2024 MLB Week Seven FAAB Insights

Which players should you spend your FAAB budget on?

My mom has taught me a lot about consistency.

It would be difficult to get her to label herself as one, but Mom’s a warrior. Mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) when she was in her early 20’s, right around the time I was born. It’s an auto-immune disease that affects different people in different ways. Over the years, it’s given her fits with the way it’s changed and affected her differently at different stages in her life. She’s managed it well, and even entering her 60’s, she’s still doing fantastic from a health perspective. But I doubt she’s told me even half of how much she’s had to battle the disease. She’s become really good at hiding her issues, deflecting or disguising her fatigue after long days. It was only recently that I noticed a change in her handwriting – I’m pretty sure she hasn’t had full feeling in her fingers in years. But she still writes in every birthday card. And Christmas card. And Valentine’s Day card. And First Day of School card. You get the idea. If you didn’t know she suffered from the disease, you probably wouldn’t notice. She’s battled MS relatively quietly, grinding through different treatments, drugs and doctors visits throughout the 30-some years that she’s managed her illness and has done it with grace. We can only hope that we get another 30.

So I just used 200 words to wax poetic about my mother and now I have to somehow relate all of that back to fantasy baseball…

Despite all of the things going on in her life – three very busy kids, a full-time job, a chronic illness, and all kinds of other things – Mom showed up. At work, school functions, athletic events, social outings, family gatherings, you name it. Mom showed up. Her consistency, the way you knew what to expect from her, is what we as fantasy managers can emulate. Just show up. Every Sunday night, complete your FAAB bids – not just for yourself but for your league-mates as well. That guy in second who spent most of his FAAB just clawing toward the top is counting on you to price-enforce so that the first place team can’t just swindle all the top waiver claims for cheap.

Be consistent. Make your mom proud.

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 are scheduled for seven games to open the week with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Seattle Mariners each slated to play every day. The other 20 teams will play six times (unless, of course, weather factors in).







Jonny DeLuca ($$$$): DeLuca has been productive in his first few games off the injured list, batting 5-for-15 with an absurd 10 RBI in just his first four games. He’s also stolen two bags and hit a home run. But wait, there’s more! DeLuca has started all five games for the Rays since returning from injury – and that’s even with Josh Lowe coming off of the injured list as well. If he’s going to get consistent playing time, we could be looking at a breakout season similar to Lowe’s from last year.

Eddie Rosario ($$$): Rosario was amazing over the past 10 days, posting eight hits, eight runs, four RBI, two home runs, and three stolen bases in his last five games entering the weekend. Despite batting 8-for-23 recently he’s still only hitting .159 on the year. So the floor is low, but the ceiling is relatively lofty compared to other waiver outfield options. He finished last season with 21 home runs and 74 RBI, and he already has more stolen bases than he did a season ago. Hopefully, he stays hot long enough for fantasy managers to collect some of the counting stats he is producing.

Luke Raley ($$): After one of the slowest starts in the league, Raley is finally beginning to show signs of life. Raley is 4-for-10 over his last three games entering Saturday and should face at least five right-handed starters next week. The Mariners will need him to start producing soon, and so will fantasy managers who roster him.

Dairon Blanco ($$): Blanco is easily the most fascinating fantasy outfielder in Kansas City, he just needs to get on the field more. He showed out on Thursday night, batting 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, four runs scored, two RBI, and two stolen bases. Do you see any other outfielders on your waiver wire with the potential to post that kind of line? Didn’t think so.

JJ Bleday ($): With Oakland playing seven games this week, Bleday becomes an option as a fifth outfielder or utility piece. It’s not a sexy pickup by any means, but Bleday will get playing time in the Oakland outfield and has produced when given a chance so far this season with four home runs.

Andrew Benintendi ($): Another guy who’s getting regular playing time that could accumulate some stats for your squad. Nothing exciting here, but someone in that White Sox lineup is bound to produce at least a little bit. Might be Pham, might be Benintendi. It won’t cost you much to take a flyer on the veteran lefty.

Heliot Ramos ($): In an extremely small sample size, Ramos has hit the ball on the screws in almost half of plate appearances and has a .333 batting average through three games. He’s only seen 80 major league plate appearances entering this year, so the once-hyped prospect could end up figuring things out in his age-24 season. He might be worth a small bid as the Giants search for consistency in their outfield. Or he could be sent back down to the minors when Jorge Soler gets back. Time will tell.




Coby Mayo ($$$): Grab him before he gets called up to the big league ball club! There’s been buzz surrounding Mayo getting the call in the near future. In 175 AAA plate appearances this season, Mayo has batted .295 with 12 home runs, 36 RBI, and a .975 OPS, and he would fit well in the middle of the Orioles lineup. Be wary with the Orioles though, we all saw what has happened with Heston Kjerstad so far. And the club is clearly not afraid to option these young guns back down if they don’t perform.

Joey Ortiz ($$$): Speaking of Orioles’ prospects, Ortiz made it out of Baltimore and dropped into a near-everyday role with the Brewers. Ortiz is playing two-thirds of his games at third base with Oliver Dunn getting the other handful of starts. In his past 10 games, Ortiz has three home runs, 10 RBI, and nine runs scored. He should take over as a full-time bat in the Milwaukee lineup soon enough.

Ezequiel Duran ($$): With the Rangers suddenly lacking depth in their batting order, Duran has been thrust into the everyday lineup. With the Rangers playing six games at home this coming week, Duran will likely start at least five of them. He’s recorded at least one hit in five of his last six starts and has 3B, SS, and OF eligibility on most sites.

Jon Singleton ($$): Jose Abre-who? Singleton has stepped into the everyday first base role for the Astros after Houston demoted their other veteran first baseman to extended spring training, and has performed admirably. Singleton is not great for team batting average, but he’s got four runs, four RBI, and two home runs in his past five games. A poor man’s Kyle Schwarber might not fit everyone’s lineup construction, but Singleton will get playing time and might reach 25 home runs.

Trey Lipscomb ($$): Are we buying into Lipscomb? After nearly two months of baseball, he’s still holding down the starting third base position for the Nationals. He’s got a low strikeout rate, good plate discipline, and speed on the base paths, but very limited power. If your team is flush with home run hitters and needs some guys to produce runs and stolen bases, Lipscomb makes sense. But his 3B/CI eligibility makes him a little difficult to fit into most roster constructions.

Abraham Toro ($$): Toro is seeing red at the plate this week, batting 9-for-25 (.360) in five games entering the weekend. With 2B and 3B eligibility, Toro can add some position flexibility to your squad if needed and will help to prop up batting average (even if he doesn’t help much in counting stats).

Vidal Bruján ($): An everyday player for the Marlins, Brujan is on the verge of adding SS and 3B eligibility to his resume. Batting .254 with a .287 xAVG, he should be due for some positive regression, although he does play for the Marlins so temper expectations for counting stats in such a putrid lineup.

Carlos Santana or Jose Miranda ($): The two Twins corner infielders have each featured in five of the last six games for Minnesota and both are likely available on the waiver wire, even in 15-team leagues. Santana is more helpful for power stats, with five home runs and 15 RBI on the year, while Miranda (.295, 12 runs scored) has been better for teams with different weaknesses. Assuming they both remain everyday starters, they each make affordable waiver options at corner infield.




Gary Sánchez ($$): Sanchez is starting to remember how to hit the ball, with a pair of home runs this past week. He got consecutive non-catching starts, including Wednesday where he played first base, so the Brewers are willing to try just about anything to get his bat in the lineup.

Tyler Soderstrom ($): Called up by the Athletics after a cup of coffee late last season, Soderstrom will look to be better than he was last fall when he hit just .160 and struck out at a 34% clip.

Pedro Pagés ($): He’ll spell Iván Herrera in St. Louis while Willson Contreras is out. The bat isn’t much to get excited about, but he did hit 16 home runs in nearly 500 plate appearances in the minors in 2023.

Miguel Amaya ($): He’s the starter in Chicago ahead of Yan Gomes, not that I really want to have to rely on either. But in a two-catcher league managers need playing time. And Amaya is going to get it.




Starting Pitchers


Paul Skenes ($$$$): He’s owned everywhere, right? He has to be owned everywhere. There’s no way he’s available. But… if he is…

Robert Gasser ($$$): Six shutout innings of two-hit baseball and a win over a division rival is great and all, but is it enough to stay in a major league rotation among the likes of … checks notes… Bryse Wilson, Colin Rea, and Joe Ross? The Brewers SHOULD keep Gasser in the rotation, but we’ve seen teams do crazier things with pitching prospects (LOOKING AT YOU, MIAMI. Free Max Meyer!). He’s a legit arm with a very good sweeper that he throws for strikes and a 92 mph fastball that plays well off of it. He has a chance of replacing Tobias Myers in the rotation and throwing his next start in the series finale against Pittsburgh, or he’ll get the Astros in Houston. Either way, as long as he’s in the MLB, he should be rostered.

Patrick Sandoval ($$$): Sandoval has shown improvement in recent starts, including a King Cole performance on Tuesday against the Pirates, twirling seven shutout innings with a 15.5% swinging strike rate and a 36.9% CSW. He’s also rung up 17 strikeouts over his last 12 innings entering the weekend as well. He’ll face the Royals on Sunday and then the Rangers this coming week. So he may be a bench arm for the time being. But after the start in Texas, he’s scheduled to face Cleveland, the Yankees, San Diego, and Houston. Other than a Yankees lineup that has been hot recently, none of those offenses are that scary. Could this be a trap? Absolutely. But he’s still worth a solid bid this week in hopes that he continues his improved streak of pitching.

Slade Cecconi ($$): After a dud of a start against the Padres, Cecconi bounced back with a solid start and a win against the Reds in Great American Ballpark. Omitting his one bad outing, Cecconi has thrown 17.1 innings and allowed just four earned runs in his other three starts combined. With his next start penciled in against Cincinnati and then scheduled to face the Dodgers, Cecconi makes a great team streamer that managers can utilize in good matchups and stash to miss the bad ones.

Taijuan Walker ($$): It appears the Phillies have opted to keep Walker in the rotation ahead of early-season breakout Spencer Turnbull. After getting touched up for six earned runs in his season debut, Walker put together a quality start against the Giants last time out (and will pitch again on Saturday against the Marlins). With a revenge game against the Mets next on his schedule, Walker should continue to produce solid starts with a near-elite 45% STR-ICR rate in spite of just an 8.9% swinging strike rate. Basically, he’s really good at inducing weak contact.

Trevor Williams ($): I know Nick is on the #NeverTrevor train, but Williams has posted seven straight starts allowing three earned runs or fewer. This week he lines up for two starts, including one against the hapless White Sox. A significant increase in sweeper usage (from 3% to 18%) seems to have boosted the effectiveness of his fastball, dropping batting average against on the pitch from .283 last year to .236 this season. It could be a small-sample thing and completely blow up in fantasy managers’ faces, but for now I’m thinking we change the hashtag to #SometimesTrevor.


Relief Pitchers


Yennier Cano ($$): There’s no way that the Athletics trade Mason Miller … but if they did it would probably be to the Orioles. Because Craig Kimbrel can’t close a curtain right now, let alone a baseball game. Kimbrel has allowed at least one earned run in four of his last five appearances, including a pair of blown saves against Oakland. Cano is next in line in Baltimore (unless they acquire another late-inning reliever) and has the chops to get the job done in the ninth.

David Robertson ($$): He’s been really gosh-darn good for the Rangers recently, with 8.1 consecutive scoreless innings. This week alone, Robertson recorded a win, a hold and a save to anchor the Texas bullpen. Though Yates seems locked in as the closer, Robertson would assume the role if there was ever a need.

Lucas Erceg ($): It would be very Oakland Athletics of the Oakland Athletics to take the one above average thing that they have on their roster and immediately trade it to another team for whatever gaggle of prospects that they could get their grubby little hands on. If you hadn’t heard, trade rumors are swirling around Mason Miller. If anything comes to fruition, Erceg is next in line. In the meantime, he’s great for holds and will get some saves here and there when Miller needs a night off. And the Athletics are winning more games than we expected so it’s not a bad speculative play.

Caleb Thielbar ($): So Thielbar has recorded a save in three of his last seven outings. It seems more by dumb luck than by the Twins setting him in the ninth-inning or high-leverage role. But dumb luck saves count for just as much as smart luck saves.


Brett Ford

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

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