|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
Just a quick update on my three leagues. I am in the top 6 in two of them and am in dead last in one of them. Ironically, after each draft, I loved my team the most in my last place league and hated the offenses in the two leagues I am doing well in. Isn’t that funny? Well I thought it was.
Albert Pujols (1B), St. Louis Cardinals: There are no holes in Pujols’ game as he hit 3 HR last week with 11 RBI. In addition to his great hitting (9/20), Pujols proved he has talent on the basepaths with 3 SB.
Jay Bruce (LF,CF,RF), Cincinnati Reds: Last season’s mega prospect is showing us he is legit. Six of Bruce’s 10 hits went for extra bases (4 HR) and he collected 8 RBI. Bruce is currently riding a six game hitting streak.
Jacoby Ellsbury (LF,CF,RF), Boston Red Sox: A little home town love for Jacoby this week. Ellsbury’s steal of home against the Yankess was just one of his six stolen bases last week. Thanks to his 10 hits, he raised his avg. from .240 to .289 and he has multi-hit games in six of his last nine contests.
Ryan Braun (LF), Milwaukee Brewers: Braun’s 13 hits last week tied for the lead (with Carlos Beltran) among all hitters. Braun’s power stroke came back with 3 HR and he had 8 RBI. Braun scored 7 runs and he even displayed patience at the plate with 5 walks.
Adam LaRoche (1B), Pittsburgh Pirates: LaRoche usually isn’t useful until the 2nd half, but he is contributing right now. He helped the very surprising Pirates better their record by collecting six extra base hits (4 doubles, 2 HR) and driving in 8. LaRoche scored 7 runs and my favorite part, he walked 6 times.
Rich Harden (SP), Chicago Cubs: Harden’s good fortune only lasts so long until he finds himself on the DL. For the time being, he is producing well. Last week, he gave owners 14 IP and 17 K en route to a 2-0 record. Harden has at least 8 K in each of his four starts this season (even in his 3 IP loss to Colorado).
Jered Weaver (SP), L.A. Angels: Weaver is becoming a cheap source of quality outings. Weaver sported a 1.93 ERA in 14 IP which included 11 K and a victory. Weaver is 2-1 on the season and has three quality starts in four outings.
Ryan Franklin (RP), St. Louis Cardinals: Franklin has settled in nicely as the closer. He showed he can handle the pressure in the 9th with three saves last week. He struck out 3 batters in 2.1 IP and didn’t allow a run.
Yovani Gallardo (SP), Milwaukee Brewers: Gallardo, one of the hot young stars in Milwaukee, showed he could earn his keep when he tossed the first complete game of his career which helped him improve to 2-1 on the season. He fanned seven batters in his one start and that 7 ER game against the Reds is a thing of the past.
Zack Greinke (SP), Kansas City Royals: Greinke earned his 2nd straight complete game and 4th straight win in his one start last week. He struck out 10 batters and still has not allowed an earned run all season (although his scoreless inning streak ended when he allowed an unearned run against Detroit).
Ross Ohlendorf (SP,RP), Pittsburgh Pirates: With the way the Pirates are playing, anybody could be a hot pick up. This week it is Ohlendorf who has won two straight games (both quality outings) and has gone at least 7 IP in both contests.
Alberto Callaspo (2B,SS), Kansas City Royals: Callaspo has 14 hits in his last 10 games which includes riding a nine game hitting streak (3 doubles and a HR in that span). He is batting .377 on the young season and he qualifies at two of the shallowest positions in fantasy baseball.
Jesus Flores (C), Washington Nationals: Speaking of shallow positions, if you need help at catcher, look at Flores. He has 9 RBI in his last six games with 2 HR. In the past week, he has raised his avg from .242 to .327.