Fantasy Baseball Category Power Rankings 5/10

Power rankings for every fantasy-relevant category.

Whether it’s early in the season, the middle of July, or late in the year, it’s always good to know where you stand in your Roto league.

Of course, perusing your league’s standings accomplishes that fairly quickly. However, numbers can often be misleading. Is your team producing at the level it should be as a league leader compared to the vast majority of other Roto leagues?

Are there underperforming players on your team, or available via waivers each week that could help you significantly in specific, or multiple, categories moving forward? This column aims to, and will, answer all those questions on a weekly basis, regardless of league size.

Essentially, it’s an almanac for Roto leagues and NFBC or TGFBI leagues, showing you not only the watermarks your team should be hitting category-wise to be truly elite but also the specific players that will help you get there. What’s more, it’ll also cover the top performers in each category, as well as some under-the-radar options for each metric as well.




  • A couple of quick notes before we begin, for metrics like ERA, WHIP, batting average, and on-base percentage, only qualified or close to qualified pitchers and hitters (respectively) were considered, especially at this time of year with smaller sample sizes running rampant.
  • Additionally, all rostered rate numbers are via FantasyPros. Furthermore, in part due to NFBC leagues, all stats (as well as the rostered data) are via the previous week’s Sunday.
  • All the data in terms of Roto league production is from last year’s numbers.


Where You Should Be Producing In Each Category


Below is data for both 15-team and 12-team Roto leagues from last season and the average statistical totals that each placed team finished with. This is for the entirety of a season. Basically, if you want to do well in these two formats, these are the season-long watermarks to shoot for.

There’s also SGP data for both 15-team and 12-team formats.

Before we get any further, a massive thank you to Pitcher List Director of Data Analytics and Research Kyle Bland for getting a hold of the data.

And now, without further ado, the 15-team data, which comes from 2023 TGFBI leagues:


15-Team Leagues


(Quick reminder, the far left-hand column is where the team finished in the standings.)

15-Team Averages

And here’s the 15-team, SGP data:

15-Team SGP Values


12-Team Leagues


12-Team Averages


And now for the 12-team, SGP data:

12-Team SGP Values

Category Power Rankings


Batting Average (AVG)



Of Note: Amed Rosario.

Generally a much more productive hitter against left-handed opposition, Rosario is batting over .300 against both righties and lefties this season. As such, he’s off to a strong start, batting .313 with a .331 on-base percentage in his first 118 plate appearances, adding a pair of home runs and five stolen bases.

With reasonably solid xBA, whiff rate, and strikeout rate numbers, Rosario’s ability to produce an above-average batting average the rest of the way looks more than reasonable. A .358 BABIP might cause some eventual regression, but with regular plate appearances coming across the diamond in Tampa Bay, Rosario has a very real chance to replicate his 2021 and 2022 metrics when he hit at least .280 with 11 home runs each season and a minimum of 15 stolen basesnot to mention solid runs scored (77 in 2021 and 86 in 2022) and RBI (57 in 2021, 71 in 2022) totals.

Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues

Of Note: LaMonte Wade Jr.

A priority deep league waiver wire addition a few weeks ago, Wade Jr. still is, especially with such a low rostered rate.

Really, he needs to be added outside of deeper leagues, particularly in Roto formats (regardless of league size) with slightly deeper benches. The veteran won’t start against left-handed pitchers, but he’s a lock to hit either first or second in San Francisco’s lineup versus right-handed startersand make a bunch of quality contact while doing so.

The 30-year-old entered play Monday ranking in the 90th percentile or better in both xwOBA and xBA while also sporting a 10.2% barrel rate. What’s more, he’s also been elite at offering at the right pitches. In addition to those 90th percentile rankings in xwOBA and xBA, Wade Jr. also ranks in the 90th percentile or better in both chase rate and walk rate.

His runs scored (12), RBI (eight), and home run (one) tallies haven’t caught up to his decidedly elite .333 average and .462 on-base percentage, but all three metrics should steadily improve over time, especially considering the type of contact the first baseman and outfielder is making at the plate.


On-Base Percentage (OBP)



Of Note: Isaac Paredes

Isaac Paredes, once again, continues to outperform his underlying metrics. He’s always been anywhere from reasonably good to elite in terms of chase rate, whiff rate, strikeout rate, and walk rate metrics. This season’s batch of those metrics is more good than great, but it’s still been a quality showing for the Rays infielder so far.

The real point of interest here is that Paredes is hitting .294 with a .380 on-base percentage and seven home runs, despite a 5.2% barrel rate (five barrels) and a 26.7% hard-hit rate, as well as an xwOBA hovering around .300 . His .311 BABIP isn’t too outlandish in one direction or the other as well.

All this comes after a 2023 season in which Paredes connected on 31 home runs despite 23 barrels and just a 5.9% barrel rate in 571 plate appearances. By all accounts, the batting average shouldn’t stay this high, but then again, the infielder has outperformed his underlying metrics before. Ultimately, now might be the best time to try and trade Paredes, though only if you can get a surefire, top-50 overall player in return.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues

Of Note: David Fry.

Cleveland has established itself as a top-10 scoring lineup this season, with only Los Angeles, San Diego, Baltimore, Arizona, and Philadelphia scoring more runs as of the start of the week. Ok, maybe a top-six scoring lineup is more accurate, but however you slice, it the Guardians have been more than effective at having runners cross home plate this season.

And David Fry has been a critical part of that.

Routinely hitting in the top half of Cleveland’s lineup, the  28-year-old is off to a blistering start at the plate, with a .327 average, a .456 on-base percentage, a home run, and a stolen base in his first 68 plate appearances this season. There’s some obvious sustainability concern here, what with a .067 point gap between his wOBA (.400) and xwOBA (.333). There’s also a staggering .432 BABIP that looms large.

Which is all to say that this production might not continue at this rate.

But, as far as short-term waiver wire additions go, more like an extended streaming option, inserting Fry into lineups for a bit before the BABIP comes down is a worthy short-term strategy.


Home Runs (HR)



Of Note: The Dodgers.

With three players listed here, a group that doesn’t even include the likes of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, or Will Smith, the Dodgers have an embarrassment of riches of not only at the top of their lineup but up and down the order really.

There’s a very real chance that each of the top six hitters in Los Angeles’ lineup: Betts, Shohei Ohtani, Freeman, Smith, Max Muncy, and Teoscar Hernández, all finish in the top 50 overall this season among fantasy players given the depth of excellent production here. Those chances are buoyed even more so by Andy Pages‘ breakout and James Outman starting to turn things around at the plate.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues

Of Note: Shea Langeliers.

Langeliers has provided the A’s with some quality power production this season, logging a .255 ISO and a 19.0% barrel rate in 114 plate appearances to go along with the seven home runs.

However, his overall home run production is of note here and very much worth a slightly deeper dive.

Three of the slugger’s home runs came in one game on April 9, and six of his 19 barrels came over the course of two games, one instance during the aforementioned April 9 game, and another on April 26.

What’s more, the Oakland Coliseum probably isn’t helping too much. Five of his seven home runs have come on the road so far.

Generally speaking, those data points aren’t too concerning in the grand scheme of things, but for a batter who’s hitting .186 with a .246 on-base percentage, the fact that the home runs aren’t occurring as consistently is less than ideal. He’s very much worth an add in deeper leagues, especially at the catcher position, it’s just that there may be significant cold stretches.


Runs Scored (R)



Of Note: CJ Abrams.

Abrams has enjoyed a breakout season for the Washington Nationals so far, hitting .283 with a .343 on-base percentage in his first 142 plate appearances. However, the real key here has been Abrams’ ability to provide above-average power production.

His 2023 season, which also featured 47 stolen bases, was good, but not great from a power production standpoint. Abrams logged a 6.9% barrel rate and 18 home runs while racking up 614 plate appearances for the National League East club.

This year, he’s continued to make an impact on the bases, with eight so far. It’s just that he’s also posting a 9.5% barrel rate, as well as seven home runs.

And while strong power and base stealing production are obviously excellent for fantasy purposes, it’s worth noting just how rare pairing those types of metrics is.

FanGraphs’ ZiPS projections have Abrams stealing 29 bases the rest of the way. If that happens, it’d leave him with 37 stolen bases. If his barrel rate maintains, he’d obviously finish the year with at least 35 stolen bases and a barrel rate above 9.0%.

Three batters did that last season. Ronald Acuña Jr., Bobby Witt Jr. and Julio Rodríguez.

That’s it.

In fact, no players accomplished the feat in either 2021 or 2022. Of course, new rules implemented before last season have a bit to do with that, but none of that takes away from how excellent CJ Abrams has been so far in 2024.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues

Of Note: Austin Martin.

With Byron Buxton currently on the injured list, Martin has stepped into more consistent playing time for the Twins for the first time in his Major League career. Hitting .231 with a .296 on-base percentage and just one home run through his first 71 plate appearances, Martin won’t provide too much in the way of power.

His on-base metrics aren’t ideal so far, but regular plate appearances in the Twins lineup certainly make for an ideal situation when considering short-term streaming options in deeper leagues. Since April 17, only the Phillies with 107 runs scored, have topped the Twins’ tally of 97. The Dodgers are the only other team in that stretch with a number over 85.

Since April 17 through Sunday, Martin has 12 runs scored, the most on the Twins during that span.





Of Note: José Ramírez.

On one hand, José Ramírez has benefitted immensely from a regular, fantasy-friendly spot in a Guardians lineup that has been plenty successful so far this season.

That’s showing up clear as day with his RBI tally. he’s also logged six home runs and five stolen bases so far, providing even more quality counting stat production.

On the other, he’s sporting just a 35.8% hard-hit%, which would be a career-low if the season ended today. And it’s not just the hard-hit rate either. Ramirez ranks in the 50th percentile or lower in xwOBA, xBA, and xSLG. And while his whiff rate remains reasonably the same, his chase rate has jumped significantly.

So while a .219 BABIP might suggest some positive regression is on the horizon (and that very well could be the case in terms of a bit more batting average production) this seems like a situation where his actual fantasy production might regress as the season goes on. Now might be the time to consider trading Ramirez if the return is right.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues

Of Note: Bryan De La Cruz.

Just a few weeks ago, Bryan De La Cruz was essentially hitting like Adolis García at the plate. Save for some slight differences in hard-hit rate and walk rate, the duo’s expected and plate discipline metrics were eerily similar.

That was on April 20.

Since then, De La Cruz hasn’t stopped producing, batting .233 with a 9.5% barrel rate, a pair of home runs, and a 14.1% walk rate in his next 71 plate appearances.

Overall, he owns a 12.4% barrel rate and a 115 wRC+ for the season and has cemented his place as the second hitter in the Marlins lineup.

Generally speaking, that’s meant hitting behind Jazz Chisholm Jr., who’s walking at a career-best 11.1% rate and has already produced seven stolen baseshis career high is 23.


Stolen Bases (SB)



Of Note: Elly De La Cruz.

Elly De La Cruz stole 35 bases in just 98 games, finishing in the top 10 in the league despite not making his Major League debut until June.

This year, he’s already at 19 through his first 33 games. With significant improvements across the board in terms of xwOBA, barrel rate, walk rate, and xwOBAcon, there’s a very real chance De La Cruz is a candidate to go first overall in drafts next spring. Obviously, that’s a ways away and (realistically) a little too early for that kind of talk, but that’s how good De La Cruz has been so far.

In similarly significant news, the Reds are hitting him second on a regular basis after he started the year mainly hitting sixth. Those extra plate appearances gained from hitting further up the order should only give the infielder more stolen base opportunities, especially with his walk rate in the double-digit range.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues

Of Note: José Caballero.

Caballero vaulted into the top spot on this specific leaderboard with a four (!) stolen base game Sunday against the New York Mets.

He’s in a reasonably similar boat to Langeliers, except with stolen bases instead of home runs. Outside of the four stolen base game, all but one of Caballero’s stolen bases have come in success of another, for lack of a better phrase.

The former Mariner stole a base in four straight games from March 31 through April 4, and stole bases in back-to-back games on two different occasions, the first being on April 19 and 20, the second being on April 23 and 24.

It’s not quite as feast or famine as Langeliers’ home run production, but it’s worth keeping in mind when considering Caballero as a streaming option or a starting option in deeper leagues. In short, he could very easily provide significant stolen base totals in a short time, but then go dormant for stretches. For a player with just two home runs, a pair of barrels, and a 23.5% hard-hit rate, utilizing him on a regular basis is a strategy that doesn’t come without its risks.





Strikeouts (K)




Of Note: Garrett Crochet

Crochet’s, simply put, poor three-start stretch where he was tagged for 17 earned runs, 16 hits and seven walks in 11.2 combined innings may have just been that. A poor three-start stretch, one that saw his season-long ERA rise to 6.37.

Prior to that, the hurler had struck out 21 of the 67 batters he faced while registering a 2.00 ERA and a 2.44 FIP in 18 innings.

Since then, Crochet has pitched to a 2.45 ERA and a 3.43 FIP in 11 innings, striking out 13 batters in the process while scattering five hits, three earned runs, a pair of home runs, and a walk.

The home runs are worth monitoring for the 24-year-old moving forward, but it’s becoming more and more clear that he’s going to produce more like the pitcher we’ve seen outside of that poor three-game stretch than the hurler who struggled so mightily.

Also, as an aside, it’s worth noting that despite struggling during those three aforementioned (and oft-mentioned) outings, the former first-round pick still struck out 19 batters over those 11.2 innings.

With a 32.3% strikeout rate and just a 5.5% walk rate, Crochet should continue to see his ERA drop as the season progresses. Now might be the time to trade for him before it drops even further.

Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues

Of Note: Zack Littell.

Here’s a list for you. It’s not the same list as above, obviously, but like its fellow list above, it is related to starting pitcher, and to Tampa Bay hurler Zack Littell.

Tanner Houck, Tarik Skubal, George Kirby, Cole Ragans, and Yusei Kikuchi.

What is that list you might wonder? It’s the list of qualified starters with a lower FIP than Zack Littell through Sunday after his Saturday start.

Five names. That’s it.

Littell has quietly continued to limit mistakes in his first full season as a starter in Tampa Bay, with just 1.15 walks and 0.69 home runs allowed per nine frames. Overall, he’s sporting a 3.00 ERA and a 2.39 FIP in 39 innings while striking out 9.69 batters per nine frames.

His initial ERA would probably look a bit better too if it wasn’t for a .377 BABIP or an outlier of a start against the Tigers in which the right-hander allowed nine hits, six runs, five earned runs, and a pair of home runs in six innings while striking out seven.

Take that start out of the equation and Littell has allowed two or fewer runs in five of his other six starts. The only other start that didn’t feature him holding the other team to fewer than two runs? A 5.2 inning outing against the Angels in which he limited the Halos to three runs.






Of Note: Cole Irvin.

From 2021 through 2023, Cole Irvin was markedly consistent in providing a FIP in the 4.00 to 4.30 range, while posting modest strikeout numbers (6.30 to 8.00 strikeouts per nine innings) all the while soaking up innings for teams in Oakland and Baltimore.

So far this season, he’s logged a 2.86 ERA and a 3.33 FIP in six starts spanning 34.2 innings of work. And while his strikeout tallies (5.71 per nine innings, 16.1% strikeout rate) remain on the low side of things, he’s found plenty of success after a slow start.

After allowing 14 hits and nine earned runs combined in his first two starts, which lasted five innings each against the Royals at home and on the road in Boston, the left-hander has allowed just two earned runs in his last 24.2 innings.

In those 24.2 innings, spanning four starts, Irvin has logged four pitcher wins, shut out the Reds in 6.1 innings in Cincinnati, and held the same Royals team that he struggled against to just four hits and a pair of walks in 6.2 scoreless frames. He’s worth a look moving forward as a streaming option in most formats, provided it’s a quality matchup, particularly with the pitcher-win potential that the Baltimore lineup provides.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: Javier Assad

Javier Assad has probably gotten a smidgen fortunate where his ERA (1.66) is concerned this season. That’s not to take anything away from the hurler, who’s enjoyed a quality start to the season with the Cubs, but with a .238 BABIP, a 17.0% whiff rate, and a 3.24 FIP, there’s bound to be some regression coming.

That’s not to say he’s suddenly going to struggle for the rest of the year. He’ll still be a solid fantasy option moving forward, particularly if he can keep logging pitcher wins as he has so far, with three in his first seven starts.

But, the upcoming stretch could be where his ERA evens out and moves closer to his actual FIP.

Of course, that’s all speculative mind you, but if Chicago’s offense continues uninterrupted and without any changes for the next handful of weeks, Assad’s next five starts will come versus the Pirates, then home against Atlanta, on the road in Milwaukee versus the Brewers, and then a pair of starts against the Cincinnati Reds, the latter of which is at Great American Ballpark. There are certainly some outings where he’s worth starting there, but it’s certainly not an easy stretch on paper, that’s for sure.


Wins (W)




Of Note: Chris Sale.

Much better than his 4.30 ERA in 102.2 innings would indicate last year, it’s probably no surprise that Chris Sale has won four of his first six starts with Atlanta.

Following an offseason trade from Boston, where he actually logged a 3.80 FIP last season to go along with a 29.4% strikeout rate and just a 6.8% walk rate, the veteran has been excellent in Atlanta so far.

The strikeouts (29.0%) are part of that, but he’s also dropped his walk rate down to 4.8% all while limiting batters to just a 5.3% barrel rate and a 29.8% hard-hit rate.

Combine all that with the backing of a lineup that ranks fourth in barrel rate (9.0%), fifth in on-base percentage (.325), sixth in wRC+ (111), 10th in runs scored (163) and it’s probably no surprise that he’s logged so many pitcher wins so far.

Sale hasn’t reached double-digit wins since 2018 when he won 12 games with Boston. The left-hander has a chance to surpass that tally by a considerable margin. If he continues at this rate, equaling his career-best 17 wins (which he’s done on three occasions) is something that’d be very much in play.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: James Paxton.

Like Sale, Paxton has been supported by one of the league’s best lineups, helping him rack up plenty of pitcher wins. The hurler has four to his name through six starts with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Unlike Sale, Paxton’s underlying metrics aren’t quite as rosy.

Dig past the four pitcher wins and a 3.06 ERA in 32.1 innings and you’ll find a 5.48 FIP, more walks (24) than strikeouts (18), and a .245 BABIP. There’s also a rather alarming trio of an 18.6% whiff rate, a 38.1% ground ball rate, and a .380 xwOBA against sitting on Paxton’s statistical resume this season.

Simply put, none of that is sustainable.

The veteran did show well in his last outing, ironically against Atlanta, holding the National League East club to five hits, two walks, and an earned run in 6.2 innings. If he’s on your roster, emphasize that recent start (and the pitcher wins) to try and find a trade that nets you an upgrade elsewhere on your roster.


Quality Starts (QS)




Of Note: Seth Lugo.

Lugo was mentioned in this column a few weeks back as a potential candidate for some statistical regression due to low strikeout numbers.

Despite allowing two earned runs or fewer in four of his first five starts, Lugo had yet to top four strikeouts in a single outing.

Thankfully, for fantasy managers, those metrics have improved lately. Lugo struck out eight batters in each of his next two starts, giving up just five hits, four walks, and an earned run in 14 combined innings of work.

He registered a 5.0% swinging strike percentage in that last outing, so this isn’t an open-and-shut case of the low strikeouts no longer being an issue, but it’s certainly been a positive fantasy development.

The inadvertent theme of the pitching portion of this column, at least in places, seems to be pitchers you should trade away now before their numbers get worse. Lugo might still be in that category, but the recent uptick in strikeouts certainly helps his season-long outlook.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: Dean Kremer.

Similar to Paxton, Kremer makes for an ideal trade candidate at the moment if he’s on your roster.

That’s not to say he’s suddenly going to implode, but a 4.72 FIP and a 12.5% barrel rate allowed tell a much different story than Kremer’s three pitcher wins (in seven starts) and 3.57 ERA might indicate.

The 28-year-old is once again limiting walks, with a walks-per-nine-inning metric below 2.90 for the third straight season. However, we’ve seen a similar story before with Kremer.

He won 13 games in 2023 while making 32 starts (172.2 innings) for Baltimore, pitching to a 4.12 ERA and a 4.51 FIP in the process. The FIP never entirely caught up with the ERA, and the right-hander was reasonably effective in limiting walks.

However, it might be more of a challenge for the starter’s FIP to be so much more inflated than his ERA as time goes by. Kremer is struggling more with home runs in the season’s early months. He’s allowing 1.79 per nine innings this year, up from 1.41 in 2023. Elsewhere, the starter has allowed a .352 xwOBA while also posting a minuscule .192 BABIP.

While the pitcher wins might continue to a degree with such an effective lineup in Baltimore, the quality ERA might not. Now might be the time to work out a trade.


Saves (SV)




Of Note: Héctor Neris.

Ok, so maybe the underlying theme doesn’t just apply to starting pitchers, but perhaps pitchers in general. Neris has suddenly stepped into the closer’s role in Chicago and finished last week with saves in seven of his last eight outings.

However, he’s also walked as many batters as he’s struck out so far, with 12 each, and hasn’t always logged scoreless innings in save chances. Or, put another way, a significant amount of the base runners and runs he’s allowed this year haven’t all come in just a few outings.

In his run as the Chicago closer as of late, Neris has allowed at least one base runner in all of his outings that ended with a save. That included a pair of outings where he surrendered two walks each.

If that kind of form continues, at some point the ERA is probably going to rise considerably. Given how valuable saves can be in fantasy, it’s worth keeping Neris on fantasy rosters at this point, but if the Cubs make a sudden switch at closer, as they did in going from Adbert Alzolay to Neris, don’t be afraid to (quickly) add the new closer in Neris’ place on your fantasy team.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: Carlos Estévez.

Estevez struggled mightily in the second half last season, registering a 4.46 FIP in 27.1 innings while giving up 4.28 walks and 1.32 home runs per nine frames.

As such, a recent stretch in which he gave up four total earned runs in his last two appearances (1.2 combined innings pitched) might be a cause for concern. Those two appearances also included surrendering a pair of home runs against the Phillies on April 30.

As of now, the level of concern shouldn’t be too high.

Despite a 6.23 ERA, the veteran has also turned in a 3.85 FIP. What’s more, and perhaps most crucially, the two home runs were the first he’s allowed this year.

In fact, prior to that two-game stretch, he’d allowed just four base runners all season to that point.






Of Note: Jack Flaherty.

Why Jack Flaherty isn’t being discussed more fantasy-wise is a bit of a mystery. Yes, his 4.00 ERA won’t draw headlines, but the bat-missing metrics should.

Through his first 36 innings with the Tigers, Flaherty has struck out 50 batters while allowing the same number of home runs (five) as walks. That included a 6.2-inning start against the Cardinals in which he logged 14 strikeouts, 24 whiffs, and a 46% CSW rate on 93 pitches while scattering just two hits and a walk.

Overall, Flaherty is first among qualified starters in overall CSW rate (37.7%) and second in swinging strike rate (16.4%).

Simply put, he’s pitching like a league-winning starter.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues

Of Note:  Kyle Muller.

Muller continues to find success for the A’s. Pitching out of the bullpen, he’s logged a 3.42 ERA and a 3.62 FIP in 23.2 innings so far.

He’s thrown anywhere from one to 5.1 innings in his nine outings this year, and while he won’t overwhelm with strikeouts, he should do enough in terms of limiting walks (2.28 allowed per nine innings) to help keep WHIP numbers down on a weekly basis in leagues with 14 or more teams.

Furthermore, on an A’s team hovering around .500, Muller could also be in a position to nab pitcher wins more often, which certainly wouldn’t hurt his fantasy upside. For now, he’s someone who can keep ERA and WHIP numbers down for managers in deeper leagues, but if he starts chipping in with pitcher wins here and there, his fantasy ceiling will only improve.



Ben Rosener

Ben Rosener is baseball and fantasy baseball writer whose work has previously appeared on the digital pages of Motor City Bengals, Bleacher Report, USA Today, FanSided.com and World Soccer Talk among others. He also writes about fantasy baseball for RotoBaller and the Detroit Tigers for his own Patreon page, Getting You Through the Tigers Rebuild (@Tigers_Rebuild on Twitter). He only refers to himself in the third person for bios.

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