Roto Roundup: Brian Dozier, Nolan Arenado, Max Scherzer and others

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Ray highlights some of the top fantasy performers from Monday's roto action, including Brian Dozier, Nolan Arenadom Max Scherzer and others.

Fake Teams covers the 2014 NFL Draft

I announced on Friday that I added seven new fantasy football writers for the 2014 season, and we kicked off our coverage of the 2014 NFL Draft on Monday. Our new writers will begin the 2014 fantasy football coverage with their pre-draft rankings of the players we will see selected in the 2014 NFL Draft later this week.

2104 Pre-draft Quarterback Rankings

Viewing the Draft from a fantasy perspective

2014 NFL Draft breakdown

The writers will offer their pre-drafrt rookie rankings for quarterback, running back and wide receiver over the next few days, along with a piece on analyzing one of the expert mock drafts from a fantasy perspective. Once the draft is completed, we will re-rank the rookies drafted based on what team they were drafted by, and what kind of fantasy impact they could have in 2014.

We hope you enjoy our fantasy football coverage this season, as our goal is to help you win your leagues this season. We are here to help you get started on your offseason research heading into your drafts later in the summer.

Let us know if there is something you would like us to cover this season and we will do our best to meet that need.

Fake Teams Fantasy Baseball Podcast is back!

Zack Smith and I recorded the first podcast of the season last night, where we spent almost two hours talking about a bunch of guys including Dee GordonJose Abreu, Yordano VenturaMasahiro Tanaka, so American League young pitchers making an impact, and much more.

Make sure you check out the podcast when published over the next few days.

Brian Dozier: Exceeding Expectations

I was checking out my Twitter timeline on Monday morning, and came across this surprising tweet about Brian Dozier from Cory Schwartz from MLB.com:

Those are pretty impressive numbers for a guy who had an ADP over 200 back in March. Last year, there were only nine hitters to put up a 20 home run, 20 stolen base season, and Dozier has done that in his last 162 games.

This season, he is hitting .248-.373-.462 with 8 home runs, 31 runs, 12 runs and 11 stolen bases through his first 29 games this season. He currently leads the majors in runs scored with 31, tied for fourth in home runs with 8, and tied for third in stolen bases with 11. He has almost doubled his walk rate from 8.2% to 16.2%, but has seen his strikeout rate increase as well, from 19.3% to 21.1%. He is seeing more first pitch strikes this season, so that may change as pitchers make adjustments.

Dozier on pace to easily put up a 20-20 season, and could approach a 30-30 season if he can keep this up. His performance over his last 162 games indicate he can, but the question is will he? His ESPN player page indicates he is on pace to hit 43 home runs and steal 59 bases. There is no way does that, but I think he can put up a 20-20 season, knowing that his current 20.5% HR/FB rate will regress from here.

For more on Dozier and the Twins, check out Twinkie Town, SB Nation's Twins fan site.

Nolan Arenado has found his power

One of the knocks on Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado last year, and coming into the 2014 season is that he needed to hit for more power this year to prove himself to fantasy owners. He hit just 10 home runs in 486 at bats last season. A hitter with his hitting ability should be able to hit more than 10 home runs in Coors Field.

Arenado worked to improve his power stroke in the offseason, and that work has paid off, as Arenado hit his 6th home run of the season last night. After going 1-2 with the home run and two walks, Arenado is now hitting .313-.336-.515 with 6 home runs, 20 runs scored and 22 RBI in 134 at bats this season, so he is well on his way to eclipsing his home run and RBI totals from 2013. He is on pace to his 29 home runs and drive in 105 runs, numbers that will be hard to reach, but aren't out of the question since he plays his home games at Coors Field.

For more on Arenado and the Rockies, make sure you check out Purple Row, SB Nation's Rockies fan site.

Round'em Up

Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi is finally starting to get some love, as his ownership percentage has increased to 61% now, and he continues to pitch very well for his new owners. He did give up two home runs last night, but did not figure in the decision, as the Marlins came back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Mets 4-3. Eovaldi gave up three runs on five hits, a walk and a career-high ten strikeouts. Eovaldi is now 2-1 with a 2.78 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and an excellent 45-6 strikeout to walk rate in 45.1 innings. His K/BB rate is getting into Cliff Lee territory. He is striking out nearly a batter per inning, walking just over one batter per nine innings, and inducing ground balls at a 56% rate. Put all that together and you have an ace starting pitcher.

Indians starter Zach McAllister and Twins starter Kyle Gibson were facing each other on Monday night looking to bounce back off of rough outings last week. Both starters put up zeroes, but neither figured in the decision in the Twins 1-0 win in ten innings. McAllister limited the Twins to five hits, a walk and eight strikeouts in 6.2 innings, while Gibson shut out the Indians on two hits, three walks and one strikeout over seven innings. McAllister is now 3-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, with a 36-13 strikeout to walk rate in 39.1 innings, while Gibson is 3-2 with a 3.50 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and a  terrible 16-17 strikeout to walk rate in 36 innings. Both are available in the majority of leagues right now, but are streaming options at best.

There is not a better hitter in baseball right now than Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Last night, he went 2-3 with two home runs, two walks, two runs scored and four RBI in the Rockies 8-2 win over the Rangers. Tulo is now hitting .408-.512-.786 with 9 home runs, 31 runs scored, 29 RBI and an elite 14-23 strikeout to walk rate in 103 at bats. Over his last seven games, he is 15-24 with four home runs, 11 runs scored and 12 RBI. He is the early favorite for National League MVP right now, assuming he can stay healthy. He is on pace for 43 home runs and 138 RBI.

Tigers starter Max Scherzer is going to get paid a handsome sum of money this offseason, as the Tigers appear to have moved on from signing him to an extension. If he keeps pitching like he has thus far in 2014, he could exceed the contract teammate Justin Verlander got a few seasons ago. Last night, Scherzer shut out the Astros lineup on three hits, a walk and nine strikeouts in eight innings of work in the Tigers 2-0 win. Scherzer moved his record to 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and a 60-12 strikeout to walk rate in 47 innings. He has given up two runs or less in six of his seven starts this season.

Fantasy Rundown

For more fantasy baseball (and football) news and rankings, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, your one stop for all the fantasy news you need on a daily basis.

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