2012 Fantasy Baseball: Bobby Valentine, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian Wilson and More

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Bobby Valentine continues his big mouth style of managing. Yesterday on Boston's WHDH, he basically called out Kevin Youkilis and said "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason…" 

The assumption is that Valentine is trying to light a fire under his players, but he should tred lightly on exactly who he calls out. Check out this response from Dustin Pedroia "I really don't know what Bobby is trying to do," Pedroia said. "That's not the way we go about our stuff around here. He'll figure that out. The whole team is behind Youk. We have each other's backs here."

Tim Tebow hasn't won over many fans as he'd like yet in the Big Apple. Tebow attended the Yankees game with Dwayne Wade but when shown on the big board, most fans initially booed. It could have been the fact that the Heat beat the Knicks earlier in the day so sitting with the enemy wasn't the best way to get a cheer. Bottomline is that Tebow better have thick skin come football season.

Jacoby Ellsbury separated his shoulder on Friday, and it looks like he will be out a minimum of six weeks. Expect to see Darnell McDonald get the majority of playing time in CF, but I don't see a lot of fantasy value for him as he's going to be in there for his defense. The most obvious direct impact here fantasy-wise might actually be for Mike Aviles who batted in the leadoff spot today, and responded by going 3/5 with a homer and a double. The increase of PA's should add to his value, especially as a multi-position guy. Patience of those who own Jacoby is strongly recommended, and Alan Harrison provides some OF replacement options in his article here.

The breaking news today is that it seems imminent that Brian Wilson will require Tommy John surgery, effectively ending his season. Bruce Bochy has told reporters that he will employ a closer by committee approach, and Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo, Jeremey Affeldt, and Javier Lopez could all see save chances coming their way. There is speculation out here by the bay that Santiago Casilla might be the guy who sees the majority of chances for San Francisco. He's the guy I would target first.

Matt Kemp literally wrapped up the Padres himself, going 11 for 23, five homers and 14 RBIs. Will this finally be the season Kemp hits the 40-40 mark?

The hottest game closer so far has been the Dodger's Javy Guerra, who already has 5 saves and a win as well. Aroldis Chapman may have 3x (15) as many K's as Guerra (5) so far, but as long as he gets the games closed, fantasy owners will gladly sacrifice the whiffs.

For those of you who had faith that old men don't always die, Derek Jeter is rewarding you early on. The captain blasted his 2nd homer of the season and is at the .366 mark thus far.

Ivan Nova is the hot waiver wire pick, with over 14% gain in ESPN leagues. Nova picked up his 2nd win of the season over the Angels. It wasn't his best stuff as he allowed four runs but he did strikeout eight halos. Things could get tricky when Pettitte and Pineda return.

Filling in for the injured Lance Berkman, Matt Carpenter is trying to make a big enough impression to fit himself in somewhere when Berkman returns on Tuesday. Carpenter has started the last four games and yesterday went a perfect 4 for 4 with a home run and 5 rib-eyes.

Justin Smoak hit his 2nd homer of the season but nothing new here that he is batting a measly .186. The young giant, Blake Beavan, picked up his first win going seven strong over the A's. 

Chris Young is off to a blazing hot start in the desert, hitting his 4th homer and stealing his 2nd base. With a career average of .241, we'll see how long he can keep up this above .300 average.

While Edwin Encarnacion is the big story for Toronto so far, Brett Lawrie finally went yard for the first time in 2012. Pretty sure it's safe to say there will be more where that came from.

Matt Moore certainly isn't exactly picking up where he left off last season. Moore got rocked by the Red Sox, giving up six runs over 6.1 innings. Feeling good I didn't keep him as one of my keepers, but I still want to see the kid do well. 

Pitching duels I'm looking forward to today: Roy Halladay vs Tim Lincecum, Brandon McCarthy vs Jered Weaver, and Justin Verlander vs Danny Duffy.

Written by Evan Marx exclusively for

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