Avisail Garcia has been great the past few weeks, hasn’t he? At this point in the season, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to throw projections out the window (defenestration, yo!). This isn’t to say that you should expect something completely unrealistic from a player, but it is ok to minimize any worry about regression. For example, can Avisail maintain the .800 OPS he’s produced over the past month? Why not? And, am I allowed to answer a question with another question? This is my long way of saying that if a player is on a hot streak, it could absolutely continue for the rest of the season and doesn’t “have to” regress. With that out of the way, I’ll admit that I’m still deciding how I’ll feel about Garcia for next year, but I believe he can be productive for the rest of 2013. Anyway, here are some players who can be better than expected in OPS leagues going forward:

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Oh fantasy baseball. You’re such a bitch. Jacoby Ellsbury and his league leading 52 stolen bases are going to take a seat for a while. While this is bad news for Red Sox fans, it’s even worse news for fantasy players who are in the midst of a title chase or head to head playoff match-ups. Grey covered this in the lede this morning but it’s worth mentioning here as well given that our focus is steals and Jacoby represents a huge loss in that category for his owners. Luckily, there are still some players who might be available in your league that can help in the steals department. Quick, before anybody else fractures their feet, let’s take a look at who’s out there for some SAGNOF this week:

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Ah, yes, fall is in the air. *cues up Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer”* As the calendar turns to September, the days get shorter, my seersucker suit returns to its rightful place in the closet, the kids are lovingly shipped off to military school, every tattooed hipster barista in town attempts to sell me something that tastes of pumpkin (I just want coffee flavored coffee dammit) and the fantasy baseball playoffs are set to begin. Our fake baseball season is nearing its completion, its finale, the culmination of 22 weeks of jams and crams that have hopefully led you to the edge of the fantasy glory hole. No more Ike Davis wisecracks, no more Ryan Braun shrunken gonad jokes and no more contact with Heidi Watney per court order. 500 feet, phfffft! So, my dear Razzballin’ gurus, if you’re reading, you’re leading and sprinting to the finish line of this marathon known as the fantasy baseball season. Quick question? Is there a fantasy marathon league? No? Damn, I was going to draft Gebregziabher Gebremariam. Oh well, it’s time to win this baseball thing. Somehow it all feels anticlimactic. Even if we win, if we win, HAH! Even if we win, it just wouldn’t matter because all the really good looking girls would still go out with the guys from Mohawk because they’ve got all the money! Sorry, in an effort to be inspiring I went all Meatballs there for a moment. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

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Well, I keep going deep on these calls and keep digging a bigger hole so I figure why stop? Let’s dig straight to Italy. Why didn’t I say China you ask? Because that little boot of a country had the player I’m talking about this week on its National team this year. Which is really weird when you consider his wiki page says he’s an American. Um, don’t you have to be of said nationality to play for said nationality? Sounds like the standards for playing for a National team are pretty loose. I’d love to see the fill-out sheet to join. Wonder if it looks like this. Well, never mind, these things matter not. What DOES matter is Chris Colabello looks like a nice power pickup for week 24 of our 2013 Fantasy Baseball season…

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I never know what to expect from Jay Bruce on a weekly basis. He’s been killing me softly the past month (or really, season), but it always feels like he might turn things around instantly. Is there a term for when a fantasy baseball owner is afraid to bench a great player out of fear of retribution? Or is that simply good old fashioned passive-aggressiveness? I’m not sure if it’s better to have “streaky” players in a head-to-head league or not. Theoretically, they could kill your team in a given week, but they could also save it. Maybe it’s just about having a good balance. What are your thoughts on “streaky” players? Anyway, Bruce has been alright, but is fairly underwhelming in an OPS league, considering his likely price on draft day. I’m thinking about jumping off the ship next year and letting somebody else grab him, but then he would probably make me regret it. There he goes again with that passive-aggressive behavior! Here are some other players on my mind who may or may not stab you in the back:

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I have a love/hate relationship with Labor Day. On one hand, I have to say goodbye to all of my white pants and seersucker sportcoats. I’m also not a big football guy, so it pains me to see my baseball mates quietly drift off into the world of fantasy football. There’s also a lot to love, though. It’s a day off from work if you’re lucky. It’s also the start of some really exciting pennant chase baseball. And last but not least, we have the expansion of MLB rosters. September gives us a chance to see some fresh faces and possibly some future stars. While none of them are likely to make a huge fantasy impact, there are a few players who have come up that could help in the steals category. Billy Hamilton is the most obvious name. He’s the guy you want if you’re going to gamble on a September call-up. There are some other names, however, that are worth a look in very deep leagues or NL/AL-only leagues. Guys like Jose Ramirez in Cleveland, Dee Gordon in LA, and Jim Adduci in Texas all have speed to offer. Like Hamilton, they’re not going to see regular playing time, so while they are fun to mix and match, they aren’t players that I would rush to add to my roster. Hamilton is the exception to the rule. His speed warrants a look even if he’s relegated to pinch-running most nights. Here are some of the best bets for stolen bases this week in fantasy baseball:

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Heading into the stretch run you are either on the playoff bus or it turned you into roadkill three weeks ago. Somebody get a shovel, please. Imagine the playoff bus looking like the Partridge Family multi-colored ride, fantasy baseball is our family band and I’m your David Cassidy. I think I love you and we’re about to win you your fantasy league. If you lost Carlos Gonzalez or own a hurtin’ Miggy, let your humble Guru find you some late season power. Need some steals, some saves? Let the man in the shiny turban lead you to cheap SAGNOF. Still searching for solid starting pitching? Follow your Goo as we consult the oracle known as the SON. Just don’t interrupt his “private time” with my Roomba. The playoffs are coming, bragging rights are on the line and there’s room on the bus. Just don’t sit next to Danny Bonaduce and keep your filthy paws off Susan Dey. She’s mine! It’s time to jam it or cram it.

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Yep, you know me. I only cover Mariners. Though I’m not as much of a homer as JayWrong is with his San Diego Chargers, Padres, Zoos, Comic-Cons, and even Newscasters, I admittedly let my pieces of Pacific Northwest flair get the best of me last week, believing in Michael Morse. What else should I be? All apologies…I wanted to believe Morse was worth at least a HR or two but as of this Saturday morning typing, the lumbering oaf doesn’t even have a double and I’m guessing probably won’t do much the last two days. Maybe I should’ve gone with Bogusevic…but rather than wallow in self-loathing and then project it onto the internet for everyone to see, I’m looking to move on. I’m gonna suggest to you a guy who’s actually been hot over the last few weeks but hasn’t really caught on with the masses like I thought he would at this point given positional scarcity. We’re here to talk about none other than the post-hype sleeper that is Dustin Ackley and why he’ll help you for week 23 of the 2013 Fantasy Baseball season…

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Fancy meeting you here, and look at you: all dressed up with no place to go. As the season winds down, some are focused on last-minute playoff help (I try to appease you below), while others are reflecting on the past season. Let’s try to focus on the positives and learn a little something. I’m curious to hear which player you think is most deserving of the “OPS League MVP Award”. Let’s stay away from Miguel Cabrera, who was obviously great, but cost you a high draft pick. I’m looking for guys who provided value that far exceeded what they cost you on draft day and were truly a gift from the fantasy baseball gods. This will ideally help to provide us with a list of potential targets for next season (don’t worry; nobody else besides us will see this). Anyway, for those of you fortunate enough to still be in contention, here are some potential targets:

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Since being traded to the Royals ten days ago, Emilio Bonifacio has seven steals – more than any player in baseball in that span. Obviously, he’s benefited from more playing time in his new home. He’s started all but one game since the trade and while he hasn’t exactly contributed much in the other fantasy categories, he’s been piling up the steals. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise since the Royals are near the top of the league in both stolen bases (112) and success rate (83%). Bonifacio has always had the wheels too. Just last year he stole 30 bases in just 64 games played. His dual eligibility at second base and outfield is a huge boost to his fantasy value. This week he’ll draw the Twins and Blue Jays. The Twins are stingy against the stolen base, but Boni should have some success on the base paths against his former team later in the week. Here are some other speedsters worth a look:

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