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Chase Utley Returns From Disabled List For Phillies: Fantasy Impact

From time to time, I like to take a look at fantasy sports and write about how real life injuries can affect a fake team. Today, we look at Philadelphia Phillies second baseman, Chase Utley

Utley is a valued contributor to any fantasy team, oftentimes being referred to as one of the best second baseman to ever play the game. From his run production to his respectable stolen base figures, this guy can help any fantasy team. But can he stay on the field in 2011?

2010 was a tough season for Utley, playing in only 115 games (his worst games played total since 2004) due to lingering injuries.

This season was a continuation of this downward trend, and Utley has missed the first six weeks of the season with chronic knee pain.

At 32, Utley is only getting older. Is it possible that his best days are behind him?

A legion of Phillies fans would say otherwise. Utley still got on base at nearly a .400 clip in his injury-shortened 2010 season, and will look to put together a strong 2011 campaign starting tonight against the Cincinnati Reds.

Now that Chase Utley is off the disabled list, buying low might be off the table. Wait and see how the next two weeks go, then make an offer if he is slow out of the gates. Great players always return to form, and even if his value declines he will still be a top 5 second baseman by the end of the season.

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Philadelphia Phillies' Chase Utley watches his hit go into the stands for a three-run home run during the second inning of an interleague baseball game with the Minnesota Twins, Friday, June 18, 2010, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)