Fantasy baseball batter stock watch

Fantasy baseball batter stock watch

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com contributor
Buy 
Chase Headley, 3B, Padres: He's been fantasy's best hitter over the last month (.336-20-9-34-2), crushing on the road and doing just enough at home. And maybe the Petco Park giveback will be less next year; there's talk of the club moving the fences in. Headley deserves to be a Top 35 pick in redrafts next year, and the cornerstone of many keeper-league clubs. 
Norichika Aoki, OF, Brewers: He's been around .290.350 for the majority of the year - playable in the leadoff spot - and he's become more aggressive as he learns the NL, scooping 12 steals in the second half. Aoki might be partially screened by the summer of Milwaukee drama; he should be owned in roughly 40-50 percent of mixers, but the current tag is far below that. 
Jordan Pacheco, 1B3B, Rockies: He doesn't offer traditional pop for a cornerman, but a .313 average is always usable in a 5x5 league, especially at this time of the year when you're trying to manipulate categories. The Rockies return home next week, where Pacheco has a zippy .874 OPS. Thin air is always your friend.
Hold 
John Mayberry, 1BOF, Phillies: Most of his damage comes against left-handed pitching, but the overall second-half line (.289.344.503, eight homers in 149 at-bats) is good enough to justify full-time ownership in standard formats. It's a shame more of Mayberry's teammates aren't going along for the ride; the Phils are a mere 23rd in runs scored since the break, even with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard back. 
Drew Stubbs, OF, Reds: Why give him a strike when he'll gladly hack away at anything (141 whiffs)? That established, Stubbs at least fills three categories well (71 runs, 14 homers, 28 steals), so you can take the batting-average hit in some contexts. And Dusty Baker doesn't seem worried about the low average, so Stubbs will keep his regular spot in the outfield. 
Sell
Dan Uggla, 2B, Braves: The 17 homers and reasonable run-production stats weren't enough to keep Uggla installed at second - the Braves got tired of his Mendoza Line flirtation and mediocre defense in the field. While the benching isn't necessarily permanent, it's money time for fantasy baseball - there's no reason to play the waiting game on anyone. Move on. 
Curtis Granderson, OF, Yankees: There are a lot of moving parts to his swing, and now he has a hamstring problem to worry about as well. Granderson's 11 homers in the second half are the extent of his fantasy value - he's not hitting for average (.200) or getting on base (.429), and he's only attempted two steals. In some shallow formats with daily transactions, you could conceivably slide Granderson into a platoon role.

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd discuss the latest slump and how much does Artem Anisimov's injury play a role in their struggles?

Konroyd tells us he was surprised by Ryan Hartman's benching in Tampa.

The guys play the game, playoff minutes or press box minutes?  They run through the players who are on the bubble when it comes to postseason play.

They also discuss the Hawks chances of overtaking Washington for the President's trophy.

Plus, Konroyd breaks down possible first round opponents: St Louis, Calgary and Nashville.

No sign Bears locked into drafting a QB in 2017 as Ryan Pace underscores 'best available' tack

No sign Bears locked into drafting a QB in 2017 as Ryan Pace underscores 'best available' tack

PHOENIX – NFL owners meetings, like the Scouting Combine, invariably involve hallway conversations regarding quarterbacks. Why doesn’t Colin Kaepernick have a job? Why does Mark Sanchez have one? Will Jay Cutler take one? This year, despite a 3-13 record last season and a continuing slide toward irrelevance, the Bears are in intriguing part of those conversations, or maybe, whispers.

The reason, beyond the obvious fact that the Bears stand at No. 3 in a QB-lite draft, is because the Bears not only have done significant things at the position – cutting Cutler, signing Sanchez and Mike Glennon, not signing Brian Hoyer – but one NFL source said to keep an eye on the Bears as potentially being involved in at least one future blockbuster after this season.

More on that in a moment.

First of all, every indication is that GM Ryan Pace is absolutely NOT locked into or about to allow himself to be pressured into drafting a quarterback in 2017. Certainly not at No. 3, maybe not at all. Maybe this is pre-draft posturing, misinformation or misdirection, and Pace has said in the past that he wants to draft quarterbacks but hasn’t in his first two Bears drafts. But still:

“We’re going to draft the best players available, wherever that may be,” Pace said on Tuesday. “And if it’s a quarterback, it’s a quarterback. But we’re going to take the best players available. I think now some of those things are unforeseen. You can’t predict some of those things. But right now I like the way Sanchez blends with Glennon and with Connor Shaw.”

Whether the public likes Pace’s moves at quarterback, or whether they’re good, bad or anywhere in between is just offseason speculation for now. The NFL will start giving him meaningful feedback sometime this September. What Pace has in fact done, regardless of analyses at this point, like it or not, is create options for himself and his coaches. And those extend beyond 2017.

Some context here: Even with some measure of job security in the short term, Pace is tasked with winning in the future as well as the present. He has addressed the 2017 quarterback situation, if not spectacularly, with Glennon and Sanchez specifically. But think beyond ’17; because Pace is.

More context: GM’s and head coaches like and need options. Doubts about Glennon, Sanchez, Connor Shaw or some rookie notwithstanding, Pace has the Bears positioned with options, not necessarily good options, but arguably best-available for the most part.

A little more context: Dowell Loggains may not have quelled all doubts about his play calling, but Cutler, Hoyer and Matt Barkley all had their best NFL stretches, albeit short, under his stewardship. 

Pace has effectively positioned the Bears for not one or two, but as many as a half-dozen spins of the quarterback wheel looking for a winner. It is a place the Bears were not in for most of Cutler’s tenure outside of brief Hoyer and Josh McCown bursts.

Within this context, consider the Pace’s chances for a strike at THE priority position for the franchise:

Spin 1: Mike Glennon

Pace announced the former Bucs quarterback as the Bears’ starter. Probably is. But Matt Flynn was the Seahawks’ starter when they free-agent signed him away from Green Bay in 2012. He lost his starting job by the end of training camp to a rookie third-round draft choice, Russell Wilson.

The Bears chose Glennon over Cutler and Hoyer because of upside; if Glennon plays to his perceived ceiling, the Bears have him under contract for two more years.

Spin 2: Mark Sanchez

When all the cynical subsides, consider him a low-risk spin who has been good enough to stand a career 37-35 as a starter. McCown amounted to something and still is after age 30, even with bad teams. Hoyer played some of his best football the past two seasons, after age 30. If Loggains resuscitates Sanchez’s career at age 30… .

Spin 3: The rookie

How, where and even if – make that a big IF – the Bears make their first Ryan Pace draft pick of a quarterback doesn’t come around for another month. But whomever the Bears select, if they select a quarterback this draft, gives Pace another spin of the QB wheel.

Spin 4: Kirk Cousins

CSNChicago.com confirmed that the Bears called on Cousins’ availability, even with the specter of Washington’s franchise tag hanging over him. But as one NFL source noted, Cousins is on a one-year deal ($23.94 million tag guarantee), it is his second and presumably last tag, and he has spurned long-term Washington offers to this point.

Glennon’s contract commits the Bears to $16 million this year. After that, minimal guarantee. Sanchez, one-year deal. Cousins, one-year deal.

Next offseason… . 

Spin 5: Jimmy Garoppolo

The Eastern Illinois quarterback wasn’t deemed worth a No. 3 pick in 2014, in either round one or two. He hasn’t put enough on film to make him worth that pick now.

But if the Cleveland Browns don’t trade for him, or New England hasn’t turned to him and locked him up contractually, he would be an unrestricted free agent next offseason. It will take a long-term market deal but at least he wouldn’t cost a high No. 1.

Spin 6: Connor Shaw

He is already clearly getting a preseason look, as he did last year, and is ahead of evaluations that accompanied David Fales and some other Bears hopefuls. He’s found money if he develops into something, but Warren Moon, Tony Romo and Kurt Warner were all undrafted free agents, too.