Todd Lokken from Strategic Fantasy Sports identifies the most dropped and picked up free agents for the first week of the MLB season.

April 12, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports News
Jonathan Papelbon, who went undrafted in most fantasy baseball leagues, is all of a sudden a hot commodity as he assumes the closer job in Boston. The Red Sox started the season assuming Keith Foulke was the closer, but, Foulke has struggled. “Papelbon has really been a lucky break.” says Todd Lokken, President of Strategic Fantasy Sports. Lokken continues, “Papelbon was supposed to be a starter, but with still struggling, the Red Sox have been able to throw Papelbon into the closer role, and he has saved 3 games already.” Lokken says if you need a closer or if you have Foulke on your roster, switch over to Papelbon as soon as possible. “Don’t wait long, or else he will be gone,” advises Lokken.

The next hot commodity is Miguel Batista, pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Although he is listed as a relief pitcher in many publications, Batista started this week against the Colorado Rockies, and impressively struck out 11 batters. “While it is hard to tell what a season will look like based upon one performance, fantasy players may want to think about grabbing Batista, especially if they have a pitcher just taking up a roster spot.” says Lokken. According to the CBS Sportsline, Batista was only drafted by about 20% of all teams in fantasy leagues. Lokken says, “if players take a look now, they will see Batista on probably 50% of all rosters, so grab him while he is still there.”

On the flip side, injuries are seriously hurting former fantasy stars, and team owners are making fantasy adjustments accordingly. The most prominent star falling is Dodger ace Eric Gagne, who has just undergone elbow surgery. Lokken says, “Gagne is supposed to be out for just 6 to 8 weeks, but the guess here is that he is done for the season.” Lokken continues, “it’s not worth him taking up a roster spot, and you should find another player quickly.” Danys Baez, who moves into the closer role in Los Angeles, should be the first player looked at.

Finally this week, Lokken gives us another falling star: Cleveland’s CC Sabathia. Sabathia, Cleveland’s 300-pound starting pitcher, went on the disabled list after throwing just 2 1/3 innings in Cleveland’s opener against the Chicago White Sox. While Sabathia says it is nothing to worry about, Lokken points out “Sabathia had the same problem last year, and it caused him to miss 6 weeks.” Having a starting pitcher out 6 weeks is deadly in baseball, so Lokken advises Sabathia owners to adjust their rosters accordingly. Grab another starter, possibly Sergio Mitre of the Marlins, if you need additional support. “If you can handle Sabathia going down for an extended period, then hold him, as this ailment will not keep him out the entire season,” says Lokken.

Strategic Fantasy Sports provides fantasy analysis and strategy for players of fantasy sports. For more information, contact Todd Lokken at 847.985.8566, or visit

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