2023 MLB Week 19 FAAB Insights

Which players should you spend your FAAB budget on?

Have you recovered from the trade deadline shake-up?

Several teams made moves to improve their squads or improve their futures, creating new opportunities for some players while changing the circumstances in a negative way for others. Being the savvy fantasy manager that you are, you were well-prepared for the trade deadline moves and set your squads up nicely to take advantage of your players’ change in situation. We’re all amazing and everything is great, right?

Okay, let’s be real. There were some moves that surprised even the most well-prepared fantasy managers. We still have the opportunity to improve our teams through free agency, so let’s find ways to take advantage of all the changes across the league this past week.

Three teams play just five times this coming week, while nearly a third of the league will play all seven days.



Investment Rating System



Tommy Pham ($$$): The move to Arizona could be a positive one for Pham, who figures to be an everyday starter for the Diamondbacks for most of the remainder of the season. Though he has gotten off to a slow start with his new team, his production in New York with less-regular playing time should be enough to convince fantasy owners to invest in Pham for the rest of the year.

Avisaíl García ($$): Garcia finally returned from injury this week, further bolstering a re-tooled Marlins lineup. With extra protection surrounding him, Garcia has a chance to produce in the middle of a good Miami lineup.

Matt Wallner ($$): With five home runs in the last two weeks, the Legend of Matt Wallner continues to grow. He really is just Joey Gallo…but better.

Oscar Gonzalez ($$): Based on the moves that the Cleveland Guardians made at the trade deadline, Oscar Gonzalez is going to get a lot of at-bats the rest of the season. Gonzalez was outstanding a season ago but hasn’t looked the same in 2023… yet. He has the potential to pop off in August and September and will have as much opportunity as you please to do so.

Cade Marlowe ($): Marlowe is fast, and playing time in Seattle is there for the taking. A .421 OBP and .333 BABIP through 13 major league games have certainly helped his case as well. The Mariners may have struck gold with this relatively unknown prospect.

Trayce Thompson ($): Thompson should get a decent chance at regular playing time in Chicago where there aren’t many options in the outfield. Neither Oscar Colás nor Lenyn Sosa have been very inspiring, so Thompson should get a solid opportunity.



Zack Gelof ($$$): In two years, Zack Gelof will be a star of the Las Vegas Whatever-They-End-Up-Calling-Themselves. Right now, though, he could be an under-the-radar asset for fantasy managers. Nobody is watching Oakland (unless they’ve bet against them) so casual fans may be unaware of Gelof’s successes since being called up. With five home runs and five steals in his first 17 games, Gelof has made hard contact at an above-average rate leading him to a .561 slugging percentage. He’s worth the pickup and could be a nice pickup at the offensively-starved second base position.

Jeimer Candelario ($$$): Jeimer endeared himself to Cubs fans pretty nicely in his second stint with the club that brought him up to the bigs.

Brayan Rocchio ($$): The Guardians’ top middle infield prospect has gotten the call. His prospect pedigree makes him interesting enough to take a shot on, but his launch angle metrics are a concern as he tends to put the ball on the ground a lot.

Brendan Rodgers ($$): Back from the injured list, at least for now, Rodgers has always had a bat that fantasy managers admired. If he can stay on the field for the rest of the year, he might be a difference-maker over the final few months.

Alfonso Rivas ($): Rivas has taken over the first base duties for the Pittsburgh Pirates and has batted leadoff against right-handed starters so far. There’s some pop in the bat and the opportunity in Pittsburgh seems to be there. There are worse flyers to take.

Luis Urías ($): Shipped off to Boston, Urias may benefit from a fresh start. The Red Sox DFA’d Christian Arroyo, so they’ll likely expect Urias to take over in that role of utility infielder.

Masyn Winn ($): The Cardinals don’t have any motivation to begin Winn’s service time clock, but they might bring him up anyway. He’s got to be better than Taylor Motter, right? The next big thing in the St. Louis Cardinals‘ organization, Winn will likely bring speed and batting average while playing some outstanding shortstop. Scoop him now before he gets the call and his price skyrockets.

Jeter Downs ($): Downs is back with the big-league club in Washington and is hoping to stick this time. Despite his serious struggles against major league pitching in his first cup of coffee at the big league level (.154 through 41 plate appearances), Downs will look to teammate CJ Abrams as inspiration to revive the hype he once had as a major piece in the Mookie Betts deal. He’s a speculative add for speed and average.



David Fry ($): The Guardians have more or less mailed it in for the rest of the season, selling off important pieces of what was a contending team (albeit in the weak AL Central). With the exit of Josh Bell, Fry is getting nearly every day playing time as the Cleveland first baseman. Not bad for a catcher-eligible guy with a decent bat.

Freddy Fermin ($): With Nick Pratto headed to the IL, the Royals have begun to transition Salvador Perez to first base (where he belongs, frankly), allowing Fermin more playing time behind the plate. More playing time leads to more at-bats. More at-bats lead to more production. The Royals still stink, but at least Fermin is rosterable as a second catcher.

Yainer Diaz ($): Diaz has batted his way into the Astros lineup, earning more of a split with Martín Maldonado than he had prior to the All-Star Break. It’s a near 50-50 timeshare recently, and it puts him firmly in the top-20 fantasy catchers around the league.




Starting Pitchers

Cristopher Sanchez ($$$): Sanchez has been nothing short of special recently, but that might not stop the Phillies from relegating him to the bullpen. Even so, Sanchez would have significant value as a starter (obviously) OR as a long reliever, piggybacking off of Ranger Suárez and Michael Lorenzen along with any other Philadelphia starter that might be cut short during their outings. Sanchez could provide even higher win potential if he’s used out of the bullpen. Regardless of role, his skills merit a pickup in 12-team leagues.

Kutter Crawford ($$$): Crawford has looked really good in each of his last few starts, allowing just one earned run over his last 10.2 innings pitched. Crawford has done a great job limiting traffic on the basepaths this season with a 1.09 WHIP and has shown an increase in swing-and-miss stuff. He even earned a King Cole in his outing against the Cubs on July 16. With his next two starts coming against the Royals and the Tigers, I’m very in on Crawford this week.

Luis Medina ($$$): Luis Medina is sneaky good. Over his last five starts, he’s allowed more than two earned runs just once, posting a 2.67 ERA over that span with 31 strikeouts in 27.0 innings pitched. The dude can pitch!  It’s difficult to fathom rostering a starting pitcher from Oakland, but with the way that Medina has been pitching he has justified the FAAB add. Get him before your leaguemates do.

Ryan Yarbrough ($$): If my grandmother was in the Dodgers’ rotation, I’d pick her up in FAAB… and she throws underhand! Yarbrough throws the ball just a few ticks faster than Mom-Mom, but he’s not blowing anybody away. Regardless, he’s worth a bid with the potential for wins in that Dodgers’ rotation. Though don’t overspend, he likely won’t be there long as Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler work their way back from injuries.

Touki Toussaint ($): A mainstay in the Chicago White Sox rotation after they traded away pretty much everybody else not named Dylan Cease, Toussaint should get as much opportunity as he can handle. Toussaint is getting ground balls at an elite rate (54.6%) but has also given up a lot of hard, loud contact. Though his PLV rating is well below average (and near the bottom of the entire MLB barrel), Toussaint has still shown flashes of the potential he displayed with the Braves in his first few seasons.

Ryan Weathers ($): Moving from the West Coast to South Beach, Weathers gets a slight boost in park factor. The thought here is that the Marlins have done a great job developing young pitchers and turning their career trajectories around. Not suggesting that Weathers can be an overnight success story, but at the very least the ballpark in Miami will hold the hard contact he gives up better than the one San Diego did.


Relief Pitchers

Brooks Raley ($$): The good news is that Raley appears to be the closer in New York after they sent David Robertson to the Marlins, appearing AFTER Adam Ottavino in each of their last two appearances in the same contest. The bad news is that the Mets are not in a position to win very many games moving forward.

Erik Swanson ($$): As long as Jordan Romano is out, Swanson will be a strong candidate for saves. Though he’s now competing with Jordan Hicks in the Toronto bullpen, it would make sense that Swanson has earned more trust with the coaching staff since his tenure North of the Border stretches longer than Hicks, who was just acquired at the deadline.

Giovanny Gallegos ($$): The guy who we thought would be in consideration for closing duties in St. Louis at the beginning of the season is finally the closer.

Matt Brash ($): The stuff has always been nasty, but he was buried in the Seattle bullpen before the Sewald trade to Arizona. Now, Brash has been put just a little closer to high-leverage action, with only Justin Topa and Andrés Muñoz standing in his way. Brash did get the save on Friday (after Muñoz had pitched the previous two nights). So he’s at least in the ninth-inning conversation for the Mariners’ coaching staff.

Tristan Beck ($): Beck has been a highly versatile bullpen arm in San Francisco this season, earning pitching wins in each of his last two appearances. For fantasy purposes, we’d like to see Beck used in a follower role, pitching three to four innings as the second man on the mound, making him a much more likely candidate for wins. Regardless of role, Beck has posted solid ratios and an above-average PLV (5.10). Holding opponents to a .253 BABIP has helped quite a bit as well.



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.

2 responses to “2023 MLB Week 19 FAAB Insights”

  1. Mike Honcho says:

    12 teamer, 2 U spots, and an MI spot to fill.
    Choices are: Wallner; O’Hearn, Jankowski, L.Raley, Wallner, and B.Rodgers, E.Julien, S.Taylor, Berti, B.Turang.

    • Brett Ford says:

      Wallner and Raley with O’Hearn a close third for the UT spots, and then probably Julien (and then Rodgers) at MI

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