Now that Memorial Day has passed, it’s time to get down to the real business of spending our FAAB — wisely this time. Sure, it’s fun to throw around 50% of your budget in the first month, but what do you have to show for it after it’s all said and done? An injured reliever and a fourth outfielder? Perhaps. If that doesn’t sound like you, congratulations on resisting the urge, and perhaps congratulations on fielding the only team out there not riddled with injuries.
I’ll be continuing to look over weekly trends in waiver pick-ups and FAAB spends across a series of leagues, with a focus on National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC) 15-team leagues, including the Main Event (ME) and The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational (TGFBI). The ME sports 43 different leagues (645 teams), while TGFBI has 29 leagues this year (435 teams). If you don’t play in these leagues, don’t worry, there’s useful info coming your way here as well. The trends from these leagues give all fantasy managers insight into the value being put on both long-term and short-term production, while bringing light to some of the tough decisions that have to be made to get the most out of your roster, whether it be a 40-man roster or 20-man roster.
To put things in perspective, all NFBC rosters have 30 spots with no Injured List (IL) spots, so in a 12-team league like the Online Championship (OC), the “best” 360 players are rostered at any given time while in a 15-team league like the ME or TGFBI you could assume the “best” 450 players are rostered, making scraping the free agent barrel a bit more difficult. Of course, I put the word best in quotations, as the players rostered will fluctuate based on not only the managers that play in the league and their own evaluations, but also the roster construction and needs of the teams involved.
With no spots to stash injured players, NFBC leagues force managers to make tough decisions when it comes to when to cut players not performing and how long to stash both prospects and injured players, giving everyone else watching an eye into the potential production of players on the edge of your watch list. You don’t have to play in an NFBC league to make use of the information provided by those who do.
Ok, now that formalities are out of the way let’s get to work pointing out some of the most interesting trends, pick-ups, and drops I noticed in the latest FAAB period, which concluded on June 6. I’m going to keep my focus on the 15-team leagues this week as the pick-ups here may still be readily available in your 12- or 10-team leagues, so keep an eye out.
Getting the Call
Second Time’s The Charm?
This is about the time of year we start expecting a string of prospect promotions with the very fluid Super Two deadline typically sitting around this time. The past week saw quite a few promotions but a majority of them not being MLB debuts. Each of Taylor Trammell, Ryan Jeffers, Tucker Davidson, Bobby Bradley, and Bradley Zimmer had made their debuts before their most recent call up (Zimmer’s coming way back in 2017), but each finds themself in a new situation than when they first saw the lights of their Major League stadium.
Trammell now sits with clear playing time ahead of him in the Seattle outfield with fellow prospect Jarred Kelenic being demoted and reigning Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis out for the foreseeable future. Bradley looks to take over first base duties for Cleveland with the Jake Bauers‘ experiment coming to an end. Davidson looks to have solidified his spot in the Atlanta rotation due to pure need on the team’s behalf and adequate production.
Each of them brings something different to the table, but the main thing they have in common that makes them so valuable, especially in these deeper 15-team leagues, is a clear path to playing time. To chip away at those counting stats, your pick-ups need to focus on volume. Without it, the best skills go wasted on the bench and there’s no way to jump up in a particular category when you’re taking zeros.
Zeroes Aren’t An Option
Simply put – there’s no point in holding onto dead weight from here on out, especially on the offensive side of the ball. In a format like NFBC, where you’re able to at the very least swap out your bats midway through the week, having a deep bench of active bats allows you the flexibility to not only pick match-ups but also avoid zeros from mid-week injuries. You’re pitching is set for the week, so there should be a consideration to run with fewer bench pitchers, filling needs off the wire each week rather than relying on your bench stashes.
Watch Your Drops
Some interesting single league drops from the Main Event this past weekend included Alex Kiriloff, Josh Naylor, and Josh Staumont, while in TGFBI we saw Jesus Luzardo, Joc Pederson, and Ryan Weathers hit waivers in a single league. It will come as no shock to anyone to see each of them get bid on this Sunday, especially in such deep leagues. A helpful tactic to consider: as you’re looking over your league FAAB results, simply add the interesting dropped players to your watch list. That makes it easier to remember to consider a bid on them come the end of the week.
Most Dropped Players
Photos by Kiyoshi Mio and John Cordes/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Jacob Roy (@jmrgraphics3 on IG)