Washington, D.C. has two Spans. If you like politics and live footage of people walking around in suits on a video feed, then C-SPAN (2:43) is your best bet in the capital city. If you prefer players who can help you win some fantasy leagues, than you better go with D-SPAN. Denard Span is currently owned in less than 50% of ESPN fantasy leagues but he’s got as many steals as guys like Brett Gardner, Coco Crisp, and Alex Rios. He’s only been caught twice, and hitting at the top of a Nationals lineup that now sports a healthy Bryce Harper to go along with Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth should give Span nice opportunities to score runs as well. He’s hitting .276 on the year and should see that average maintain in the second half. If the Nationals offense cooperates, he should see 90 runs scored and 25 stolen bases by the end of the season. He hits for no power, but contributing to three of the five standard fantasy categories comes in handy from a waiver wire grab. This week Span will face the Rockies and Reds, who have both been stingy against the stolen base. If you have an injured outfielder or need a reserve, Span is worth a look though. Here are some other steals options for this week in 2014 fantasy baseball…
Arismendy Alcantara – SD, STL
The Padres are tied for second in the big leagues for steals allowed (74) and Alcantara faces them to start the week. I do think he’ll get enough playing time to make an impact in the second half. Another 8-10 steals with a sprinkle of homers and a decent average can help players in 12-team leagues or deeper who are hurting at middle infield. I wouldn’t mess with him in shallow leagues though and if given the choice I’d prefer a guy like Kolten Wong.
Craig Gentry – HOU, @TEX
Gentry has as many steals (16) as the players mentioned in the introduction. He’s done it in about half the plate appearances though and has only been caught once. He’s pure SAGNOF and he gets the Astros and Scott Feldman this week. Feldman is tied for third in MLB with 19 steals allowed. Gentry and/or Coco Crisp should take advantage.
James Jones – NYM, BAL
Jones is up to 18 steals on the season, but he has only one stolen base in July after swiping 12 bags in the month of June. Speed doesn’t usually slump, so you could make an argument that Jones is still a great pickup for steals the rest of the way. I’m just throwing it out there as a heads up that June may have been the mountaintop.
Eric Young, Jr. – @SEA, @MIL
I’m sure I’ll be pelted with vegetables for this, but I bet EY2 gets 40-45 steals again this year. He’s at 25 now, which is tied for fifth in the majors. I think he’ll find the at bats like he and Rajai Davis seem to do every year, and between that and pinch-running appearances he’ll get the steals. Playing time is a big hurdle and the .236 average is tough to swallow, but you need look past some warts to get the steals. From my experience, saves and steals are some of the easiest categories to snag roto points with at this time of year. Guys like EY2 get glossed over all the time on the wire, but they’re cheap points.
Adam Eaton – KC, @MIN
Eaton has quietly put up decent numbers this season with a .280 average and nine stolen bases. He’s settling in as the White Sox leadoff man and he could easily double his current steals total by the end of the season. He’ll face the Royals, who are usually tough against the run but who are also missing Salvador Perez at the moment. Eaton is owned in about 40% of leagues, but if he’s available I’d give him a look in 12-teamers.