Mike McCoy $17.
Yunel Escobar might miss the rest of the season with a bum elbow. This puts McCoy in line for plenty of at bats the rest of the way. McCoy's primary weapon is the stolen base, but he hitting for an anemic batting average and you can't steal first. This could be a good steals play if McCoy can hit .250 or so; both A.J. Pierzynski and John Jaso have poor caught stealing rates. The owner who picked up McCoy is tied for first overall and .00005 ahead of the team he's tied with in batting average. If he doesn't win, McCoy might be the guy he looks back at and wonders "what if?"
Joe Benson $17. Other bids: $7, $6, $5, $1.
John Sickels has a nice write-up up on Benson this morning. Benson's overall minor league numbers look pedestrian, but knowing that he's a tools guy brightens the outlook: the power spike in 2010 is a sign of him turning one tool into a skill, and while the BB/AB rate keeps fluctuating it's solid enough that Benson's skill set might play in the bigs as a starter. Benson should play regularly down the stretch; he was picked up by the same first place team that got McCoy. This is a case where the non-contenders should have been all over Benson at least a week ago. He could be a starting corner outfielder for the Twins in 2012, and it's not out of the question that he'll be a keep at $10.
Jose Molina $11.
Joe Mauer is done for the year, and the catching pickings are slim. There are some catchers that might get more AB in the free agent pool, but the difference is marginal. Something is better than nothing here, even if it is next to nothing. Surprise, surprise...this is the same team that got McCoy and Benson. In addition to BA, they're in a tight RBI race and every point obviously counts.
John Lackey $10. Other bid $5.
Lackey's a two-start pitcher this week (vs. Baltimore and at the Yankees) but is impossible to recommend given that his ERA has been hanging at about 6.2 over his last 10 starts. The team that picked him up is a non-contender 20 innings away from the IP requirement. Lackey probably isn't a keep at $10 at this point, but at this time of year if you have the FAAB you might as well use it.
David Huff $6. Other bid $1.
Huff was picked up by the other first place team. This squad is trying to maintain its wins lead, and Huff has two favorable match-ups this week at home against Seattle and Minnesota. Huff has struggled a bit as of late, but he's coming off of three tough road starts against the Royals, White Sox and Rangers. If WHIP/ERA are close for you, Huff comes with moderate risk.
Blake Beavan $4.
Another match-up play here. Beavan gets the Twins in Minnesota, putting this one in the favorable column. He's a poor 5x5 option due to the terrible K/IP ratio, but this is a 4x4 league. The team that picked him up has three points it could pick up in ERA/WHIP and is swinging for the fences here with this pick and the next two below.
Anthony Swarzak $1.
Swarzak is up against Beavan this week. The match-up is good, but Swarzak has had poor outings three of his last five times out and has seen his ERA jump nearly a point and a half in that time. I'd leave him on the free agent pool, even against the hapless, hopeless Mariners.
Liam Hendriks $1.
Hendriks is an intriguing two-start pitcher this week against Seattle and at Cleveland. He profiles as a solid four-pitch pitcher with great command. The K rate dropped from Double-A to Triple-A, so we'll see if Hendriks can bring that back up or not. If you need to gamble, Hendriks is a better gamble than Swarzak this week.
Danny Duffy $1.
Duffy is probably done for the year. The team that claimed him is a non-contender trying to protect an ERA point. Duffy isn't allowed to be kept at $10 if he doesn't pitch again this year.
Dellin Betances $1.
This is a futures play by the same team that picked up Duffy. Betances probably has an outside shot to crack the Yankees rotation next year, though it seems more likely he'll start 2012 in AAA. He hasn't pitched in the week and a half he's been in the Majors.
Mike Aviles. Claimed by 9th (tie), 1st (tie) and 1st (tie) place teams.
It looks like Kevin Youkilis might not play the rest of this season. Aviles could very well get most of the AB at third base for the Red Sox down the stretch. His defense won't hurt your fantasy team.
Jake Peavy. Claimed by 7th place team.
This is the same team that claimed Duffy and is looking to protect an ERA point.
Brent Morel. Claimed by 4th and 1st (tie) place teams.
Any non-contender that had a hole at corner should have claimed Morel. He was horrible most of this year, but the September surge makes him someone I'd at least glance at as a $10 keep next year (or, more likely, try to sell someone else on as a keep).
Cord Phelps. Claimed by 3rd place team.
Phelps has one plate appearance since September 4. This team is locked in in HR and RBI and is trying to pick up a steals point and protect a batting average point, but I still don't get this.