What an awesome four days of baseball we just witnessed. I don’t know about you but I have surely missed watching some of the best baseball players play the game we all love. Whether it be Gerrit Cole versus Max Scherzer on opening day or Matt Olson hitting a walk-off grand slam in extra innings with the extra-innings rule. There have already been a few players that should have caught your eye that may be available in your leagues. In NFBC leagues you need to roster two catchers and there are a couple of catchers that have made an impact and should be rostered along with some potential closers. Let’s take a look at all of the players that stood out due to performance or opportunity that you should be considering picking up today.
Targets for Week 2
Before I break down some of my targets for this week’s FAAB run of the year I want to point you to Max Freeze’s Sit/Start article for week 2. This list will give you a nice guide and ranking system to see if some of the streaming targets you may be looking at are worthwhile. I use this list every week before I go in to set my lineups.
Catchers are a very important part of NFBC leagues as you have to roster two of them. Let’s start off with who should be rostered for this upcoming week of games.
Kurt Suzuki is a catcher that I was very interested in during draft season as I thought he could be a guy that would help in the average department and bat in a good lineup. Through four games it does look like he is in a timeshare with Yan Gomes but I believe Suzuki is the one to own out of the two. A catcher that can help in the average department and not hurt in the other categories is very valuable. Suzuki is only available in 6% of TGFBI leagues but he very well could be available in yours. If you are someone (like me) that stashed Joey Bart once he opted out of the season, Suzuki is a great placeholder until Bart gets the call.
Percentage of FAAB on Suzuki: 5%
Martin Maldonado is a catcher that will be in the lineup about 80% of the time during the week. Yes, he will bat at the bottom of the lineup, but that lineup he is on is the Houston Astros. They are loaded with talent and Maldonado has a chance to contribute with the bat. He is a defense-first catcher but in the first week, he is batting .500 with four RBIs. This will not last obviously but if he can not hurt you in the average department then he may be able to provide some counting stats for your team.
Percentage of FAAB on Maldonado: 5%
Other options that I like are Reese McGuire, Francisco Cervelli, and Curt Casali. McGuire is in a timeshare with Danny Jansen but he appears to have a good eye at the plate and a good bat while Jansen still hasn’t reached his full potential. Cervelli and Casali will be filling in for the starting catchers on their team for the foreseeable future. I would prefer Cervelli over Casali but if you need a guy to plug in and play, these are the two options.
Percentage of FAAB on McGuire/Cervelli/Casali: 3-5%
These hitters have shown enough in the first four days of the season to consider picking them up for week two and beyond:
Kike Hernandez is the main beneficiary of Gavin Lux not being ready to start the season with the Dodgers and he has impressed thus far. It is, however, up in the air how long his production could last because we have seen this from Hernandez before. A couple of good games throughout the week, we go and pick him up, and then he does nothing for us. In this case, he has the job until Lux is ready and we don’t know how long that will take. In a shortened season, we have to take risks on guys that are showing enough to warrant picking them up. Hernandez plays on one of the deepest lineups in the league and may just carve a role out longer than when Lux eventually gets the call. Hernandez is available in 88% of TGFBI leagues.
Percentage of FAAB on Hernandez: 10-12%
Austin Nola was a popular sleeper during the start season, especially in the draft champions leagues. Now that Tom Murphy has been sidelined, he might even get enough games of eligibility to be played at the catcher position. For now, he is eligible at first base and corner infield and should get a shot to play every day. He won’t play catcher every day, but he may play enough to warrant a utility start in a pinch or maybe even a corner infield start before he gains the catcher eligibility. The team around him isn’t great but he has enough skills to help your team as a second catcher with some flexibility to move him around in your lineup.
Percentage of FAAB on Nola: 5-8%
Mitch Moreland is on the short side of the platoon but he has shown in the past that he could be worthy of a roster spot moving forward. This week he goes up against the Mets and Yankees and the only right-handers that the Red Sox face are Michael Wacha, Jacob deGrom, and Gerrit Cole. This means he could be picked up under the radar this week for almost no FAAB and when he gets a good week of matchups you can slot him in at first base, corner infield, or utility.
Percentage of FAAB for Moreland: 1-3%
Other guys to look out for are Bradley Zimmer, Yoshi Tsutsugo, and Nico Hoerner. Zimmer seems to be a favorite of Terry Francona’s and with Delino DeShields and Tyler Naquin on the IL, Zimmer could get a lot of playing time in the corner outfield spots. He has always had potential but his health has been the main concern, if he is healthy he could provide some speed and a decent average as your fifth outfielder or utility player. Tsutsugo is owned in 97% of TGFBI leagues but there are those 3% of leagues where he is not owned in this weekend that could be your league. Make sure he isn’t hiding on your waiver wire because if he is, he’s your top target. Hoerner has started two games already for the Cubs at second base this season. He isn’t an uber prospect by any means but he is definitely someone that could help in average, speed, and maybe even home runs. With Anthony Rizzo having injury concerns and the questionable other players available at second base, he could take this job and run with it.
Percentage of FAAB for Zimmer: 5%
Percentage of FAAB for Tsutsugo: 25%
Percentage of FAAB for Hoerner: 5-10%
Pitchers are a little harder to dissect after only a four-game sample size which is why I pointed you to Max Freeze’s article at the top of the page. I’m not going to tell you to blow all your FAAB on Trevor Gott, Greg Holland, or Oliver Drake just because they were able to get a save this week. Gott plays for Kapler which means this could be his only save of the year. Holland is not what he used to be and it looks like Trevor Rosenthal may be the guy to own in that bullpen. Drake is one of the least likely relievers to get saves moving forward as there are at least four other pitchers in that bullpen that are more talented than he is (sorry Drake). Closers are going to be a fluid situation in this sprint of a season but it is best not to overreact to some of these one-offs that may happen.
Homer Bailey is currently slated for a two-start week versus the Cardinals and Indians at home. Bailey showed a few signs last year and may be worth a pickup if not just for the possibility of a win playing for the Twins and their heavy-hitting lineup. In the sprint of a season, every inning and ratio counts even more so if you think he has the possibility of getting blown up, don’t target him but if you think he can be a guy to help you then, by all means, pick him up for his two starts.
Percentage of FAAB on Bailey: 10%
Brady Singer looked very impressive in his first major league start versus the Indians this week and with two starting pitchers on the IL plus how effective he looked, I think he gets a shot at running with this rotation spot for the year. Even better than that, he is slated to face the Tigers in Detroit next week for one start. He is almost a must add for me just due to his potential and matchups moving forward. Although you won’t want to start him versus the Twins, every other team in that division is beatable.
Percentage of FAAB on Singer: 15-20%
We will have a better chance to look at some of the pitchers to target after the first full week of games and might be able to scoop up some gems after that. For now, take a look at Max’s article and ride your studs for the second week of the season. Of course, the best part is that we have baseball! Enjoy the FAAB bids and get ready for our first FULL week of baseball!
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