Fantasy Baseball Category Power Rankings 6/28

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 as of Monday. 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.)



And here’s the 15-team, SGP data:



12-Team Leagues



And now for the 12-team, SGP data:



Category Power Rankings


Batting Average (AVG)





Of Note: Alec Burleson.

Burleson has enjoyed a breakout season for the Cardinals so far, batting .285 with a .319 on-base percentage, 12 home runs, and five stolen bases in 252 plate appearances. And while he won’t walk much, with just a 4.0% walk rate so far, the slugger’s ability to make contact at a high rate (with just a 14.3% strikeout rate) has helped establish himself as a regular start in the St. Louis lineup.

Burleson has batted second for St. Louis for the better part of the last month. And while the Cardinals offense has struggled to score runs at times this season, both a high contact rate and a spot high up in his team’s lineup should only continue to benefit the outfielder from a fantasy standpoint this season.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Josh Smith.

Whether it’s filling in for the injured Josh Jung at third base or seeing occasional starts at shortstop to spell Corey Seager, Josh Smith has done nothing but hit. Entering play Monday he was batting .303 with a .391 on-base percentage, seven home runs, four stolen bases, and a 148 wRC+.

Much of that production has come via the combination of a 17.9% strikeout rate and a .356 BABIP, but Smith has been a quality lineup option for both the Rangers and fantasy managers alike.

As productive as Smith has been, it’ll be worth watching what happens to his playing time once Jung returns, especially with Seager and Marcus Semien entrenched at shortstop and second base respectively. The 26-year-old does have experience playing in the outfield, though he’s yet to play there this year, and the Rangers also have Wyatt Langford and Adolis García in the outfield grass. Something to watch.

For now, Smith makes for an excellent streaming option while Jung works his way back from the injured list.


On-Base Percentage (OBP)





Of Note: Joey Ortiz.

One of the league’s breakout young infielders this season, Ortiz has been elite at making contact, with 80th percentile or better marks in all of the following: chase rate, whiff rate, strikeout rate, and walk rate. He’s not going to lead the league in home runs, but he’s been productive enough in terms of power numbers, adding six home runs.

Add that to a solid stolen base tally (five) as well as a walk rate (13.9%) approaching his strikeout rate (16.0%) and Ortiz looks like a surefire starting option the rest of the way in 12-team (or larger) leagues where OBP is part of the scoring.

He’s mostly hit in the bottom half of the Brewers lineup as of late but has seen a few starts batting either leadoff or second base for the Brewers in the past month. If that can continue with a bit more regularity, his fantasy upside will rise considerably.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Jesse Winker.

A priority waiver wire addition for fantasy managers in deeper leagues, Winker is (as usual) logging a quality on-base percentage to go along with solid power production.

This season, however, he’s added an above-average stolen base to his stat line this season, leaving him with reasonably similar metrics to the likes of Jose Altuve and Francisco Lindor.

Shea Langeliers (more on him in a bit) looks like a potential league winner this season, and the same applies to Winker.


Home Runs (HR)





Of Note: Christopher Morel.

Arguably the best fantasy trade target for those looking for reinforcements at either second base, third base, or in the outfield, Morel should be due for some significant positive regression at the plate.

The Cubs slugger has the league’s lowest BABIP (.218) among qualified hitters, while also sporting an 11.6% barrel rate and a 43.5% hard-hit rate.

For context, among the players with a lower barrel rate are Ketel Marte, Will Smith, Freddie Freeman, and Carlos Correa. Willy Adames, Bryan Reynolds, and José Ramírez all have lower hard-hit rates.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Nolan Gorman.

Gorman was mentioned in this column a few weeks ago as someone to consider adding or trading for, especially for fantasy managers searching for power production from a middle infield spot. The Cardinals infielder has struggled a bit since then, hitting just .061 with a -22 wRC+ and a 41.5% strikeout rate in 53 plate appearances from June 9 through Sunday. Still, it’s a relatively small sample size, and despite the cold stretch at the plate, Gorman has remained entrenched in the heart of the St. Louis lineup, hitting no lower than fifth and often batting fourth, while also adding a pair of home runs and three stolen bases during that span.

Despite the unideal stretch, the infielder is still sporting a 16.0% barrel rate on the season. If anything, his recent struggles might only help fantasy managers looking to make a deal to acquire the 24-year-old.


Runs Scored (R)





Of Note: CJ Abrams.

After a hot start at the plate, Abrams struggled considerably in May, batting just .205 with a 42 wRC+. So yeah, not so great news.

Fortunately, though, that cold stretch at the plate seems to be a thing of the past. Since June 1, Abrams has been batting .338 with a .403 on-base percentage, three home runs, three stolen bases, and 13 RBI and runs scored.

Still hitting leadoff for Washington, how the Nationals fair before the trade deadline will be worth watching in terms of Abrams’ runs scored potential in fantasy. A further slide down the standings could (at least speculatively speaking) put Washington in a situation where the team trades away a few veterans.

If that’s the case, and the team moves some or all of Jesse Winker, Eddie Rosario, and Lane Thomas, it would impact Abrams’ fantasy ceiling in redraft leagues considerably.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Andy Pages.

Playing on as part of a Los Angeles Dodgers roster loaded with marquee names, it might be easy to forget just how good Andy Pages has been as a rookie.

A .259 average and .311 on-base percentage in 241 plate appearances won’t necessarily jump off the page, but Pages is also sporting a 12.0% barrel rate and a 44.3% hard-hit rate during that span. Combine those underlying metrics with a spot in the Dodgers’ loaded lineup and you have all the makings of fantasy success.

With all that in mind, it’s probably not a surprise to see the outfielder show up on the leaderboard here, particularly for runs scored. A 21% rostered rate seems entirely too low. Something in the 50% range seems more in line (though still on the low side all things considered) with what Pages has done so far.

He’s an ideal addition for fantasy managers in deeper leagues who are in search of both outfield reinforcements and upside at the plate.







Of Note: Teoscar Hernández and Will Smith.

Pretty much most hitters in the Dodgers batting order, regardless of lineup placement, are going to have a great chance at counting stats this season. However, with Mookie Betts on the injured list, it creates an opportunity towards the top of the Los Angeles lineup.

The Dodgers have, so far, predominantly hit Shohei Ohtani leadoff with Freddie Freeman batting third since Betts’ injury.

In that time, Hernandez and Smith have split time batting second. Both already had incredibly high fantasy ceilings to begin with given their track records, strong play this year, and a place in the top half of Los Angeles’ lineup. Now that the duo is seeing time hitting between Ohtani and Freeman, it raises both players’ fantasy ceilings even more so.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Shea Langeliers.

One of baseball’s best power-hitting catchers so far, not to mention simply one of fantasy’s best catchers overall, Langeliers has enjoyed a quality season with the A’s so far, batting .204 with a .262 on-base percentage, 14 home runs, a 16.9% barrel rate and just a .217 BABIP in his first 252 plate appearances so far.

He’s a potential league winner this season.


Stolen Bases (SB)





Of Note: Johan Rojas.

The Phillies recently optioned Rojas to Triple-A, and while it remains to be seen just when he’ll return to the Majors, he makes for an intriguing option to stash on fantasy benches for managers in deeper leagues.

Rojas stole 14 bases in just 58 games and 196 plate appearances at the Major League level and has five stolen bases in just seven minor league games. Rojas hit just .235 in the Majors with a .271 on-base percentage and a 61 wRC+, but in deeper leagues where free agent options aren’t as plentiful, he could be a difference-maker in head-to-head leagues thanks to his ability to steal bases at an elite rate.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: José Caballero.

José Caballero, like many stolen base threats in years past, and many on this list, has provided above-average production on the basepaths while posting less than ideal quality of contact metrics.

Through Sunday, the infielder was batting just .237 with a .300 on-base percentage, four home runs, 15 total extra-base hits, a 4.5% barrel rate, and a 25.2% hard-hit rate. His xwOBA, xSLG, barrel rate, and hard-hit rate all ranked in the 25th percentile or lower league-wide.

The difference here, and something to keep in mind for fantasy managers, is that the 27-year-old isn’t making contact at the same above-average rates that others on this list like Jacob Young and Jake McCarthy are. Those high contact rates at the very least help offset the lack of loud contact with a bunch of balls in play and (generally) a higher batting average.

That hasn’t been the case so far with Caballero, who is striking out 27.7% of the time with chase and whiff rates both ranking in the 20th percentile or lower league-wide.

In other words, be warned of potential regression on the horizon.




Strikeouts (K)





Of Note: Luis Gil.

Luis Gil has been excellent this season for the Yankees, establishing himself as a frontline starting pitcher both in real-life baseball and in fantasy baseball.

In his first 12 outings, the hurler allowed more than two earned runs just twice. In those instances, he gave up five and three runs respectively.

More recently, however, Gil has given up 11 earned runs (as well as seven walks) in his last 12 innings, a stretch spanning three starts. It’s something to note moving forward, though it could also very easily be an outlier considering the three starts came at home to the Dodgers, away to Boston, and at home to Baltimore.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Lance Lynn.

After struggling immensely with home runs last season, allowing 2.16 per nine innings, Lynn has been much more successful in that regard, surrendering just 1.08 per nine frames this season. It’s still a somewhat elevated number, but it’s more in line with what the hurler did in the last few years prior to 2023 when his home runs allowed per nine innings rate finished at 1.39, 1.03, and 1.41 respectively from 2020 onward.

Most notably, Lynn gave up nine home runs in his first 15 starts. Five came in a pair of starts against the Miami Marlins.

All told, the veteran has pitched to a 4.08 ERA, a 4.09 FIP, 73 strikeouts, 30 walks and (the aforementioned) nine home runs allowed in 15 starts spanning 75 innings.

He’s still allowing opposing batters to log an 8.3% barrel rate, which isn’t ideal, especially combined with the FIP and just two pitcher wins. Still, he’s worth deploying as a streamer in the right matchups for fantasy managers in deeper leagues, something that wasn’t necessarily the case last season.







Of Note: Tyler Anderson.

At various points this season, Tyler Anderson has stood out as a trade candidate to deal away if he’s on your fantasy team.

That, still, is very much the case.

The veteran has six pitcher wins in his first 15 starts (94.1 innings), not to mention a 2.48 ERA in that span. However, he’s also sporting a 4.57 FIP during that span, with strikeout and walk rates that are far too close to each other for comfort at 16.4% and 10.7% respectively.

There’s a chance, speculatively speaking, that the Angels trade Anderson to a contending team where he’d stand a better chance of accumulating even more pitcher wins, but unless he suddenly finds the form he showcased in his lone season with the Dodgers, the high FIP, low strikeout rate, and higher walk rate remain.

If Anderson is on your team, now might be the time to trade him for a pitcher with better underlying metrics like Taj Bradley or MacKenzie Gore.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Hogan Harris.

Harris allowed four runs in 5.1 innings in his first Major League outing this season, scattering eight hits and a walk while striking out five batters.

The hurler has allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his next six outings, with appearances ranging from a 3.1-inning relief outing at Houston to five starts of five innings or more. Overall, the 27-year-old has pitched to a 2.72 ERA this season in the Majors.

However, he’s also sporting a 5.00 FIP and is giving up 3.22 walks and 1.49 home runs per nine innings, not to mention logging a .222 BABIP. There’s streaming appeal in deeper leagues in the right matchups, but as of now, fantasy managers are probably better off looking elsewhere. Especially considering, assuming Oakland’s rotation continues as is with no changes, that Harris’ next three projected starts are in Arizona, at home to Baltimore, and on the road in Boston.


Wins (W)





Of Note: Bailey Ober.

Bailey Ober’s season has been a bit of a back-and-forth ordeal at times, statistically speaking.

Ober’s season started with him allowing nine hits, eight earned runs, three home runs, and a walk while recording just four outs against the Kansas City Royals.

In his next 43 innings, Ober successfully righted the ship, pitching to a 3.77 ERA and a 3.20 FIP in those 43 innings while surrendering just 1.67 walks and 1.05 home runs per nine innings.

Those 43 innings came over seven starts.

What followed wasn’t exactly ideal and more in line with the poor Royals start, at least statistically. From May through June 9, Ober logged a 7.61 ERA and a 6.28 FIP in 23.2 innings, striking out 20 batters but also walking 10 and allowing six home runs.

So, not ideal.

What was ideal, in retrospect, was two straight starts against the Oakland A’s (home and away) in which Ober struck out 18 batters in 15 innings while scattering 10 hits and three earned runs. All three of his earned runs came via home runs, which is something to keep in mind moving forward, but the hurler seems to be back to pitching like a borderline top-25 fantasy option.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Colin Rea.

Last year, Colin Rea logged a 4.90 FIP and a .254 BABIP in 124.2 innings. His ERA finished at 4.55.

This year, the FIP (4.80) and BABIP (.254) are eerily similar, yet the ERA is down to 3.62.

Of course, there’s more to it than that, what with strikeout and walk numbers, quality of contact metrics, and a variety of other factors.

But, speaking of strikeouts, Rea’s have actually gone down. After striking out a career-best 21.3% of batters in 2023, that metric is down to 15.6% this season, a metric that’d be a career low. That his walk rate (7.5%) is up slightly from what it was in 2023 (7.4%) is also of note here, but the main point is that statistical regression seems to be coming at some point.

That Milwaukee’s lineup has supported him to six pitcher wins should only boost his perceived fantasy trade value, but now might be the time to work out a deal if Rea is on your roster.


Quality Starts (QS)





Of Note: George Kirby.

Like fellow fantasy front-line starter Garrett Crochet, George Kirby has succeeded immensely in putting a rough stretch of starts behind him.

From May 8 through May 24, Kirby allowed 14 earned runs in 24 innings, striking out just 16 batters in the process. Encouragingly, he only walked two during that span, but it was a stark contrast from the pitcher we’ve seen in years past and the pitcher who prior to that was sporting a 2.09 FIP in his first seven starts spanning 38.1 innings.

Since that rough start, Kirby’s FIP is actually markedly similar to what it was before the stretch. Overall, the 26-year-old right-hander pitched to a 1.74 ERA and a 2.22 FIP in his next 31 innings (five starts), striking out 32 batters while walking three and allowing just a pair of home runs. Of note, two of the three walks came in one of those five starts, while both home runs came in another.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Luis Severino.

With a 3.29 ERA and a 3.93 FIP in 90.1 innings pitching for a Mets team that won 10 of 12 entering play Monday, Severino having a rostered rate well below 40% is a little bit of a head-scratcher. Particularly considering he’s dropped his barrel rate from 6.9% and 10.4% in the last two years to just 4.5% this year, a number that sits in the 87th percentile league-wide.

The 30-year-old has also logged a 51.1% ground ball rate, something else that certainly helps limit damage when his strikeout rate (19.0%) isn’t the highest. Still, regardless of the strikeout rate, Severino has been too good to be rostered in so few leagues.


Saves (SV)





Of Note: Kenley Jansen.

After logging a solid, but not spectacular, nine saves in his first 20 appearances, Jansen has been on a roll with saves as of late, registering a save in each of his last six appearances. Of course, when the veteran actually gets save chances is entirely out of his control, but he’s been excellent this season.

Through his first 26.1 innings, he’s yet to allow a home run and has logged a 2.39 ERA and a 2.17 FIP to go along with 31 strikeouts and just 11 walks.

Jansen looks like a top-10 fantasy closer from here on out, with the potential for more if the likes of Kyle Finnegan, Alexis Díaz, and Carlos Estévez are traded (and traded to situations where they aren’t closing regularly) in real life.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Trevor Megill.

Devin Williams will be back at some point. And when that happens, Trevor Megill probably won’t be seeing the save chances on a regular basis that he’s seeing now.

All that is true.

But, Megill needs to be on significantly more fantasy rosters until then, particularly in Roto formats where every save matters. Even as a relatively short-term addition to bring in via waivers and then trade somewhat later for reinforcements elsewhere, the Brewers’ current closer makes for a quality fantasy option.

The veteran has pitched to a 1.93 ERA and a 2.21 FIP in his first 23.1 innings so far, recording 17 saves in the process. That’s more saves than all but nine relievers league-wide, and more than the likes of Mason Miller, Andrés Muñoz, Camilo Doval, José Alvarado, Kirby Yates, and Jason Foley.

Among all relievers with at least 20 innings pitched, just seven had a higher swinging strike percentage than Megill (17.2%).

Until Williams returns he can make an outsized impact in Roto leagues and win weekly matchups in head-to-head formats with his saves, additional strikeouts, and ERA and WHIP contributions.







Of Note: Tyler Glasnow.

By this point, you’ve probably seen Glasnow’s name appearing near or atop a number of these leaderboards.

There are certainly others who the case can be made for. Tarik Skubal’s excellent season. Garrett Crochet’s breakout campaign. Corbin Burnes thriving in Baltimore. But Glasnow might have everyone beat in the discussion for the best fantasy starter in the league.

That’ll happen when you have a pitcher win in half of your 16 starts and log a 2.88 ERA, a 2.64 FIP, and 135 strikeouts against just 25 walks and 11 home runs in 100 innings this season.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Jose Urena.

Urena still isn’t overwhelming with strikeouts, but a 51.4% ground ball rate and a 7.6% walk rate have helped him limit damage at the plate. The 32-year-old’s 4.24 FIP tells a much different story than his 2.92 ERA, but he’s been a solid option for the Rangers, pitching as both a starter and as a reliever.

(Though on the strikeout front, it is worth noting his 6.13 punch outs per nine frames and 16.8% strikeout rate are both on track to be his best outlays in those statistical categories since 2019.)

The veteran has made 19 total appearances for Texas, including six starts. He’s registered three pitcher wins and a save. With Max Scherzer back from the injured list and Jacob deGrom and Cody Bradford potentially returning later in the year, Urena seems more likely to stick in the bullpen moving forward. Of course, that’s all entirely speculative. Still, if he’s staying in a relief role, the 32-year-old could log the odd three-inning save, or notch a win or two here and there. However, staying in a long relief role likely keeps him off the fantasy radar for most leagues except for those looking for innings in leagues with more than 15 teams or deeper American-League-only formats.


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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