Fantasy Corner: Sports April 20-25

Andrew Arnao, Copy Editor

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Who’s Hot:

Albert Pujols, 1B/DH (LAA): Pujols is back with a vengeance this season. Having recorded hits in 18 of 21 games so far while also swatting eight dingers, he’s starting to look more like the Albert of old.

Johnny Cueto, SP (Cin): Injuries have prevented Cueto from claiming the de facto role of the Reds’ ace the last few seasons, but when he is healthy, Johnny boy can deal. Cueto has not allowed more than two runs so far this season in any start.

Who’s Not:

Ivan Nova, SP (NYY): After getting shelled by Tampa Bay on April 19, it was discovered that Nova suffered a partial UCL tear in his pitching arm. Tommy John surgery is a real possibility, and even a rest/rehab approach will require Nova to miss a significant chunk of the season.

Carlos Santana, C/1B/DH (Cle): A low batting average and lack of power have limited Santana’s fantasy usefulness so far this season. If he hasn’t gained 3B eligibility in your league, you should find a temporary replacement at catcher or 1B until Santana finds his groove.

Waiver Wire:

Justin Morneau, 1B (Col): The former 2006 AL MVP has experienced a revival in hitter-friendly Coors Field, contributing in all major hitting categories. Even if you can’t find space in your lineup for Morneau right now, it might be worth it just to stash him away and see if he can keep it up. Still available in about 10 percent of fantasy leagues.

Martin Perez, SP (Tex): Nothing like 24 innings and no runs allowed to grab one’s attention. Perez may not always get a lot of Ks, but you should give him a look as long as he keeps putting up zeros in other categories. Available in about 20 percent of fantasy leagues.

Spot Start:

Alfredo Simon, SP (Cin): Simon has pitched well so far this season, and is due for two home starts against the Cubs and Brewers next week. While Great American Ballpark isn’t exactly a pitcher’s paradise, even a slight regression from Simon’s current level of performance would still pay big dividends.

Tyson Ross, SP (SD): Another two-start option for next week, Ross will play in cavernous AT&T Park and Petco Park, both of which will hopefully suit him well. Ross is coming out of a series of strong performances and has high-K potential.

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