APOLOGIES for my one-week hiatus last Friday, but I’m back and raring to go. With the AFL Fantasy Finals close by and the MLB fantasy season roaring into the second half of a very important season, here’s what you need to know heading into another weekend of fun filled action.

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MLB

  • SINCE the All-Star break, no player has garnered more attention than Cardinals outfielder Tommy Pham. One of the most added players over the past week Pham has gone 11-29 at the plate with six RBI’s and a pair of home runs. Still owned in just over 50% of teams and seemingly locking down a spot in St Louis’ outfield you can do a lot worse than opt to bring Pham into your squad.

Fantasy Friday - 21st July 1Image from stltoday.com

  • WITH the trade deadline approaching plenty of relevant names have swapped homes and that is sure to impact their fantasy output. The Nationals brought in relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson via trade this week and both are listed as co-closers currently.  Doolittle was provided with the first save chance and he followed through so it seems like he’s the pick moving forward, but watch their progress closely.
  • ANOTHER pair of relievers were shipped to the Yankees along with Todd Frazier from the Chicago White Sox. David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle are on their way to New York, with reliever Tyler Clippard heading to White Sox along with others. The move will likely hamper Frazier and Robertson’s production, with the Yankees already having established players at both 1st base and closer. Clippard however, will slot into the role as closer for Chicago and if he strings together a few good performances he could prove to be a great waiver wire pick up.
  • PERHAPS the biggest name moved last week though was Jose Quintana, who moved to cross town rivals the Chicago Cubs. In his debut as a Cub, Quintana threw seven scoreless frames and 12 K’s. Despite his 5-8 W/L record, he could prove to be a great trade target if an owner is looking to sell-low and he puts up more games like this.

INJURY NEWS –  THE newest relevant names under injury clouds this week include Kris Bryant, Johnny Cueto, Carlos Correa and Cameron Maybin with the latter two expected to miss a bigger chunk of time. San Fran staff are hoping that Cueto will only miss two turns in the rotation with a blister issue while x-rays on Bryant’s finger have come back negative meaning he will only miss a handful of appearances. Astros star shortstop Carlos Correa had successful surgery on his left thumb this week and will be sidelined for up to eight weeks and the Angels leader in stolen bases Cameron Maybin has been placed on the DL with an MCL sprain that could see him miss a month of baseball. Trea Turner (Nationals, 2B) has commenced his rehab from a wrist fracture, Dallas Keuchel (Astros, SP) will make another rehab appearance and Noah Syndergaard (Mets, SP) to is scheduled to begin throwing Monday after being on the shelf since May.

AFL

  • DUAL position players were added for the final time this season, with Connor Blakely (added DEF) and Steele Sidebottom (added FWD) the talk of the Fantasy world. With both players averaging over 110 in their past five games they are two of the most popular traded in players this week (Sidebottom 3rd most traded in, Blakely 5th). Personally, I won’t be grabbing either this week, but I plan on having them in my team by years end.

Fantasy Friday - 21st July 2Image from nine.com.au

  • AS we look at loading up on the players who will score the most in the next five rounds, the run home becomes extremely important. Don’t forget to take into account the players you are bringing in, with older guys on finals bound teams likely to get a weeks rest and players dealing with niggling injuries a chance to go for early end of season surgery.
  • AT this point of the season, it’s almost worth throwing away a final spot on your bench in the hope of generating some extra cash to upgrade your on-field players. Popular D7 choice Luke Ryan ($306K, DEF) has been a great emergency cover for owners over the past month, but with him omitted for breaking team drinking rules now is the perfect time of year to look at downgrading him to a $150K type and pocket the profits he has made you!

AFL 2017 Round 11 - Fremantle v CollingwoodImage from thewest.com.au

  • THERE are quite a few debutants appearing this week, as well as some rooks who made an appearance last week. It would have been nice to have these guys available in the middle of the year when shit was hitting the fan, but regardless, here’s how I rank the guys coming in for their first game taking into account price, job security and output.
  1. Keath, Crows ($150K, DEF)
  2. Glass, Hawks ($150K, DEF/MID)
  3. Larkey, Roos ($150K, DEF/FWD)
  4. McKay, Blues ($150K, FWD)
  5. Marshall, Saints ($150K, RUC)
  6. Setterfield, Giants ($242K, MID)
  7. Scrimshaw, Suns ($238K, DEF)

MY TRADES

L.Ryan > A.Keath & L.Shuey > B.Ebert

I’M creating a ‘Warne chest’ by downgrading Luke Ryan (thanks for your services) for Crows deubtant Alex Keath. As long as the former cricketer can provide me with a small heartbeat at D7 I’ll take it. I toyed with bringing in Sidebottom, Kelly or even Wingard, but eventually settled on Ebert. With a capacity to score big and a nice run coming up I’m banking on some big scores to end the year. Besides he has played 168 of a possible 170 games since 2010. Tick!

INJURY NEWS – FRESH off a round 17 high 152 Gary Ablett is slated to miss another game this year. He headlines the outs this week that include Todd Goldstein, Scott Pendlebury and Jarrad Lyons. Sam Mitchell and Jack Ziebell have been rested to allow them time to deal with some nagging issues and Jobe Watson and Scott Selwood will resume their place in the Bombers and Cats outfit. Monitor the Dangerfield/Sloane situation closer to bounce down on Friday night as both players have been mentioned as potential late outs.