Change is one constant in fantasy sports. Players get hot and cool down, get hurt and get well, and move in and out of roles. Fantasy owners are constantly reacting to these changes (or at least they should be). Let's take a look at the Buzz Index from the past three days and see which players are currently causing the most change in fantasy baseball and fantasy football, and take a deeper look at what the fuss is all about.
Buzz Index (Baseball) – Adds
Mark DeRosa (Tex – 2B, 3B, SS, OF) 36,466 adds
DeRosa has been red-hot over the past few weeks. In 13 games since July 28, DeRosa has hit .434 (23 for 53) with 14 runs scored, five home runs, and 20 runs batted in. During that span he has had two four-hit games, two three-hit games, one multi-home run game, and has driven in four, five, and six runs in single games.
Craig Monroe (Det – OF) 16,792 adds
Monroe has been a popular roster addition by the virtue of a recent 14-game hit streak, which lasted from July 24 to August 7. He hit .436 (24 for 55) during the streak, with 11 runs scored, five home runs, and 13 runs batted in. Monroe homered in three consecutive games, from Aug. 2-4, and raised his season batting average from .250 to .276 during the streak.
Joe Saunders (LAA – SP) 15,995 adds
Saunders has taken the place of the injured Bartolo Colon in the Angels' rotation, pitching seven shutout innings in his most recent effort, a 9-1 win versus the Rangers on Aug. 6. He allowed just three hits and struck out six in the victory. In his three starts this season, Saunders is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 14 strikeouts in 21 innings, limiting batters to a .164 average in the process.
Jeff Kent (LAD – 1B, 2B) 10,992 adds
Kent returned from the DL in fine fashion on Monday, going two for five with a home run and three runs batted in during a 7-2 win over the Rockies. The solid showing prompted a flurry of adds over the next few days, but the activity has slowed since, as Kent has gone one for 11 in the three games that followed the outburst.
John Maine (NYM – SP) 10,954 adds
Maine has not allowed a run since rejoining the Mets' rotation on July 21. He's made three starts and totaled 22 scoreless innings during that stretch, allowing just 10 hits and striking out 15 while posting a 2-0 record. In 39 innings on the season, Maine has a 2.08 ERA and 1.00 WHIP, has struck out 31 batters, and limited opposing hitters to a .190 average.
Cole Hamels (Phi – SP) 9,600 adds
Hamels' production is finally catching up with the hype that surrounded his promotion in mid-May. He's gone 2-1 during his past three starts, posting a 2.21 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 21.1 innings and striking out 25 batters. Hamels has two 12-strikout efforts in his past four starts, and in six starts since July 9 has a 5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Buzz Index (Baseball) – Drops
Casey Blake (Cle – 1B, 3B, OF) 16,818 drops
Blake was been placed on the DL for the second time this season on Aug. 8, this time due to a right ankle sprain that will keep him on the shelf for up to four weeks. Blake missed nearly a month of action in late June and early July due to a strained oblique muscle. Fantasy owners are cutting ties with Blake despite great production between the DL stints (.328 average, six home runs, 15 runs batted in, 12 runs scored in 19 games).
Jon Lester (Bos – SP) 14,810 drops
Lester appears to have been a great "sell high" candidate immediately following his July 18 start against the Royals. After eight shutout innings in the 1-0 victory, his ERA was 2.38 and he had a 1.43 WHIP in 45.1 innings total. In four starts since then, Lester has gone 0-2 with a 6.85 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in 22.1 innings, raising his season numbers to a 3.86 ERA and 1.51 WHIP.
Rickie Weeks (Mil – 2B) 14,539 drops
The Brewers announced on Wednesday that Weeks will have season-ending surgery to repair a tendon injury in his right wrist. The injury originally occurred on July 25. Weeks' promising second season end with a .279 average in 95 games and 359 at bats, with 73 runs scored, eight home runs, 34 runs batted in and 19 stolen bases.
Fausto Carmona (Cle – SP, RP) 13,640 drops
Carmona is slowly but surely being purged from fantasy rosters. Indians manager Eric Wedge said on Sunday that he will "… let Fausto take a step back, catch his breath and use him in a role where he would pitch in the sixth, seventh, and eight innings." Wedge added that Carmona is still in their long-term plans as a closer, but Rafael Betancourt and Jason Davis appear to be the better short-term options.
Derrick Turnbow (Mil – RP) 8,718 drops
Turnbow is still among the most dropped players in fantasy baseball on a daily basis, as some shell-shocked owners are taking longer than others in dealing with having to cut him loose. Turnbow, however, has not made an appearance since allowing three runs in one inning on August 6, and Francisco Cordero has yet to allow a run for Milwaukee, recording five saves in seven appearances since July 28.
Mike Cameron (SD – OF) 7,236 drops
Cameron has started August slowly, batting .242 in the month's first eight games, and some fantasy owners who picked him up during his productive June and July are assuming the streaky Cameron is now due for an extended cold spell.
Buzz Index (Football) – Adds
Mike Bell (Den – RB) 39,127 adds
Bell, an undrafted rookie out of Arizona, has been elevated to No. 1 on the Broncos' depth chart at running back, bypassing Ron Dayne and Tatum Bell. Ever the help to fantasy owners, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said of the move, "It could change day to day, week to week, but we felt that Mike deserves a chance to work with the first team." The eyes of the fantasy world will be on Bell as the Broncos open their pre-season schedule against the Lions on Friday.
Ernest Wilford (Jac – WR) 2,802 adds
According to reports, Wilford has been the top receiver in Jaguars' practices, and barring injury is slated to start opposite Matt Jones at wideout. Jones has been limited with an ankle sprain, but Reggie Williams, according to the Associated Press, has been almost nonexistent in camp. Wilford has good size at 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds, and, thanks to a grueling off-season conditioning program, measured an absurd two percent body fat at the beginning of training camp.
Buzz Index (Football) – Drops
Curtis Martin (NYJ – RB) 8,409 drops
The complete lack of any positive news from anyone in, around, or associated with the Jets regarding Martin's status continues, and so does his steady departure from fantasy rosters. Martin did say something without really saying anything at a news conference on Wednesday, stating "I am trying to do my best to be as good as I can possibly be. I am doing my best to be back as soon as I can possibly be back." When asked to be more specific about the condition of his knee, Martin responded, "I can't talk about that."
Ron Dayne (Den – RB) 5,479 drops
Tatum Bell (Den – RB) 2,012 drops
Dayne and Tatum Bell are among the Buzz Index's most dropped leaders, of course, in reaction to Broncos coach Mike Shanahan naming Mike Bell as his current starter. Dayne took the demotion in stride, saying that he could see it coming, given how well Mike Bell has been practicing. Tatum Bell took some umbrage with the move, saying that despite having one of his best camps, "They don't think I can be the man, period. They don't think I can do 25 carries." Of course, this battle is far from over. There is still plenty of preseason football to go, and Mike Bell will have plenty of opportunities to give the starting gig back to Dayne or Tatum Bell, starting Friday in Detroit.
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