2024 MLB Week Five FAAB Insights

Which players should you spend your FAAB budget on?

Fantasy baseball is like pizza. There are a million different ways to do it and no singular “right” way, and everybody enjoys it differently. Personally, I like my pizza topped with crispy bacon and a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce and then dipped in ranch dressing. Is it traditional? No. Is it delicious? I certainly think so! That’s kind of like how fantasy leagues and formats differ from person to person. Personally, my favorite league is my 12-team 5×5 roto auction league with salary cap and keepers. It’s not traditional, but it sure is a lot of fun. I hope that – like a Friday night pizza dinner – you are able to find the format and league combination that you enjoy and don’t let anyone shame you for the way that you enjoy your pizza (and your fantasy baseball).

In this column, 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


It’s a busy week of baseball across the MLB as 10 teams will suit up for seven scheduled games this week. The Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Miami Marlins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, and Washington Nationals each have a full slate with every team in the league scheduled for at least six contests.







Heston Kjerstad ($$$): Be smart with your bid. The Orioles just sent down heir apparent Jackson Holliday, so none of these prospects are necessarily super safe to stay in the big leagues the rest of the season. Kjerstad has outstanding power and hitting abilities and should play well (relatively speaking) as a left-handed bat in Camden Yards. Orioles fans will need to bring their gloves if they plan on standing in the flag court beyond the right field fence, and keep your head on a swivel while you walk Eutaw Street. Kjerstad could be hitting some long balls out that way.

Jacob Young ($$$): One of the speediest outfielders in the league, Young has been everything we wanted to see from Victor Scott II so far this season. He’s .270 with a .314 OBP and stealing a ton of bases. In just 52 plate appearances, Young has six stolen bags and has made a few appearances in the leadoff spot for the Nats as well. Teams with a need for speed can snatch this street racer on FAAB this week.

Sean Bouchard ($$): Called up to the Rockies this past week, Bouchard hit four home runs in just 43 MLB plate appearances in his cup of coffee last season. Fantasy managers can hope for more of the same, but may want to wait to insert him into the starting lineup until the Rockies return home in a couple of weeks.

Amed Rosario ($$$): Rosario has played his way into the everyday starting lineup for the Rays, and even into the top third of the batting order. Rosario has raised his batting average to .341 with a 40% hard contact rate, ranking seventh among qualifying hitters. The Rays can be a fickle ball club, but as long as he’s hot they’ll stick with him in the lineup… and so should fantasy managers.

Wilyer Abreu ($$): Abreu got hot last week, carrying the Red Sox offense to a series sweep of the Pirates as he recorded seven hits and four RBI in three games. With the Red Sox scheduled to face only one left-handed pitcher this coming week, he should get plenty of opportunity to continue his hot hitting.

Pete Crow-Armstrong ($): Called up to the majors to replace the injured Cody Bellinger, Crow-Armstrong made a splash with a go-ahead home run in his debut. The bat isn’t his best tool, but it could be enough to make him fantasy-relevant.

Tommy Pham ($$): Immediately inserted into the top third of the White Sox lineup, Pham will have plenty of opportunity to do good things with his bat. He’s worth a streaming bid and could stick in fantasy lineups if he produces the way he has for most of his career.




Joey Ortiz ($$$): Finally getting regular playing time in Milwaukee, Ortiz will try to settle in and find his stroke in the Brewers lineup. He smacked his first home run on the season on Friday night, so maybe it’s working! Ortiz is a former Orioles infielder who came over in the Corbin Burnes trade and figures to be a centerpiece of the Brewers’ retooling. Fantasy managers will hope he lives up to the hype sooner rather than later.

Anthony Rendon ($$): This feels kind of gross, but after a historically bad first week of the season, Rendon has actually been a serviceable corner infield option in fantasy. He’s batting .267, including 14-for-39 in his last nine appearances, with three stolen bases at the top of the Angels’ lineup. Anybody who is getting on base in front of Mike Trout is probably going to score some runs.

Javier Báez ($$): The Tigers’ offense is downright boring, but at least we’ve seen some life from Baez. He’s doing something we haven’t seen (at least at this volume) at all in his career, and that’s swiping bags. Baez has six stolen bases in less than 100 plate appearances and is on pace to set a new career high, surpassing the 21 bags he stole in his breakout 2018 season. If he continues to run at this rate, he could be a valuable speed asset.

Jonathan Aranda ($): Aranda was sent to Durham for a rehab assignment to begin the weekend. The hit tool has been there for Aranda throughout the minors but didn’t translate in his small MLB sample size a year ago. Aranda would likely boost batting average without completely ripping managers in other categories, though he likely won’t steal any bases considering he has just six swipes in his past two seasons across two minor league levels.

Tyler Nevin ($): Batting second in a better-than-we-thought Oakland A’s lineup, Nevin has posted a .286 batting average across 62 plate appearances entering the weekend. He’s got a little bit of a prospect pedigree and should get plenty of opportunity in Oakland.

Jon Singleton ($): José Abreu is playing really poorly. And if the Astros aren’t going to call anybody up to replace him, then it will likely be Singleton getting the lion’s share of playing time at first base. We’re banking on opportunity more than anything here. Hopefully, you have better options, but if you don’t… well… he’s better than Abreu right now.

Addison Barger ($): Called up by the Blue Jays after a solid start to his AAA campaign, Barger puts the ball in play. He hit 26 home runs across three minor-league levels in 2022, so there’s some pop in the bat too. It will be something to watch whether or not it translates to the MLB level.

Matt Mervis ($): Mervis has been called back up to the big leagues after a cup of coffee last season. He batted just .167 in nearly 100 plate appearances, so this go-around can’t be much worse than that… although he did get shelled for six runs in his first career pitching appearance on Saturday. Mervis was batting .288 with a 1.008 OPS in AAA through 18 games, so we’ll see how well his second MLB stint goes.




Korey Lee ($): Lee is a better hitter than his counterpart Martín Maldonado, and has split plate appearances with the veteran so far this season. If Lee continues to improve defensively, he could surpass Maldonado on the depth chart as time goes on, although I’m not sure managers will want ANY catchers from the White Sox roster this season.

David Fry ($): He’s getting at-bats as a super-utility in Cleveland, so he’s viable in two-catcher leagues. With a .286 batting average across 50 plate appearances, he’ll do fine as a replacement-level second catcher.




Starting Pitchers


Mitchell Parker ($$$$): We have now seen Mitchell Parker work through three starts and look pretty solid in each of them. He’s allowed just three earned runs over 16.0 innings pitched and lines up against the Texas Rangers on Thursday if the schedule holds true this week. After throwing exclusively fastball-curveball mixes in his first start, he broke out a nasty splitter in his second outing (Nick loved it, by the way). He allowed just one run in four innings against the Marlins on Saturday and showcased the splitter as an out pitch yet again. If he does get shelled on Thursday and the current manager drops him, make sure to get him in FAAB next week!

Simeon Woods Richardson ($$): Though he lines up against the White Sox (again) in his next start, SWR isn’t someone that we should be hanging our hats on for too much longer after that start. According to Nick Pollack, he’s likely just a Toby.

Ben Lively ($$): If Ben Lively could only face Boston for the rest of the season, he would probably be fantasy-viable. He’s posted 11.1 innings against only the Red Sox so far this year, and in a super small sample has elevated his strikeout rate from 29.7% to 33.3%. The only real change in his repertoire is that he’s morphed his slider to a sweeper (at least that’s how we have it listed this year), so he may have changed the shape of it, and it seems to be helping him better disguise the fastball-sinker combination that he relies upon for 60% of his pitches. He’ll be tested for real on Sunday against Atlanta, but if he performs well, don’t be afraid to scoop him.

Ryan Feltner ($): Feltner began the season with three consecutive good starts, but has tanked in his last two outings. He’s allowed 10 earned runs in his last 9.1 innings pitched, but lines up for road starts against Miami and Pittsburgh this week. There’s not a better two-step out there, so if you’re looking for volume he could be a cheap way to get some.

Tobias Myers ($$): His first appearance went pretty well – he tossed five innings of one-run ball but took a tough-luck loss against the Brewers – enough that our interest is piqued for this coming week. Myers is scheduled to pitch today (Sunday) against the Yankees and then again next Saturday at Wrigley. Pay attention to his stat line against New York, and whether or not he can continue to get swings and misses on his fastball. If he does, bid away.

Miles Mikolas and Kyle Gibson ($): Boring veterans with good matchups. Both will square off against the Tigers in Detroit this week. The Detroit lineup has looked pretty listless – not that either of these guys is immune to getting knocked around – and both have the potential to post a quality start that might be better than whatever bench pitchers you have on your current roster.


Relief Pitchers


Justin Lawrence ($$): He’s getting saves (albeit, very few) for Colorado. And the Rockies play six games outside of Coors Field this week. There’s not a better time to grab some cheap saves with Lawrence.

Reed Garrett ($): He’s potentially the best ratios guy still available on your league’s waiver wire. As of Saturday afternoon, Garrett has yet to allow an earned run in 9.2 innings pitched and vultured wins in each of his last two appearances. The Mets will likely be in a lot of close games this season and Garrett will be in the thick of middle relief for most of the season. Give him a go and hope his string of great pitching continues.

Trevor Megill ($): I don’t know who the Brewers’ closer is. I’m not sure that the Brewers know who the Brewers’ closer is. Joel Payamps has pitched the ninth a few times recently, while Abner Uribe began the season with a few saves, but the situation seems fluid enough to take a shot on Megill.

Mark Leiter Jr. ($): Are we really going to believe that Héctor Neris is going to hold on to a closer role for the rest of the season? Leiter is next in line, assuming the Cubs don’t go back to Alzolay. And he’s been the most effective arm in the Cubs’ pen all year. He’s a speculative add that could also benefit ratios.

Justin Slaten ($): At some point, Kenley Jansen is going to break down. Slaten is ready. Although it seems that the Red Sox are more interested in keeping him in a long relief/fireman-type role. He could improve ratios and vulture some wins for fantasy managers who start him. The stuff is pretty filthy and he pops on PLV charts. He’s likely available for cheap as well.

Yennier Cano ($): Kimbrel blew a save on Friday night, and it’s likely that Cano is next in line if the veteran needs a break. It’s highly unlikely that the Orioles pivot away from Kimbrel as the closer, but they could give him a cheeky IL stint during which Cano would likely step into the ninth-inning role.

Brett Ford

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

2 responses to “2024 MLB Week Five FAAB Insights”

  1. Chris says:

    Rendon has a torn hamstring…

  2. Disappointed Dad says:

    I stopped reading this when I got to Rendon. It’s not that hard for someone to do a quick check on the news before drivel like that gets published.

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