Ricky Nolasco $24. Other bids: $13, $12, $10, $0.
Nolasco became available in our league due to salary cap considerations and the announcement of his knee injury. Of course, he then decided to go out and tough it out against the Braves. Good thing for the owner that waived him, as Nolasco got pounded. The team that bid $24 is trying to make things happen from 4th place, so no blame there. Nolasco has said that the knee is fine and that his poor outing against the Braves was a "rust" issue. His next four starts on a bum knee are against the Braves, Phillies (x2) and Cardinals. Good luck to you if you are contending and choose to take the flier. Non-contenders, however, should be formulating his keeper value for next year and putting in a bid reflective of that value. $13 was the number in our league.
Todd Helton $15. Other bids: $15, $10, $8, $6, $5, $5, $3, $0.
Helton was another salary cap victim last week. Since the announcement that Helton would not see everyday ABs, he has played every game except one, and is 10 for his last 24, with two home runs to boot. While I am not sure what his role will be for next year, he should be able to help the contenders down the stretch, so bid aggressively.
Micah Hoffpauir $8. Other bid: $0.
Hoffpauir is the guy sabermatricians love (or used to love), but apparently cannot hit on the Major League level. His 73 AB in 2008 looked pretty sexy, but while he has popped a few home runs, he can't really hit and can't really get on base. Combine that with an .077 BA so far this year, and you see that the message is steer clear.
Chris Valaika $3. Other bids $0.
Valaika is filling in nicely as a bench player for the Reds with Brandon Phillips nursing a wrist injury. He is a C+ prospect with very few OBP skills and minimal speed, but he could put up a decent average with his ability to put the ball in play. If you need to fill a completely dead spot, you could do worse.
Chris Capuano $1; Darwin Barney $0; Luis Castillo $0; Mark Melancon $0; Mike Hessman $0.
Darwin Barney may be the most interesting of the group only because he has a great name. I wrote about Capuano here. Not much has changed, though he is striking out more than a batter per inning. Castillo is playing a little bit, but not enough to really contribute at all. I refuse to comment on Melancon and Hessman until they contribute something of significance to your fantasy team.