Vlad's FAAB Values: Week 3
Keeping my weekly offering very simple: every week I’ll lay out the starting pitchers who may be on your waiver wire in 10, 12 and 15-team leagues as well as the hitters you may want to go after. Unless specified, assume you don’t want to bid more than one to ten percent of your remaining FAAB budget. I’ll also be sure to point out the potential ‘two-steps’ (starting pitchers getting two starts in the coming week). Just note how important it is that you never simply pick up and play a two-step SP unless you have faith in him. Later on, in August or September, you can utilize this strategy to try to catch up in roto wins and strikeouts if you need them, but more often than not, two-start pitchers on the waivers are there for a reason – they’re hazardous to your teams!
WEEK 3 TWO-STEPS
15 and 12-team MUST BID (if available)
- Mike Foltynewicz, ATL (vs. PHI, vs. NYM)
- Yonny Chirinos TB (vs. TEX, vs. MIN)
- Tyler Skaggs, LAA (vs. BOS, vs. SF)
- Chris Stratton, SF (@ ARI, @ LAA)
These guys are likely all owned in your leagues if they're competitive ones. If they are available, your league is slippin'. Folty is a great add if available, rocking a 27% strikeout rate and an ERA under 3.00 in three starts. He's always had issues with control but was a solid prospect who has shown glimmers of potential.
Chirinos, a rookie fireballer, has yet to allow an earned run this season. He started the season off as a middle reliever and has found his way into the rotation after a solid spot start. Chirinos may likely never relinquish the role this season. His two-step sure looks good on paper, but as a rookie, you know the time will come when the league begins to figure him out. Nevertheless, he has a solid four-pitch arsenal, including a splitter which tops out at 97 mph.
Skaggs' issue has always been staying healthy. He'll likely go for the least of these big three in FAAB, but Skaggs could have the best long-term value and I believe has the highest floor. You can go up to 20 to 25% for these guys in 15-teamers (definitely less in 12's since you can stream there). Consider your league a fish-filled one if any of these guys are just sitting there in free agency (if it's a 15-teamer or above).
As for Stratton, he's a nice guy to own, but I could see benching him this week for his starts since he doesn't offer much strikeout upside and isn't pitching at home. Take last week's one-hitter against the Padres in PETCO with a grain of salt - after all, it's the freakin Padres. In a 15-team league with a $100 budget, and say you have 85 left, I wouldn't spend more than $10, especially if you are not going to use him.
15 and 12-team streamers
*Graded on a 1-10 scale for these two specific starts
- Nick Pivetta, PHI (@ ATL, vs. PIT) --- 6.5
- Zack Wheeler, NYM (vs. WAS, @ ATL) --- 6.0
- Trevor Williams, PIT (vs. COL, @ PHI) --- 6.5
- Hyun Jin Ryu, LAD (@ SD, vs. WAS) --- 7.0
- Brent Suter, MLW (vs. CIN, vs. MIA) --- 5.5
- Steven Brault, PIT (vs. COL, @ PHI) --- 5.0
Williams and Pivetta will be the most popular of the bunch in Sunday bidding, but be forewarned. Williams is a former second-round pick of the Marlins and was a league-average major league starter in his first full season with the Pirates last year (4.07 ERA). Beware buying high on him in 12-teamers because of this two-step, but I'd definitely bid for depth in 15-team NFBC leagues. He's much better at Twitter than he is at pitching, but the Pirates still employee SP-wizard Ray Searage as their pitching coach, and he has a history of working wonders. Williams boasts a 1.38 ERA through three starts but a 4.63 xFIP and 91% strand rate paints a picture of luck being involved so far. Pivetta is definitely intriguing because of his K upside (29% thus far) and has sterling ratios through three games (2.70 ERA, 0.96 WHIP), but there's only one place those numbers are going and that's UP. Last year, he dominated lefties somewhat (.306 wOBA) and got crushed by righties (.409 wOBA), showing some reverse splits, but that's already beginning to normalize this year (exact opposite so far in 2018). I do like Pivetta long term, but what scares me most this week is the @ATLANTA!
Wheeler is likely to get overbid after a fabulous start last week (7 IP - 2 H - 0 ER - 7 K vs. MIA), but this was, of course, the Marlins. Wheeler is a former first-round pick (sixth overall) who dealt with Tommy John surgery in 2015/2016 and was beat up last season (5.21 ERA, 10.4% BB rate in 17 starts). He should be a part of this rotation going forward and does have some value in 12 and 15 team leagues.
Of the final four on this list, Ryu is the one I trust most and feel best about streaming. He really isn't an awful pitcher, plus he gets one start against the Padres and the second start against the Nats isn't as bad as it may seem with their best hitter (Harper) also a lefty. Ryu has some strikeout upside and cruised through a gorgeous gem against the A's last week, whiffing eight and allowing just one hit and one walk.
Danger Zone (consider for AL/NL-only or 16-team and above; aka only out of severe desperation)
- German Marquez, COL (@ PIT, vs. CHC) --- 4.5
- Adam Wainwright, STL (@ CHC, vs. CIN) --- 4.0
- Andrew Cashner, BAL (@ BOS, vs. CLE) --- 2.0
- Martin Perez, TEX (@ TB, vs. SEA) --- 3.5
- Carson Fulmer, CHW (@ OAK, vs. HOU) --- 3.5
- Jordan Zimmermann, DET (vs. BAL, vs. KC) --- 3.0
Sure, there may be a solid two starts out of one or two guys from this list, but they are dicey. We can save our fight in roto leagues for wins and strikeouts for later in the season. Not only do I think Wainwright may be toast, but "@ Cubs" is not something I want to mess with. I'd consider Marquez if both of his starts were on the road. But pitching him at Coors Field against the Nationals? No thanks. Cashner, Perez and Zimmermann are typically guys we stream hitters against in DFS so why would we start them in season long?
Other SPs worth considering (to own, not necessarily to play this week)
- Nick Tropeano, LAA
- Andrew Heaney, LAA
- Jarlin Garcia, MIA
- Sean Newcomb, ATL (likely owned in your league, but he has to be mentioned)
Teams with seven games
Braves: 3 vs. PHI, 4 vs. NYM
Mets: 3 vs. WAS, 4 @ ATL
Phillies: 3 @ ATL, 4 vs. PIT
Brewers: 3 vs. CIN, 4 vs. MIA (all home)
Pirates: 3 vs. COL, 4 @ PHI (nice on paper)
Orioles: 1 @ BOS, 3 vs. DET, 3 vs. CLE
Red Sox: 1 vs. BAL, 3 @ LAA, 3 @ OAK
Blue Jays: 3 vs. KC, 4 @ NYY
Astros: 4 @ SEA, 3 @ CWS (all road)
Mariners: 4 vs. HOU, 3 @ TEX
Twins – Indians two-game series on Tues/Wed takes place in Puerto Rico
The Cubs visit the Rockies in Coors next weekend
Orioles – Red Sox play the annual Patriots Day game on Monday morning EARLY (8:10 am PT) so be sure to set your lineups
Catchers (% owned in NFBC 12-teams listed)
- Kurt Suzuki, ATL (52%), Christian Vazquez, BOS (98%), Chance Sisco, BAL (50%), Matt Wieters, WAS (46%)
- Blake Swihart, BOS – 15-team stash
Suzuki should fit the bill for those who may be losing Travis d'Arnaud. Flowers is out for a while with his oblique strain and Suzuki has been hitting well, including a 2-HR game on Wednesday.
I do like Christian Vazquez long term, as he doesn't hurt you in BA and can add you a few swipes as well - plus the Sox get seven which means he'll play at least four (Sandy Leon will get the other starts).
Blake Swihart is another catcher worth mentioning, as he hits when in the lineup, but there simply isn't a full-time job available for him. Cream always rises to the top so if he's healthy and hitting, playing time will arise. Swihart can play OF and DH but is eligible at catcher.
- Chris Davis, BAL (95%), Eduardo Escobar, MIN (51%), Lucas Duda, KC (48%), Jedd Gyorko, STL (16%), Christian Villanueva, SD (19%), Dan Vogelbach, SEA (5%, for 15-teamers)
Haha, I am the guy who dropped Davis in a 12-team NFBC last week, because I needed to add someone and he was my worst hitter. I won't miss him (though I may bid for him back with a few bucks this week). It's just so hard to roster a guy who hits .220, even if he does crush a bunch of bombs.
Escobar is a solid bat in the middle of the Twins lineup. He is getting near full time at-bats with Jorge Polanco out for half the season.
Duda's got pop and is basically a rich man's (or poor man's, depending on who you ask) Chris Davis since he too can hurt the average, though not as bad in my opinion. He goes to Rogers Centre (where the Jays play) early in the week, then you have to sit him @ DET with the Royals facing three lefties (don't play Duda when lots of lefties are coming up).
Gyorko is more of a stash since he's not quite ready to return. He's got pop and should play a lot when he returns (starting a rehab assignment soon). As for Villanueva, the price just went up after smashing a couple of homers on Saturday.
Vogelbach is still holding it down while Ryon Healy is out. He's the AL version of Kyle Schwarber: a lefty bat who can't hit lefties worth a lick and...HE LOOKS LIKE SCHWARBS! Well, Fat Schwarbs, but nevertheless. Vogelbach can temporarily help your team in a 15-man league if you're looking for power out of the corners. Problem for this week is he gets some tough Astros pitchers and three southpaws.
- Dansby Swanson, ATL (74%), Asdrubal Cabrera, NYM (80%), Ketel Marte, ARI (43%)
- For 15-teamers: Yolmer Sanchez, CWS (10%) and Ben Zobrist, CHC (5%)
Run, don't walk, to bid on Swanson if he's still there. I mentioned him last week and he's been crushing ever since. With Ender Inciarte missing a game, Swanson fit in well hitting second between Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman on Saturday. He'll go for a pretty penny where available.
Yolmer (also known as Carlos) is just someone I like all around and like his multi-position flexibility for 15-team leagues and above. Zobrist is swinging well and going to Coors this weekend (also an OF'er).
Marte bats second ahead of Paul Goldschmidt, one of the league's most primo lineup slots. This entire offense is working a new analytics-driven approach from hitting coach Dave Magadan, and it's paying dividends for mediocre slap hitters like Marte, Chris Owings and even Nick 'no stick' Ahmed. Marte has a whopping .445 wOBA against lefties so far this year, among the league leaders. The Dbacks hit the road against NL West opponents (Giants/Padres) and face three subpar lefty arms.
- Mallex Smith, TB (70%), Jackie Bradley Jr., BOS (77%), Leonys Martin, DET (37%), Hunter Renfroe, SD (52%),
- For 15's: Franchy Cordero, SD (7%), Teoscar Hernandez, TOR (5%)
Add Smith and Martin for speed. Smith will find his way atop the Rays lineup full time soon enough. Martin won't help the average much but works well as a leadoff guy who can get you some steals.
Bradley's availability is just someone being impatient. It isn't ideal that he bats in the bottom third of the lineup, but he'll be helpful once he gets going.
Renfroe and Franchise are on my list for the second week in a row, with Cordero still being a bad-BA, high upside guy to enjoy (in 15-teamers), while Renfroe we love when there are southpaw pitchers in the coming week (the Padres get three this week).
Finally, make sure to put in a competitive bid for the services of Mr. Teoscar. Hernandez had his cup of tea(oscar) last season, playing 27 total games down the stretch for the Astros before getting traded to the Jays. He smashed eight homers in just 95 PA. He's going to struggle to hit for average, but he's likely already better than Randal Grichuk, and now's the time to snag him before he renders Grichuk useless altogether.
Remember to be patient with players you believe in and drafted. Unless injury strikes or you're just flat wrong, we can’t be dropping semi-stud MLB players because of small slumps. The season is 162 games, and we’re only getting started. Be smart on the waivers and continue to grind out, #EliteMafia!