Welcome back to another FAABulous Sunday! As we enter the third full week of the season I’m really focusing on playing time opportunities with category upside. Let’s get to some names!
Zack Collins (47% ME, 15% OC, 14% Yahoo) – With Teoscar Hernández on the IL with an oblique injury, Collins has been slotted into the middle of the Blue Jays’ lineup as the DH vs right handed starters. Hernández has just begun taking swings, and Toronto has seven games this week (six vs. righty starters).
Daniel Vogelbach (15% ME, 1% OC, 9% Yahoo) – As Chris Clegg (@rotoclegg) mentioned on this morning’s episode of On the Wire (@OnTheWirePod) with myself and Adam Howe (@EightyGrade), Vogelbach is leading off most days (four of last five) for the Pirates. He won’t continue to hit over, or even near .300, and he only has 5 RBI in spite of 3 HR, but the leadoff spot will lead to more opportunities for homeruns and has led to nine runs scored.
Nick Solak (47% ME, 1% OC, 3% Yahoo) – Update – Solak has 16 PA from each side of the plate this season. He has hit .467 with both of his home runs vs. lefties and .071 vs. righties. I included him here last week stating that he’d hit higher in the lineup vs. lefty starters, but it now appears he’s on the short side of a strict platoon, and rightfully so.
Nico Hoerner (40% ME, 7% OC, 8% Yahoo) – Hoerner hits at the bottom of the lineup, but has been in the lineup everyday. Doubling his roughly 250 PA projections will give him a handful of home runs and double-digit stolen bases with a nice batting average.
Maikel Franco (89% ME, 16% OC, 8% Yahoo) – Playing time is the theme of the day — and season! Franco is hitting between fifth and seventh in the lineup on a daily basis for the Nationals, and in 65 PA he has the highest HH% and Barrel% of his career. He looks to be the guy he was in the shortened 2020 season for the Royals, when he paced for a full season 20 HR and 100 RBI, with a batting average that helps as well.
Thairo Estrada (89% ME,18% OC, 53% Yahoo) – 2B – In 311 career PA dating back to 2019, Estrada has hit .247 with 13 HR, 46 RBI, 51 R, and 9 SB in nine attempts. His .255 with 2 HR, 9 RBI, 12 R, and 3 SB in 58 PA as the Giants’ everyday second baseman is right in line with those career numbers. Evan Longoria and Tommy La Stella have both resumed baseball activities as they recover from injuries, but as long as Estrada is playing every day, he’s a must add.
Jesús Sánchez (Shallow league mention – 74% Yahoo) – Quite simply, Sánchez is a top-30 fantasy outfielder, so he should be snatched up in the quarter of Yahoo leagues where he is available. He has begun the year on the home run pace that led to 14 in 251 PA last season, and is hitting cleanup or higher every day for the Marlins. He may end with a batting average closer to last season’s .251 than the .340 he was at entering Sunday, but we’re looking at 30+ HR and 90+ runs and RBI.
Nick Gordon (9% ME, 1% OC, 1% Yahoo) – I was more interested in Gordon earlier in the week when it appeared Byron Buxton may have missed more time. They were both in the lineup in Buxton’s return on Saturday, so this needs to be monitored for a few games. But if Gordon is regularly in the Twins’ lineup, he can be helpful in the stolen base category without hurting your batting average.
Ramón Laureano (100% ME, 97% OC, 26% Yahoo) – Check to see if Laureano is available in your league. He began his rehab assignment Saturday evening and is eligible to return from his suspension in two weeks (May 8).
Joc Pederson (100% ME, 32% OC, 35% Yahoo) – This is a nice week to add Pederson in 12-team leagues if you need power and outfield help. He’ll look to add to his 3 HR as the Giants face a right-handed starter in five of their six games.
Jordan Hicks (96% ME, 46% OC, 23% Yahoo) – Add Hicks now where available, as he will no longer be available once he starts going five-plus innings in his starts. That may occur next weekend vs. Arizona after a start vs the Mets on Tuesday — both at home in St Louis.
Jon Heasley (0%) – It’s well known that most of the Royals’ young starting pitchers have had mixed results at best thus far in their careers — at least at the MLB level. Heasley had a 3.33 ERA in 105.1 IP with 120 K at Double-A last season and has begun 2022 with a 1.54 ERA with 15 K in 11.2 IP for Triple-A Omaha. He did get three starts for the Royals last season, including 5.1 shutout innings vs. Detroit, and finished with a 4.91 ERA in 14.2 IP. He should get another shot soon.
Keegan Thompson (0% ME, 0% OC, 15% Yahoo) – If you’re lacking SP depth and need some ratio help, Thompson has thrown at least 2.2 IP in each of his four appearances and has yet to give up a run. Walks were his only issue in his 53+ IP last season, but in his first 13.2 IP this season, he has a 6.4 BB%.
As usual, I’m not looking to spend big on any particular players this week. In $1,000 FAAB leagues, I’ll spend $40 to $50 in most cases. Good luck tonight, and enjoy the games!
Photography by George Walker & Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Michael Packard (@artbyMikeP on Twitter & IG)