Chris Gingrich

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Chris Gingrich

Fantasy Fix: Reliable fantasy producers to be had in later rounds


This week, I am going to take a look at some great late round draft picks to round out your infield and outfield positions.

Some of these late round bargains are coming off bad years and injuries but should be set to bounce back this year. The rest of the players are some young guns who are looking to make a name for themselves in the big leagues.

When you don't land a big-time outfielder in the early round of a draft, don't get discouraged - there are some great players to be had in later rounds.

Just take a look at the next few players, and you're sure to find a reliable fantasy producer:

• Coco Crisp, outfield, Kansas City Royals - The move to KC should pay big dividends for Crisp. He will be the leadoff hitter and will get a chance to play every day. Expect a batting average over .280, 10 to 15 home runs, 20 to 25 stolen bases and lots of runs scored.

• Nelson Cruz, outfield, Texas Rangers - Cruz is underrated considering the potential he has to have a dynamite season. His average draft position is close to 150 right now. He hammered out a .300 batting average, nailed 37 home runs and drove in 90 RBI while managing to steal 24 bases in less than 400 at bats last year in the minors.

• Daniel Murphy, outfield, New York Mets - His average draft position is near 300. He will be hitting in between Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, which will produce lots of RBI and run chances. He is hitting .350 this spring and has multi-position eligibility, making him a great value.

If you think you've missed out on quality infielder, fret not fantasy fans. Here is a quick rundown of some late round steals you can snag.

• Paul Konerko - He hit .240 last year, and his average draft position is 225. He's a great bet to get back to 30 home runs, 100 RBI and maybe 90 runs.

• Ryan Zimmerman - His average draft position is about 100. He could generate 25 home runs, 90 RBI and 90 Runs.

• Billy Butler - 20 to 25 home run potential with a .300 average to boot.

• Mike Lowell - Top five among third baseman in 2007. He is hitting .360 this spring with three home runs. Could be a great bargain in later rounds.

• Elijah Dukes - His average draft position is close to 250 right now. He has 15 RBI this spring to go along with four home runs.

The MLB season begins Sunday, so don't forget to set your rosters even though you may have only one or two players playing.


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