It’s time to look at the potential two-start options for the upcoming fantasy week.  If I have someone rated as a three, four, or five-star option, they are someone I would definitely use.  A two-star option is someone who is borderline, but I’d strongly lean against it unless I have no other options.  The one-star options are an absolute no scenario.

So, with that said, let’s take a look at the players available to you this week—


Five-Star Options

  • Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies, @ LAD, vs. Mil
  • Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners, vs. LAA, vs. Cle


Four-Star Options

  • Phil Hughes, New York Yankees, vs. Oak, vs. Tor
  • C.J. Wilson, Texas Rangers, @ KC, @ Min


Three-Star Options

  • Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox, @ Bal, vs. CWS
  • Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox, @ Cle, @ Bos
  • Trevor Cahill, Oakland Athletics, @ NYY, vs. LAA
  • Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado Rockies, @ SF, @ SD
  • Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta Braves, vs. NYM, @ Fla
  • Hiroki Kuroda, Los Angeles Dodgers, vs. Phi, vs. SF
  • Jonathan Niese, New York Mets, @ Atl, @ CHC
  • Jonathan Sanchez, San Francisco Giants – vs. Col, @ LAD
  • Ervin Santana, Los Angeles Angels, @ Sea, @ Oak
  • Jake Westbrook, St. Louis Cardinals, @ Hou, vs. Cin
  • Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs, vs. Pit, vs. NYM


Two-Star Options

  • Brett Cecil, Toronto Blue Jays, @ TB, @ NYY
  • Wade Davis, Tampa Bay Rays, vs. Tor, @ Bal
  • Brian Duensing, Minnesota Twins, vs. Det, vs. Tex
  • Armando Galarraga, Detroit Tigers, @ Min, @ KC
  • J.A. Happ, Houston Astros, vs. Stl, @ Ari
  • Wade LeBlanc, San Diego Padres, @ Ari, vs. Col
  • Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves, vs. NYM, @ Fla
  • Dustin Moseley, New York Yankees, vs. Oak, vs. Tor
  • Joe Saunders, Arizona Diamondbacks, vs. SD, vs. Hou
  • Randy Wolf, Milwaukee Brewers, @ Cin, @ Phi
  • Travis Wood, Cincinnati Reds, vs. Mil, @ Stl


One-Star Options

  • Kyle Davies, Kansas City Royals, vs. Tex, vs. Det
  • Kyle Kendrick, Philadelphia Phillies,  @ LAD, vs. Mil
  • Paul Maholm, Pittsburgh Pirates, @ CHC, vs. Was
  • Jason Marquis, Washington Nationals, @ Fla, @ Pit
  • Brian Matusz, Baltimore Orioles, vs. Bos, vs. TB
  • Justin Masterson, Cleveland Indians, vs. CWS, @ Sea
  • Vin Mazzaro, Oakland Athletics, @ NYY, vs. LAA
  • Pat Misch, New York Mets, @ Atl, @ CHC
  • David Pauley, Seattle Mariners, vs. LAA, vs. Cle
  • Esmil Rogers, Colorado Rockies, @ SF, @ SD
  • Alex Sanabia, Florida Marlins, vs. Was, vs. Atl
  • Mitch Talbot, Cleveland Indians, vs. CWS, @ Sea


Scheduling Notes

  • It looks like Josh Beckett will be the two-start option for the Red Sox, but that could change.  Daisuke Matsuzaka could be moved back up, but at this point he is expected to start on Thursday against the Orioles according to the Boston Globe (click here for the post)



  • I know Brian Duensing has been good all year long, but do you really trust him?  He’s coming off a game where he allowed four runs over six innings, has benefited from a .249 BABIP and 84.7% strand rate and has a matchup with the high-powered Rangers at the end of the week.  Things don’t look positive and if I had other options, I’d consider leaving him on my bench.
  • Trevor Cahill has been fantastic this season, with a 2.43 ERA and 1.00 WHIP on the season.  The only reason he’s not a four-star option is that first start against the Yankees, at Yankee Stadium.  I know he has a great groundball rate (56.0%), which will help to offset the stadium effects, but he also has benefited from a .217 BABIP.  Sooner or later, you’d think that luck will run out.  He’s clearly usable, but there is enough risk to consider him a three-star option.
  • Would anyone have predicted that there would be a point this season that we considered C.J. Wilson a four-star option?
  • Brett Cecil’s pitched well against the Rays (2.66 ERA) and Yankees (1.64 ERA) this season.  They still make me nervous, but it’s hard to overlook what he’s done this season.  He’s sporting a 3.80 ERA and 1.23 WHIP with believable metrics (.280 BABIP, 72.8% strand rate).  Despite his success, I’m still going to hold him at a two-star option, but among the best of the group.  That’s the problem with playing in the tough AL East.
  • Is Carlos Zambrano a risk?  Absolutely.  Is he a risk worth taking?  I actually think he is.  He is coming off a stellar outing where he allowed just one run on five hits and 1 walk, striking out 8, over 7.1 innings.  In fact, his problem since returning to the team has been his control (20 BBs over 27.2 innings), and nothing else (only 26 hits allowed and a 2.60 ERA).  If he has turned the corner there, he could really string some good starts together.  I know he’s enigmatic, but the Pirates (29th) and Mets (23rd) are among the worst offenses in the league.  I would roll the dice with him.
  • Jonathan Niese’s last start is disturbing, but I’m going to keep him as a three-star option for now.  He has actually been better on the road (3.18 ERA) and pitched well against the Braves in his only game against them this season (1 ER over 5.1 innings).

What are your thoughts?  Who have I ranked too high?  Who do you think will outperform my rankings?

Make sure to check out our extremely early 2011 rankings—


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