Here are 10 players I'm watching closer than others the first week. Maybe you are, too.
B.J. Upton, Devil Rays: I have to admit being a little bit surprised that Jorge Cantu didn't make the team. He did have contract options, however, so Jonny Gomes made the team and Cantu is in the minor leagues. So who is playing second base? Well, it's Upton, who we had been led to believe would be the other center fielder along with Rocco Baldelli. Of course that didn't happen, and now Elijah Dukes will start Monday and ... it's really a soap opera in Tampa Bay, and I haven't even mentioned Al Reyes and the bullpen. Anyway, Upton is going to play second base, and he's going to run. He'll run plenty, and contrary to popular belief, there's a decent chance he's available in your league. He's owned in only 8.1 percent of standard ESPN leagues, but those rosters are a bit smaller than they used to be, so the number is misleading. I'm guessing Upton, who is only eligible at third base today, is out there in 50 percent of leagues, and I'm regarding him as I would Ryan Freel, a legit base stealer. Then again, Freel doesn't have and won't be getting second base eligibility in 10 games. Watch Dukes and Reyes, too. Neither are owned in many leagues, but within three days, you'll be hearing their names all over the place.
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