2023 MLB Week 11 FAAB Insights

Which players should you spend your FAAB budget on?

I grew up in rural Maryland. The baseball fields were almost always flanked by rows of corn or cow pastures. The summers were hot and humid, and frankly, there wasn’t that much to do. But on Friday nights, bunches of us would crowd into hand-me-down sedans, the old early 90’s models with the bench seats up front so you could squeeze six teenagers in, and head down to Baltimore for student night at Camden Yards. On those Friday nights, it didn’t matter what grades we had gotten the week before, whose girlfriend had broken up with them or whose summer job was the worst. Baseball was our escape.

To the disbelief of most of my high school teachers, I’m a full-blown adult now. With a wife and kids and everything. We don’t live in Maryland anymore but the summers are still hot and humid and there’s still not a ton to do for a family of five (with three kids under four). Being an adult is tough. The three-year-old twins are loud and busy, and the five-month-old has decided to stage a protest against sleeping every night this week. I’ve gotten maybe eight hours of sleep since Monday. But baseball is still my escape.

I’ve mastered the art of watching highlights while bouncing and rocking a screaming infant in the dark at 3:00 in the morning. After nearly no sleep on Friday night, I spent all Saturday morning at a T-ball doubleheader (who in their right mind schedules a doubleheader for a T-ball team?). I think we’ve finally got my son to swing all the way through the ball and finally got my daughter to stop doing cartwheels in the outfield while the other team is batting. Baseball (even if it’s a bunch of little kids tackling each other to get the ball) is still my escape.

Here’s hoping that the fantasy managers out there are able to find some time this Sunday and set their lineups, submit their FAAB bids and enjoy a little bit of roster maintenance the same way that I do.

I hope baseball can always be our escape.

Nine teams will take the field every day this week as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays, and Texas Rangers each play seven games while the New York Mets, New York Yankees, and Milwaukee Brewers each play just five times, with off days on Monday and Thursday (so stay away from the Subway Series and the Brew Crew if possible).




Investment Rating System



Jo Adell ($$$): I am ready to be hurt again. Adell has once again been called up to the big league level in hopes that the trend of post-hype prospects breaking out (ex. Josh Lowe) can replicate itself in the Angels’ outfield. In his first plate appearance back in the bigs, Adell blasted a 451-foot home run. Don’t give me hope, Jo.

Joey Wiemer ($$$): Wiemer has earned consistent playing time with his glove and is paying off fantasy managers with his bat. The rookie outfielder has been a four-category contributor but has tanked batting average for managers so far. Already on pace for a 20-20 season, if Wiemer can improve his contact metrics he can be an elite option in a five-outfielder league. Note that Wiemer plays just five games this week.

Will Brennan ($$): The Guardians’ bats are beginning to wake up lately, and Brennan is no exception. In the past two weeks, Brennan has recorded seven multi-hit games, raising his batting average to .354 for the year. With relatively paltry counting stats so far this year, Brennan is similar to teammate Steven Kwan in that he doesn’t add much more than a solid batting average to your lineup.

Brent Rooker ($$): Rooker is thriving in Oakland, and could be a trade target for power-starved teams before the deadline. If he does get shipped to a contender (and maintains a significant amount of playing time), Rooker could be a major contributor for his power stats. He does carry a 26.9% strikeout rate, but when he makes contact he hits it hard.

David Peralta ($$): Peralta has started the month of June batting 8-for-15 (.533) in just five games so far. Peralta’s hard contact rate ranks seventh in all of MLB (38.4%) while his .295 xAVG far exceeds his .261 batting average. He typically starts against right-handed pitching, so his playing time should be relatively consistent, especially with the slow decline of James Outman.

Canaan Smith-Njigba ($): Called back up from AAA recently, Smith-Njigba has struggled in his 37 major league plate appearances. In 28 games at AAA Indianapolis, Smith-Njigba posted seven home runs, 22 RBI, and an .886 OPS. If he can finally transfer his plate skills to the MLB level, he could be a sneaky add in deep leagues.



Elly De La Cruz ($$$$): Someone cloned Oneil Cruz and put him in a Reds uniform. A no-brainer pickup. How much is too much FAAB for Elly? How badly do you need a potential five-category contributor that can do this?

Jace Peterson ($): He had one good game against Pittsburgh, and the Oakland offense is looking slightly more competent. That’s not enough to be regularly rostered, but it is enough to consider him for a single-dollar bid in deep leagues.

Ryan Noda ($$): Speaking of Oakland looking slightly more competent, Ryan Noda is really good at getting on base. A must-add in OBP leagues, Noda ranks sixth in all of baseball with a .410 OBP, thanks in large part to a 19.8% walk rate. Noda batted 6-for-16 with five walks in a three-game series with the Pirates. For fantasy teams in need of runs scored, Noda can provide that without hurting managers too badly in any of the other categories.

Emmanuel Rivera ($$): Rivera leagues all of MLB in hard contact with a 44.2% hard contact rate. His .367 batting average ranks only behind Luis Arraez, while his .490 slugging percentage ranks Top 10 in the league as well. A pleasant surprise for the Diamondbacks, Rivera has worked his way to regular playing time at the corner infield positions and designated hitter, nearly making Evan Longoria obsolete.

Luken Baker ($): Is that Matt Adams? Baker hit 18 home runs in just 198 minor league plate appearances so far this season. That’s not to say that his power is guaranteed to translate to the big-league level, but it could be fun to watch.



Yainer Diaz ($): Diaz is taking advantage of playing time opportunities due to injury. All season, Diaz has had good metrics and now they’re finally paying off with hits. In five games in the month of June, Diaz has hit .444 (8-for-18) with three doubles and a home run, recording a .778 slugging percentage. The bat plays. Now it’s up to the Astros to find a place for it in their lineup.

Willie Calhoun ($): Calhoun has received more at-bats since the Yankees waived Aaron Hicks, and even batted leadoff for the Pinstripes in both legs of their Thursday doubleheader. If Calhoun sticks as a leadoff hitter, he immediately becomes more interesting, especially in points leagues.




Starting Pitchers

Andrew Abbott ($$$$): Abbott is finally in the majors after ascending the minor league ranks. In two starts this past week, Abbott navigated a right-handed heavy Milwaukee lineup allowing just one hit over six innings. Against another righty-heavy lineup in the Cardinals, Abbott scattered five hits over 5.2 innings for his second win in as many starts. All of the sudden, this Cincinnati Reds rotation is one Nick Lodolo injury away from being kind of intimidating.

AJ Smith-Shawver ($$$): Name the last Atlanta pitching prospect that we didn’t get hyped about. I’ll wait. Smith-Shawver debuted on Friday and Nick Pollack summed his start up very nicely in his Saturday morning SP Roundup. He’s good, but probably won’t be great. However, there are definitely fantasy managers who will overbid for the shiny, new prospect. Be prepared to pay the premium.

Taijuan Walker ($$$): Available in more leagues than one would think, Taijuan Walker has been a solid back end of the rotation type guy. Six of his last 11 starts have been quality starts, and that doesn’t include a 5.1 inning shutout of the Cubs on May 21. His next matchup is against Oakland, which makes him a premium streaming arm for the coming week. Though his numbers suggest he could potentially stick longer than that.

Brandon Bielak ($$): What kind of trash cans are they banging in Houston to make their pitching staff so darn good? Since joining the rotation in May, Bielak has exceeded many expectations, earning wins in three of his last four starts. Though his strikeout numbers have not been outstanding, a high ground ball rate has allowed for a low WHIP, helping Bielak maintain a 3.35 ERA as well. He may be the odd man out once the Astros get healthy, but he should be on a roster while he’s starting.

Bryan Woo ($): By many accounts, Woo appears to be a similar prospect to Bryce Miller, touting a strong fastball but not much behind it. Well, that proved true in Woo’s debut, as he got six swings and misses on his four-seam fastball (22 pitches), but failed to get a whiff on anything else he threw. Seattle has churned out some interesting pitching prospects recently, and Woo might be the next one to take a chance on.

Mitch White ($): A former touted Dodgers prospect, White was reinstated from the 60-day IL and immediately called up to Toronto, potentially to join a beleaguered rotation. Things didn’t go so great for White a season ago, as he allowed at least three earned runs in each of his final seven outings of the season (including five or more earned runs in four of those appearances). However, with the Toronto offense as good as it has been recently, White could be worth a speculative add for wins.

Keaton Winn ($): Currently, only three guys in the San Francisco rotation are healthy, meaning that one of the Giants’ several prospects may get an opportunity to pitch in the big leagues soon. Dynasty managers everywhere are shouting for Kyle Harrison… but as Jake Maish wrote in this week’s The Stash, Winn makes more sense. He’s already on the 40-man and lines up for the weekend. The Giants can’t keep trotting John Brebbia out there every fifth day… right?


Relief Pitchers

Jason Adam ($$$$): By this point, Jason Adam should be 100% rostered in all 12-team leagues. Even if Fairbanks comes back, there’s a fair chance that Adam retains ninth-inning duties. And the Rays win a lot.

Andrés Muñoz ($$$): One of the most electric arms in the league is finally back from an injury. He should be in line for a high-leverage role in the Seattle bullpen right away and could supplant Paul Sewald for save opportunities eventually.

AJ Puk ($$): Puk is back from an injury and should immediately resume closer duties for the Marlins. Before heading to the IL, Puk posted 22 strikeouts in just 15.2 innings pitched with a 37.9% CSW. He is the preferred streaming closer option of the week (aside from Jason Adam)

Justin Lawrence ($$): Lawrence has overtaken Pierce Johnson as the closer in Colorado. The Rockies don’t win a lot and play in the league’s worst pitcher park. Tread lightly.

Trevor May ($): The closer in Oakland. And the A’s are playing a little bit better recently. For save-desperate fantasy managers only.

Chris Devenski ($): A strong setup man for the Angels, Devenski could get opportunities for saves if Carlos Estévez falters or fatigues.

Erik Swanson ($): Nearly untouchable as the setup man in Toronto, Swanson can help to calm ratios and could snatch a save chance or two.


Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Brett Ford

Born and raised in #Birdland. Some days you win, Some days you lose, Some days it rains.

One response to “2023 MLB Week 11 FAAB Insights”

  1. Benny says:

    You wrote Jo Adell but he’s been optioned to Triple-A

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