Roto Roundup: Clayton Kershaw, Yoenis Cespedes, Desmond Jennings and others

Denis Poroy

Ray highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Saturday's roto action, including thoughts on Clayton Kershaw, Yoenis Cespedes, Desmond Jennings and others.

English Premier League Fantasy coverage

Brian is back at it with this week's fantasy English Premier League advice, and you can check out his thoughts in the articles linked below:

Midfielders and Forwards

Goaltenders and Defenders

Fantasy Football Week 3 Rankings and Start/Sit

If you are looking for some fantasy football start/sit advice or rankings, make sure you check out the SB Nation fantasy football articles in the link below. Also, make sure you check out the SB Nation Fantasy Football War Room Monday-Friday from 4:00 - 8:30 and Sundays from 8:00 - 1:00.

Week 3 Rankings and Start/Sit Advice

I am back at it with the Roundup this morning after a three day hiatus. I will offer some thoughts on some guys who have been in the news while the Roundup was on the DL, and also some of Friday's top performers as well.

Clayton Kershaw: Best pitcher in baseball

Coming into 2013 fantasy drafts, many fantasy owners pondered who should be the first pitcher taken off the board after the top hitters were drafted. Some felt Tigers ace Justin Verlander was the #1 starter, and others felt Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw should be the first starter taken off the board. Well, we now know who the best starter is in baseball: Kershaw.

Kershaw shut out the Padres on 3 hits, 2 walks while striking out 10 last might, earning his 15th win of the season. He is now 15-9 with a 1.88 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and a 224-52 strikeout to walk rate in 230 innings. He will get one more start this season and is lined up to start the first game of the NLDS for the Dodgers. Here is the immortal Peter Gammons on Kershaw, via Twitter:

Think about that. Over the last three seasons, Kershaw has an ERA that is half a run better than all others starters with 500 or more innings pitched. For me, I would not hesitate to take him in the first round of drafts next season. You want someone you can count on in the first round to provide first round value, and Kershaw provides that.

For more on Kershaw and the Dodgers, make sure you check out True Blue LA, SB Nation's Dodgers fan site.

Yoenis Cespedes: Turning on the power

I was pretty high on A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes coming into the 2013 season, yet he has disappointed his owners this year. But, he is making up for a down season with a very hot September. Which A's hitter isn't hot right now? Cespedes went 2-5 with a HR, 2 runs and 3 RBI in the A's 9-1 win yesterday.

Cespedes is now hitting .361-.387-.667 with 6 HRs, 12 runs and 19 RBI in 72 September at bats, all the while nursing an injury. For the season, he is hitting .245-.300-.452 with 26 HRs, 74 runs, 80 RBI and 7 stolen bases in 14 attempts. He will certainly fall in my offseason rankings, but I wonder if this was just an adjustment season for Cespedes.

For more on Cespedes and the A's, check out Athletics Nation, SB Nation's A's fan site.

Round'em Up

Yankees starter Ivan Nova has been a big surprise for his fantasy owners this season. Coming off a 2012 season where he had an ERA over 5.00, Nova has looked more like a #2 starter than a #5 starter in 2013. Yesterday, he threw a complete game, six hitter, walking one and striking out seven,  in the Yankees 6-0 win. Nova is now 9-5 with a solid 3.13 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and a 111-43 strikeout to walk rate in 132.1 innings. The complete game shutout is his second in his last five starts.

Ray outfielder Desmond Jennings may never be more than a .260 hitter, but he has shown some pop to go along with his stolen base potential on the base paths this season. On Saturday, Jennings went 2-3 with a HR, a triple, 2 runs and 4 RBI in the Rays 5-1 win over the Orioles. Jennings is now hitting .249-.331-.410 with 14 HRs, 81 runs, 54 RBI and 20 stolen bases. I have to say that I did expect him to run more this season.

Jennings teammate Alex Cobb was dominant yesterday, as he limited the Orioles to one run on 5 hits, a walk and 12 strikeouts to earn his 10th win of the season. Cobb, who has been the Rays best starter this season, is now 10-3 with a 2.90 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and a 130-43 strikeout to walk rate in 136.1 innings.

Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams is going to be a big sleeper pick in 2014 fantasy drafts, but I am sure if you play in NL only keeper or dynasty leagues, he is already owned. Last night, Adams went 2-4 with a HR, 2 runs and 2 RBI in the Cardinals 7-2 win over the Brewers. Adams has been scorching at the plate in September, hitting .328-.358-.672 with 7 HRs, 13 runs and 14 RBI in 64 at bats. For the season, he is hitting .284-.338-.507 with 16 HRs, 40 runs and 50 RBI in just 268 at bats.

The Indians are leading the AL Wild Card race at the moment and one of the reasons is due to the solid pitching they are getting from the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir. Yesterday, Kazmir shut out the Astros on four hits, a walk and struck out 10 in 7 innings in the Indians 4-1 win. Kazmir is now 9-9 with a 4.14 ERA, a 1.32 WHIP, and a solid 151-45 strikeout to walk rate in 152 innings this season. He is a very nice come back story in 2013.

So maybe I was too quick to anoint Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis as the top fantasy second baseman, eh? Since the end of July, Kipnis has been below replacement level, hitting just .250 in August and .212 in September with just two home runs and 7 stolen bases. His seasons stats are great, hitting .274-.357-.442 with 17 HRs, 79 runs, 80 RBI and 28 stolen bases, but I am willing to wager that he was dropped in some head to head leagues this month.

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