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Return of the Fantasy Dead

Jose Reyes has hit .387 with five homers, 19 runs scored
and nine stolen bases over the past three weeks.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The six players listed below were "persona non-grata" in 2009 fantasy lineups. But so far they have produced beyond most fantasy "experts" predictions and if they continue on their current pace, should be candidates for the "2010 TSN Best Bargain Award."

Let's begin in New York where perennial top-five Draft Day pick Jose Reyes has found the form (speed and power) which made him such a devastating pick. Returning from a "lost" season in 2009, caused by a severe hamstring problem which required surgery, Reyes has shown both attributes over the past three weeks by hitting .387 with five homers, 19 runs scored and nine stolen bases.

Reyes, who was a third-to-fourth round pick this year (ADP 43) instead of third-or-fourth overall as in the past, is producing like the first round pick he was from 2006-2008. While his home ballpark may prevent him from hitting 20 homers, he could still get close to that mark and with the rest of his game back to normal, would be a great addition to your squad. If you own him enjoy the ride, if you don't, make an offer to get him because he appears completely healthy and he should continue at the pace for the rest of the season.

Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton has also returned with a vengeance from a 2009 injury which made the two-time All-Star an afterthought last season. A torn abdominal muscle left him without power and on the sidelines, playing just 89 games in 2009. Hamilton already has 17 homers this season and is well on his way to matching or surpassing his 2008 totals when he won a Silver Slugger Award, finished first in total bases (331) and was seventh in the MVP balloting. As a fantasy owner, the only fear I have about Hamilton this year is that he might enter the 2010 Home Run Derby at the All-Star break. After he participated in the 2008 contest, he hit just 11 homers the rest of the way versus 21 in the first half. As great as his season has been to date, if you see him sign up for the "Derby", you must consider trading him because he might have already hit his season's peak value.

Alex Rios has as much talent as almost anyone in the league, but he has never been able to put it all together in a single season. He batted .302 in 2006, hit 24 homers and scored 114 runs in 2007 and stole 32 bases in 2008. If he could put them all together in a single season, he'd be a first-round value, but until this year he had never done that. It looks like this that time has come. Already in 2010, he has 47 runs scored, 13 homers and 20 stolen bases while batting .313. Considering he was a 12th-round draft choice back in April, he is probably the leading candidate for the "Best Bargain Award."

For five seasons, fantasy owners selected Adrian Beltre in hopes that he could rediscover the form that saw him hit 48 homers and knock in 121 runs for the Los Angeles Dodgers back in 2004. Finally, after all this time, people have lowered their expectations and Beltre is becoming a valuable commodity again. Not as a "monster" home run hitter, but as a solid third baseman at what is a relatively weak fantasy position. Beltre should continue to perform in the explosive Boston Red Sox lineup, though I don't think you can expect him to keep the average up at its current .342 level because he's a career .273 hitter. Still, he should certainly be a starting fantasy third baseman over the final three months.

Delmon Young is best remembered for serving a 50-game suspension after throwing his bat at a minor league umpire. However, he was also the No.1 pick in the 2003 amateur draft and for the first time in his career is starting to play like a high draft pick. Considering he was likely a free agent pickup (ADP 295) or could still be available in your league (only 40% ownership), he could certainly help you the rest of the way as he is hitting .305 and on a 100+ RBI pace.

And finally there is Troy Glaus, who has rediscovered his batting stroke in Atlanta. Last year in St. Louis, Glaus got a total of just 29 at-bats due to a back injury, but he has return in 2010 to be an integral part of the Braves offense. He's on pace for a 30-HR, 100-RBI season and is still available in about 30% of all fantasy leagues. He'd make a fine replacement if you lost Kendry Morales or you're struggling with the likes of Derrek Lee or Lance Berkman as your starter.

2010 Selected Player Statistics
PlayerTeamABRHHRRBISBAVEOPSADP
Jose ReyesNYM2894982630190.2840.76443
Josh HamiltonTEX2785196175360.3451.01075
Alex RiosCWS24947781338200.3130.918142
Adrian BeltreBOS2753694115110.3420.927160
Delmon YoungMIN220326784730.3050.835295
Troy GlausATL2523969145500.2740.860411


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

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