Casey Janssen $14.
Typically, this isn't the kind of bid you throw out on a middle reliever who just picked up a three inning save. But the Blue Jays bullpen is hurting. Jon Rauch is already on the DL and out for at least another 2-3 weeks, and Frank Francisco had some shoulder soreness while warming up yesterday. If you're in a shallow league, Janssen is only a monitor, but you have to bid if you're in a deep league. This is clearly a gamble (and, in this case, an overbid), but if Francisco's injury requires a DL stint, this could be your best shot at picking up cheap saves down the stretch.
Jorge Posada $11. Other bids: $5, $2, $1, $1.
This bid seems high for a part-time DH/1B who has a 708 OPS. In a deep league, though, Posada should definitely be someone's second catcher, and even the pickings at corner are slim (in this league, Mike Aviles and Bobby Wilson were the only FA-eligible corner infielders this week). Posada won't play a lot, but he's a better back-up catcher than most of the flotsam and jetsam in 10 to 12-team A.L.-only leagues.
Ryan Lavarnway $10. Other bids $10, $10, $9, $7, $7, $5, $2.
Lavarnway was profiled in Friday's Gearing Up. If David Ortiz comes back this week, I'm not sure where I see Lavarnway fitting in on the roster, but he should be back in September. Just like with Posada, Lavarnway is a good play as a second catcher regardless of his role, but I like this play better for 2012 and beyond. I think the Red Sox are going to find a place for this guy to play.
Thus far Alvarez has looked like a viable back-of-the-rotation option in his first three Major League starts. Those starts were against the Mariners and A's, though; the sledding starts getting tougher this week as Alvarez faces the Rays. I don't know how the rotation is going to shake out in September or if Alvarez is subject to some kind of innings limit, but the Jays have 12 games against the Yankees and Red Sox combined next month. If Alvarez isn't shut down, he's a risky play for that reason alone the rest of the way.
Mike Aviles $5. Other bids $3, $1, $1, $1.
Aviles doesn't look like much, but he has quietly put together a solid Roto season as a utility man, particularly when you consider the 12 stolen bases. Aviles is a good add if you're lacking in MI depth, need some cheap speed, and can take the batting average hit. He has been playing quite a bit for the Red Sox and even when everyone is healthy Aviles might still get 3-4 starts a week.
Charlie Furbush $1.
Since he was acquired by the Mariners, Furbush has been up-and-down. This seems to coincide with venue. Furbush has been great at Safeco while he has struggled on the road. He has a home start this week against the White Sox. It's an OK match-up, though as with any young pitcher there is a risk of getting burned here regardless of where he's pitching.
Landon Powell $1.
Powell is a below average option even in A.L.-only formats. He hasn't shown any kind of power since 2009 and Kurt Suzuki gets most of the at bats behind the dish in Oakland.
Mitch Maier $1.
Maier has done next to nothing this year for the Royals because he barely plays at all. He doesn't even provide cheap SB off of the bench. Pass.
Joe Smith $1.
Smith continues to provide quality middle relief innings for the Indians and for his Roto owners. The K/9 have jumped the last two months, so Smith is OK as a back-end option in deep formats as long as you understand that this isn't a wins play or a saves play. This is an effort to shore up your qualitative stats only.
Brad Penny $1.
The owner who picked up Penny is way ahead in ERA and WHIP and in a dogfight in wins. From this standpoint, picking up the only projected two-start SP in the free agent pool makes some sense. However, the trend lines with Penny are horrible and in general he should be avoided like he's on double secret probation. In three August starts, Penny has a 5.50 ERA, a 5.84 xFIP and has whiffed 2.5 batters per nine. The best thing you can say about Penny is that he seldom gets rocked; he has only allowed more than five earned runs twice this year. The starts this week are at Tampa and at Minnesota. The Minnesota start looks OK, but Penny's ERA on the road (6.40) is much worse than his ERA at home (4.02). Unless you're in a unique situation where you're way ahead or way behind in ERA/WHIP and are chasing wins Penny is a very, very poor play.
Sam Fuld. Claimed by 11th, 7th (tie) and 6th place teams.
Kevin Gregg. Claimed by 10th, 7th (tie), 6th, 5th and 1st place teams.
Fuld carries over his $18 FAAB salary as a waiver claim, so I thought it was peculiar that the 11th place team took him over Gregg, who has a $10 salary and is under contract with the Orioles through 2012. Gregg could lose the job and might not be a keep next year, but Fuld at $18 most definitely isn't a keep.
Francisco Cervelli. Claimed by 4th place team.
Greg Holland. Claimed by 3rd place team.