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AL FAAB Factor: Name Game

Kyle McKeown

Kyle McKeown is the Managing Editor of NBA Content for He hosts the Fantasy Basketball Podcast and writes about fantasy basketball. Kyle used to run an after school program and approaches his work as an editor with teaching in mind. He genuinely cares about helping others win their fantasy basketball leagues, which seems really dorky when it's written in the third person.


Phil Humber, SP, CHW - Humber (head) was activated from the DL last week and made two starts this week. In those two starts, he threw a total of 13 innings, giving up two runs and no walks while striking out 13. Humber was hit in the face with a comeback hit in the middle of August that sidelined him for a few weeks, but he's healthy and pitching well. Though he's posted good averages all season (ERA, WHIP) it took a while for Humber to get his strikeout rate up. He struck out just 65 batters in 107.1 innings prior to the All-Star break, but he's struck out 34 batters through 37 post All-Star break innings. Make a strong bid on him if his injury made him available. Mixed: $9; AL: $12.

Liam Hendriks, SP, MIN - Hendriks made his major league debut Tuesday, throwing seven innings of three-run ball against the White Sox. He gave up four hits and three walks while striking out four. The 22-year-old righty is one of the Twins' top pitching prospects, and there's a chance he could break camp as a part of the rotation in 2012. Hendriks split time between Double-A and Triple-A this season. His low WHIP (1.12) and decent strikeout rate make him a potential keeper in leagues that allow mid-season pickups to be kept for next season's roster, but he'll need to prove he's ready to pitch in the majors over the final few weeks before he's given keeper consideration in deeper leagues that would warrant considering potentially cheap rotation arms. AL-only league players can take a flier on him for his next start. I'm not grabbing him in standard mixed leagues, yet. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

Kyle Weiland, SP/RP, BOS - Weiland is an intriguing buy right now, because he's stepped up to claim any starts that Josh Beckett (ankle) is unable to make. He made it just four innings in Saturday's start against the Rays, giving up three runs and three walks while striking out just one. Weiland struck out 126 batters in 128 innings at Triple-A this season, but he's only struck out five batters through 16 innings in the majors. If he's able to figure out how to make bats swing and miss at the major league level, Weiland could become relevant in mixed leagues. However, as it currently stands, he's only of use as a live arm and potential starter in AL-only leagues. Beckett's stars for his next start is still up in the air, so feel free to make a speculative grab of Weiland if you're looking for a spot start in AL-only leagues. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

Dustin McGowan, SP, TOR - McGowan has undergone two shoulder surgeries that have kept him sidelined for the entirety last two seasons. Prior to his injuries, McGowan was a serviceable option in mixed leagues. His best season was in 2007 when he posted a 4.08 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 144:61 K:BB ratio in 169 innings. He was less than dominant in Double-A this season, but his familiarity pitching in the majors gives him a chance to find success in his return. Make a speculative add of him in any leagues that you need help with your starters. Mixed: $3; AL: $5.


Addison Reed, RP, CHW - Reed was called up by the White Sox last Sunday. He'll get some work out of the bullpen over the final month of the season so the Sox can get a handle on where they'll be able to use him next season. Through his first 2.2 innings since getting called up, Reed has given up one run and five hits while striking out six batters. Sergio Santos will be the White Sox's closer next season, but Reed's high strikeout rate could make him of use at some point in the future. He won't have much, if any, value this season, but Reed's potential makes him a bullpen name worth being familiar with. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Al Alburquerque, RP, DET - Alburquerque (head) was activated from the DL Tuesday. He's been used in high-leverage situations all season, and he's posted a 13.9 K/9 ratio on the season. If you have a bevy of pitching slots and are looking to slot in some relievers that pile on the strikeouts, Al could provide fat stacks for the rest of the season. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Kyle Drabek, RP/SP, TOR - Drabek was recalled by the Jays, but they're only going to use him in a relief role for the rest of the year. The 23-year-old righty still has great potential to be quality major league starter, but his struggles this season have tarnished his once sparkling prospect. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.


Chris Gimenez, C, SEA - Gimenez will get an occasional start behind the plate to spell Miguel Olivo, but he won't play enough to be of use in anything but the deepest of leagues.Mixed: $0; AL: $0.


Brandon Laird, 3B, NYY - Laird was called up by the Yankees last Sunday to get his first taste of action as part of the expanded roster. He'll see limited action as a backup infielder, but it's unlikely he'll see enough time in the field to be of use in most formats.Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Chris Woodward, 3B/SS/2B, TOR - Woodward was called up to help provide some insurance with Yunel Escobar nursing a wrist injury. He won't play enough to be of use in most formats. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Brian Dinkleman, 3B, MIN - Is there any less threatening last name than Dinkleman? Seriously, can you imagine if Kurt Russell or Jason Statham were to play a character named Dinkleman in a movie? It would crush even their perfect manliness. Therefore, beyond even taking account of Dinkle's unimpressive numbers in the minors, I will never recommend that he be owned in any fantasy leagues. Yes, I am admitting to falling to the ignorance of prejudice here, but fantasy is supposed to be fun and owning a Dinkleman on my fantasy team would not be fun. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Chris Parmelee, OF/1B, MIN - Parmelee has started the last four games at first for the Twins, and he could continue to see regular playing time for the rest of the season. The Twins are using September to evaluate their young talent. Through 530 at-bats at Double-A this season, Parmelee hit .287 with 13 home runs, five triples, 30 doubles, and 83 RBI. I'm hesitant to recommend him in mixed leagues, but he's worth grabbing in AL-only leagues as a live bat with the potential to hit for some power. Mixed: $0; AL: $4.

Chris Davis, 1B/3B, BAL - Davis was activated from the DL Tuesday, and he's played in four of five games since being activated. The Orioles are going to play him at first and third during the final weeks to fully evaluate how Davis and Mark Reynolds will fit into the team's plans for the future. Though he's been terrifically underwhelming all season, Davis has the power potential to be a force in fantasy. It's worth taking a flier on him if you need help on the corners. Mixed: $1; AL: $3.

Alex Liddi, 3B, SEA - Liddi was called up by the Mariners this week and made his major league debut Wednesday. He has great power potential, but Liddi will likely only see limited action in a timeshare with Kyle Seager at third for the final weeks of the season. Through 559 at-bats at Triple-A this season, Liddi hit .259 with 30 home runs, 32 doubles, 104 RBI, and five steals. He's worth considering as a crafty keeper add in deeper leagues, but he's unlikely to get enough playing time this season to be of use in most leagues. I know people love Brendan Ryan's defense, but it's beyond me why the Mariners, who struggle to put up runs, wouldn't look at playing both Liddi and Seager on the left side of the field together. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.


Ramon Santiago, 2B, DET - Santiago has laid claim to the starting job at second base, starting four of the team's last five games. Will Rhymes was recalled by the Tigers recently, but he won't be of use in most leagues. The Tigers are simply too crowded at second right now. Santiago is in the midst of a five-game hit streak, and he's been the most consistent option for the Tigers at second. If you're desperate for some help at second in deeper leagues, Santiago is a live bat that could run into some pitches. Mixed: $0; AL: $1.

Jason Kipnis, 2B, CLE - Kipnis (hamstring/oblique) was activated from the DL Tuesday, but he's worked in and out of the lineup all week to try and keep him from aggravating his hamstring injury. Based on his potential to put up good power numbers and occasional steals, it's worth making a strong play for Kipnis, but that investment won't pay off until the Indians take the diapers off him. Check the wire to see if he was dropped while he was on the DL. Through 78 at-bats in the majors this season, Kipnis has hit .282 with six home runs, four doubles, 11 RBI, and two steals. Mixed: $12; AL: $15.


Kyle Hudson, OF, BAL - Hudson saw his first action in the majors last Sunday, and he's found his way into a few games for the Orioles this week. Even with playing time, he won't provide much value beyond deep leagues. So don't expect him to be of help with only 3-4 starts per week. Hudson is a speed guy with no extra-base power to speak of. It's somewhat perplexing as to why the Orioles are wasting playing time on him, but they must believe there's merit in kicking the tires on long shots considering their season has been over since late June.Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Grady Sizemore, OF, CLE - Sizemore was activated from the DL Monday, and he's played in four of the Indians' six games since then. He's failed to record a hit through 15 at-bats since his return, and there's a good chance he'll be shut down once the Indians concede to the reality of their mediocrity. If he was dropped in any leagues after his latest injury, it may be worth taking a flier on him, but don't spend big money on him. His past exploits make him an enticing buy, but his persistent knee injuries and lack of consistent production the last three seasons make him too big of a risk to waste FAAB money on in most cases. Sizemore is nothing more than a name right now. Don't buy a name. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Joe Benson, OF, MIN - Benson has started the last four games for the Twins. The team is using September to evaluate their young talent with an eye toward next season. Through 400 at-bats at Triple-A this season, Benson hit .285 with 16 home runs, four triples, 28 doubles, 67 RBI, and 13 steals. He has the ability to put up good stats at the plate. I'm taking a flier on him in all my AL-only leagues this week, and I'm considering giving him a shot for the week in some of my deeper mixed leagues. Mixed: $0; AL: $3.

Michael Saunders, OF, SEA - Saunders was recalled by the Mariners on Tuesday. He has the talent to contribute quality power and speed numbers in fantasy, but Saunders has failed to realize his potential in the majors. The Mariners have only played him twice this week, and it'll be a struggle to get him in the lineup as long as Trayvon Robinson, Casper Wells, and Mike Carp are healthy. He'll probably spell Robinson in center a couple times a week as the season winds down. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.

Adam Loewen, OF, TOR - Loewen used to be one of the Orioles' top pitching prospects, but he's since washed out in the Baltimore organization and been scooped up by the Jays for the purpose of converting to the outfield; however, Loewen has shown that he is a great athlete in limited minor league action. Enjoy the oddity of watching a former pitcher try to play the field, but don't look for Loewen to develop into a viable fantasy option akin to the fantasy value Rick Ankiel pretended to have for a few seasons. Mixed: $0; AL: $0.