With the AL East, I have went through the major league teams and located a place for fantasy players to be fishing for sleepers in the 2009 season. Expect to see at one or two full trips through the league prior to Opening Day.
New York Yankees, CF: Right now, Mely Cabrera and Brett Gardner have center field to themselves. Cabrera has been nothing but a tease since being recalled. Gardner offers 30+ SBs with decent on-base skills. Given the economic conditions one or the other will need to excel to prevent the Yankees seeking an answer on the trade market likely to be flooded with teams looking to sell their assets at pennies on the dollar.
Boston Red Sox, SS: Jed Lowrie and Julio Lugo are set to battle for SS supremancy. Recent reports have Lugo as the favorite, and his stolen base potential makes him the fantasy favorite. However, Lowrie played last season with a wrist injury that may have hidden his power.
Tampa Bay Rays, RF: The Rays have the two Gabes, Kapler and Gross, along with second-year power hitter Matt Joyce. After a 60 AB Spetember, rookie Fernando Perez impressed with his on-base and speed skills. There is fantasy gold in RF if a someone can grab 400+ ABs.
Toronto Blue Jays, rotation: The Jays used run prevention to reach great success last season. Unfortunately for the Jays, two of last season's pleasant surprises, Shaun Marcum and Dustin McGowan, are out for 2009 with injuries. This opens the door for a couple of unknowns to pitch in front of this defense-first team.
Baltimore Orioles, rotation: Prior to the two-year deal given to SS Cesar izturis and the four-year one for 2B Brian Roberts, the middle infield offered an obvious place to fish for Orioles' sleepers. Surprisingly, the O'd don't have any obvious holes on offense.
That leaves the rotation which is completely unknown behind the surprisingly effective Jeremy Guthrie. With defensive improvement up the middle, the addition of LF Felix Pie and the expected arrival of one of the games best players in Matt Wieters, the Orioles could be the team to make a dramatic move in the standings a la the 2007 Rays. If so, the pitching staff will have more than one good pitcher.