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Late season pickup opportunities

The hot-hitting Ben Francisco is probably still available in most leagues.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Are you seeking a player to help you gain maybe one or two spots in the rankings before the end of the season?

Here are a four names, who are likely still available in your league, who can help you in home runs, steals, wins and saves.

Cleveland Indians' outfielder Ben Francisco has been hot of late, hitting six homers and knocking in 13 runs in his last 106 at-bats. Over the last three weeks he is hitting .348, much higher than his season average of .284. There is no reason to think he will slow down soon. He is available in my league and probably yours too.

Rajai Davis, outfielder for the Oakland A's has not only been hitting the ball, but stealing bases too. He has five steals in the last two weeks, including two on Wednesday night. With 23 stolen bases for the season he is going to continue to run. Meanwhile, his .444 average and .593 slugging percentage over the last two weeks will keep him from hurting your batting totals which happens when you pick up most base-running specialists. I picked him up this morning and you should too.

Quick, who has more wins over the last three weeks...C.C. Sabathia or Glen Perkins?

Obviously, it's a trick question or I wouldn't be asking it. The well-publicized production of Sabathia since his trade to Milwaukee is well documented, while Perkins' wins in Minnesota have gone un-noticed except to the most savvy fantasy owners. He won't get you many strikeouts, but his ERA and WHIP won't hurt you.

New Indians' closer Jensen Lewis has seven saves in the last three weeks and hasn't blown any. He also has a solid 12 strikeouts in 14.2 innings.

"He has definitely stepped up for us in his last four or five outings," said manager Eric Wedge. "I think he wants this; he has the personality. The question is whether he can handle it long term. But this is a great test for him."

The Indians have won 10 in a row and 11 of their last 12, so the closing opportunities should continue.

Unlikely names, but Francisco, Davis, Perkins and Lewis might just be the answer to your pickup needs.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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