Pickups of the Week: Hitters

In addition to Monday's eight featured Pickups of the Week, Yahoo! Sports fantasy expert Brandon Funston offers a Friday update on five hitters on the rise that weren't profiled in Monday's POW. The same criteria applies - players must be available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues. On Fridays, we also do the same drill for pitchers.

Coco Crisp

Fantasy owners should be going cuckoo for Coco's recent production

CoCo Crisp (OF) Oakland A's
As is often the case with Crisp, he has a hard time stringing together one full consistent season. But he always seems to do a good job of making up for lost time and sub-par production. Such is the case again this season as, after a stint on the DL (shoulder) during an unproductive first two months of the season, Crisp has turned things on down the home stretch. Over his past 59 games, Crisp is hitting .302 with eight home runs, 31 RBIs, 41 Runs and 21 steals. That's top 15 offensive fantasy production for that span. And that's too good to ignore.

  • Y! %41%
  • LW rank5
  • AVG .300
  • HR2
  • RBI9
  • R7
  • SB3
Mitch Moreland

Rangers righty-killer crushing it in August

Mitch Moreland (1B/OF) Texas Rangers
Moreland has pushed top 50 offensive fantasy value for the month of August, thanks to a line of .339/3/14/7/1. Of course, he's a right-handed pitching specialist, and he's seen plenty of those types this month. And so long as he keeps seeing regular playing time and making solid contact, no matter where he sits in the Rangers lineup, the production is going to continue to flow.

  • Y! %21%
  • LW rank86
  • AVG.381
  • HR1
  • RBI7
  • R2
  • SB0
Jonathan Lucroy

Brewers backstop picking up where he left off in May

Jonathan Lucroy (C) Milwaukee Brewers
Before a broken hand landed him on the DL for nearly two months in late May, Lucroy was enjoying a breakout campaign, owning a .969 OPS through the first two months of the season. Fortunately, Lucroy has been able to (mostly) pick things up where he left off at the time of his injury departure, posting a .823 OPS, three home runs, and 11 RBIs in 21 games since his late July return. Lucroy has a solid pedigree and is at the point in his career arch where buying into what he's been doing this season shouldn't be that tough. Pick him up with confidence.

  • Y! %38%
  • LW rank54
  • AVG.400
  • HR2
  • RBI6
  • R3
  • SB0
Will Venable

Venable has been a veritable gold mine of fantasy production in August

Will Venable (OF) San Diego Padres
Venable is screaming for attention this month, sporting a .949 OPS in 17 August contests. In that span, he's ripped two home runs and stolen six bases. And he's enjoying life in the No. 2 spot in the lineup, where he has a .969 OPS in 22 games this season. Batting average never comes with the Venable package, but for those that can use a speed boost without having to give up too much pop in the process, Venable is a deep league looker.

  • Y! %4%
  • LW rank9
  • AVG.526
  • HR1
  • RBI4
  • R8
  • SB2
Luis Cruz

Owners may want to enjoy this Cruz ride while it lasts

Luis Cruz (3B/SS) Los Angeles Dodgers
Cruz made a POW update back in July, not long after his promotion from Triple-A Albuquerque, where he was hitting .318 with a .877 OPS. The reader comments mostly scoffed at his mention at that time, but Cruz has shown that he has staying power, as he's maintained a .802 OPS in his 41 games with the Dodgers. And he's currently seeing regular time at third base, with Hanley Ramirez sliding over to shortstop. Dee Gordon has just started in on a rehab assignment, so Cruz may not be for long as a regular. But, he's at least a short-term solution for MI-needy deep-league fantasy owners until Gordon returns. And, who knows? Maybe the Dodgers will find his hot bat too valuable to keep on the pine.

  • Y! %10%
  • LW rank52
  • AVG.476
  • HR2
  • RBI4
  • R3
  • SB0

LW Rank denotes a player's ranking in the Yahoo! fantasy baseball game for the past week