Chances are Ben Sheets or Francisco Liriano has burned anyone playing fantasy baseball for the last five years.Â They are tempting owners once again with strong performances.Â Maybe Ubaldo Jimenez will make a similar comeback someday but for now he is among the most dropped.
Ben Sheets:Â Who is next, Mark Prior?Â Sheets has two victories and twelve shutout innings overall.Â His K/BB is a solid 2.75.Â He is just breaking 90 mph with his fastball, which was 93 mph at its peak.Â To keep hitters off balance he is throwing more sliders.Â Grab him to fill a need, but have a quick hook.
Drop for him:Â Josh Beckett, Justin Masterson, Roy Oswalt
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Jarrod Parker, Jon Niese, Phil Hughes
Francisco Liriano:Â Two big strikeout games have him on the radar but his improvement started much earlier.Â His xFIP is under 4.00 in each month starting with May.Â He has a 9.89 K/9 and his 13.5% swinging strike rate leads all starters.Â His velocity is clearly better after a rocky start.Â There is no explaining or predicting him, but he is worth grabbing now.
Drop for him:Â Ricky Romero, Jeremy Hellickson, Jon Lester
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Doug Fister, Dan Haren, Hiroki Kuroda
Michael Brantley:Â I recently wondered why he showed up on the Dropped List, and sure enough he did not stay on the wire for long.Â He is hitting .368/.463/.649 in July, although he has only one steal and three home runs.Â Even with his hot streak he is only 41stÂ among outfielders over the last 30 days.Â Conversely, his excellent walk and strikeout rates make deep slumps rare.
Drop for him:Â Nick Markakis, Ichiro Suzuki, Drew Stubbs
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Ben Revere, Matt Joyce, Dexter Fowler
Francisco Rodriguez:Â He took over for John Axford and earned saves in his last two appearances.Â By month his K/BB ratio has been very inconsistent:Â 1.13, 4.00, 11.00, 1.11.Â He needs to straighten out again to hang onto the job.Â This year his contact rate has increased from 72.6% to 80.6%, placing him skills-wise as a back-end closer.
Drop for him:Â Carlos Marmol, Brett Myers, Drew Storen
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Sergio Romo, Tom Wilhelmsen, Bobby Parnell
Ubaldo Jimenez:Â His results have been poor since the start of the 2011 season and owners are finally jumping ship.Â He has a 1.25 K/BB, his ERA and every indicator are over 5.00.Â His GB/FB ratio is 0.96 against a 1.50 career average.Â His control has fallen off, but so have the strikeouts and ground balls which made him such an appealing breakout candidate years ago.
Drop him for:Â Felix Doubront, Derek Holland, Zach McAllister
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Ervin Santana, Bud Norris, Joe Blanton
Lucas Duda:Â He playing time is inconsistent due to a recent hamstring issue and a deep July slump.Â He is batting .135/.273/.243 for the month and his strikeout rate is up more than 10% from 2011.Â He is more selective, but missing more pitches both in and out of the zone.Â He has more home runs in as many plate appearances as last year, but his ISO is down overall.
Drop him for:Â Chris Davis, Logan Morrison, Dayan Viciedo
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Brandon Belt, Yonder Alonso, Brandon Moss
Jarrod Saltalamacchia:Â He has a 46.9% strikeout rate in July.Â Despite all the whiffs he still leads catchers in home runs, is second in ISO and tenth in RBI.Â Teams should deal with him according to need.Â If run production is strong overall he is expendable but if not he is still worth starting.
Drop him for:Â Salvador Perez, Wilin Rosario, J.P. Arencibia
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Alex Avila, Jesus Montero, A.J. Ellis
Coco Crisp:Â With eighteen steals he is unlikely to approach last yearâ€™s 49.Â He also has career lows in OBP and SLG.Â Few batters see more fastballs, yet he has the leagueâ€™s third worst wFB/c.
Drop him for:Â Juan Pierre, Norichika Aoki, Lorenzo Cain
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Jon Jay, Jordan Schafer, Raul Ibanez