Fantasy Baseball

Cuddyer, Scutaro bolster COL lineup

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John Halpin

John Halpin has been a fantasy contributor for FOXSports.com since 2007. He has written and co-hosted webcasts about fantasy football for FOXNews.com, and managed websites for the NHL, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Network. Listen to his "Fantasy 15 Podcast" on FOXSportsRadio.com and follow him on Twitter.

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Projected lineup

CF – Dexter Fowler
2B – Marco Scutaro
LF – Carlos Gonzalez
SS – Troy Tulowitzki
RF – Mike Cuddyer
1B – Todd Helton
C – Ramon Hernandez
3B – Casey Blake

SP – Jeremy Guthrie
SP – Jhoulys Chacin
SP – Drew Pomeranz
SP – Juan Nicasio
SP – Guillermo Moscoso/Esmil Rogers/Josh Outman/Jamie Moyer/Tyler Chatwood/Alex White
CL – Rafael Betancourt

Five things to think about:

- Tulowitzki is third overall on this humble analyst’s draftboard behind Ryan Braun and Matt Kemp. Tulo does everything, and plays a premium position. If you want to draft him with the first pick, you won’t get a huge argument here.

- All aboard the Dexter Fowler bandwagon! Ten homers, 100 runs, 25 stolen bases – get your seat while you still can! Fowler was terrific in the second half of 2011, and should keep rolling into this season.

- CarGo had an injury-marred 2011, and still put up some really good numbers. Draft him with confidence at the end of the first round. Denver didn’t relocate to sea level over the winter, you know.

Top 40 shortstops

Will Troy Tulowitzki take advantage of the thin air of Colorado? The FOXSports.com fantasy department shares their Top 40 shortstops.

- However, as nice as it is to draft Rockies’ hitters, taking Cuddyer in the top 100 is a reach, and that’s where he’s been going. He’s just an OK hitter, and you should let someone else have him.

- The only Rockies’ starter worthy of mixed-league consideration is Chacin. His K rate dipped last season, but he has the stuff to bounce back in that department, and his ground-ball repertoire plays well at altitude. Grab him as an SP5; his early ADP at Mock Draft Central is 193.

Plus:

Odd man out: Aside from the fifth-starter losers, Jordan Pacheco will serve as a utilityman, bouncing between catcher, first base and third base. Speedy Eric Young Jr. doesn’t appear to have a place to play, either.

Farm system: 3B Nolan Arenado could be up later this season, and should be a prime keeper league target. Pomeranz may qualify here if he starts the season in the minors; he’s got lots of potential. Catcher Wilin Rosario should have the Rox’ starting job no later than a year from now, and Coors Field is likely to make him an elite fantasy backstop.

Backup closer: Matt Belisle has a solid strikeout rate, excellent control and induces a lot of grounders. The bet here is that the underrated Betancourt will finally thrive as a closer, but Belisle should be his handcuff.

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