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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Weekend Warriors

Brandon Beachy - Beating out Mike Minor for the last spot in the Braves rotation was a shocker to fantasy enthusiasts, but Beachy appears to be picking up steam. Through five starts the 24 year old has a 3.68 era, 1.09 whip with a 31:9 K: BB ratio, while allowing five hits in his last two starts. A control pitcher Beachey allowed 49 walks in just more than 200 innings in the minors, so he will need to continue to get players to swing and miss. Owned in 23% of leagues, Beachey should be owned in 12 team mixed leagues and for streamers a must add for his start Saturday with the Cardinals.

Philip Humber – I was fortunate enough to watch Humbers dominating performance over the Yankees, and boy was he impressive. Humber went seven innings of one run ball, but the 10 ground ball outs was what really had the boys from the Bronx struggling. Before Monday’s start Humber was known as an extra in the Johan Santana trade in 2008, but after beating New York the 28 year olds confidence should be high. Roll Humber him out vs. the Orioles and their lineup of veterans who aren’t aging the right way.

Eric Chavez – When Mark Teixeira left Wednesdays’ game with an apparent shoulder injury Yankees fan everywhere panicked. Its possible Teixeira plays Friday, but Jor Girardi mentioned him needing rest leading me to believe he could be out for the weekend. With this news Chavez is a must add hitting fifth in New York’s lineup. The veteran lefty has made the most of his opportunity in the Bronx with a .308 BA, .419 OBP and four rbi in 26 at bats. With Teixeira’s status unknown and the Yankees being very delicate with Alex Rodriguez, Chavez will get his at bats this season. For this weekend in particular, look for him to take some hacks vs. Kyle Drabek and Jessie Litsch as Girardi wants Chavez to face righties while giving his veterans a day off.

Bud Norris – In all of my drafts I selected Norris with my last pick because of his incredible ability to strike out batters. To me, he’s the National Leagues version of Brandon Morrow, and like Morrow last season Norris seems to be getting under control. Through 28 innings Norris has a 32:9 K: BB ratio as he appears to be the Astros number three starter going forward. With Norris we know the strikeouts are for real, coming into 2011 he’s averaged more than a strikeout per inning, so control is what is holding him back from the next level. Call me optimistic, but I believe Norris will be one the surprise starters in 2011. In your h2h battle this week if strikeouts is all you need then Norris is a must add, but continue to monitor his status as this could be the year he breaks through.