Week 5 of the fantasy baseball season will be underway on Monday and now is the time to start preparing.  Adding quality players off the waiver wire isn’t the easiest thing to do in deep leagues, and that’s why we’re here to help.

In this week’s edition of “Deep Impact”, I’ll be discussing a few players who can give you an edge in the stolen bases category – one SAGNOF and two who can provide more than just speed.  As per usual, ownership percentages are taken from ESPN.com, but since every league has different settings, I can’t guarantee every player I suggest will be available in each of your individual leagues.  Let’s not waste any more time ¡Ándale!

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Did you know that the baseball season is just over 10 percent complete?  Great timing for an article covering players who are under 10 percent owned in fantasy leagues.  Time flies, and so do the free agents on your waiver wire.  In this week’s edition of “Deep Impact”, I’ll be discussing some first basemen that can help you in the near future.  As per usual, ownership percentages are taken from ESPN.com, but since every league has different settings, I can’t guarantee every player I suggest will be available in each of your individual leagues. Heeeeere we go!

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Deep leaguers are nearing a point in the season where waiver wire pickings aren’t going to be easy to find.  But it’s barely Week 3!  Tell that to someone who gives a damn!  All intense rage aside, despite the season’s relative infancy, if you’re in a league of 14 or more teams, adding players who can contribute will become more difficult by the week.  This isn’t a 10 team league where No. 3 starters are sitting on the wire.  This column is designed to help you dig deeper (and deeper).  Read carefully, and maybe one of these players will be your lucky star.

Last week’s post discussed middle infielders, and today I’ll be passing out advice on some outfielders who can assist you in your travails.  As always, I will be using ESPN’s ownership percentages and only selecting players who are available in less than 10 percent of leagues.

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The first week of baseball.  The sights.  The smells.  The bacon-wrapped corn dogs stuffed with jalapeno cheddar tots.  What a week it was indeed.

A long winter has passed and many things changed.  Most notably, was Ricky Vaughn, who shed his trademark leather jacket and punk rock hairdo for a suit, tie and styling mousse.  Jack Taylor’s knees were weaker than ever, and Pedro Cerrano ditched the rum-loving Jobu for Buddhism. Even Willie Mays Hayes elected to have cosmetic surgery.

Some things need to be replaced.  The classic film Major League was not one of them.  Yet they made a sequel.  Not the worst baseball movie to grace the big screen, but we could’ve done without it.  Unlike the original Wesley Snipes character, in fantasy baseball, finding replacements is part of the game.  It’s how leagues are won.  You can’t just sit back and watch as players are picked up off the wire while you “wait to see how the guys you drafted do”.  That’s one of the most common phrases I hear early on.  Yes, it’s early, so you’re not kicking any studs to the curb, but if the “sleeper” you drafted in the 29th round has begun the season 1-for-16, and there’s a player on the wire who is playing well, go grab him!  Hanging on to an older vet with the delusion that he’ll somehow hit like he’s not 36 years old (Chase Utley, 100 percent owned on ESPN), will keep you from realizing your championship dreams.

This is the “Deep Impact” column, where I’ll only be featuring players under 10 percent owned in ESPN leagues.  During Opening Week I’ve been asked more questions about middle infielders than any other position, so I figured this would be an opportune time to reveal some of my top adds heading into the weekend:

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By now, most of you have drafted your fantasy baseball teams, and while there may be a few stragglers, the majority of you will be turning to Razzball for in-season info, not draft info.  You can no longer wait till the wee rounds of your home league to grab that super sleeper you have been pining for since the Winter Meetings.  Adding clutch players will either have to be done via trade or the waiver wire.  In my weekly “Deep Impact” series, I’ll be focusing on the players that you can acquire from the latter from of those transactional options — the waiver wire pick up.

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In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, the protagonist, Hester Prynne, is forced to wear a red “A” on her dress as punishment for committing adultery.  Like Ms. Prynne way back in the 1600s, you too will be heavily penalized if you choose to cheat on your fantasy team by drafting Cincinnati Reds’ outfielder Billy Hamilton — a man with a different red letter on his uniform.

Hawthorne’s critically acclaimed tale concerned itself with many moral indecencies.  At the center of it all was the notion that adultery was a sin, and anyone who perpetrated this lascivious act would pay the consequences.  Attempting to gain an early edge in the stolen base category is one of the most heinous fantasy crimes an owner can carry out (cue the Law & Order: SVU opening).

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It was just a couple of months ago that I discussed Cincinnati Reds’ first baseman Joey Votto, and what his fantasy value would be the rest of the season. At the time, he was on the DL nursing a quad injury, and had yet to resume on-field activities.  I basically approached the situation this way: if you own him, trade him; if someone else in your league was growing tired of the situation, he may not be a bad guy to target in a buy-low scenario. Flash forward to Monday, and we are presented with a nearly identical question: what do we do with Joey Votto?  And putting him in cement shoes and dropping him in the Ohio River is not an acceptable answer.

Votto is likey headed to the DL for the second time this season — and for the same injury.  Folks, that is not a good sign.

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July 4th is right around the corner, and I know you got tons of big (that’s me finger quoting) plans for the weekend.  So I’ll cut right to the chase and break down some of the injuries affecting fantasy baseball at the moment. Just remember, when you’re two cases of beer in and your starting shortstop breaks his finger sliding headfirst into second base, don’t, I repeat, don’t take out your frustrations by launching fireworks at your computer.

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Injuries?  You want injuries?  Well, good sir (ma’am, Donkey from Shrek, Borg or whatever), you’ve come to the right place. 2014 is no stranger to the maimed, sick and downtrodden.  If the 2014 baseball season were a movie, it would be a combination of Outbreak, Hostel, Saving Private Ryan and The Fan (man, that sh*t was terrible). The All-Star break is just a few weeks away, so here are some players hitting the DL or coming off of it that you need to be keeping an eye on…

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The Colorado Rockies have not had an easy go of it this season.  After beginning the year in tremendous fashion, injuries have contributed to a pretty steady drop in the standings.  Once 22-14, the Rockies have fallen one game below .500, to 34-35. Pitching is always to blame when it comes to the blemishes of the Blake Street Bombers, and this year has been no exception, with the team placing last in the majors with a 4.61 ERA.  However, mounting injuries have put an even bigger dent into the psyche of the good spirited people of Denver. First, Nolan Arenado hit the DL.  Then it was Michael Cuddyer (twice) and Carlos Gonzalez.  Pitcher Jordan Lyles, who had been their best starter to date, broke his non-pitching hand on a freak play.  Wilin Rosario even had a stint on the sidelines with a stomach bug.  Presumably, he’s been using that as his excuse for his poor hitting all season long.  The only player who hasn’t been hurt is human house-of-straw, Justin Morneau.  Go figure.

Good news for the Rockies, and for fantasy owners, is that Arenado (finger) could be back by the All-Star break, or perhaps even sooner if he can progress quickly through rehab games. While any possible cancer scare is nothing to dismiss, the fact that CarGo’s injury was “only” a benign foreign mass — and not a torn ligament — was the best possible news his owners could hear.  His original five-week timetable would have him back around the All-Star break.

Now all the Rockies need to do is get superz-sized sheets of bubble wrap for Troy Tulowitzki.

Here are some other injury notes that caught my eye this week…

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