Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It's fantasy playoff time in most baseball leagues and there is no room for sentimentality. Big contract or well-known doesn't mean a thing at this time of year - only production. Start the guys who are the hottest and sit/cut those who aren't performing up to expectations.
Adrian Beltre, Texas - Despite getting just 500 at-bats this season, Beltre has successfully fought off the notion that he only plays well in "contract years." Since returning from a stint on the DL in late August, Beltre is batting .357 with eight homers, 21 RBI and an OPS of 1.116 which is 321 points over his career OPS.
Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco - Sandoval has returned to the 2009 form that saw him finish seventh in the NL MVP race in his first full season. He's batting .309 with 22 HR and 67 RBI for the season. His September fantasy playoff numbers are incredible - .357 with six homers, 16 RBI and an OPS of 1.228. As a ninth-round pick on Draft Day (ADP 107), "Kung Fu Panda" has been a bargain.
Chris Heisey, Cincinnati - The Reds need to get Heisey more "plate time." In just 279 plate appearances this season (254 at-bats) Heisey has hit 17 homers. If given a starting spot in next year's outfield, that would extrapolate into 30+ homers. Over his last nine games, he's batting .296 with four homers and five RBI. Heisey could be the kind of last-minute pickup that wins your a title because he's now playing almost everyday. He's owned in less than 5% of all leagues.
Dustin Ackley, Seattle - He's a rookie and this kind of up and down season is expected. Unfortunately it's just coming at a bad time for fantasy owners in the last few weeks of the playoff. Over the past 14 days, the Mariners' rookie second baseman is batting just .140 with an ugly OPS of 0.369. Live with it, just put him on your bench. He's a keeper who's batted .281 for the season despite the slump with an OPS of 0.786.
Shane Victorino, Philadelphia - Like the rest of the Phillies offense, Victorino is in the midst of a slump. Over the past two weeks he's batting just .140 with and OPS of .490. He picked a bad time for a slump.
Jhonny Peralta, Detroit - Peralta has had a surprisingly good season, batting a career-high .300 with his best OPS since 2005, but over the past two weeks he lost his batting stroke. He's hitting just .206 with an OPS of 0.557 in his last 10 games.