Top 5 Washington Nationals Fantasy Options

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First and foremost, we're holding a live draft on Sunday, March 15 at 8 p.m. You can always auto-draft your team, but I'd advise you only sign up if you can be there.

- We're getting as many into in the league as we can - 20. That may sound like a lot but I'm playing in a 10 team AL-only league this year, so it's pretty much the same thing. It should be a fun challenge for everyone.

- It's a 5x5 rotisserie league. The categories are R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP.

- Following fantasy baseball the entire season is a challenge, even for supposed experts. Please only sign up if you plan on playing the entire season.

- Get those emails into matthewolsen81@yahoo.com! It should be a sweet time all summer long.

Now onto business...

5. Elijah Dukes - OF

Duke has got that streak of insanity running directly down his backside and is capable of snapping at any moment.

But then again, he can hit the ball a country mile and is more than able to swipe a bag if the situation arises. Dukes is definitely a long shot that could pay off big or blow up in your face.

He could be a great late round pick once you've secured your everyday rotation.

4. Joel Hanrahan - RP

Last year Hanrahan finally found his calling at the back end of the Nationals bullpen, filling in for incumbent closer Chad Cordero at the start of August. He delivered with nine saves, 14 strikeouts and three blown saves.

While those numbers may not really jump out at you, please do not underestimate them coming from a young man who assumed the closer's role for the first time in his MLB career.

This year Hanrahan should start the season with a firm grasp on the closer role for this weak Nationals team. His save totals aren't going to be setting the world on fire, but his strikeout totals make Hanrahan a great fallback option if you wait too long to snag one of the elite closers.

3. Lastings Milledge - OF

The Nationals are quickly transforming into a safe haven for former highly touted players that need a place to collect a paycheck. Milledge is only the latest disappointing dynamo to secure a roster spot on this squad.

However, Milledge possesses the speed necessary to become an extremely valuable fantasy producer in terms of stolen bases, runs and extra base hits.

He's not someone you'd specifically target in a draft, but if you're outfield is clogged with turtle slow sluggers; Milledge could be your best bet for a shot of speed.

2. Ryan Zimmerman - 3B

It's tough to predict what Zimmerman owners are in store for this season after we failed miserably in trying to predict his 2008 numbers. The 2006 ROY runner-up missed 56 games due to a shoulder tear in 2008 and didn't find his swing until the last part of the season.

So the question remains: Who is Ryan Zimmerman?

Is he the sweet swinging third basemen we have high hopes for?

Or...

Is he an average player that just got hot at the right time at the end of a miserable season?

I'm leaning more towards the high hopes side of things, but then again, I'm a miserable optimist (if that's even possible).

1. Adam Dunn - OF

If you saw Adam Dunn walking down the street, would you assume he had even an inch of athletic ability?

I'm not sure I would, but the Nationals definitely did when they inked him to a 2-year, $20 million contract in February. But just like the Nationals, you can bank on Dunn being one of the most productive power hitters in the game.

All he does is consistently put up 40 HR, 100 RBI seasons, with the only drawback being his propensity to allow baseballs to miss his bat. But that particular vice is popular amongst the majority of old school sluggers like Dunn and it shouldn't get in the way of you selecting him on draft day.

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Top Five KC Royals from The Fantasy Factor on March 11, 2009 1:24 AM

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Matt Wood is a web editor for suntimes.com and editor of CenterstageChicago.com. He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Olsen published on February 25, 2009 12:55 PM.

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