Contributor to CSNChicago.com
Marco Scutaro, Utility, Giants: His fantasy value was expected to vanish the moment he left the thin air of Coors Field, but Scutaro has been a find for the Giants, hitting .341 over 44 games with strong run-production stats (30 RBIs, 25 runs). Bruce Bochy loves Scutaro's contact and experience near the top of the order, and we love Scutaro's position flexibility (he qualifies at second, short and third base in standard leagues).
Josh Donaldson, 3BC, Athletics: He's settled into the corner slot for the A's - taking over for the injured Brandon Inge - and the second-half numbers have been tasty (.324 average, six homers). Donaldson carries catcher eligibility in many leagues despite the fact that he's not playing there; take full advantage of that where you can.
Everth Cabrera, 2BSS, Padres: He's just about unstoppable on the bases (30-for-32), and no one in the majors has swiped more bags over the past month. Cabrera also covers two infield spots in standard leagues, and he's been an average-neutral player over that span. You'll have to fill your power categories elsewhere, but if you're in the market for a speed speciality play, Cabrera comes strongly recommended.
Jed Lowrie, SS3B, Astros: He's finally back from the ankle and leg problems that wrecked his season, but the Astros have no reason to push Lowrie over the final three weeks. If you can grab him in a daily-transaction league, we'll sign off on it - so long as you have the maintenance time - but Lowrie is too risky to trust in pools that require weekly activations.
Chris Denorfia, OF, Padres: If you have the flexibility to use Denorfia against left-handed pitching, you're getting an absolute monster: the Wheaton College product slashes .346.402.512 against southpaws. The Padres face three lefties in their next eight games (beginning Saturday); in some pools, that might be enough of a needle-mover to consider Denorfia. Don't be thrown by Petco Park, either; his batting average is only eight points higher on the road. Line drives play in any environment.
Brandon Belt, 1BOF, Giants: He's finally settled into a full-time job and the bat has responded - Belt has a strong .294-8-2-15 line over the past 30 days, with a couple of stolen bases thrown in. You might want to sit him against a left-handed starter now and again - there's a platoon split at play here - but otherwise Belt has enough juice to justify a roster spot in mixed leagues.
Todd Frazier, Utility, Reds: With Joey Votto back in the swing of things, Frazier is a Red without a position. Scott Rolen's injury issues at third base help the cause somewhat, but Dusty Baker has made it clear that Rolen is a starter whenever he's hale enough to play. Frazier would be a super-utility hero in some other cities, but Baker doesn't enjoy being creative with his defensive planning and lineup card. As much as we've enjoyed Frazier's sneaky production this year, he's a tricky play for the stretch.
Mark Teixeira, 1B, Yankees: You can't stand by the wishing well when you see a 10-14 day injury at this time of year; it's imperative that you react quickly and find healthy reinforcements. Teixeira's calf injury makes him droppable in any format; even if he returns quickly, there's no guarantee he gives the Yankees quality at-bats. It's not about the names (especially at this time of year), it's all about the numbers. See if you can land a Brandon Moss, Brandon Belt or John Mayberry to take over for Teixeira.