There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to a fantasy column. If we discuss a bunch of targets for shallow leaguers, the deep players roll their eyes. If we get out the magnifying glass for the unowned gems, the standard-league players wonder why they'd ever bother with those scrubs. It's a sliding scale. We try to provide something for everyone and balance the focus, knowing that it's impossible to constantly please everyone.
The opening theme today is going to be looking deep, as we talk about two outfielders who are currently available in 99 percent of Yahoo! pools. Season to taste, adjust to your world and your parameters.
• The Twins season effectively ended a while ago, which means we have to be careful with our Denard Span expectations. Span has a bad shoulder and he's been out of the lineup since Aug. 12. Although an MRI on his collarbone Monday came back clean, he's going to go into the tube again Tuesday (this time for the shoulder). Why should the club take any chances with Span?
Unheralded outfielder Darin Mastroianni is taking advantage of Span's absence, and he might make a helpful fantasy addition. Mastroianni posted a nifty 3-2-2-2 line in Monday's victory at Oakland, with a stolen base. You have to admire his jets: he's swiped 15 bags in 17 attempts, and that's against a modest 126 at-bats. He's also hitting a respectable .286 (with three homers), and his OBP is a playable .345. No one's calling him a star, but if Span's timetable gets pushed back, Mastroianni becomes a player of interest.
• Dewayne Wise is near the end of his career at age 34, and he's already had his signature moment: a dynamite catch that preserved Mark Buehrle's perfect game back in 2009. The Yankees made the move for Ichiro Suzuki because they had no faith in Wise as a regular.
The contending White Sox have Wise back in the fold now, and he'll need to play a fair amount with Alejandro De Aza headed to the disabled list. Wise haunted the Yanks during Monday's victory, collecting two hits (including a homer) and a stolen base. He also struck out three times, but we'll take the category juice at the end of the day. If you can get past Wise's 20 strikeouts against just two walks for the season, maybe there's an interesting player here; he does have six homers and nine steals over a mere 92 at-bats. He's only rostered in one percent of Yahoo! leagues.
• I can't seem to quit Tyler Colvin; just when it seems like I'm out, I get dragged back in. Colvin has been a handy producer this month (.368/.419/.579 slash, eight extra-base hits, two steals), and Michael Cuddyer's oblique injury opens up a natural lineup spot. There's talk that Cuddyer won't play again in 2012, and obviously the Rockies have no reason to rush him back.
Colvin was all over Monday's victory at New York, with a homer, single and walk. He also turned in a nifty play at first base. The sweet-swinging lefty is unowned in 86 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
• Islands in the Stream, that is what we are. Green-light specials for Wednesday include Kris Medlen at Washington (he's a grab and hold for many leagues, but still out there in 52 percent of Yahoo! nation); Hisashi Iwakuma versus Cleveland (look at those super starting numbers); and Matt Harvey versus Colorado (the Rockies are punchless at sea level).
Hotshot rookie Tyler Skaggs (four percent) is a yellow-light play at home against Miami; good luck with Giancarlo Stanton, kid. Ross Detwiler (33 percent) and Bronson Arroyo (14 percent) also wear the yellow jersey.
The red light flashes for Jacob Turner (one percent) and Wade LeBlanc (three percent) at Arizona, that's obvious. And with some sadness, we have to pan slumping Tommy Milone (38 percent) against Minnesota and Anibal Sanchez (67 percent, just silly) against Toronto.
Speed Round: Javier Lopez picked up a one-out matchup save in LA, after Sergio Romo allowed a solo homer to Hanley Ramirez. That's committee life for you. The Jeremy Affeldt-invested owners (like yours truly) were not amused. Madison Bumgarner (8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K) was a shade better than Clayton Kershaw (8 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 10 K) in a gorgeous pitcher's duel. … Ryan Dempster worked eight crisp innings at Texas (4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K), dispatching the Orioles and lowering his AL ERA to 6.04. He's at home against Minnesota this weekend. … Carl Crawford is finally headed to Tommy John surgery, so get your farewells in order. Here's hoping he's on an innings count next year. (I know, he's not a pitcher. It's my last chance to swipe at this $142 million fraud). If you need an outfielder replacement, go back to the first three bullets at the top. … Stephen Drew was dealt to Oakland, a clear sign that Peter Brand is no longer running the club. Drew will need to force his way onto my roster, I won't chase him optimistically. … The Eric Young story was a blast for a few weeks, but he suffered a rib injury Sunday and might need to go on the disabled list. Josh Rutledge (quad) is also nicked up. … Andy Dirks has been a frozen-rope machine in his return to the Tigers lineup, posting a zesty .340/.404/.500 slash over 15 games. There's not a lot of category juice to his game, but he's an interesting add if you need to push forward in batting average. He's free to acquire in 92 percent of Yahoo! leagues. … Manny Machado had a field day against the Royals pitching staff during his debut weekend (thanks for the meatballs, Fraggle Rock), but he's in a 4-for-24 funk since. The rookie also has eight strikeouts overall, one walk. Baseball is hard. Keep your expectations reasonable here.