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Risers and Fallers: Wilson Ramos, Kole Calhoun and Others

Alex Kantecki identifies a pair of risers and fallers for Week 24, including Wilson Ramos and Kole Calhoun.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Wilson Ramos

Ramos, who is still available in 50 percent of ESPN leagues and 62 percent of Yahoo! leagues, has been on an absolute tear in September, slashing .327/.362/.655 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in 14 games. On the season, the 26-year old catcher is hitting .286/.317/.500 with 15 home runs, 28 runs and 55 RBIs in 68 games. That would put him on pace for 38 home runs and 131 RBIs over a full 162-game schedule. Over the last 30 days, only Mike Napoli and Salvador Perez rank higher on the ESPN Player Rater, but neither is widely available like Ramos. The Nationals catcher came into the season with high hopes after playing in only 25 games in 2012 after tearing his ACL, but he missed a six-week stretch from June to July after reaggravating a hamstring injury that also cost him time at the start of the season. He previously showed power in 2011 (his rookie season), smacking 15 home runs in 113 games. But this season, he's put up a career-best .214 ISO, which is the fourth highest mark among catchers with at least 250 plate appearances, behind Evan Gattis (.248), Mike Napoli (.224) and Brian McCann (.216). The late power surge definitely puts Ramos in the conversation as a top-10 catcher in 2013, perhaps even higher. If he's still available in your league, consider yourself lucky and pick him up now.

Kole Calhoun

Calhoun isn't a household name, yet, but the Angels outfielder is starting to make a name for himself in Anaheim. Since being called up to take the roster spot of Albert Pujols, the 25-year old is hitting .297/.361/.503 with seven home runs, 22 runs, 27 RBIs and one steal in 45 games. Calhoun, who barely missed out on the Opening Day roster as a fifth outfielder, has found regular playing time in the outfield since being called up and has responded with a .393/.410/.589 slash in September to go along with two home runs, five doubles, seven runs and 16 RBIs in 15 games. His hot-hitting will go a long way to ensure an active roster spot for 2014, but for now, Calhoun should be considered a low-end No. 3/high-end No. 4 outfielder for your fantasy team. Calhoun is still available in 50 percent of ESPN leagues and 80 percent of Yahoo! leagues and -- albeit a small sample size -- appears to be legit. He's basically doing what he did at every level in the minor leagues, hitting for average and showing good discipline at the plate (9.4 percent walk rate). I wouldn't bet on the power (think 15ish home runs over a full season), but he's a complete player that will contribute in all five roto categories.


Justin Morneau

Morneau knocked in his first run in a Pittsburgh uniform on Sunday, and through 15 games with his new team, the first baseman is hitting .259/.319/.416 with no home runs, three runs and one RBI. That's a pretty uninspiring line for Morneau, whom the Pirates hoped would add some lefty balance and power to their lineup. Prior to joining the Buccos, Morneau hit 17 home runs in 127 games with the Twins, which put him on pace for about 22 home runs. It appears Morneau won't even reach the 20-home run mark anymore unless he catches fire in the final two weeks. His new home, PNC Park, isn't helping, as it's the least favorable ballpark for home run hitters in 2013, according to ESPN Park Factors. Another problem with rostering Morneau is that he's not worth using on days a left-hander pitcher is on the mound. Against lefties, he's hitting just .212/.253/.285 with two home runs and 16 RBIs in 165 at-bats. The same was true in 2012, when he hit .232/.271/.298 with two homers against southpaws. Despite his struggles, Morneau is still owned in 80 percent of ESPN leagues; I'd rather take my chances on Chris Carter (62.7 percent), Adam LaRoche (61.7) or Darin Ruif (37.5). They all offer more upside.

Anthony Rizzo

Like Morneau, Rizzo is another left-handed first baseman that can't find his stroke on the North Side. After batting .190 in August, he has some work to do to keep his batting average above .200 in September (he's currently batting .208). In the second half, Rizzo has struggled to a .210/.318/.381 slash with nine home runs and 22 RBIs, compared to a .241/.328/.441 slash with 13 home runs and 45 RBIs in the first half. Neither is great from a batting average angle, but his production has dropped considerably since the All-Star break nonetheless. After blasting eight home runs in the opening month, Rizzo appeared well on his way to a 30-home run season in his sophomore campaign. But since then, he's hit two, two, three, six and one in the following months and will need to get hot over the final 12 games just to reach 25. Rizzo is still a very attractive piece in dynasty leagues, but his short-term value is bleak. Look elsewhere if you need to accumulate stats over the final two weeks.

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Alex Kantecki also writes for Vigilante Baseball and The Dynasty Guru. You can poke him on Twitter at @rotodealer.