currently owned in just 57 percent of ESPN leagues and that number is likely to continue to dip over the next few days. Owners in need of cheap stolen bases should strongly consider adding Matsui, who is expected to return before the All-Star break. He has converted a phenomenal 77-for-89 stolen base attempts in his five year career and has already nabbed 15 in 18 tries this season despite missing over 20 games. He wonít be quite as active on the base paths as the elite base-stealers but also wonít hurt your batting average as much as some of them and is a far superior stolen base option than Joey Gathright when healthy.
Mark Reynolds: How this guy is still owned in over 95 percent of leagues is a bit baffling to me. Sure, he has 16 home runs, but that is because he is streakier than my jump shot. For real though, looking at his game logs over the past two seasons, itís actually unbelievable how streaky this guy is. Take the beginning of his career, for instance. He made his big-league debut on May 16 last year and, in just half of a month, he ended up going 23-for-54 (.426) with four home runs and 15 RBI by the end of May. June was quite the opposite story. In the entire month he went 12-for-74 (.162) with just one home run and six RBI to go along with 27 strikeouts. This year he again started off red-hot, fell off the map for a while, had a big late-May to early-June, and finds himself cold once more. Reynolds does not deserve to be owned in as many leagues as he is and should only be activated when in the midst of one of his hot streaks.
Carlos Gomez: This is tough because, as a Twins fan, I love him and think heís incredibly exciting to watch. He also, without a doubt, should be owned in leagues of all formats, but I do think he has become a bit overvalued. His value, obviously, comes on the base paths. From both browsing through a bunch of expertsí current rankings as well as talking with some of my fantasy-savvy friends, I have come to find that the large majority of owners rate Gomez higher than guys like Willie Taveras and Michael Bourn, significantly higher in some cases. Personally, Iíd take both of the aforementioned players over Gomez, unless you're talking several years down the road in a keeper league. Though both Taveras and Bournís batting averages are hovering around .240 while Gomez currently sits at .268, I expect the disparity to be much closer by seasonís end. I am also aware that Gomez will get a few more RBI opportunities being in the AL. Tavares and Bourn, however, are each at or above the 30-SB mark compared to Gomezís 20, a very significant discrepancy.
Josh Willingham: Currently batting .320 through exactly 100 at-bats, I doubt it will take long for that to dip somewhere in the .260-.280 range. I may be a bit biased against Willingham because I owned him two seasons ago when he was eligible at catcher, but Iíve just never liked the idea of having him active at anywhere else in my lineup. Heís currently owned in 98.7 percent of ESPN leagues and, compared to other widely owned outfielders, I believe heíll provide average-at-best home run and RBI numbers to go along with a less-than-desirable average and a small amount of runs. Jay Bruce is similarly owned in almost, but not quite, 100 percent of leagues and, despite his recent struggles, Iíd still rather own him, along with guys like Xavier Nady, Delmon Young and David Dejesus, all of whom are lesser-owned.
The following tidbits may or may not have anything to do with fantasy baseball. This week, Iím leaning towards may not.
>>>Is anyone else out there as excruciatingly annoyed with the Planters Nuts commercial as I am? Please, donít waste your time thinking about a response, the correct answer is ďNo Danny, I'm notĒ. For those who donít know what Iím talking about, itís the one with the appalling-looking lady who rubs Planters Nuts all over her body and suddenly becomes irresistible to all passing men. Anyways, unless thereís a sporting event on, we always have ESPNews playing in the Rotowire office, and apparently Planters Nuts accidentally added an extra zero or three on the end of their purchase when they bought ad spots on the station, because, literally, there has not been a SINGLE commercial timeout over the last several months when the spot hasnít been aired.
As much as I envy Oedipus every time I see the ad (for poking his eyes out, of course, not for the whole sleeping-with-his-mother incident), it did get me thinking; What kind of description did Planters use to describe the type to women that should show up and audition? It must have looked like this: butt-ugly individual of the female gender, several warts necessary, cannot have tanned in the past year, must be willing to be mortally loathed by all sports fans/nerds who watch lots of ESPNews, because we plan to place 97 percent of our aired commercials on that one station). And then another question arises; What type of self-respecting woman shows up and is eligible for the audition, save for the obvious Kurt Warnerís wife.
Kurt Warnerís wife wouldnít actually fit the description for this commercial because sheís not a heinous monster-lady-beast. She is, however, my go-to name whenever I have to diss a femaleÖ because I hate her. There are several factors that created this hatred but, unfortunately, I donít really feel like explaining them right now.
Well, with that all out in the open, I think it is time to end my vent.
Yeah, I figured I might as well finish this tidbit with a shameless plug for my favorite commercial right now, the Coors Light ďLetís VentĒ ad. It is, unarguably, humor at its finest. Plus, it gets extra points for re-introducing U-Turn into the acting world for the first time since he was killed on Weeds.
>>>Speaking of Weeds, as of this week the show if officially dead to me. It was one of my favorite series through its first two seasons but fell into a big-time lull in its third installment. I quit watching it completely by mid-season but figured Iíd give it another shot in the fourth. I thought the first episode was alright but hated last weekís, and once again am boycotting the series until I here reason not to.
On a similar note, M. Night Shyamalan is, sadly, dead to me as well. I became enamored with the guy after Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, both of which are on my list top-25 movies. While not on quite the same level, I thought Signs and The Village were both quite legit as well. There is no possible explanation, however, for what was going through the dudeís mind with his last two movies, Lady in the Water and The Happening, out in theaters right now. Honestly, I donít even want to spend time writing about, or even thinking, of either one. There was not a single redeeming thing about either one and they were both a complete waste of my time and money. So much for Shyamalan being the reincarnation of Alfred Hitchcock, whom many people were comparing him to after his first few movies.
>>>I will now take this moment to partially retract the statement that Iíve been making the last few days stating that Jason Kidd had absolutely no business being a part of the USA hoops team. While I still donít think he should have, I do see some value in adding him. Heís a veteran guy who happens to be the only one on the team who has won gold at the Olympics before. My beef with his addition is that I simply see no reason why he would ever be on the court when you have Chris Paul and Deron Williams on your roster.
Iím not saying that Kidd hasnít had a brilliant NBA career, or even that he isnít one of the top-5 point guards in the league right now, but at this moment, I feel like CP3 and Deron are LIGHT YEARS ahead of Kidd. To have Kidd on the floor as opposed to Paul or Williams in nothing short of ignorant in my mind. You could contend that you need a third PG for depth, but I disagree. Paul and Williams are each more than capable of playing the majority of a game and USAís team has plenty of other players, such as King James and Dwyane Wade, that are more than capable of handling the ball in the unlikely scenario where both young studs needed a breather, are hurt, or have fouled out.
Personally, I would like to have seen Kiddís spot occupied by either an effective defender with good size, such Tyson Chandler, or by an elite spot-up long-range shooter such as Jason Kapono or Daniel Gibson. If you disagree with my opinion on Jason Kidd or any of the other players mentioned in this note, please, let your voice be heard in the comments section. If you disagree with my decision to write this note as part of my baseball blog and to not expand on it and post it in the basketball section, then yes, you are correct, I should have done that but was too lazy.
And, before I go, did you really think I'd leave you all before posting by top-3 rap songs of the week? C'mon, don't be silly.
Here they are (Parental Advisory is in tact)...
T.I. - A Better Day
Keak Da Sneak ft. Paul Wall - Hard Tops & Drops
Gorilla Zoe ft. Sean Kingston - On The Corner