Andy Behrens

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Andy Behrens is the editor of Roto Arcade, the Yahoo! Sports fantasy blog. Andy has been writing about fantasy sports for the past decade and playing them much longer. He's won his share of experts leagues and accuracy titles. He's also the author of three novels for young readers. He also consistently beats the Evans-Pianowski team in barroom shuffleboard, no matter who he's paired with.

  • Closing Time: John Axford is back in your fantasy life

    In the not-too-distant past, John Axford was an upper-tier fantasy reliever, complete with the stellar K-rate and glittering fantasy ratios. He saved 46 games in 2011, striking out 86 batters in 73.2 innings, delivering an ERA of 1.95. Axford had closing-quality velocity (95-plus) and closing-quality facial hair — the complete package, basically.

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    But in the more recent past, Axford has been a carnival ride of wildness, homers and blown saves. Too many fly-balls cleared the fence, too many pitches missed the zone. Axford signed a one-year deal with Colorado in the offseason, which at the time seemed like a terrifying combination of pitcher and park.

    Things have gone unexpectedly well for Ax and the Rockies, however. He had a nearly flawless spring on the mound for Colorado, and he's tossed five scoreless frames so far in April, issuing two walks while fanning six. On Monday, Axford earned his third save of the season,

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  • Daily Dime: James Shields, Evan Longoria, various other vets

    You've got a limited daily budget; we've got bargains for your consideration. Please read on. As always, we urge you to view the weather reports and double-check lineups before finalizing your selections.

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    James Shields, SP, vs. Hou (McHugh), $8100 at FanDuel: I'm using both starting pitchers from this game in various lineups, but I have a few more shares of Shields. He's $400 cheaper than McHugh, for one thing, plus he's at home in a friendly park, facing a lineup that leads the majors in Ks (157). Shields has pitched reasonably well in each of his four starts this season (1.12 WHIP), including a date at Coors Field last week.

    Andre Ethier, OF, vs. SF (Lincecum), $2600: Yasiel Puig has hit the DL due to ongoing hamstring issues, so Ethier now has a clear path to playing time. He's slashing .342/.435/.605 so far this year, and he has a nice enough history against Tim Lincecum (14-for-51, 3 doubles, 2 HRs, 5 BB).

    Chris

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  • Daily Dime: House of Cards

    Let's build responsible lineups today, you guys. Plenty of appealing pitching matchups on Friday's slate. We urge you to view the weather reports and double-check lineups before finalizing selections, as always.

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    Matt Adams, 1B, at Mil (Garza), $3200 at FanDuel: Milwaukee starter Matt Garza enters this game with a WHIP of 1.80, an ERA of 5.40, and as many walks as strikeouts on the year (9). So this seems like a decent day to stack a few Cards. Adams has absolutely worn out Garza in prior meetings: 7-for-12, 2 doubles, HR, 4 RBIs. At this price, he's among Friday's most appealing plays.

    Gerrit Cole, SP, at Ari (Collmenter), $8700: Cole is clearly pitching well (2-0, 1.00 WHIP), he's piling up strikeouts (10.6 K/9), and he's facing a not-so-intimidating lineup. The Bucs are a big favorite here (-140), and it's only Josh Collmenter. I'm in.

    Neil Walker, 2B, at Ari (Collmenter), $3100: Walker has enjoyed his limited

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  • Closing Time: Chris Owings comes alive, Tony Watson earns save

    Arizona second baseman Chris Owings entered the season with sleeper appeal, but his opening week was basically a fantasy tragedy: 0-for-3, DNP, 0-for-4, 0-for-4, 0-for-3, 1-for-1.

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    With six games in the books for the Diamondbacks, Owings was hitting .067 with just one RBI, two runs scored, zero steals and six Ks. And then you dropped him in roto for DJ LeMahieu (or whoever), understandably.

    But Arizona stuck with Owings, and the team's patience has been recently rewarded. He's 8-for-21 at the plate over the past week with four RBIs, four runs, two steals and three extra-base hits. Owings tripled and homered against the Rangers on Wednesday, scoring twice and driving in a pair. The home run wasn't some cheap wall-scraper down the line, either. Highlight here.

    Owings demonstrated double-digit power/speed ability at multiple minor league stops, and he ranked among the PCL batting leaders back in 2013, hitting .330 at Reno as

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  • Daily Dime: Moose, Mauer, Myers and other M's

    Another day, another MLB bargain hunt. Let's build a responsible lineup, together. As always, we urge you to view the weather reports and double-check lineups before finalizing selections.

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    Mike Moustakas, 3B, vs. Min (Pelfrey), $3000 at FanDuel: As you may have already noticed, I never pass on an opportunity to abuse Big Pelf. Moose is off to a terrific start this season (.327/.413/.545, 3 HR), plus he's facing a sketchy right-hander against whom he's had success (3-for-6, HR, 4 RBIs, BB). I'm in.

    Joe Mauer, 1B, at KC (Guthrie), $2900: Same game, different LHB. Mauer hasn't exactly surged to begin the season, but he's coming off a 2-for-4 performance and he has a decent history against Guthrie (9-for-25, 3 HR, 6 BB, K). If you're buying one of Wednesday's pricier starting pitchers (as you probably should), then you're going to need to go cheap somewhere.

    Stephen Vogt, C, at LAA (Weaver), $3600: Jered Weaver, as you

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  • Daily Dime: Loading up on various Padres, Mets and Brewers

    We've got action at Coors Field on Tuesday, with a pitching matchup that shouldn't scare anyone away (Morrow vs. Matzek). You know what to do. Additionally, a few of MLB's worst starters are on the bump. Plenty of matchups to exploit today, gamers. As always, we urge you to view the weather reports and double-check lineups before finalizing selections.

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    Wil Myers, OF, at Col (Matzek), $3700 at FanDuel: Myers is off to a respectable start this season, plus he's coming off a three-run, 2-for-6 performance on Monday. Colorado starter Tyler Matzek has allowed a .300/.369/.454 slash to RHBs over 22 career big league appearances, so multiple Padres are in play on Tuesday. Even this dude...

    Jedd Gyorko, 2B, at Col (Matzek), $2900: Gyorko has been getting himself on base in recent games, and he's 4-for-7 in his career against Matzek with a double and a pair of walks. At this price, I'm interested.

    Derek Norris, C, at Col

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  • Daily Dime: Corey Kluber, Jed Lowrie and various Dodgers

    Happy Kris Bryant Day, friends. Please enjoy it responsibly. Below, you'll find the usual daily recommendations. As always, we urge you to view the weather reports and double-check lineups before finalizing selections.

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    Corey Kluber, SP, at Min (Pelfrey), $10,700 at FanDuel: Friday's slate features a few notable pitching mismatches, including Scherzer-vs.-O'Sullivan and Kershaw-vs.-Kendrick. Kluber is a bit cheaper than the other blue-chip options, and he's facing a guy with a 1.48 career WHIP.

    And while we're picking on Pelf...

    Brandon Moss, 1B, at Min (Pelfrey), $3500: Sure, he's off to a slow start this season, but the degree-of-difficulty will be dialed down against Pelfrey. Moss is 5-for-10 in his career against the giant righty, and the price is right.

    Lucas Duda, 1B, vs. Mia (Phelps), $4100: Duda is binging at the moment, coming off three straight multi-hit games, with six extra-base hits included. He's facing a

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  • Daily Dime: Adam Lind, come on down

    Below, you'll find today's ten-pack of solid options. As always, please make sure to hit the weather reports and check the lineups before finalizing your selections.

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    Adam Lind, 1B, vs. STL (Lackey), $3700 at FanDuel: Lind has gone 15-for-28 in his career against Lackey, with six doubles, six RBIs and only two Ks. That's ownership, friends. Start him with confidence. With glee. With gusto. With verve.

    Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, at Tor (Sanchez), $3000: Jays starter Aaron Sanchez was something less than dominant in his first start this season (please note the 2.70 WHIP), so he shouldn't scare you away from any Rays. Cabrera bats third for Tampa Bay, he plays a premium position and Thursday's schedule is light.

    David DeJesus, OF, at Tor (Sanchez), $2800: Again, it's only a six-game slate. DeJesus is a top-of-the-order hitter at a bargain price, a good bet to reach base and cross the plate. He's a career .287/.364/.445 batter

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  • Closing Time: Steven Souza surging for Rays

    When the Rays acquired Steven Souza back in December, in that complicated three-team, zillion-player deal with the Padres and Nationals, the 25-year-old outfielder immediately became a buzzy fantasy sleeper. He was coming off a tremendous season at Triple-A (.350/.432/.590), and he'd landed in a spot that offered guaranteed playing time.

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    And then the spring stats rolled in. Souza slashed just .130/.203/.259 over 58 spring plate appearances, striking out 17 times and delivering only three extra-base hits. Not great. He was relatively quiet in the first week of the real season, too, going 2-for-16 over Tampa Bay's first six games.

    But a trip to the Rogers Centre in Toronto seems to have fixed Souza's issues, whatever they were. He's 6-for-13 in the series, he's homered in back-to-back games — check the moonshot from Tuesday — and he's lifted his season slash to a respectable .276/.382/.517.

    Here's hoping you were patient

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  • Daily Dime: Bryce Harper, Shane Greene, various O's and Mets

    Below, you'll find ten strong plays for the Tuesday slate. Be sure to give the Jays, Fish, O's and M's plenty of attention, if you're stacking. Also, as always, please check the weather reports and hawk the lineups before finalizing your selections. Now let's do the do...

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    Bryce Harper, OF, at Bos (Masterson), $4100 at FanDuel: Justin Masterson's history of struggles against left-handed hitters is of course well-known and thoroughly documented. LHBs have slashed .287/.366/.426 against him in his career, and .320/.408/.502 last season. So yeah, I'm betting on Bryce today.

    Everth Cabrera, SS, vs. NYY (Sabathia), $2400: Even in his best seasons, Sabathia often struggled early in April. I'm thinking the O's can do some damage against the 2015 version of CC. Cabrera is a perfect 4-for-4 against Sabathia in his career, for what it's worth (not much). True, Everth is a bottom-of-the-order hitter, but that's somewhat less

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