Owned in fewer than 50% of league polled
3B Will Middlebrooks, Boston Red Sox
They found the WMB
As mentioned on Monday, Middlebrooks deserves fantasy owners' attention, even though Xander Bogaerts is the one getting a lot of it in the short time since word surfaced that he was headed to the bigs. Middlebrooks has batted .441 with a pair of jacks and seven RBIs in his 11 games this month, providing the BoSox with the kind of offense they expect from him and need period.
How long will the good times last? Impossible to say, because in the long term his BA should reside somewhere near the middle of the gap between his .288 from 2012 and .228 this season. Unquestionably, his power is legit, though, and as long as he's locked in, he's likelier to deliver numbers in related categories.
SP Jonathon Niese, New York Mets
This left-hander missed nearly two months because of a partially torn rotator cuff but returned to major league action on Aug. 11 with a mediocre showing at the Arizona Diamondbacks. On the surface (six innings, seven hits, four runs, one walk, five strikeouts), anyway, it was a mediocre showing.
Although Niese was quality, for the most part, in April, his rate of K's recorded was down notably, and his control was clearly lacking. It's fair to wonder if the shoulder injury that forced him to the DL in June (originally it was believed to be tendonitis only) hadn't begun to catch up with him in May. That month, he was awful, and he complained of a neck injury. He spent time working on his mechanics, but poor health was likely the issue.
In three starts since his activation, Niese has looked like the breakout pitcher he was in 2012. He's yielded 18 hits, six runs and five walks in 19 innings, with 23 strikeouts. Assuming that the southpaw stays healthy through the end of the campaign, he should score some very good marks.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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