Fantasy Baseball Category Power Rankings 5/3

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: Brenton Doyle.

Jumping all the way into the top 10 is Colorado Rockies outfielder Brenton Doyle, who’s enjoyed a strong start to the season, hitting .323 with a .368 on-base percentage, three home runs, and a further four stolen bases in 106 plate appearances for the National League West club.

However, he’s also doing so with an exceedingly high .446 BABIP, an xwOBA south of .300, and a strikeout and a strikeout rate (29.2%) approaching 30%. In other words, regression is coming where Doyle’s stats are concerned. If he’s on your team, now might be the time to consider capitalizing on his fantasy value in a trade.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: Jo Adell.

Is the Jo Adell breakout season here? It sure looks that way, especially if the outfielder maintains the quality of contact metrics anywhere near this level.

Sporting a 51.4% hard-hit rate and a 13.5% barrel rate through his first 55 plate appearances this season, the outfielder has also added three home runs and five stolen bases for the Angels. Overall, he’s hitting .327 with a .382 on-base percentage.

It’s been an extremely encouraging start, and while there are a few things to keep an eye on moving forward – notably if his 23.6% strikeout rate stays in the same vicinity it currently is or drops in part due to chase and whiff rates that are both in the 40th percentile or lower league-wide – the fantasy upside is there for Adell to be an impact option for fantasy managers.

Shohei Ohtani’s departure and Mike Trout landing on the injured list leave the Angels’ lineup in a decidedly different place thus negatively impacting Adell’s RBI and run-scoring opportunities. However, as long as he keeps making this kind of contact, he’ll be a starting outfield option in almost all fantasy leagues and formats.


On-Base Percentage (OBP)




Of Note: Kyle Tucker.

Assessing who the best fantasy player is for the rest of the season is probably a conversation that starts with Mookie Betts, Ronald Acuña Jr., Elly De La Cruz, Shohei Ohtani, and Bobby Witt Jr., but Tucker is very much in the mix as well, more than justifying fantasy managers who selected him early in the first round of drafts this spring.

So far, despite hitting in a Houston lineup that has struggled to score runs at times this season, the outfielder is hitting .290 with a .397 on-base percentage, seven home runs, and five stolen bases. He also holds the distinction of having little in the way of separation between his runs scored (19) and RBI (20) totals, as well as his walk rate (15.0%) and strikeout rate (15.7%).

Any way you look at it, he’s produced at an elite rate. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that extends to his underlying metrics as well, with 90th percentile or better rankings in xwOBA, xBA, xSLG, and chase rate.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: Mike Tauchman.

One of fantasy baseball’s most underrated hitters in leagues where on-base percentage is part of the scoring (or any league, really), Tauchman is walking (17.9% walk rate) nearly as much as he’s striking out (19.0%) in his first 84 plate appearances while supplying seven barrels and a 13.5% barrel rate.

In total, he’s hitting .294 with a .429 on-base percentage and a 169 wRC+, adding three home runs and a stolen base in the process. All three home runs, it should be noted, have come since April 23.

However, the biggest development here, or maybe one that deserves 1B status to his production’s 1A, is the fact that Tauchman has moved up to hitting second for the Cubs on a regular basis.

As of late, that’s meant hitting after Nico Hoerner and ahead of the likes of Ian Happ, Christopher Morel, Michael Busch, and Dansby Swanson. Tauchman might be a top 100 overall player moving forward, but if he keeps hitting second, it would raise his fantasy ceiling even more.


Home Runs (HR)




Of Note: Edouard Julien.

Edouard Julien, who you’ll also see shortly atop the home run leaderboard for players rostered in 50% or fewer of leagues, should be rostered in significantly more leagues.

Call this a public service announcement, as it were, because he’s been one of fantasy baseball’s best at his position so far.

The Twins slugger entered Monday tied with Jose Altuve for the lead among all second basemen in home runs. In terms of barrel rate, Julien doesn’t have to share the top spot with anyone, pacing all qualified second basemen with a 17.5% barrel rate. With a .236 average, a .333 on-base percentage, and an 11.8% walk rate, the 25-year-old is probably a slightly better option in leagues where on-base percentage is used in place of batting average, but even in (most) standard scoring leagues, he’s a borderline must-start at second base given his standing as Minnesota’s leadoff hitter against right-handed pitching this season.

Granted, the Twins haven’t started him much against left-handed pitching. Still, Julien hitting leadoff against right-handers helps close the gap in terms of lost plate appearances. Furthermore, the infielder has appeared as a pinch hitter three times since April 24, seeing multiple plate appearances in each game. It’s about as close to everyday plate appearances as you can get as a platoon hitter, which certainly doesn’t hurt from a fantasy standpoint.

As of Monday morning, he was rostered in just 31% of fantasy leagues, per FantasyPros data. Realistically speaking, that number should be doubled. If he’s still on the waiver wire in your league, run, don’t walk, to add him.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: Ryan Jeffers.

Sticking with the Twins, catcher Ryan Jeffers, like Julien, is off to a strong start this season. The backstop is hitting .305 with a .392 on-base percentage in 97 plate appearances this year, adding five home runs and a .256 ISO in the process.

There’s a slight bit of concern here as Jeffers has managed just a 32.8% hard-hit rate, and has a good-but-not-great 9.0% barrel rate. Still, he’s been consistently hitting in the top half of Minnesota’s lineup due to his production and a number of injuries, paving the way for increased run-scoring and RBI opportunities.

He makes for a quality starting option in most leagues for managers looking for an influx of production at the catcher position.


Runs Scored (R)




Of Note: Shohei Ohtani.

It should surprise absolutely no one that Shohei Ohtani, now a part of a loaded Dodgers lineup, is providing decidedly above-average production where counting stats are concerned.

That’ll happen when you’re one of the league’s best hitters and get to hit after Mookie Betts and ahead of Freddie Freeman on a regular basis.

The key bit now, at least for fantasy managers, is that Freeman is heating up at the plate. Of course, the first baseman was plenty productive before, hitting .259 with a .378 on-base percentage in his first 98 plate appearances of the season through April 19. However, from April 20 through April 28, Freeman hit .444 with a .556 on-base percentage, driving in 11 runs in the process.

Furthermore, even with that hot streak, Freeman owns a 9.3% barrel rate and has connected on only two home runs. Both numbers should improve as the season goes on for one of baseball’s most consistent hitters, one who has at least 29 home runs in three of his last four full seasons and a barrel rate between 11% and 15% in six of his last eight full seasons.

In other words, expect even more run-scoring production for Shohei Ohtani moving forward.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: Jurickson Profar.

The owner of a .303 average, a .407 on-base percentage, and a 156 wRC+ this season, Jurickson Profar has progressively hit further and further up the San Diego Padres lineup, culminating with his first start as the team’s leadoff hitter on April 28.

It’s not quite hitting in front of Freddie Freeman and Will Smith, as Ohtani is, from a run-scoring potential standpoint. But it’s not too far off.

Regular starts as San Diego’s leadoff hitter also mean regular plate appearances hitting ahead of (in order) Fernando Tatis Jr. (.202 ISO, .771 OPS), a resurgent Jake Cronenworth (12.1% barrel rate, .344 on-base percentage), and Manny Machado (10.0% barrel rate).

Despite an extremely pitcher-friendly ballpark as a venue for half of the Padres games, there are few better fantasy situations for leadoff hitters from a fantasy scoring standpoint. Add Profar and start him with confidence in all fantasy formats.






Of Note: Teoscar Hernández.

Sitting third in the league in terms of most plate appearances with runners in scoring position through Sunday, 47 of Hernandez’s 125 total plate appearances this year have come with runners either at second or third, or both.

Those sorts of RBI opportunities have elevated Hernandez to arguably a top 50 fantasy option at the moment, despite a 34.4% strikeout rate. And those same RBI opportunities could keep him there. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the slugger is also registering a 52.1% hard-hit rate and an 11.3% barrel rate. The former Mariner is starting to look like one of the steals of draft season.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: Mitch Haniger.

Hitting .237 on the season with a .304 on-base percentage and a .317 wOBA, Haniger is also striking out 29.4% of the time. Still, the outfielder is logging an 11.1% barrel rate, right in line with what he’s done in his most productive seasons. Furthermore, he’s remained a fixture in the top half of the Mariners’ lineup.

If those latter two remain a constant from here through September, Haniger should have no trouble turning in a quality fantasy season – regardless of how his quality of contact metrics shake out.

Furthermore, just one qualified Mariner (Cal Raleigh at 111) has posted a wRC+ above league average. Raleigh is also the only other qualified Mariner with a double-digit barrel rate. In other words, Haniger seems like a decent bet to stay in the top half of Seattle’s lineup moving forward.


Stolen Bases (SB)




Of Note: Maikel Garcia.

Hitting just .223 with only an 18.7% strikeout rate, a 46.2% hard-hit rate, and a .241 BABIP, Maikel Garcia seems poised for some positive regression at some point in the coming weeks or months.

(Also of note: he sits in the 80th percentile or better in both chase rate and whiff rate).

The change in BABIP-related fortunes should, in theory, only boost the infielder’s stolen base total, and chances in general.

As an added bonus, he’s entrenched as Kansas City’s leadoff hitter, hitting in front of Bobby Witt Jr. on a regular basis. What’s more, Garcia has also added a 9.9% barrel rate and four home runs so far, giving him much more fantasy upside than that of a player who only contributes stolen bases at an above-average rate.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: Jacob Young.

Young capped off last week with consecutive games with a pair of stolen bases, bringing his total to 10. With a .400 BABIP, a 36.5% hard-hit rate, an 84.6 mph average exit velocity, no barrels, and a .304 xwOBA, the outfielder’s .333 average and .375 on-base percentage don’t look remarkably sustainable.

Still, the rookie has proven himself as a stolen base threat, and given the lack of long-term solutions in the Washington outfield right now, it’s possible the stolen bases will continue, even if the average drops off.

That should give him, at the very least, a floor as a solid deeper league option moving forward.




Strikeouts (K)




Of Note: Pablo López.

Lopez’s 4.83 is decidedly higher than it was during his breakout season last season. And while he’s giving up barrels at a higher rate than he did last season, with fewer chases outside the zone, the veteran is posting nearly identical strikeout and walk rates as he did in 2023.

Those two, paired with a decidedly lower FIP (3.93), point to better days ahead. And while it remains to be seen if Lopez can regain the elite form he showed last season, he makes for an ideal trade target for fantasy managers looking to add quality rotation reinforcements.

Pablo López In 2023 vs 2024


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: Erick Fedde.

With 39 strikeouts in 34.2 innings, Fedde is currently sporting a strikeouts-per-nine-innings rate of 10.13. His overall strikeout rate is sitting at 27.5% to go along with a 2.60 ERA and a 4.00 FIP.

With just a 20.7% chase rate, there’s real validity in wondering if the strikeouts can continue at this rate, but Fedde is doing enough in terms of limiting mistakes with a 6.3% walk rate and .288 xwOBA against to position himself as a solid fantasy option.

Ultimately, pitching for the White Sox is going to limit the hurler’s pitcher-win upside, but even if his strikeout numbers start to trend downward moving forward, Fedde should still be worth a look on fantasy rosters in the majority of fantasy formats that include 12 or more teams.






Of Note: Bryce Miller.

Miller wasn’t always among the league leaders in missing bats last season. Sure, he had his moments, like striking out 10 batters in a start on two occasions. Overall, though, he finished with 119 strikeouts in 131.1 innings as a rookie. Of his 25 starts in 2023, 13 included four or fewer strikeouts.

The introduction of a new splitter has done wonders for Miller’s bat-missing metrics. He’s up to 29 strikeouts in his first 28.1 innings so far, with just one of his outings featuring four or fewer strikeouts. In fact, last year Miller topped six strikeouts in an outing just four times, a tally that included the aforementioned 10-strikeout games. Through four starts in 2024, he’s already topped six strikeouts twice.

And while his 4.55 FIP is uncomfortably far away from his 2.22 ERA, pitching in the pitcher-friendly confines of T-Mobile Park should set Miller up for plenty of success, particularly with his new split-finger offering.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: Jameson Taillon.

It’s early, but portions of Taillon’s stat line look awfully familiar to what he did in New York with the Yankees two years ago in terms of inducing more grounders and generally limiting mistakes.

Of course, we’re dealing with a tiny sample size mind you, but after a down year in 2023, the fact that Taillon’s start to 2024 has gone so well is encouraging moving forward.

Jameson Taillon Since 2021


Wins (W)




Of Note: Shota Imanaga.

Speaking of Cubs starting pitchers limiting mistakes, Shota Imanaga has done plenty of that so far this season.

In his first 27.2 Major League innings, the left-hander has scattered just three walks and two home runs. In fact, he’s actually struck out more batters (28) than the combined tally of his walks (three), home runs (two) and hits (19) allowed. He’s won four of his first six starts this season.

With so few mistakes and a Cubs lineup that entered Monday in the top 10 in the league (tied for seventh to be exact) in scoring, Imanaga might be the least surprising name on this list. Expect him to stay near the top of this list for the foreseeable future.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: Keaton Winn.

A deep league waiver wire option last week, Winn has continued to thrive in San Francisco’s rotation, allowing one run in six innings in each of his last three starts.

He won’t overwhelm with strikeouts, sporting just a 21.5% strikeout rate. However, the fact that Winn induces grounders at a high rate (his ground ball rate sits at 60.7% to be exact) and makes half of his starts in a park that (per Spotrac) sports the league’s third-lowest overall park factor in the last three years has him set up for plenty of fantasy success.

The 26-year-old right-hander makes for a priority add in fantasy leagues with 12 or more teams.


Quality Starts (QS)




Of Note: Ranger Suárez.

It’s barely the month of May, so sample size caveats still apply to a degree, but Ranger Suárez has quietly been one of the best fantasy starters in the last, well, since Opening Day.

Suarez has always been adept at limiting the long ball. He’s allowed less than 0.95 home runs per nine frames in each of the last three seasons.

This year, he’s doing all that again with just 0.66 home runs allowed per nine frames. But he’s also generally clamped down surrendering barrels, walks, and hard contact in general. Batters have managed just a 4.1% barrel rate, a 3.5% walk rate, and just a 27.6% hard-hit rate so far. Add in a 62.2% ground ball rate, and it should surprise no one that the 28-year-old sports a 1.32 ERA and a 2.58 FIP in his first six starts.

Some regression is coming, particularly due to a .189 BABIP, but there’s a lot to like about what Suarez has done so far.

And oh yeah, as an added bonus, he’s generating whiffs at a higher rate (25.4%) than he has in any season in which he was a full-time starter.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: Kyle Gibson.

Admittedly, much of the reason for the veteran’s 4.35 ERA and 5.20 FIP comes from an April 7 start in which the Miami Marlins tagged him for seven hits, seven earned runs, a walk, and a pair of home runs in six innings of work. He’s otherwise allowed two runs or fewer in three of his other four starts.

Still, he’s striking out just 16% of opposing batters so far. Unless the strikeouts see a sudden uptick, it might be harder to trust Gibson other than as a streaming option for quality start production.

Saves (SV)




Of Note: David Bednar.

Better times are ahead for David Bednar. Or more specifically, more effective times on the mound. The 29-year-old is sporting an elevated 11.70 ERA and a 5.54 FIP in his first 10 innings this season.

Though with decidedly similar strikeout and walk rates this season (30.0% and 6.0% respectively), compared to last season (28.9% and 7.6%), much of the struggles may be due to a sudden and somewhat unprecedented uptick in home runs.

Bednar has allowed three so far, which might seem like a lot, but it’s also the same amount he gave up all of last year in 67.1 innings. Going further back, the veteran has yet to allow more than five home runs in a season in a Major League season in which he’s topped 50 innings.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: Michael Kopech.

Just like Erick Fedde’s pitcher-win upside being capped by the fact that he pitches for the White Sox, the same is true of Michael Kopech’s save potential.

Kopech’s last save was on April 9, and it’s fair to wonder if he’ll reach double-digit saves this season considering how he, speculatively speaking, stands out as a hypothetical trade candidate in real life for the White Sox. Of course, that’s once again all entirely speculative on my part. However, if Kopech is traded mid-season by Chicago, and isn’t getting a ton of save chances until then, fantasy managers might be better off trading him now and adding a reliever off waivers who is pitching in a bullpen where the closer is sometimes utilized earlier than the ninth inning. A reliever like Jeff Hoffman or Ryne Stanek.






Of Note: Dylan Cease.

Cease, who saw his WHIP jump to 1.42 last year and saw it finish anywhere from 1.11 to 1.55 in the four previous years, is sporting one of the league’s best WHIPs at 0.87 this year.

However, for as successful as Cease has been so far, there could be some regression coming. The starter’s strikeout and walk rates are reasonably similar to what he’s done in the past, but he’s getting by with an extremely fortunate BABIP, one that doesn’t exactly pair nicely with an elevated 12.9% barrel rate and 11 total barrels surrendered. Cease, for reference, allowed 30 all of last season in nearly five times as many innings.

Dylan Cease Since 2021

The strikeouts will still be there, and as such Cease’s run-prevention numbers aren’t suddenly going to balloon, but expect the WHIP to rise a bit in the coming months.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues


Of Note: Slade Cecconi.

Cecconi turned in an encouraging first two starts, scattering five hits, three earned runs, a walk, and a home run in 12 cumulative innings against the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants while striking out 11 total batters.

It is worth noting that both outings came on the road in ballparks that are both extremely pitcher-friendly. T-Mobile Park (92 overall park factor) and Oracle Park (96) have two of the five lowest overall park factors in the league, per Statcast.

That’s not to take anything away from Cecconi’s early success. He did well to limit barrels (3.3% barrel rate) and hard contact (30.0% hard-hit rate) in his first two Major League starts of the season. Still, it’s something to keep in mind.

Arizona’s Chase Field isn’t too far off the aforementioned ballpark pairing, checking in with the sixth-lowest overall park factor in the last three years with a 99 metric, which is good. But for now, Cecconi looks like a useful fantasy streaming option in the right matchups with the fantasy upside for more.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login