Fantasy Baseball: Team Previews

By Jason Fukao

Chicago Cubs

Projected Line-Up

RF: Alfonso Soriano

SS: Cesar Izturis

1B: Derrek Lee

3B: Aramis Ramirez

CF: Jacques Jones

C: Michael Barrett

LF: Matt Murton

2B: Mark DeRosa

Projected Rotation

Carlos Zambrano

Ted Lilly

Mark Prior

Rich Hill

Jason Marquis

Closer: Ryan Dempster

Player Spotlight 2B: Mark DeRosa – This new addition was acquired over the off-season from the Texas Rangers in hopes of filling the void at 2nd base. Although he is batting 9th in the order, he is protected by Alfonso Soriano, and if they try to pitch around Fonzo, opposing pitchers will then have to worry about the big bats of Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. That should give DeRosa plenty of good pitches to see. He won’t give you the steals that you would like from a middle infielder, but being eligible at three positions (2B, 3B, OF) in Yahoo! Leagues, the Cubs will find a position for him everyday.

CP: Ryan Dempster – In the last two seasons, he racked up save totals of 33 and 24, respectively.  However, during both seasons there were showings of a lack of focus leading to his demotion as the closer. He finished last season with an ERA of 4.80 and a WHIP of 1.51. Those are just about identical to his career numbers (4.83 and 1.55) and if he falters even a little bit, Lou Pinella won’t be afraid to demote him again. Keep Bob Howry on your radar during the season or draft him late if you’re looking for a viable setup man.

Chicago White Sox

Projected Line-Up

LF: Scott Podsednik

 2B: Tadahito Iguchi

DH: Jim Thome

1B: Paul Konerko

RF: Jermaine Dye

3B: Joe Crede

C: A.J. Pierzynski

CF: Brian Anderson

SS: Juan Uribe

Projected Rotation

Mark Buehrle

Jose Contreras

Jon Garland

Javier Vasquez

Gavin Floyd

Closer: Bobby Jenks

Player Spotlight 3B: Joe Crede – Joe had a career year last year with highs in runs (76), homers (30), RBI (94), and OPS (.828).  Expect an even bigger jump this year. His home run total has increased every year, and his strikeouts have coincidentally decreased as well. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have the likes of Jim Thome, Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye setting the table in front of you. 3rd base is decently deep this year, so even if you miss out on the top tier (Alex Rodriguez, David Wright and Miguel Cabrera) or even the second tier (Aramis Ramirez, and Garrett Atkins), you can afford to wait and get Crede in the later rounds.

SP: Gavin Floyd – Everyone knows the top four starters in the ChiSox rotation, but who knows of Gavin Floyd? This former 4th overall pick of the Philadelphia Phillies is getting a new start after spending the last three seasons between the big leagues and minors. Chicago is known for developing young arms (Jon Garland and Mark Buehrle) and revitalizing careers (Freddy Garcia and Jose Contreras), and Floyd could very well be next. He might not get drafted in most fantasy drafts, but be quick to pick him up once you start seeing some positive signs from this kid.

Dempster image courtesy of ESPN.com

Crede image courtesy of Reuters.

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