Welcome back to another FAABulous Sunday! With less than a handful of games played by each team, we shouldn’t be reacting to too much other than lineup positions and upcoming schedules as we tweak our fantasy teams for the first full week of the season. Right off the bat, we have a week with two teams, Arizona and Houston, that have both Monday and Thursday off while 14 teams are scheduled to play seven games. This will make it difficult to roll with our DBacks and Astros in weekly leagues, especially NFBC-style leagues for the first half of the week.
If you missed last week’s article, I’d encourage you to take a look back as many of the players mentioned are still available depending on league size and format. Let’s get to some additional names!
Jonah Heim (0% ME, 1% OC, 0% Yahoo) – Jose Trevino was moved to the Yankees after Mitch Garver was acquired from the Twins last week giving Heim the number two catcher role in Texas. He’ll be on the short side of playing time, but in deep two-catcher leagues, double-digit HR in around 300 PA are realistic.
Eric Hosmer (51%, 5%, 19%) – Yes, Hosmer has a 54.4 GB% for his career and hasn’t had a full season under 55.5% since 2015. However, he continues to hit in the middle third of the Padres lineup on a daily basis (3 out of 3 games thus far), so if healthy we’re looking at an old and boring .265/70/20/70/5. San Diego has a seven-game week ahead with six of them scheduled vs righty starting pitchers (career .290/.355/.463).
César Hernández (100%, 38%, 7%) – Yes, Hernández appeared in last week’s article, and while still universally rostered in Main Event leagues, his rostership percentage actually went down in both 12-team Online Championship and Yahoo leagues. He’s leading off with Juan Soto, Nelson Cruz, Josh Bell, and Keibert Ruiz hitting behind him!
Mike Moustakas (100%, 52%, 12%) – Moose is getting a break Sunday after starting each of the first three games for the Reds in the seven-spot in their lineup. Cincinnati will presumably give him semi-regular rest days in an attempt to keep him healthy which could lead to mid-20s HR in about 500 PA for the season. When healthy, he’s CI viable in 12-team leagues that he’s available in almost half of.
Santiago Espinal (4%, 1%, 1%) – In deeper leagues, I’m keeping a close eye on Cavan Biggio in Toronto. It is already apparent that Espinal is at least on the small side of a platoon for the Jays, but if Biggio’s struggles from 2021 continue Espinal is a career .270 hitter vs righties. Regular playing time would prorate his projections to near double-digit HR and SB in a lineup where R and RBI are plentiful.
C.J. Abrams (100%, 78%, 38%) – One of the several prospects being given a chance right out of the gate, Abrams probably won’t provide much power (at least not yet) but could be a nice source of SB if the Padres turn him loose on the basepaths. Unfortunately, his well-known prospect rankings and 80-grade speed will make his FAAB bids higher than I’m willing to go in most places he’s available.
Elvis Andrus (2%, 0%, 1%) – Andrus is in the lineup every day and will steal double-digit bases without an average that will hurt. He probably won’t ever hit 20 HR again, or even the 12 he had in 2019, but he’s not a zero in the category. It may sound crazy, but my expectations for Andrus are about the same as what I’d anticipate from Abrams THIS SEASON.
Josh Lowe (60%, 38%, 59%) – The Austin Meadows trade to Detroit left a void in Tampa that they filled by recalling the recently sent down outfielder just one day after that demotion had led to Lowe being dropped in many places last Sunday. Double-check your player pool. He may struggle with the batting average as his K% was in the mid-20s throughout the minors, but he has 20 HR/20 SB potential.
Yoshi Tsutsugo (100%, 21%, 4%) – 1B – Tsutsugo is hitting clean-up everyday for the Pirates. He’s a 20+ HR bat and will accumulate more R and RBI than many realize – even if that clean-up role is in Pittsburgh.
Seth Beer (51%, 6%, 11%) – Thursday evening’s heroics may inflate his price tonight, but he’s another prospect being given an opportunity who’ll provide moderate power with a decent batting average. Much like mentioned with Andrus and Abrams earlier, I’d personally prefer Tsutsugo with similar expectations for less FAAB in shallower leagues where both are available. Remember, Arizona has both Monday and Thursday off this week.
José Quintana (0%, 0%, 1%) – This is completely match-up based for those in need of SP depth this week. Quintana faces the Cubs and Nationals this week – both at home in Pittsburgh. His 2021 struggles were spearheaded by an 11.8 BB%, but that was accompanied by a 28.6 K%. If he can maintain anything close to the K% and drop the BB% towards his career 7.0%, he may be worth holding on to.
Rich Hill (57%, 7%, 5%) – The conundrum here is not knowing how deep into Red Sox games Hill will be allowed to go, but we can safely presume he won’t qualify for many wins, at least early in the season. He hasn’t had an ERA above last season’s 3.86 since 2013 and he’s still nearly a K/9 IP guy, so his match-ups at Detroit this week and vs the Twins and Rays next week are intriguing as long as you’re not expecting wins or a lot of innings.
Michael Wacha (98%, 4%, 1%) – On the flip side, Wacha has had an ERA below 4.13 one time since 2015. However, he has shown flashes when healthy and he has two starts this week – at Detroit and home vs Minnesota. This is not a move I’d make in leagues where I have SP depth but is an option I’m considering where I don’t.
Tyler Alexander (4%, 1%, 1%) – Alexander has been quietly pretty good the past two seasons thanks to not giving up free passes – 5.9 and 6.2 BB% in 2020 and 2021. He went at least 5 IP in each of his last four starts of 2021 giving up just 7 R in 22 2/3 IP (2.78 ERA). He’ll face Boston in Detroit and the Royals in KC this week.
It may be a bit early for streaming many pitchers, but I’m at least going to take a look at all four of these guys where I’m short on SP depth. Good luck tonight and enjoy the games!
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Michael Packard (@artbyMikeP on Twitter & IG)