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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Weekend Warriors

David Murphy – The biggest news of the week was the injury to Hamilton’s shoulder that will have him sidelined six to eight weeks. With Hamilton on the disabled list, almost every owner’s initial reaction was to scoop up Murphy and I couldn’t agree more. Now in line for regular at bats, Murphy will contribute and it begins at Yankee stadium against Freddy Garcia. Murphy raked last season against righties with a .294 BA, 11HR and 50 RBI in 309 at-bats. A must add in 12 team leagues and a must start this Saturday, Murphy should produce as a top 40 OF until Hamilton returns.

Corey Patterson – While Patterson’s stint in Toronto is likely to be a short one, if you need steals in the short term, Patterson has a motor as good as any in the business. With Raji Davis on the dl, Patterson is making the most of his opportunity with a .429 BA, four RBI and one steal. Blue Jays Manager John Ferell made the smart decision sandwiching Patterson in between Yunel Escobar and Jose Bautista, taking less pressure of Patterson as opposed to him leading off with his career 22.5% K rate. Even with Josh Beckett and John Lester this weekend, Patterson just needs to hit first base for him to swipe second. If a steal or two is what you need to win your match up, grab Patterson who is less than one percent owned in standard leagues.

Jeff Francis - A 2.61era and a 1.16whip, Francis has been a pleasant surprise for the Royals this season. The veteran lefty has gone deep into games, and it’s clear he’s put the 2009 shoulder surgery behind him. While Francis is far from a flame thrower, his 56.9 % GB is a career best, a pace that isn’t likely to continue, but is one to monitor. The Mariners come into Kaufman Stadium bringing an offense that ranked 30th in RBI and HR in 2010, so Francis’s stellar start is worth riding if you need a win in your h2h league.

Brian Duensing – There hatred for Duensing in the fantasy community is something that I can’t grasp. Coming off a season where he posted a 2.62 era while helping the Twins get to the playoffs, Duensing is Tim Hudson light. A contact pitcher, Duensing surprised many in his last start striking out seven Yankees. In his matchup with the Rays on Sunday, start Duensing with confidence as the Rays lineup is far from the 2008 World Series team. With a hand full of lefties in Tampa’s lineup, Duensing should have his way at the Trop.