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September 19, 2013 6:00 am

Free Agent Watch: Week 25


Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

A look at four hitters and four pitchers who could be available to bolster your fantasy team, depending on the format in which you play.


Jon Jay, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
In -only leagues, you have to take whatever measly at-bats you can get. If playing time opens up and you have a dead spot, it is a knee-jerk response to grab a player and worry about performance later. Mixed leagues offer more choices, and owners have the luxury of zeroing in on certain categories at the end of the season. A case in point is Jon Jay. Jay’s .272 batting average is barely worth considering, but over the last 15 days he has been putting up crooked numbers in runs and stolen bases for a recently red-hot Cardinals offense (admittedly, Coors has helped somewhat). If you need power, leave Jay in the free agent pool. On the other hand, if you are set in home runs and RBI but need a boost in runs or stolen bases, Jay might be your guy. Elliot Johnson has stolen five bases in the last 15 days, but the Cardinals are jockeying for playoff position while the Cardinals are not. Jay is likely to play regularly over the last 11 days of the regular season or until the Cards clinch a division title/avoid that dreaded wild card play-in game. —Mike Gianella

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September 5, 2013 6:30 am

Free Agent Watch: Week 23


Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre

It's a special, September call-up edition of the Watch, with eight players who could offer a boost to your fantasy roster this month or in 2014.

Welcome to a special September call-up edition of the Free Agent Watch. Rather than focus on players for specific formats, this week Bret and I thought we would take a look at eight recent call-ups who might or might not help your fantasy squads down the stretch… or possibly next year.

Jemile Weeks, 2B/SS/OF, Oakland Athletics
In 2011, Weeks was a fantasy force, particularly in deep leagues. He stole 22 bases and hit .303 in a mere 97 games. While Weeks’ game was one-dimensional, that dimension (stolen bases) made him fantasy viable. The cracks showed in 2012. Weeks’ batting average dropped to .221, and while his walk rate improved considerably, a .305 on-base percentage doesn’t cut it for a speedster, even if that speedster plays second base. The A’s decided to send Weeks back to Triple-A this year and turn him into a utility player. The good news was that Weeks got on base at an even more prodigious rate; the bad news is that what little power he had disappeared, and he didn’t run as much as he did in 2011. Weeks is a stretch of a pick-up in start-over leagues. He could be one of those players who steal a bunch of bases in September, but with the Athletics in the heat of a pennant race, he might simply get buried. Weeks could be a useful SB asset in deeper mixed leagues if he got an opportunity, but at the moment it looks like he needs a trade. —Mike Gianella

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