2024 MLB Week 15 FAAB Insights

Which players should you spend your FAAB budget on?

Summer vacations with kids can be a ton of fun, but for parents they’re a ton of work – the vacation, I mean… well, and the kids too. My wife and I packed up our twin five-year olds and our 18-month old in the family van for a trip a few hours south to see family this week. The trip was going great until about three hours in when the twins rose in a united, whiny chorus of “Are we there yet?”

I got to thinking about it, and that’s kind of how this fantasy baseball season is starting to feel. For anyone with a squad that is barely clinging to a league lead or even those who have fallen out of contention, the “Are we there yet?” feeling can resonate especially in these long days of summer. But we can’t get complacent and mail it in for the rest of the season! There’s player on the waiver wire that can improve our teams and make things better! Let’s take a look at the landscape of the league and find some players to spend our FAAB on this weekend, hoping to improve our teams as we reach the last week of action before the All-Star Break.

As a reminder, we’re focusing on players who are between 20-25% rostered in most 12-team leagues and/or 25-50% rostered in 15-teamers. Every league is different, so we won’t be labeling player bids with any sort of recommended dollar amount but instead will use a four-tier investment rating system, ranging from a minimal spend to a potential difference-maker (or LEAGUE-WINNER, if you will).


Investment Rating System


A total of 10 teams close the first half of the season with a full week of seven scheduled games. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Guardians, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals each play seven this week. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Royals and San Diego Padres each play a weird five-game slate with days off on Monday and Thursday to close the books on their first half.








James Wood ($$$$): NFBC-format FAAB leagues can officially pick up Wood (if he went undrafted) and add him to rosters. Last week, Wood went for over $250 in some leagues (including a 15-team mixed Tout Wars league where he was available) so get ready to open up the coffers and splurge if you want him. Through five games, Wood has five hits and a stolen base but hasn’t connected for a home run (as of Saturday morning). The power will come, but the encouraging signs are the high exit velocities and the low strikeout rate.

Masataka Yoshida ($$$$): Owned in 85-95% of leagues, Yoshida should be locked into a lineup in every 12-15 team league, regardless of format. He’s raking since returning from an injury a few weeks ago and deserves to be rostered over some other household names (Cedric Mullins, Daulton Varsho, Nolan Jones).

Leody Taveras ($$$): Taveras has been a bright spot for the Rangers the past few weeks, recording at least one hit in each of the last seven games he’s started and swiping three bags over his last 10 appearances. If he continues as the everyday center fielder in Texas, he should be able to give fantasy squads a boost in the second half.

Derek Hill ($$): Hill has appeared from thin air to become somewhat relevant in the Texas lineup, with three home runs in his first 34 plate appearances this season. A former first-round pick, Hill spent time in Detroit and Washington the past couple of seasons before arriving in Texas, where he’s already posted career highs in several offensive categories, including slugging, ISO and WRC+. Maybe he’s figured something out, but for now he seems like a flash-in-the-pan type.

Trent Grisham ($): Until Giancarlo Stanton returns or Jason Dominguez is recalled to MLB, Grisham is the Yankees’ everyday center fielder. There was once a time when he was regarded as having some ceiling in his offensive game, but his stock has tumbled in the past few years. Regular at-bats in a volatile lineup could rejuvenate his fantasy value.




Brooks Lee ($$$): If you listened to last week’s column and added Lee where you could, you’re ahead of the game! Lee was called up by the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday after Royce Lewis went down with an injury (shocking) and has started every game since. In three games, Lee has batted 6-for-13 with a run scored and four RBI. He’s got excellent plate discipline and a good hit tool but doesn’t project for too much speed or power. He’ll accumulate runs and RBI in a Twins lineup that could use the production.

Richie Palacios ($$): With Brandon Lowe serving as designated hitter, Palacios has gotten near-everyday playing time at second base for the Rays. With excellent plate discipline, a .270 xAVG, and just a 19.4% hard contact rate, Palacios has a clear path to ceiling if he can start putting the barrel on the ball more often.

Lenyn Sosa ($$): Overlooked because he’s a member of the worst team in MLB, Sosa has played just as well – if not better – as 100%-rostered guys like Zach Neto and Jordan Westburg the past two weeks or so. If he can keep the hot bat rolling, Sosa will benefit fantasy managers willing to take a chance on him in the second half.

Donovan Solano ($$): Donovan Solano continues to find his way into the San Diego Padres starting lineup. Even with Manny Machado returning from injury, Solano has supplanted himself as an everyday fixture in the lineup. He’s hitting (.288 AVG) and producing (18 RBI) despite poor contact metrics and middling plate discipline. He’s not exciting – in fact, he’s likely the least exciting name on the list this week – but he’ll get the job done.

Gavin Sheets ($): Sheets has seen his playing time reduced with the return of Eloy Jiménez and Andrew Vaughn from injury, but he’ll likely get back to everyday burn as the White Sox turn into sellers at the deadline. If (when) Tommy Pham is traded, that will open up at-bats in right field, where Sheets is serviceable. If Andrew Vaughn gets shipped out, he’ll be lined up for time at first base. Either way, buying low on Sheets now should pay off, especially if he can get back to how he was hitting in April (.279, 3 HR, 11 RBI in 100 plate appearances).




Rafael Marchán ($$): Marchan is splitting time pretty evenly with Garrett Stubbs and hitting for much more power than his teammate. He could ascend to the starter as the season progresses if he can continue his power surge.

Eric Haase ($): Getting at-bats in Milwaukee, Haase will be just relevant enough to roster in two-catcher leagues as long as Gary Sánchez is out.

Kyle Higashioka ($): Higgy has 10 home runs in just 114 plate appearances this season. That’s kind of nuts. If he can continue barreling the ball at a 14.9% clip, he’s getting enough playing time to at least be considered in deep leagues.




Starting Pitchers


Dean Kremer ($$$): Any starter that throws six innings for the Baltimore Orioles should be rostered (see: Albert Suarez). Dean Kremer is no exception, especially after twirling a gem in his return from injury this past week. Kremer registered a season-high 19.3% swinging strike rate with his fastball and splitter generating a combined 15 whiffs. Granted, it was against Seattle so take it with a grain of salt, but it was encouraging from Kremer and I want him on my squads where he’s available.

Joey Estes ($$): The kid threw a Maddux (complete game shutout in under 100 pitches). That’s got to be good for something, right? Well, we love his Str-ICR numbers (53.8%, 24th in MLB), but nothing else from a metrics perspective really pops off the page. It’s a gamble worth taking in pitching dry leagues, but with upcoming starts at Boston and at Philadelphia, you may want to wait a week.

Christian Scott ($$): He’s back in the big leagues, but Scott has registered just 10 strikeouts over his last 16.2 innings pitched. I’m concerned that he’s not missing bats. He hasn’t recorded a swinging strike rate of 10% or better in any of his last three starts. As a fantasy manager, I’m hoping he can right the ship, but at the moment I’m not that interested.

Davis Daniel ($$): Never trust a guy with two first names. After throwing an absolute gem in his debut against the Tigers, Daniel tossed a dud in his second start against Oakland, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and recording just three strikeouts. With a two-start slate against Texas and Seattle this week, Daniel could pay off for those bold enough to start him, especially against the strikeout-heavy Mariners. Personally, I need a larger sample size before I make a decision.

Kyle Freeland ($): Freeland has put together three straight quality starts, including two at home. Over his past three outings, he’s allowed just three earned runs in 19.2 innings pitched. His final start of the first half comes at Cincinnati on Wednesday (a game in which I will NOT be starting him), but he’s at least worthy of consideration if he continues his hot streak of pitching.


Relief Pitchers


Porter Hodge ($$): Héctor Neris can’t hold onto the closer role in Chicago all year, can he? Craig Counsell could make a move in the near future to change the team’s ninth-inning plans, and if he does it ought to be Hodge that gets the call. Hodge has allowed just two earned runs in 12.0 innings pitched since being called up and has been Chicago’s only truly reliable reliever recently. With a fastball-sweeper combination that has generated a 34.0% strikeout rate, Hodge is on my shortlist of speculative save adds.

Michael Soroka ($): Soroka has allowed just three runs (one earned) in his last four outings, spanning 11.2 innings pitched. He’s also recorded 20 strikeouts over that stretch. He’s almost completely ditched his sinker, which he threw at a near 30% clip last season, and is leaning heavily on his slider. There’s no way that the Chicago White Sox can actually FIX a pitcher after years of breaking their top arms, is there?

Yennier Cano ($): This is merely a usage speculation play. Craig Kimbrel has pitched three times already this week and has shown earlier this season that overusing him can severely affect his performance. Cano could see increased action this week as the Orioles enter the All-Star Break and look to give their aging closer some extra rest.


Brett Ford

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

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