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Fantasy baseball has grown in popularity over the past few years, with more and more people working from home, there is more time for the time consuming hobby.
In 2007, just like in other years, there were players who underachieved and players who came out of nowhere to win leagues for their owners. Here is a brief list of the studs and duds so far this season.
In the American League, there have been several surprises. On the mound, Dan Haren from Oakland has been among the best pitchers in the league for the entire season, and has led in ERA for most of the year.
Offensively, Alex Rios of the Blue Jays, Placido Polanco of the Tigers, Chone Figgins of the Angels, and Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox have all performed well above their expectations.
In the National League, Jeff Francis, Tim Hudson, and Ted Lilly have all exceeded expectations.
Offensively, Ryan Braun has come up in the middle of the season and, excluding Prince Fielder, could very easily be the MVP of the Brewers, if not the league.
As for the underachievers, two names stick out like a sore thumb, Travis Hafner in Cleveland, and Albert Pujols of the Cardinals.
Hafner is nowhere near the MVP candidate he was last year, and Pujols numbers would not be considered terrible, except for the fact that he was the number one overall pick in many fantasy leagues, and he has not come close to living up to those standards.
Two players have had huge comeback seasons, Magglio Ordonez, who, along with A-Rod, is the front runner for the MVP award in the American League, and Ken Griffey Jr., who was left for dead by most fantasy owners coming into this season, has 27 home runs and more than 70 RBIs.
While the season is not yet over and there is still time for a last ditch effort, most of the numbers at this point have already shaped the division standings, for some owners, players they drafted were pleasant surprises, but for others, scouting has begun for 2008.