Fantasy Baseball: Team Previews

By Jason Fukao

Colorado Rockies

Projected Line-Up

CF: Willy Taveras

2B: Kazuo Matsui

1B: Todd Helton

LF: Matt Holliday

3B: Garrett Atkins

RF: Brad Hawpe

C: Javy Lopez

SS: Troy Tulowitzki

Projected Rotation

Aaron Cook

Jeff Francis

Josh Fogg

Byung-Hyun Kim

Jason Hirsh

Closer: Brian Fuentes

Player Spotlight

CF: Willy Taveras – Here is a classic example of a one-category monster that will help you in one area but not in any other. Willy compiled SB totals of 34 and 33 bags for the last two years, respectively. Expect him to steal even more and increase his run total now that he is in hitter-friendly Coors Field after two seasons in Houston, especially if he can stay healthy and play decent commanding the outfield in order to keep his leadoff spot in the lineup.

SP: Colorado SPs – Stay away from all the starting pitchers on the Rockies’ staff, period. The only exception is if you are playing in a league where the offensive statistics of pitchers are included in the scoring. In that case, you can consider these poor guys who are bound to see their ERA above 4.50 all season long.

Detroit Tigers

Projected Line-Up

CF: Curtis Granderson

2B: Placido Polanco

DH: Gary Sheffield

RF: Magglio Ordonez

SS: Carlos Guillen

1B: Sean Casey

C: Ivan Rodriguez

LF: Craig Monroe

3B: Brandon Inge

Projected Rotation

Jeremy Bonderman

Kenny Rogers

Nate Robertson

Justin Verlander

Mike Maroth

Closer: Todd Jones

Player Spotlight

SS: Carlos Guillen – Carlos was one of the reasons for the amazing turnaround of the Detroit Tigers in 2006. He had a career year last year with stats of 85 runs, 19 home runs, 85 rbi and 20 sb, all while maintaining a .320 BA. If it wasn’t for an injury-plagued 2005, Guillen could be at the top of the second tier of shortstops (along with Rafael Furcal) by looking at his 2004 year combined with last year’s campaign. He should be one of the main beneficiaries of the new addition of Gary Sheffield. It is not set yet, but Jim Leyland has suggested a possible lineup shake-up moving Guillen into the 3-hole in front of Sheffield.

CP: Todd Jones – How many consecutive seasons have we been writing off this 39 year-old? And how many consecutive times have we been proven wrong? Jones will definitely be on a short leash this season with the capable and younger arms of Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney waiting for their chance. But he has nothing to worry about even if he loses his closing duties. A change in roles only means that he’ll be able to leave games earlier to begin writing in his Yahoo! Baseball blog.

Atkins image courtesy of MLB.com
Jones image courtesy of Ryan Bailey’s webpage.

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