Believe it or not?

Brandon Phillips is hitting .402 over the past three weeks.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Over the past week, a couple of hitters and pitchers have played well above the level they had begun the season. So the question every fantasy owner must ask is: Do you believe the trend will continue?

If you believe it is their "new" production level, then you would want to pick them up or trade for them. If you are not a believer, then you would want to trade them while their fantasy value is at its peak, or not make a waiver request.

Let's look at 10 of these guys to determine whether you should have continued interest.

Brandon Phillips, 2B, Cincinnati (96% owned) - Phillips got off to a slow start and if you showed patience, you are getting your reward. He batted .538 last week and is hitting .402 over the past three weeks. Considering he was batting .238 as late as May 3rd, that .311 batting average is looking might good. Phillips IS that good, and should continue to produce. If his owner hasn't noticed, maybe you can get him for a decent price.

Cole Hamels, SP, Philadelphia (95% owned) - Hamels has pitched well in his last two starts (15 IP, 1.80 ERA, 0.80 WHIP) but he's still giving up too many long balls. In fact, the rate has gone up from last season when he gave up 24 homers in 193.2 innings. This year it's 14 HR in just 79.1 innings. I certainly wouldn't trade for him and if he was on my roster I might even try to trade him.

Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas (94% owned) - Hamilton has been hot for more than just this past week, he's batting .357 for the last three weeks with seven homers and 21 runs batted in. He'll likely cost an "arm and a leg" at this point with his gaudy .309 season's batting average and 15 homers is almost his career HR average (19 HR). There is no way to get a "bargain" price, so I'd pass.

Adam Dunn, 1B, Washington (93% owned) - You know what you are going to get with Dunn, 40 HR and 100 RBI. That will be true of his totals by season's end in 2010 too. If you need help in those two categories, he's going to help you. Like Hamilton, however, trading for him while he's hot is tough to do.

Stephen Strasburg, Washington (92% owned) - Strasburg is very, very talented, but he's not Roger Clemens...yet. Keep in mind he's pitched against Pittsburgh and Cleveland, two of the weakest hitting teams in the majors. Despite being 2-0, he does have some flaws. I certainly wouldn't trade him in a keeper league, but if someone offers you a very good player for him in a one-year league and you had extra pitching, I'd make the deal.

Carlos Pena, 1B, Tampa Bay (84% owned) - In the last six games over seven days, Pena has blasted six homers and batted .333 (8-for-24). Despite the hot streak, he's still batting under .200 for the season. Pena is one of the league's streakiest hitters who batted .120 in May. He's a lifetime .244 hitter and by season's end will likely be between .230 - .240. To do that, he'll have to hit .280 for the remainder of the year. He's always hit better in the second half so if I could trade for him while his "stock" was still low, I'd make the move.

Chris Young, OF, Arizona (74% owned) - Young was all the rage at your 2008 draft after posting 32 HR and 27 SB in his first full season. The last two years has been a disappointment, but he looks like he has turned the corner. He's owned in three-out-of-four leagues, but if yours is the one where he is a free agent, you should pick him up immediately. Keeper league owners with an eye towards next year should also make his current owner an offer, because the price could still be reasonable.

Colby Lewis, SP, Texas (61% owned) - There's always a pitcher who comes out of nowhere and surprises each year. Lewis might be this year's pick. In 13 starts, he's got a 6-4 record with 81 K's in 84.2 innings. His ERA is 3.30 and his WHIP is a solid 1.11. He shouldn't cost that much to trade for because he's not that well known yet, but he will be if he continues at this pace.

Ted Lilly, SP, Chicago Cubs (50% owned) - Lilly is a journeyman pitcher on his fifth team in 12 years. That doesn't mean he can't be useful to your roster. He's actually had his two best ERA/WHIP years in 2009 and 2010. Considering the cost, likely just a waiver pickup, he's worth the cost. He'll certainly help your ERA and WHIP, but don't expect a lot of strikeouts.

Sean Rodriguez, 2B, Tampa Bay (8% owned) - With all the "name" players on the Rays' roster, Rodriguez has been overlooked. However, he's played a solid second base and is batting .478 over the past seven days. In just 125 at bats, he has 23 runs and 21 RBI. That's a pace similar to some of the top second basemen and the bonus is that he'll only cost you a waiver pickup.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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