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Team By Team - Washington Nationals

At the moment The Roto Authority will take a break from the constant trade rumors and identify some decent second half sleepers from the Washington Nationals.  This team has been a huge surprise in 2005, and even as they fall back down to Earth you may be able to pick out a few gems to help your fantasy baseball team.  Check out Capitol Punishment for good Nationals blogging.

Jose Guillen is leading Washington's offense, with a .302-19-58 line so far.  Guillen and Vinny Castilla have been skeptical about RFK Stadium's posted measurements, and with good reason.  Guillen might be looking at a 35-40 HR season in a more neutral ballpark.  Keep an eye on any stadium adjustments made - it's very possible that the team pulls in the fences.  If you act quickly, you might be able to snag Guillen for a career year 2006.

Nick Johnson looked to be having a breakout season, with a .443 OBP so far.  But with a .387 career OBP, Johnson has always been a patient hitter.  However, without steals, and with only moderate power and a long injury history, fantasy baseball owners have to avoid Johnson.  He's simply much more valuable in real baseball than in fantasy baseball.

Ryan Church is having a nice rookie season, but his injury history coupled with his lack of upside makes him a weak candidate for your outfield.  Take a flier on him as your fifth OF, but don't expect the world.  Remember, Church is a 26 year-old rookie.

John Patterson is having a monster year, but only has four wins to show for it.  If you can point to his supposed inability to win and steal him in a trade, do it immediately.  Don't be afraid to give up a Jim Edmonds type or more, as Patterson is a top 5 NL pitcher right now.

Esteban Loaiza isn't a hot commodity in most fantasy baseball leagues, but his 3.54 RFK-aided ERA goes a long way at the bottom of your rotation.  He won't let you down in the K department, either - expect a Doug Davis-like 175 Ks.   




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