Joel Colomby, Toronto Sun

Joel Colomby


Joc Pederson has been crushing the ball during Cactus League play. But will it be enough to give him the Dodgers' CF nod over Andre Ethier? (USA TODAY SPORTS)

Fantasy Fare: Treading carefully into spring stats

Spring statistics are like that sweet table at the wedding reception. You can avoid it for only so long. We’ve never been a fan of March stats — especially in the first couple of weeks when so many minor-leaguers are involved — but, what the heck, let’s indulge. Keep it in the back of your mind, but don’t significantly alter your cheatsheets based

If the Mariners could combine the two, Brad Miller and Chris Taylor might make for an all-star shortstop. But as only one can play at a time, who emerges as the starter will be one of several intriguing spring fantasy storylines. (AFP).

Fantasy Fare: Muddled middle infields

There’s plenty of uncertainty in the middle infields of Florida and Arizona for fantasy baseball owners to ponder in the next few weeks, and yes, probably even after the season begins in April.

Antoine Vermette is playing second line and second power-play unit since his trade from Arizona to Chicago. (AFP)

Fantasy Fare: Trade deadline, Part 2

Once the NHL trade deadline has passed, the game of Who Won, Who Lost plays out. And while because so many of Monday’s deadline deals involved prospects and picks, this won’t be known for a year or three down the road.

Jets' Dustin Byfuglien has been piling up more points as a defenceman than he did as a winger. (KEVIN KING, QMI Agency)

Fantasy Fare: Big Buff has it backwards

Now, that’s what Dustin Byfuglien owners had been hoping for — but not while actually playing back on the blue line. Big Buff was a sought-after fantasy commodity in drafts and auctions with word that he would be moving up from the back end to play the wing. A quality defence-eligible forward is usually fantasy gold.

Calvin Pickard, brilliant as a fill-in for injured Semyon Varlamov, is expected to be sent back to the AHL. (AFP photo)

Fantasy Fare: Avs swiftly answer goalie question

The Avalanche’s anticipated goalkeeping controversy lasted all of one day. That’s as long as it took Semyon Varlamov, in his return from injured reserve, to post a 5-0 shutout over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, firmly re- establishing himself as Colorado’s No. 1guy.

Martin Brodeur, practising with the junior Hull Olympiques last month while awaiting an NHL offer, could wind up in the St. Louis Blues nets. (TONY CALDWELL, QMI Agency)

Fantasy Fare: Brodeur a risk worth taking

This whole Martin Brodeur situation is quite intriguing. The iconic free-agent netminder finally got a tryout with St. Louis this past week when the Blues lost starter Brian Elliott for a few weeks.

Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask has been a rock in the Beantown goal. (Pierre-Paul Poulin/QMI Agency)

Tuukka Rask sits atop NHL fantasy goalie rankings

Last season was the year of the No. 3 goalkeeper with names such as Martin Jones, Frederik Andersen, Anton Khudobin, Antti Raanta, Ben Scrivens, Darcy Kuemper, Marek Mazanec and Philipp Grubauer all making the most of their opportunities when injuries thrust them into the limelight.

Brandon McCarthy's long-ball tendencies could become even more severe pitching half his games now in LH power-friendly Yankee Stadium. (USA Today)

MLB Fantasy Fare: Buyer beware on Brandon McCarthy

Once the Oakland A’s, in one fell swoop, grabbed arguably the top two available pitching trade targets a week ago, it left the rest of baseball’s contenders, including the New York Yankees with, well, Brandon McCarthy.

If fantasy owners were concerned by Edwin Encarnacion's lack of power stats through the first three weeks, they sure aren't any more. (Getty Images)

Fantasy Fare: Encarnacion proving patience pays

Edwin Encarnacion’s power display this month has done more than propel his fantasy owners up the standings. He’s become a beacon of hope to any poolie with a power hitter who has yet to find the switch this season.

Matt Wieters avoided Tommy John surgery this week but his wonky elbow could see him DHing a lot more often. At least he's already got in enough games at catcher to qualify there for next year. (Reuters)

MLB Fantasy Fare: We're really hurtin'

I know I’m not the only one with this gripe, so here goes: What’s with all the bleedin' injuries so far? Within the space of 10 days in April, I lost four of six starting pitchers from my AL-only team — Alex Cobb, Ivan Nova (for the season), Tanner Scheppers and Chris Sale to the DL. OK, at least I still had my hitting in tact. Not so fast.

New Royals leadoff hitter Norichika Aoki has seen his strikeout rate soar and average dip 20 points since joining the AL from Milwaukee. (Getty Images)

Fantasy Fare: League-jumpers a risky bet early on

I’m not one to set out a long list of draft day dos and don’ts, mainly because trends change and the ability to adapt is often necessary. But one I’ve tried to adhere to (though not always successfully) is to avoid, or at least devalue, batters switching leagues.

Aaron Hicks batted just .192 in his first stab at the Twins' starting CF job a year ago. He'll receive a chance to get it right this season. (USA Today Sports, photo)

MLB Fantasy Fare: Training camp battles update

One of the many training camp battles that hasn’t been settled is the Nationals’ second base situation, which manager Matt Williams said he is taking to right down to the final at-bats before making a decision between Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa.

Scott Van Slyke, the early home run leader in fantasy baseball, is greeted by Adrian Gonzalez after his two-run belt in Saturday's opener in Australia. (Reuters)

Fantasy Fare: Thoughts after one game

Nice to finally have an actual game that counts in the standings to dissect. The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 3-1 early, early Saturday morning in Australia to open the season and, as usual, there were a few interesting fantasy tidbits to glean.

NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw dominated fantasy pitching and should be the first starter off the board in every mixed-league and NL-only draft. (Reuters)

Fantasy Baseball Preview 2014: Pitchers

OK, we’ll come out and say it right off the top: Drafting starting pitching is a crapshoot. (And yes, I actually just began a sentence with a verb, an adjective and a noun, all ending in ‘ing.’).

For the second year in a row, Angels' Mike Trout put up top numbers in almost every category and should be the first guy gone in drafts. (Reuters)

Fantasy Baseball Preview: Outfielders

OUTFIELDERS: We figure top three here should be the top three picked in mixed-league drafts and outfielders could dominate first round as the best ones are the most capable of helping out in five fantasy categories.