An Open Letter To Rihanna About Matt Kemp And Fantasy Baseball

Dear Rihanna,

Nice work snagging Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp for your fantasy baseball team. Way to get ahead of everybody who will be drafting in March. We personally wouldn't have used our first-round pick on him — especially since outfield is about the deepest position in fantasy ball — but any time you've got the opportunity to lock up a guy with 30-home run, 100-RBI power (not to mention 40+ steal potential and a career .826 OPS), we suppose you gotta make that move.

Still, we'd be lying if we said we weren't a bit concerned about the rest of your fantasy team. Taking an OF that high basically means you're gonna be screwed in the later rounds, especially when it comes to middle infielders. Trust us, you don't want to head into 2010 with Ronnie Belliard as your everyday second basemen.

So, to help salvage your season, we've gone ahead a made a list of players you should take with your remaining draft picks. Assuming guys like A-Rod, Pujols and Teixera will be long gone before you make your second selection (unless you're in a league with, say, Ke$ha — we hear she sucks at fantasy baseball), here's the guys you should be targeting the rest of the way. Also, we're leaving out all pitchers, mostly because there's a million of them and we're lazy. Anyway, here's our draft guide. And remember, if you pull this one out, we get 10 percent of the winnings. It's only fair.

Catcher: Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins

We'd take him with our second pick, mostly because of position scarcity. After him (and maybe Victor Martinez), major-league catchers are offensively inept (don't believe what anyone tells you about Ryan Doumit). So if you can snag the reigning American League MVP, do it and do it quickly. Plus, he has nice sideburns.

First Base: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

This is assuming guys like Prince Fielder, Justin Morneau and Miggy Cabrera are already off the board. Votto is young, hits for both power and average, and — provided he can stay sane (something that proved tough in '09) — he might be the steal of the draft. You could also pick Kemp's teammate James Loney here, but that dude doesn't have any pop.

Second Base: Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds

He's probably not going to be available past round two, though he had a pretty lousy 2009, so who knows? When he's right, he can mash. Plus, the dude is always smiling. And everyone can use a little happiness in their lives.

Shortstop: Stephen Drew, Arizona Diamondbacks

Again, this is assuming the big names (Han-Ram, Reyes, Rollins) are off the board. You might be able to grab Troy Tulowitzki here, but probably not. Basically, Drew has 20-HR power, and if he could work on the strikeouts, he's a nice value pick.

Third Base: Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals

He's perhaps the most boring dude in all of Major League Baseball, but while no one was paying attention, he had a massive 2009 (33 HRs, 106 RBIs). Certainly not the sexiest pick, but Zim is steady and dependable — the kind of guy you can set in your lineup and forget about. And we all want a guy like that on your team.

Outfield: BJ Upton, Tampa Bay Rays; Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles

To round out your outfield, here are a couple of guys that can probably be had in the later rounds (Upton because he had a thoroughly lousy 2009, and Markakis because he's a totally boring white guy). We're looking at a bounce-back year from BJ and more of the same from Slick Nick. If you wanna throw everyone for a loop, take Nyjer Morgan. That dude rules.

DH: Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals

Forget about David Ortiz — Billy's the guy for 2010. When he's not striking out or being demoted to the minors, Butler's crushing bombs, and he'll be around late in the draft. Also, he looks like he'd be a fun guy to party with, and every fantasy team needs at least one dude like that (it’s known as "The Kevin Millar Rule").