Monday's I will be taking a look at the fantasy baseball game by breaking down players who have produced noteworthy performances. This week it's all about hot starting batters and pitchers - can they keep it up?

To get your daily fantasy baseball fix make sure you head over to DailyJoust.com to set your salary cap club.

INEXPENSIVE OFFENSIVE HEROES

Mike Aviles, 2B/3B/SS ($75,000 Daily Joust salary): The Red Sox shortstop can hit. He owns a career .288 batting average and is currently batting .290 through 31 at-bats. He's also popped two long balls, though his power upside is likely sneaking into the double digits in dingers. He also posses speed, he's stolen 14 bags each of the last two seasons. Given his positional flexibility he's a nice add to any lineup. His value is likely still heading up though as he appears likely to spend an awful lot of time in the leadoff spot for the Red Sox with the shoulder injury to Jacoby Ellsbury that will keep him out of action for an estimated six weeks.

Yunieksy Betancourt, SS ($68K): He's actually played second base in five of his six games this year, he's only played nine games at any position other than shortstop prior to this season, but it certainly hasn't affected hit ability with the twig in his hands. Yunieksy is batting a robust .389 through 18 at-bats, but let's not get too carried away here. He hasn't walked a single time in six games, hasn't stolen a base, and has scored only three times in six contests. Still, I'm not going to ignore his hot start at the plate, but I'm just trying to be realistic here with a guy who has hit .269 with a .293 OBP for his career.

Matt Carpenter, 1B ($66K): A hot pick up, Carpenter has had himself a whopper of a start to the season. Through eight games he has hit .409. That alone would be exciting. When you add in the 10 RBIs that he's also produced it's time to get a bit giddy. Carpenter hit .302 last year in 130 games at Triple-A, but he also hit only 12 homers not showing much pop, something you need from a corner infield option. Lance Berkman is also close to a return to the lineup, and don't forget that Allen Craig (knee) is likely to be back in a couple of weeks making at-bats possibly hard to come by for Carpenter. There's nothing wrong with rolling with him in the short-term though (over at Fleaflicker Carpenter has recoded the same average fantasy point total as Paul Konerko and Troy Tulowitzki).

Shelly Duncan, OF ($66K): The Indians lineup is about to get a bit crowded with the addition of Johnny Damon, and the question remains will that eat into the playing time of Duncan. If PT is determined by performance in Cleveland than Duncan shouldn't be worried about losing any of it, at least not right now. Through eight games he has flashed his trademark power with two homers, a double and six RBI. He's also walked an impressive eight times helping him to Bondsian .485 OBP. Given that he's also hitting .320 right now you'd be wise to consider him for your starting lineup since he's also working on a 5-game hitting streak.

Mark Ellis ($72K): Why am I bothering with a guy who is batting .235 with no homers and just two RBIs? Did you notice that his OBP is .366? Or how about the most interesting number in his line – 10 runs scored in nine games. Matt Kemp and Andre Either have to slow down as the season progresses, but if Ellis maintains a spot in the daily lineup, and is hitting out of the two hole, he'll end up being a pretty valuable source of runs, and that average will certainly climb as well.

LOSER OF THE WEEK

Kendrys Morales ($110K): From April 9th through April 15th Morales had, wait for it, one hit in 18 at-bats. Given that he was also 0-for-5 on April 8th that means he has one hit in 23 at-bats. I know it's early, and I always talk about sample size being so important, so I'm not going to hammer Morales – yet. I will say this, which is the same thing I was saying three weeks ago when people were going bonkers to add Morales after he had a hot stretch to end Spring Training, the guy is coming back from an injury after missing more than a season and a half. As great as he looked to end spring he has looked equally putrid once games started counting (.200-0-0 through 30 at-bats). The game just isn't that easy folks.

PITCHERS WHO ARE PERFORMING

Bartolo Colon ($173K): He's 2-1 with a 3.72 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and an extremely impressive 7.00 K/BB ratio. I'm still not buying it. In a quirk of the schedule, thanks to MLB's desire to play in Japan, Colon has pitched against the Mariners in all three of his games. I think, on a good day, that I could get many of the Mariners batters out. Be careful not to overemphasize his early season success.

Kyle Drabek ($195K): The former 1st round draft pick has killed it in two starts as he's learned to just relax when guys get on base versus over thinking and trying to over analyze everything. He's 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, but do two starts wipe out a miserable 2011 effort that say him post a 6.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP an a 0.93 K/BB ratio (yes, he walked more batters than he struck out last season)? I need more than two starts for me to feel like he's totally over the hump.

Barry Zito ($215 K): Currently the 77th most expensive SP in the DailyJoust game, Zito has pitched his brains out – so far (1-0, 1.13 ERA in 16 IP). Be honest with your assessment here though. The last time he posted an ERA under 4.00 was 2006. The last time he had a winning record was 2006. He's also struck out only eight batters in 16 innings and his current walk rate of 0.56 per nine, well I somehow don't think he's going to keep that up since he's never posted a season long mark below 3.06, and that was way back in 2002.

DAILY CONTEST

MLB - Tournament - Mon, Apr 16th - King Arthur's $50BB Hi Cap Daily Free For All over at DailyJoust.com.

Single entry. No entry fee. $50 prize pool payable in Bonus Bucks. Bonus Bucks can be used as entry fee for an cash entry contests on Daily Joust. Top 15 places paid. Winner also gets a King Arthur badge.

Prize: Top

•1 - $10.00 •2 - $5.00 •23 - $5.00

etc. (it pays out down to 15th place).

Also, if you deposit $25 in your account you can get a 40% deposit bonus, and who doesn't like free money?

By Ray Flowers




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About Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.

Ray Flowers on Twitter

paging joe smith... RT @pedromoura: Ernesto Frieri's last five outings: 3 2/3 innings, 12 hits, 6 runs, 2 homers, 6/2 SO/BB.

RT @ScottLauber: Those adjustments made by John Lackey after his last start? His line: 8 IP, 7 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 11 K, 111 pitches

RT @PeteAbe: Middlebrooks 0-3 with 3 Ks at Pawtucket. 0-6 in two games. Expected to play for AAA again Thursday. #redsox

#3 SP on field. Solid, not elite. RT @loumev71: @@MiLB @jessebiddle_54 @ReadingFightins What do you think Biddle's ceiling/floor is?

No, but wish I was. RT @MagicSportsGuy: @@SiriusXMFantasy he must be drinking during the show then?