Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
We're in the "dog days" of the 2011 major league baseball season, but now is not the time to fall asleep at the wheel. You can still make changes to your lineup which will determine the success or failure of your fantasy team.
Justin Upton, Arizona - Upton has put the Diamondbacks' offense on his back and carried them into a first-place tie with the Giants. He should easily break his single-season mark for runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI and stolen bases and is currently ahead of his best season for batting average and OPS. At 23-years-old he should be an "untouchable" in any keeper league. Still, be wary of his August and September as historically he's struggled in those months.
Dan Uggla, Atlanta - Uggla has a 24-game hitting streak heading into today's action, yet his batting average is still a putrid .212. It just goes to show how bad the Braves' second baseman has been for most of this season. Uggla batted .293 in July with eight homers, 19 RBI and had an OPS of 0.955. He's finally beginning to pay the dividends expected of a third-round selection (ADP 34).
Dustin Ackley, Seattle - The Seattle Mariners' rookie second baseman is beginning to show why he was drafted so high (No.2 overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft). Ackley is currently posting an OPS of 0.942 which ranks him among the leaders at the position, ahead of stars such as Robinson Cano (0.844), Chase Utley (0.864) and Dustin Pedroia (0.893). We need to see if he can keep in up for more than 38 games, but he's certainly having a great start to his career. He's only owned in about 50-percent of all leagues and should be added to all rosters in keeper leagues.
Matt Wieters, Baltimore - We keep waiting for Wieters to match the hype when he first arrived in the majors with his performance. We'll have to show continued patience. After a solid April in which he hit four homers, knocked in 16 runs and posted an impressive 0.826 OPS, it's been all downhill. In his last nine games, Wieters is batting an ugly .083 (3-for-36) with an OPS of 0.215 and should not be in any lineups until further notice. He's still owned in 87-percent of all leagues which is confusing, considering a much better hitting catcher like Jarrod Saltalamacchia is owned in just 24-percent of all leagues. Now is not the time to stand pat.
Ian Kinsler, Texas - Kinsler started the month of July solidly, but over the past two weeks has forgotten where he put his swing. He's batting just .151 over his last 12 games with three extra base hits and no stolen bases. It's hard to sit him down because he could explode at any minute, but that might be the best thing for your lineup.
Matt Joyce, Tampa Bay - Joyce was a fantasy star in May, batting .414 with seven homers, 21 RBI and an OPS of 1.229, but he's come back to earth in the past two months. Since June 1st he's hitting just .175 with an OPS of 0.585. Neither of those numbers is "fantasy-worthy" and he should be dropped in favor of someone else, almost anyone else.