Fantasy baseball Weekly Planner: Biogenesis fallout to test owners
Here's a tip if you have Alex Rodriguez, Jhonny Peralta, Nelson Cruz or Everth Cabrera in fantasy leagues right now: Find a replacement for them for this week ... and the rest of the season.
Biogenesis-induced suspensions are reportedly going to be handed down by baseball Monday afternoon and those names are just four of the most likely casualties. Don't say you haven't been warned.
A-Rod reportedly was being penciled into the Yankees' starting lineup for Monday night by manager Joe Girardi, but hopefully that pencil has its eraser still intact.
Peralta also is all but certain to face a ban, which the Tigers telegraphed at the deadline in trading for Jose Iglesias. Clearly, they have prepared for what is expected to be a 50-game suspension that would take Peralta all the way to the final days of the regular season.
Cruz would be done for the regular season at minimum, too, and Jurickson Profar figures to be the biggest beneficiary of the opening in playing time. He can play the outfield some, spell the infielders and also serve as the DH. Profar is an elite talent who will have more of a full-time spot in the lineup.
Of the four stars mentioned here, Cabrera might be the toughest to replace. The Padres will turn to Alexi Amarista and Logan Forsythe, while fantasy owners will struggle to find a comparable base stealer on the waiver wire. Just look at the scraps yours truly is dealing with below in his weekly Tout Wars moves.
You might not like the inevitability of these fantasy-season-ending suspensions, but at least you have had months to prepare for them. You have no excuse not to be ready with Plan B now.
As for the rest of SI.com's Fantasy Baseball Weekly Planner ...
SP Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins -- His innings limit is going to come a lot sooner than mid-September if he keeps pitching this way. The Marlins are far out of the race and have a cap on the Cuban import's innings at 170. That leave him with just 42 1/3 to go, and that might take him through little more than the month of August. If your trade deadline hasn't passed this is an ideal time to deal him -- unless you're playing in a keeper league. Fernandez is a future ace. It will be interesting to watch him and Matt Harvey drag their teams from the depths of the NL East.
OF Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays -- He hasn't made the strides many hoped for and now he's dealing with a strained finger. That comes on the heels of a rough week that saw him strike out eight times in 21 at-bats and hit just .095. He would require a move to the bench in mixed leagues right now even if he was 100 percent healthy.
OF Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick, Miami Marlins -- They came up as a package deal and they have shown enough in their few weeks in the bigs to warrant possibly remaining. Yelich is hitting better right now, even if the power isn't there yet, so consider him the better option in mixed leagues as a stopgap. Neither is overly trustworthy in standard leagues, but Yelich at least has a higher ceiling to explore.
SP Brandon Beachy, Atlanta Braves -- Beachy owners have waited a long time for him to come back from Tommy John surgery, but they might have been expecting too much too soon. Beachy was much better in his second start for the Braves, but he still wasn't much better than replacement level. If you can pick up Beachy off waivers or via trade, it is highly advisable. With the rust disappearing, he may be the best starting pitcher on the Braves' staff down the stretch. Seriously. Have faith.
1. 3B Chris Johnson, Atlanta Braves -- His breakthrough season hasn't seen much power or run production; now he is cooling off from a torrid stretch that made him a fantasy asset. He is still more a fringe mixed-league option over the long haul.
2. SP Joe Kelly, St. Louis Cardinals -- He is further proof everything the Cardinals touch turns into pitching gold. Pick him up in all leagues, particularly since he pitches for a contender.
3. SP Henderson Alvarez, Miami Marlins -- Alvarez is pitching well enough to be owned in every format, if not starting. This is a solid young starter.
4. OF Junior Lake, Chicago Cubs -- Nothing in his Triple-A numbers suggested the kind of power Lake has displayed, so consider him a sure-fire candidate to cool off.
5. SS Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox -- The trade-deadline deal of Jose Iglesias opens up third base down the stretch for this future monster shortstop. Bogaerts is poised to make a Manny Machado-like impact in fantasy leagues in the final month-plus. Take an early flier on him now.
1. SP Josh Johnson, Toronto Blue Jays -- He has lost his past six starts and the numbers have been ghastly. There is talk he is pitching through a knee injury, which may be reason enough to bench him or cut him in all leagues. He is not headed for the DL, even as his ERA heads for double digits.
2. OF Daniel Nava, Boston Red Sox -- Nava has emerged as a viable starting outfielder, but the 30-year old is only an option in mixed leagues when he is on one of his streaks. He is a bit tough to gauge in that regard, so consider him more of a fringe option.
3. SP Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves -- The 38-year-old hurler's season is over after ankle surgery and his career might not resume next year. Cut him with little worry, even in keeper leagues.
4. OF Raul Ibanez, Seattle Mariners -- This slump had to come eventually. He still might get hot again, but the fantasy baseball season might expire before he does.
5. SP Jeremy Hefner, New York Mets -- He remains in the Mets rotation, but the 27-year-old starter is entering a time of the year in which his shoulder may not know how to react. Expect him to be unworthy of mixed-league consideration here on out.
Most viewed (Rotoworld):
1. 3B Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees -- The news sounds ominous, which makes it hard to expect anything in fantasy out of him. He might play a few games, maybe even a few weeks, but eventually the axe is going to fall.
2. SP Jake Peavy, Boston Red Sox -- As long as he holds up physically, Peavy is a must-start fantasy ace in all leagues. This move stands to be a huge positive for him.
3. RP Brian Wilson, Los Angeles Dodgers -- His Tommy John surgery rehab has taken him longer than others, but he stands to be a contributor down the stretch. Kenley Jansen owners shouldn't be worried about him losing the closer's role at this point, though.
4. SP Bud Norris, Baltimore Orioles -- This is a potential ace in the right situation. And while this might not be the perfect one, it is better than the one he has been in with Houston. Consider him a must-start with the Orioles.
5. 1B Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals -- He won't need surgery, so he is holding out hope he will be able to return before the end of the season. Judging by Pujols' career thus far, you probably should hold out hope, too. Pujols is one of those player who does everything to play the game as long as he is physically capable.
Most traded (CBSSports.com):
1. SP Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers -- He seems to have gotten his struggles out of the way. There should be much better results to come for him down the stretch. Unlike a young arm, Verlander is capable of peaking as the season winds down. BUY
2. CC Sabathia, New York Yankees -- He will get through this rough stretch, but this will go down as the worst season of his career. The good news is at least he has his health. HOLD
3. 1B Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers -- His bat has cooled off after a decent start, but the Tigers are a contender with a great supporting cast, so you consider this an opportunity to get him at a discount. BUY
4. OF Justin Upton, Atlanta Braves -- He is a notoriously streaky slugger, so perhaps his big April production is due to come around. The past few days have been promising. BUY
5. OF Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox -- The power numbers aren't there for the free agent to be, but those steals are tough to replace. The good news is he might have built you enough of a lead in that category that you could afford to get some legit power for him. SELL
Taking a flier on a hitter, preferably one with steals -- With Pujols on the DL, the roster has an opening and Chris Young is not good enough starter to keep active. I am going to take a flier on one of the following bats:
1. OF Drew Stubbs, Cleveland Indians
2. OF J.B. Shuck, L.A. Angels of Anaheim
3. OF Juan Pierre, Miami Marlins
If you play in those daily fantasy leagues, here are the players by position that yours truly will be going with for Monday's games. If you want to challenge me, hit me up on Twitter @EricMackFantasy:
SP -- Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves
SP -- Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals
C -- Ryan Doumit, Minnesota Twins
1B -- Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins
2B -- Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
3B -- Brett Lawrie, Toronto Blue Jays
SS -- Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox
OF -- Josh Hamilton, L.A. Angels of Anaheim
OF -- Chris Carter, Houston Astros
OF -- Kendrys Morales, Seattle Mariners
DH -- Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers