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Weekend Warriors

Aaron Harang – Coming off his worst season since 2004, Harangs signing with the Padres has been a blessing through two months. Moving from spacious Great American Ball Park to Petco Park has helped his ERA tremendously, as he boasts a 3.40 ERA when pitching in front of the home crowd. In his last two appearances at home he’s given up one earned run while tossing 15 innings. The veterans 0.94 HR/9 his best since 2005, is a useful statistic with the Astros in San Diego on Saturday. Houston has the second fewest homeruns in the National League with 36, increasing the chances Harang notching a win. Pick up Harang for this weekend as he’s owned in fewer than 25% of ESPN leagues.

Nick Swisher – Before the Yankees road trip to the West Coast there was talk of Swisher being put in a platoon with Chris Dickerson and tons of trade talk involving the Yankees getting a right fielder. While there is still chatter, Swisher quieted critics with a .300 BA two HR and a .462 OBP in six games against Seattle and Oakland. These aren’t ground breaking numbers, but a positive sign that Swisher is starting to turn it around. Since dawning Yankees pinstripes in 2009, Swisher put up back to back 29 HR seasons while becoming a fan favorite in the Bronx. While 29 HR might be difficult, he should bounce back to life as he was underperforming tremendously. I look at Swisher as a buy low, and as someone to start vs. Anaheim this weekend as he should drive in the runners no matter where he is hitting in the lineup.

Carlos Zambrano – Many will consider this a risky play but Zambrano has been turning it around since the end of 2010.  Zambrano finished last season strong with a 0.78 ERA in September, and he’s starting to produce those gaudy numbers again. Over his last three outings Big Z has a 2.29 ERA and 14 Ks in just over 14 innings pitched, showing that he’s capable of being relied on as a starter and is best suited in the rotation. Yes, the Cardinals will scare some people off, but with no Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman starting to slide, I love the upside of Zambrano. Start him in 12 team h2h leagues as well as NL Only leagues as it might be team to roster 18 million dollar man if he produces on Sunday.

Daniel Murphy – With eligibility at 1b, 2b and OF, Murphy has been a hot name of late in fantasy circuits. Murphy has been tearing the ball off the cover with 11 hits in his last five games, boosting New York’s offense with Ike Davis on the dl. While Justin Turner has been getting all the praise, Murphy has truly earned his stripes with a .480 BA and five runs scored in his last seven games. In NL Only Leagues start Murphy vs. Atlanta, and ride his current hot streak as the Mets offense is producing with Murphy being one of the catalysts.