In addition to Monday's nine featured Pickups of the Week, Yahoo! Sports fantasy expert Brandon Funston offered a Wednesday update on five hitters on the rise that weren't profiled in Monday's POW. And on Friday, Brad Evans goes through the same drill for pitchers. The same criteria applies - players must be available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues.
In terms of Ws, he's a champagne super-Nova in the sky
Ivan Nova (SP) New York Yankees
Hidden underneath the rather wide shadow cast by CC Sabathia, Nova is putting together a jim dandy of a season. Outside wins, the superficial numbers may not support that, but he's pitched excellently over the past month - 3.63 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 7.63 K/9. Gopherballs have occasionally plagued Nova (1.51 HR/9), however his .336 BABIP and 3.82 xFIP suggest further ERA trimming is very likely. Throw in his strong K returns and attractive 1.35 GB/FB, and he's a fine SP3 moving forward in 12-team mixed formats. Yank him off waivers.
Feed the Harangutan a banana in deeper formats
Aaron Harang (SP) Long Angeles Dodgers
Similar to Nova, Harang's outward numbers don't exactly conjure up excitement among the casual fantasy gamer. Though it's true he has been and always will be a WHIP whale, his plus run support, friendly home environment and robust K/9 should overshadow other categorical misgivings. Over the past 30 days, he's notched a 2.55 ERA with 30 punchouts and three wins in 35.1 innings. His ERA should continue to hover in the mid-to-high threes for the remainder of the season, but an additional 9-11 wins with plenty of Ks are also on the horizon. Even in 12-team mixers, Harang is more useful than you think.
L14 rank 140
For those scratching for saves, this Shawn not of the dead
Shawn Camp (SP) Chicago Cubs
The Cubs' end-game merry-go-round may finally be grinding to a halt. Well, maybe. Camp, dubbed the team's MVP earlier this season by manager Dale Sveum, earned his first save of the season, a clean one, Tuesday against Detroit. Unfortunately, he was roughed up Thursday in a non-save situation. With Carlos Marmol and James Russell still in the mix, the righty's role isn't clearly determined. But based on his flawless initial opportunity he should earn more saves chances moving forward. Camp is more finesse than power, but he draws numerous ground-ball outs (1.95 GB/FB) and walks few guys. Yes, the Cubs are abominable, but the reliever has reasonable odds of netting an additional 10-15 saves over the rest of the season.
Perennial tease may have finally turned a corner
Kevin Millwood (SP) Seattle Mariners
Apparently no one outside of Seattle cared about the combined no-hitter in which Millwood contributed six brilliant innings in roughly 10 days ago. He's still readily available in over 80-percent of Yahoo! leagues. More owners should take notice. The 36-year-old has experienced a wondrous resurrection in the Great Northwest. Despite a rise in walks, his K/9 and ground-ball rates have climbed sharply. Wins will be tough to come by, but if he's sent to greener pastures at the trade deadline, he may finally gain the fantasy audience he deserves. Until then, keep streaming him, savvy gamer.
L14 rank 373
If you need ERA/WHIP relief, slip on a pair of wooden shoes
Greg Holland (SP) Kansas City Royals
Since late May, Holland has delivered on his preseason promise. During that stretch he hasn't allowed an earned run, has scattered just six hits and struck out 16 in 12.3 innings pitched. Those who play in holds leagues understand his value, but others in common formats are missing the boat. His high K yield and low ERA/WHIP returns are invaluable in formats with a fairly stringent innings cap. Also, it's entirely conceivable he could slide into the closer's role late this year. The Royals are headed nowhere and Jonathan Broxton could command trade interest as the deadline nears. If you're speculating for saves in deeper mixers, make the move.
"L14 rank" denotes the ranking of the player in the Yahoo! fantasy baseball game for the past 14 days.