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Don't Believe The Hype: Third Basemen Everywhere Edition


Hector Santiago is out as closer in Chicago at the moment, and that has led to mass droppings. Unless you think he's going to get the gig back, dumping him is probably safe. Although if more elbow trouble pops up with Chris Sale soon, you'll be going back out for Santiago soon enough. Mat Gamel tore his ACL, so he's no longer a fantasy player for 2012. Philip Humber isn't as good as his perfect game, but he's also not as bad as his pitching since. If you're flush with pitching, you can cut him, but if you needed Humber in the first place, chances are good you still do.

As for this week's adds, it's third basemen all over the place.

Kyle Seager, 3B (63 percent owned, +30 percent): Seager had over 200 plate appearances in 2011, and he mustered an OPS+ of just 96 in that stretch. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't very good, and when you consider that OPS+ adjusts for park, it's not very helpful for fantasy. To this point in 2012, though, Seager has been mashing despite his environment, and looks like a potentially useful pickup for the hot corner.

Seager is at .298/.318/.510, keeping his strikeouts down, but also failing to draw many walks. While that might come back to haunt him later, if you're in a league with batting average, it's not the worst issue. Especially for a position that just doesn't have a ton of offensive forces at it these days. All Seager has done in the minors is hit, and while he's an unlikely candidate to continue slugging over .500 while playing half the time at Safeco, he's interesting enough to scoop off of waivers if you're in need of third base help.

Chipper Jones, 3B (67 percent owned, +26 percent): If you like your third basemen a little more experienced, Jones is the man for the job. At the moment, he's hitting like someone who still has plenty of years left in the tank, posting a .295/.341/.526 line with five homers in 85 plate appearances. Therein's the rub for Chipper, of course, as he won't play every day. He will, however, most likely hit whenever he does play. If you can put up with getting just 500 plate appearances or so out of your third baseman, he'll likely do right by you. Even last year, in his "disappointing" 2011, he managed an 814 OPS and 122 OPS+. Given the state of third base, it's a surprise he's available in this many leagues.

Chris Johnson, 3B (51 percent owned, +25 percent): Johnson had a batting average on balls in play fueled rookie campaign, and then was destroyed by opposing pitching in his sophomore stint. He's once again hitting to start the 2012 season, with another OPS over 800, but keep in him that he does have a .377 BABIP at the moment. I'm more likely to place my faith in Seager or Jones than Johnson, who kind of burst onto the scene out of nowhere thanks to his .387 BABIP in 2010, after a fairly nondescript minor-league career.

Allen Craig, OF (58 percent owned, +25 percent): Not that long ago, I wrote an article here at Fake Teams entitled "Allen Craig Is Back, And You Should Care" -- looks like people agree about that, as long as he's picking up playing time with other Cardinals out. Long-term, he's more viable in NL-only formats, but if he's getting regular playing time even temporarily, he's of use.

Casey Janssen, RP (21 percent owned, +20 percent): If you're wondering why he's all of a sudden so loved, it's because he's closing in Toronto. Of course, he's just warming the seat until Sergio Santos returns from the disabled list, so he's not a long-term fix for you. If you're a Santos owner, though, then here's your new guy. You're probably part of that 20 percent, even.


Brian Dozier, SS (7 percent owned, +6 percent): Dozier is the new shortstop in Minnesota, and while he isn't likely to bring you tons of power, he can get on base, and might hit for a bit of average. In AL-only, any starting shortstop is a necessity, but this is also coming from a guy who had to draft Cesar Izturis a few times, and then use him.


Logan Ondrusek, RP (3 percent owned, +2 percent): Sean Marshall isn't out as the Reds' closer, but if that does happen, Ondrusek might be the guy picking up saves in his place. In NL-only leagues, you'll need to own him before it's even suggested he might close, so consider this the starting gun.