With the All Star Game, we were all witness to the unpredictability of baseball. It’s a long haul, and on draft day in March, very few, if any of us, would have picked Charlie Blackmon to make the All-Star Game roster for the National League. But that’s the case, and Blackmon, along with several other surprises, was most likely scooped up very late in drafts or off of the waiver wire in most fantasy leagues. For this week’s post we’ll look at four players, including Blackmon, whose average draft position (ADP) was 260 or higher but who currently find themselves in the Top 50 on both the ESPN and Razzball player raters. These players had phenomenal first halves but the question most fantasy owners want answered is whether or not they will keep it up. Are they “trash” or “treasure”? Will they carry teams to victory in September or are they about to implode? It’s hard to call any of these guys trash the way they have performed, but some may be more reliable than others going forward. Since all of these playerss have been good, I’ll use the term “TRASH” to designate the guys that are holds instead of buys. I’m not recommending they be dropped or sold for pennies on the dollar. Here are four names that came out of the woodwork in the player rater’s top 50 for 2014 fantasy baseball…

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The Futures Game was yesterday, and while I’m writing this post prior to the game actually being played, here’s about what I’d expect the broadcast booth banter to sound like – “Player X has a lot of loud tools. He has a bright future in the bigs. This kid is going to be a perennial All-Star. Comps, hyperbole, etc.” Sounds cynical, but unfortunately there are no crystal balls. It’s fun to dream on these guys, though, and really that’s what the Futures Game is all about to me – showcasing the best young talent in the game at the moment. Be sure to check out the Futures Game edition of the Minor Accomplishments series from Chris yesterday. On this short week let’s see if there are any players in the minors we should have our eye on from a steals perspective. Players like George Springer, Gregory Polanco, Mookie Betts, and most recently Arismendy Alcantara have already come up this year. They all have the ability to make an impact in the stolen base department. So let’s see who’s next. Whether they are close to the bigs or a ways away, these players should make an impact when their time comes.

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Hyun-Jin Ryu ($8,700) got smoked in his last start, but he draws a weak Padres team today at home in our last day of games prior to the All-Star Break. What will we do for four days?! I for one will be catching up on what my wife and children have been up to for the last three months while their father stared at a computer screen combing box scores. Father of the year! I’ve recommended Ryu before and while he’s not flashy, he’s solid for the price you’ll pay in DFS. The Dodger left-hander has a 7.6 K/9 to go along with a 1.9 BB/9. Outside of the Tiger mauling, Ryu had given up 3+ ER in only one of his last 10 starts. The Padres, meanwhile, have a putrid 70 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. Given it’s a home start and the opponent today, Ryu appears to be one of the better values on the board. Good luck and enjoy the break!

If you are new to DraftKings, use our promo link to get started. New players that click on that link will get a free contest ticket with a first time deposit (only new users eligible). The winner of the contest gets entry into our $500k Showcase with a $100k top prize. Also, if you haven’t tried the DFSBot via Rudy, check it out: it compares projected values to actual DFS prices for the day. Here are some other picks for DraftKings contests on 7/13/2014…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 person matchup of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care!

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When I saw what Steve Pearce had done over the past two weeks, questions arose. The main question being, “Who the hell is Steve Pearce?” He’s the most added player on ESPN (+43%) and now has ten homers and 30 runs batted in with just 189 plate appearances. He’s even thrown in four steals! He does everything! This feels very hot schmotatoish if you ask me, but who cares when there are about a half dozen corner infielders sitting on your wire right now. Might as well ride the hot hand and if it doesn’t continue we can fall into the waiting arms of Casey McGehee or C.J. Cron. Aside from strikeouts, Pearce’s splits are nearly identical against left and right-handed pitching, but his best stuff comes at home against left-handers where he’s rocking a 205 wRC+. I’m not sure the .365 BABIP will hold up and his 17% HR/FB% is almost twice his career average, but I’d wager we didn’t pay more than a waiver wire claim for him so let’s ride the wave. Here are the other big adds and drops for this week in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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Well that was a nice easy title to kick things off after a week’s vacation. All that fresh sea air and funnel cake at the Jersey Shore really refreshed me spiritually. Of course the Atlantic City Expressway had the reverse effect, so I guess I have to call it a wash. This week, James Jones and his five steals in two weeks is getting the lede. Jones went from being more of a deep/AL-only play to mixed league relevant rather quickly. His biggest asset in fantasy is obviously the speed, and he’s now 17-for-18 in stolen base attempts in just 228 plate appearances. The 25-year-old outfielder bats from the left side and he’s a no-brainer add if you need some cheap steals out of an OF5 slot. Jones will face off against the Twins and Athletics this week. The Twins are just outside the top ten in MLB for steals allowed. By the by, it’s hard not to think of James Earl Jones when discussing this guy. My association with JEJ isn’t Darth Vader or Field of Dreams, though. It’s as the host of Long Ago & Far Away, a trippy claymation style kid’s show. Maybe there are some other thirty-somethings out there who remember the Pied Piper episode as vividly as I do. I digress. Here are some other steals plays for this week in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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Jordan Zimmermann ($11,100) is tops on the Stream-o-Nator on this fine Sunday afternoon. He’s listed as a $20 value according to SON and that’s a solid five bucks more than the next closest arm for the day. Zimmermann hasn’t put up huge strikeout numbers (7+ K/9) but over his last six starts he has gone at least six innings while giving up two or fewer earned runs. He faces a Cubs team whose wRC+ of 78 ranks 29th in baseball and is striking out at a 22% clip against right-handed pitching. I prefer Zimmermann’s match-up to the David Price draw against the Tigers, which will cost you $900 more. Price actually ranks 9th overall on SON today, for what it’s worth.

If you are new to DraftKings, use our promo link to get started. New players that click on that link will get a free contest ticket with a first time deposit (only new users eligible). The winner of the contest gets entry into our $500k Showcase with a $100k top prize. Also, if you haven’t tried the DFSBot via Rudy, check it out: it compares projected values to actual DFS prices for the day. Here are some other picks for DraftKings contests on 7/6/2014…

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“You have a really nice pitcher here. How much did you pay for him?”

“Well, actually, that’s none of your business, Christie. But I can assure you…he certainly wasn’t cheap.”

The main character from the movie quoted above is almost as scary as the two-headed monster of Clayton Kershaw ($13,100) and Felix Hernandez ($12,500) scheduled to take the mound today. Obviously you can’t go wrong with either ace but they will both cost a small fortune for their services. If I had to choose between the two, which I’m sure is the case for most DFS players today, I would drop the extra $600 on Kershaw. The Cardinals are in the bottom third of MLB in wRC+ against left-handed pitching, while Hernandez’s opponent (Cleveland) is actually T-1st in the majors against righties (115 wRC+). Again, both are as crisp as a bone business card with Silian Rail lettering, I just like the match-up for Kershaw a little more.

If you are new to DraftKings, use our promo link to get started. New players that click on that link will get a free contest ticket with a first time deposit (only new users eligible). The winner of the contest gets entry into our $500k Showcase with a $100k top prize. Also, if you haven’t tried the DFSBot via Rudy, check it out: it compares projected values to actual DFS prices for the day. Here are some other picks for DraftKings contests on 6/29/2014…

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This week’s biggest add was Marlins hurler Andrew Heaney, whose ownership percentage rose +59% after his call up and strong debut last week. JB Gilpin broke it down in yesterday’s Pitcher Profile. Heaney should only get better tonight against a Phillies lineup that has struggled offensively at home this season. The 23-year-old lefty was this season’s big pitching prospect stash over the last few weeks and now that he’s up his ownership numbers have ballooned even more. Heaney could see a start or two skipped to limit his workload, but other than that he has the ability to make a big impact in the second half for fantasy owners. In three Triple-A starts prior to his call up, Heaney sported a 10.6 K/9 and a 0.78 BB/9. Pitching against the mediocre offenses of the NL East at Crayola Canyon adds to his fantasy value. If you stashed him, kudos. If you’re late to the party, get on board before he shows his stuff against Philly tonight. Here are this week’s big adds and drops in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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James Jones has appeared in this column before, but his three steals against the Padres last week opened the eyes of fantasy players in all formats. It shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise given who those steals came against though. The Padres are one of the worst teams in the majors at holding baserunners and on that particular night it was Tyson Ross on the mound. Ross is currently leading the major leagues in stolen bases allowed (21). He’s got a big red target on his back for those of us in daily leagues looking to deploy SAGNOF types. If you look at it as a rate, the Padres hurler is giving up about a steal for every five innings pitched. Ross is scheduled to face the Diamondbacks this week, so even fringy players like Tony Campana might be worth a shot for a stolen base. Week to week we give you the best and worst teams to run against, but looking even closer at the individual pitchers can be helpful for daily lineup changes. Hey Mike, I wish we had a tool for that! I hear you, friend. Check out the SB Rates vs. SP tool. It will give you the stolen base against data for each pitcher in 2013. Here’s a quick rundown of the best arms to run against in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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Hyun-Jin Ryu takes the mound in San Diego today. While he doesn’t sport eye-popping statistics, he’s been solid all year and this match-up is too good to pass up at a $9,000 price tag. Ryu ranks fifth overall on the Stream-o-Nator at a $16 value. This season he has a 7.55 K/9 and a 2.00 BB/9. This match-up against the Padres is what makes him today’s lede. The Padres are striking out against left-handed pitching at a 22.5% clip. That’s the 8th highest strikeout percentage against southpaws in the majors. San Diego also ranks dead last against lefties with a 70 wRC+ and .268 wOBA. Ryu is a a great value today and pairs well with one of the high-dollar arms on the schedule.

If you are new to DraftKings, use our promo link to get started. New players that click on that link will get a free contest ticket with a first time deposit (only new users eligible). The winner of the contest gets entry into our $500k Showcase with a $100k top prize. Also, if you haven’t tried the DFSBot via Rudy, check it out: it compares projected values to actual DFS prices for the day. Here are some other picks for DraftKings contests on 6/22/2014…

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