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2009 Early Season Fantasy Questions

Here is a Q&A I provided to Brew Crew Ball.

•1.       What is your general early season strategy?  Do you have certain rules you follow?

Early on, I stand pat with the team I drafted and fight to remain focused beyond yesterday's poor performance.  However, I am also aware that job battles that were won based on Spring Training could easily go the other way with two weeks of poor performance.

I am ready to act as soon as that change occurs.  As a result, I like to have a roster spot of three available to add the new job winner.

•2.       Most of my readers do mixed leagues.  What players would you be scouring the waiver wire to make sure are on your team?

Baltimore Orioles' OF Adam Jones looks like he will fulfill the promise he left unfulfilled last season.  In the first couple games this year, he has hit with more authority and should score plenty of runs ahead of Markakis and Huff.  With Brian Roberts haead of him, Jones could be an 80 RBI two-hole hitter, too.

Minnesota Twins OF Denard Span:  He has walked three times in three games, and I recently heard manager Ron Gardenhire says he is likely to play against lefties, too.

Cincinnati Reds 3B Edwin Encarnacion:  Johan Santana pitches around him.  He is just 26, and increased his extra-base hits from 42 in 2007 to 56 in 2008.  In a revitalized Reds line-up, I expect Encarnacion to be on an All-Breakout Team.

Florida Marlins 3B Emilio Bonifacio looks like a legitimate SB threat.  The comparisons to Chone Figgins of the Angels look reasonable.

New York Yankees C Jorge Posada looks like all the power is back.  With $42 million remaining on his contract, he is going to play.

•3.       Who are the 3 position players that scare you the most? (as in God I wish this guy wasn't on my team)

Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Devil Rays:  His HR and SB production have been declining for three seasons.   I never had the chance to draft him because I wouldn't take him in the first three rounds and have absolutely no second thoughts about his absence from every one of my fantasy teams.

Derek Jeter, New York Yankees:  Another well-regarded fantasy player especially with all the pre-season hype about the lack of depth at SS.  Unlike Crawford, Jeter is 35.  He isn't going to be any better than he is right now nor could I make an argument for a rebound in production like I could with Crawford.

Jorge Cantu, Florida Marlins:  I just don't believe Cantu will repeat a 29 HR effort.  I do believe he can sink the same way he did following his breakout 2005 season.

•4.       Who are the 3 pitchers scare you the most? (same deal)

Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers:  Even without his Opening Day fiasco, I want nothing to do with Verlander.  Fewer strikeouts and more walks scare me.  The sinking feeling I have about the Tigers doesn't help.  I don't see Verlander winning enough games to erase the declining peripherals.

John Lackey, Los Angeles Angels:  Two years running, Lackey has missed the start of the season.  Added to his decreasing  K-rate and increasing HR rate, I'm staying far away.

Matt Capps, Pittsburgh Pirates:  His walks were way up this Spring, and I won't gamble on him when there are so many other similar pitchers available at the same spot.  I would take a flyer on John Grabow in NL-Only leagues and very deep mixed ones where I needed Saves.