Fantasy Baseball Batter Stock Watch

Fantasy Baseball Batter Stock Watch

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com

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Dexter Fowler, OF, Rockies: Here's how it works with Fowler this year - he's Mickey Mantle at home (.337.433.723) and Mickey Rooney on the road (.178.260.311). Now is a perfect time to buy in, with Colorado playing 10 of its next 13 games at home. Fowler is healthy again and batting lead-off again, and maybe he'll do something on the road in June, too, when the Rockies visit Arizona and Texas.

Carlos Quentin, OF, Padres: In a lot of ways he's the opposite of Fowler; this is a hitter who should mash on the road but struggle at home. Quentin's first week back has been a smash (7-for-12, three homers), but the Padres return to Petco Park on Friday, where fly balls go to die. Can you sell Quentin off his fast start? I'd certainly try.
Tony Gwynn Jr., OF, Dodgers: He's never going to be a special player and you get absolutely no pop here, but Gwynn does have a .291 average this month with four steals and the Dodgers will use him near the top of the lineup more often than not. Gwynn is needed for the here and now with Matt Kemp hurt again, and a tasty weekend in Colorado is on the way.
Dayan Viciedo, OF, White Sox: He'll swing at anything and he's constantly swinging for the downs, let's establish that up front. Viciedo has just two doubles and three walks this month. But with a .351 average and eighth homers in May - and a hot summer of Chicago fun just around the corner - why worry? The average will come crashing down, but this should be a 30-homer source, and he's tied to a sneaky-good offense (fourth in the AL in runs).

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Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Red Sox:  He's going to try to play through his thumb problem, but how productive will he be? Pedroia's slash line is down in all three columns, and he's only stolen three bases this year (the bags might completely dry up if the thumb isn't right). You'll still get a solid player here and the ultimate gamer, but if someone is willing to pay for 90 percent of Pedroia's name value, make that deal.
Bryan LaHair, 1B, Cubs: He's hitting just .136 against lefties and obviously that .398 BABIP isn't going to stick around very long (it's been in free-fall all month). And LaHair's contact rate is an issue as well, as he strikes out 29 percent of the time. He's still a reasonable player even in mixed leagues, but don't start assuming this late bloomer is the new Nelson Cruz.

Holding Steady
Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves: A week of eye problems had roto owners panicking, but Freeman emerged with new goggles Wednesday and produced a get-well line: single, double, homer. Back to work for one of the NL's most underrated hitters: we expect 25 homers and 100 RBIs when the year is complete, along with an average somewhere in the .270-.280 range.
Gregor Blanco, OF, Giants: His 13-steal display in spring training got the attention of some, and Blanco hasn't looked out of place as San Francisco's lead-off man (.398 OPB, six steals, 22 runs in 27 games). You'll have to supply your power elsewhere - that's common with this sort of player - but it seems like the Giants are giving Blanco free reign to do his own thing, taking pitches and running liberally.

CSN to chronicle a dominant New Year's Day playoff performance on the next installment of Bears Classics

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CSN to chronicle a dominant New Year's Day playoff performance on the next installment of Bears Classics

‘Bears Classics’ presented by Xfinity to debut Monday, January 23 at 8:00 PM CT -- Exclusively on CSN

Narrated by Chicago Bears/Pro Football Hall of Fame legend DICK BUTKUS

Chicago, IL (January 18, 2017) – CSN Chicago and the Chicago Bears will debut a brand new installment of its partnered Bears Classics presented by Xfinity Emmy award-winning documentary series when the network will once again go back in time to highlight a dominant victory in team playoff history, one that pitted an initially-designated back-up QB…against a future Hall of Famer.     

Debuting Monday, January 23 at 8:00 PM CT exclusively on CSN, Bears Classics will turn back the clock to New Year’s Day 1995, the date of the NFC Wild Card game against the rival Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome.  The 1994 season was a time of transition for the Bears with roster of new stars as more familiar names had left town.  Dave Wannstedt was in his second season as head coach, and working to establish a new identity for the Bears after being hired in 1993 to replace the legendary Mike Ditka.  From injury and inconsistent play, starting quarterback Erik Kramer was benched.  Backup Steve Walsh then took over and led the Bears to a winning season at 9-7, but the road to the playoffs went through Minnesota, home of the NFC Central champions.  The 10-6 Vikings were led by veteran quarterback and future Hall of Famer Warren Moon, and in ’94, Moon and his purple gang defeated the Bears in both regular season meetings, however, the Bears were determined to reverse that course.  This NFC Wild Card matchup on New Year’s Day 1995 was the first time--and to date, the only time--that the Bears and Vikings met in the playoffs. 

This hour-long installment of Bears Classics, subtitled Eclipsing Moon - Bears vs. Vikings, January 1st, 1995, takes an in-depth look at this critical game in Bears history featuring candid interviews with Bears players and coaches, Viking opponents, along with those who covered this massively-hyped battle. 

This edition of CSN’s Emmy-winning Bears Classics documentary series will once again be narrated by Chicago Bears legend/Pro Football Hall of Famer Dick Butkus.  Butkus played for the Bears from 1965-1973 and is credited for redefining the middle linebacker position.  He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.  CSN’s Sarah Lauch is the Executive Producer of Bears Classics, Willie Parker is the Producer, and Kevin Cross is the network’s Senior Director of News & Original Content.

In addition to the documentary narration by Butkus, among the numerous players/media/execs interviewed in this edition of Bears Classics include exclusive interviews with the following individuals:

DAVE WANNSTEDT

Bears Head Coach (1993-98)

WARREN MOON

Vikings Quarterback (1994-96)

CURTIS CONWAY

Bears Wide Receiver (1993-99)

TOM WADDLE

Bears Wide Receiver (1989-94)

STEVE WALSH

Bears Quarterback (1994-95)

RAYMONT HARRIS

Bears Running Back (1994-97)

JAMES “BIG CAT” WILLIAMS

Bears Tackle (1991-2002)

Please note the following quotes from CSN’s premiere airing of Bears Classics: Eclipsing Moon - Bears vs. Vikings, January 1st, 1995, debuting Monday, January 23 at 8:00 PM CT:

DAVE WANNSTEDT (on the Bears’ mood as an underdog in the playoffs): “I think our guys had a hidden sense of confidence, a hidden sense of excitement…I remember when we went up there, our guys were excited about playing the football game.”

WARREN MOON (on facing the Bears three times during the ’94 season): “We get into the playoffs and have to play them a third time, to beat a team three times is kind of tough in the same year because they know you so well, especially being from your same division.”

TOM WADDLE (on the Bears’ playoff performance): “At no point did we ever feel we were blowing them out, because I don’t know if we had a capacity to blow anybody out that year, but we were in control.”

RAYMONT HARRIS (on Warren Moon): “(The Vikings) were so talented, Warren Moon was so good.  He had the ability to not just hone in on one receiver…because he could’ve done that.  He had one of the greatest receivers to ever play pro football in Cris Carter.”

STEVE WALSH (on gaining the confidence of teammates as backup QB): “If that locker room believes in that quarterback, generally that guy is going to be successful.  If they don’t, then they’re not…and I think in that year in ’94, there was some uncertainty.”

CSN will also re-air this episode of Bears Classics on Tuesday, January 31 at 7:00 PM.  In addition, fans can also get interactive prior and during every airing of Bears Classics with their thoughts, memories and comments by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #BearsClassics.  Plus, CSNChicago.com will provide additional, online exclusive interviews and commentary write-ups from CSN’s team of Bears experts. 

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