2024 MLB Week Six FAAB Insights

Which players should you spend your FAAB budget on?

Some weeks it’s tough to come up with a theme for the intro to this column. Other weeks it comes easy. This week, I actually had a choice between celebrating Cinco de Mayo by writing the entire column en Español for Cinco de Mayo on Sunday or going with a Star Wars theme to coincide with Saturday, May 4th being Star Wars Day. Since my Spanish vocabulary is muy pequeño, I decided we would go with the Star Wars theme this week.

It’s always tough to find a Luke Sywalker type player, wasting away in the middle of a desert planet but with the potential to save your entire squad. We might have that this week in New York Mets‘ starting pitching prospect Christian Scott. And of course if you’re picking him up you’ll be looking to drop the baseball equivalent to Jar Jar Binks – one of the franchise’s most annoying performances, that some people are trying to paint as a much more important piece of the puzzle in the future (we all remember the Sith Lord Jar Jar conspiracy theories)… we’re looking at you, Hunter Brown.

Regardless of league standings situations or team context, at this point of the season fantasy managers can’t give up. Keep bidding. Trust in the force (and your research) and spend your FAAB on the right assets to guide your team away from the dark side. Fantasy managers can’t give up this early, when there is still more than two-thirds of the season to rectify the mistakes of the past and rise up against the tyrants of your league and fight for what’s yours. Fantasy managers can’t give up because there is still hope.

Besides, fantasy championships – just like rebellions – are built on hope.


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


Eight teams are scheduled for seven games to open the week with the Cleveland Guardians, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, and St. Louis Cardinals looking at a full slate. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, and Washington Nationals will each play just five games this week. The Colorado Rockies play six games at home this week, hosting the Giants and Texas Rangers for three games apiece.








Wenceel Pérez ($$$): Perez has dethroned Parker Meadows as the Tigers’ starting center fielder and is also batting third in the Detroit lineup, so it’s nearly impossible to ignore him any longer. Rostered in only 15-20% or less of most leagues, Perez is widely available and has already shown five-category upside with three home runs and two stolen bases in 56 plate appearances entering the weekend. He will be my top outfield target in FAAB this week if he’s not already claimed in my leagues.

Tyler Nevin ($$$): I recommended Nevin last week and he’s done all that managers could ask for. With four home runs over the last two weeks and a stolen base just for fun, Nevin should continue to produce in the top third of the Oakland order. He also comes with 3B/CI eligibility which makes him a helpful lineup construction piece as well.

Joey Loperfido ($$$): Unlike the Heston Kjerstad situation in Baltimore, Loperfido is immediately getting playing time in Houston, featuring in three of four games for the Astros since his call-up. He should continue to get consistent playing time as the strong side of an outfield platoon and showed his potential in the first few games of AAA this season, homering 13 times in just 25 games.

Will Brennan ($$): An everyday outfielder for the Guardians, Brennan is producing enough hard contact to justify a roster spot (38.6%). His .244 batting average has come on a .246 BABIP so far this season so it looks like there’s potential for his numbers to get better as well. A very solid streaming option this week, he could stick on rosters if he starts to see some better BABIP luck.

Mike Yastrzemski ($$): The Giants play seven games, including a weekend series in Coors. That’s enough for me to put a bid on the volatile left-handed bat of Yastrzemski.

Jordan Beck ($$): A shiny new toy in the Colorado outfield, Beck comes to the majors after being selected in the competitive-balance first round of the 2022 draft (38th overall).  With five home runs and five stolen bases across 25 AAA games this season, he might be the most exciting outfielder in Colorado since Nolan Jones arrived. But it’s Colorado and you never know how they’ll treat their prospects. He could be sent back down in a week or could be up all season. The potential is nice, but the volatility is a little intimidating.

Mike Tauchman ($$): Tauchman has found a way to be relevant each of the past couple of seasons, producing just enough to be considered for a fifth outfielder spot. With a 16.0% walk rate, he’s especially valuable in OBP leagues, but his .276 batting average looks sustainable and he appears to be getting regular playing time again in the Cubs’ outfield.

Kyle Isbel ($): If Isbel can continue to get on base at a decent rate, he sets the table nicely for the top of the Royals lineup which has been very good this season. There are worse streaming outfield options.




Josh Rojas ($$$): He’s locked down the Mariners’ leadoff spot and has produced there so far. He’s getting on base at an outstanding clip, has stolen base potential, and has some pop left in the bat. There’s no reason for him not to be 100% rostered in 15-team leagues – and right now he’s hovering around 60-70%.

Tyler Black ($$$): I think I have a fantasy baseball man crush on Tyler Black. A former competitive-balance first-round pick in 2021, Black stole 55 bases in the minors last season and swiped his first major league bag on Friday afternoon against the Cubs. Batting third in the Brewers’ lineup, Black grades out with a very good hit skill and decent power. I’m hoping for “Ryan Braun lite” with less power and more speed.

Michael Massey ($$$): An everyday second baseman who doesn’t strike out and ranks eighth in the MLB in IPA% is worthy of a roster spot, especially in a shallow second base position pool. Massey is batting just .250 so far this season, but with a .321 xAVG and .410 xWOBA, he’s prime for some positive regression.

Nolan Schanuel ($$): Schanuel has stepped up in Mike Trout’s absence, batting 15-for-42 (.357) with two home runs over the last two weeks. With a .250 batting average and just a .278 BABIP, Schanuel could be another player who could benefit from some positive variance in the near future.

Elehuris Montero ($): Six home games including two projected against left-handed starters give fantasy managers the green light to grab Montero this week.

Carlos Santana ($): The .188 batting average is bad. The .190 BABIP is really bad. But he’s hit four home runs over the past 10 days, so he gets a pass. If he continues this power surge, he’s worth rostering, but as soon as he stops hitting fly balls it’s time to drop him again.

Jorge Mateo ($): With the Orioles sending Jackson Holliday back down, the door opens again for Mateo to get semi-regular playing time in the middle infield. If he gets on (which he has at a decent .333 OBP clip) then he’s going to run. Mateo won’t contribute much elsewhere, but he’s a cheap speed asset until the Orioles recall Holliday or bring up another infield prospect to block his path to playing time again.




Gary Sánchez ($): Gary Sánchez could hit 30 home runs this year if he plays enough. In two-catcher leagues, there’s probably not another catcher on the waiver wire you can say that about.

David Fry ($): The playing time is sparse, but he does get into the lineup at corner outfield positions every now and then as well. He’s hitting enough to justify a roster spot in deep leagues.

Ben Rortvedt ($): He seems to have moved ahead of René Pinto on the Rays’ catching depth chart. He’s hitting .320 over his past 14 games and is rostered in just 50% of 15-team two-catcher leagues. If I need a second catcher, I’m in.

Harold Ramírez ($): He continues to hit, and is usually in the Rays’ top third of the lineup against left-handed pitchers. The Rays face the pitching-needy White Sox for three games coming up. Even though all three games are projected to be right-handed starters, Ramirez could still get at-bats and produce in a hitter-friendly stadium against a bad pitching staff.




Starting Pitchers


Christian Scott ($$$$): He could change the course of the Mets’ season and fantasy managers’ seasons as well. Scott is the first can’t-miss pitching prospect to make his major league debut in season this year (joining Jared Jones who made the Opening Day roster in Pittsburgh). Scott has posted 12.79 strikeouts per nine innings in AAA so far this season, allowing opponents just a .111 BABIP. He has had issues with the long ball this season, but his 26.9% home-run-to-fly-ball ratio is bound to level out over time. You want a deep dive into what Christian Scott is and could be? Carson Picard provided that this spring. In the meantime, drool with me over this chart (borrowed from the previously linked article).

Christian Scott’s Fastball Compared to Similar Pitchers

Ben Lively ($$$): Lively has pitched well in three consecutive starts, doing enough to make me believe that Cleveland has tapped into his skills and unlocked something that Cincinnati missed out on. Lively appears to be relying more heavily on his sinker this season, which has led him to generate more ground ball outs. With his next three starts likely to come against the White Sox, Rangers, and Mets (in that order), I’m happy to add him to my rotation depth.

John Means ($$$): Recovering from Tommy John surgery and making his first start since early 2023, Means is coming into a great situation with one of the best lineups in MLB backing him up. Before suffering his injury, Means had fantasy managers and pundits excited for a potential breakout. We’ll see if he can pick up where he left off.

Chris Paddack ($$): Paddack was hammered by the Orioles a few weeks ago but has since recorded three straight wins including a pair of quality starts. With a start against Seattle this week and a two-start week to follow, Paddack could be a great streaming option and if he continues his success with the fastball-changeup combination, he could even stick in fantasy rotations.

Andrew Heaney ($$): Heaney just won’t go away. He gets a two-start week coming up with two of the most polarizing starts in the league. He’ll square up with the Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum on Monday night and is then scheduled to face Colorado in Coors Field over the weekend. If fantasy managers want to start him against the Athletics, they’ll have to either stomach the weekend start at Coors or hope for a rainout.

Cooper Criswell ($): He’s tossed 10 consecutive shutout innings for Boston entering his start on Sunday, but with a 1.8% swinging strike rate (NOT A TYPO) it’s been mostly smoke and mirrors. Scheduled to face Washington next week, Criswell might be worth rostering if only to see if he can stay hot. But you’re playing with fire.


Relief Pitchers


Trevor Megill ($$$): We’re likely too late at this point, but Megill appears to be the ninth-inning guy in Milwaukee after returning from the IL. Payamps is still there to be considered but Uribe has likely sealed his fate as a non-closer with his latest setback – a mean right hand to the head of Jose Siri resulting in a suspension. Devin Williams will be back at some point, so don’t go crazy.

Alex Lange ($$): It’s a classic buy-low opportunity for a guy that fantasy managers were drooling over during draft season because we projected him to be the closer in Detroit. Welp, he wasn’t. But maybe he will be. Jason Foley just blew his first save on Friday night while Lange converted a save opportunity on Wednesday and hasn’t allowed an earned run in two weeks. So for managers who are cycling through save speculation relievers, there’s some hope here. Rebellions were built on hope.

Lucas Erceg ($): The Oakland Athletics are winning more ballgames than anyone anticipated so far this season, flirting with .500 after a month of play. Erceg has earned two saves in the past week or so, and is clearly next in line behind Mason Miller. There’s no reason for Oakland to mess with a good thing and move Miller around, but if they do something weird like move him to the rotation or the minors or the IL, the ninth is Erceg’s.

Brett Ford

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

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