Fantasy Baseball’s Points League Paradise (Week 1)

The best buy and sell targets for fantasy baseball points league

If you’ve followed me throughout the offseason, you’d know that I’ve been doing my best to make this the year of the points league. It’s always been my favorite format and it honestly doesn’t get the exposure it deserves. With points leagues growing in popularity, it’s only right we make sure those points league managers have the research they need to be as successful as possible.

With that in mind, this article has now become my baby. Every week I’m going to dive into the world of points leagues and bring you my favorite buys and sells. Since this is the first one in the series, I’d like to point out that it’s going to be a mix of very widely available players as well as some guys who tend to be rostered.

In a perfect world I’d like to cover guys owned in 70% or less of leagues. That way this article can be used for the waiver wire, trade targets, sell highs, and buy lows.

Now, it’s the very beginning of the season, which means we’re working with some very small sample sizes in terms of numbers. With that in mind, there are some analytics I’ll be honing in on throughout the year. For the sake of consistency, I’m not going to let the small sample size lead me away from that. Just be aware that the numbers may normalize over time.


Will Benson

2024 Stats: .417 BA | 1 HR | 2 Runs | 3 RBI

I bet you didn’t expect to see a 30% strikeout rate guy as the first person on this list. Honestly, I didn’t either. But when you really dive into it there’s too much to love even in a points league. The two main things I really want to key in on when pinpointing a potential points league breakout are ICR% (Ideal Contact Rate) and IPA% (Ideal Plate Appearance%). Benson has shown steady improvement in both these last three seasons.

2022 32.4% 19.7%
2023 44.9% 25.2%
2024 75% 46.2%

I fully understand that two of those came in small sample sizes but his 2023 number put him amongst the likes of Austin Riley, Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt, and Luis Robert Jr. While his quantity of contact may come into question at times, he did show this spring that he can cut down the strikeout rate to below 30%. I think that carries over into this season for the long term. If/when it does, Benson’s combination of power, speed, and playing at Great American Ballpark will make him a very fun points league asset.

Maikel Garcia

2024 Stats: .167 BA | 2 HR | 2 Runs | 2 RBI

If Benson is in the “add” category, Garcia is planted firmly in the “Buy & Hold” category. One of my favorite targets dating back to last year, Garcia’s slow start in the batting average department should be scaring nobody away. Garcia is one of the few players in baseball that make both great quality of contact and quantity of contact. He ended 2023 being just one hitting adjustment away from flashing some serious power numbers. Much like Yandy Díaz heading into 2023, all Garcia needed was to put more lift on the ball and raise his average launch angle. It looks like he may have found a way to do that, at least thus far.

With his ability to make great contact, hit the ball hard, and not chase pitches, Garcia has the likes to build off a 2023 season that was better than many people may realize. He was one of just 16 players in baseball last season to have an ICR% of 44+% and an IPA% of 30+%. Of those 16 players, only Ronald Acuña Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr. stole more than Garcia’s 23 bases. Limiting strikeouts, making great contact, and mixing in some steals is the recipe to a successful points league player. Be prepared for the rest of his 2024 season to be really fun in a points league.

Brady Singer

2024 Stats: 7 IP | 0 ER | 1 BB | 10 K

All aboard the Brady Singer Hype Train! There isn’t much I enjoy more than seeing a guy make noticeable arsenal changes, leaning into what he does best, and then watching him reap the rewards. In 2023 Singer was dead set on his sinker being his go-to pitch. He threw it 51% of the time and it got absolutely tattooed to the tune of a .338 batting average against and .516 xSLG. This season, someone must have told him just how good his slider was. Thank the lord, because in his debut start, he threw it 53 times and nobody could seem to hit it.

Singer has always been a guy who pairs great extension with great adjusted VAA. The problem is that his sinker was just living way too much in the zone. With his slider now moving to his go-to pitch, Singer’s sinker can become the pitch he throws for strikes when he needs it. This should help him to continue his trend of being a ground ball pitcher.

He may need his changeup to get a slight bump in usage to help him get lefties out, but other than that he’s a great points league asset. He’ll get you innings, limit walks, and he can now strike people out at an above-average rate. I went heavy on FAAB dollars for him this past FAAB run in points leagues. He’s going to be someone I lean on to be consistent this season.

Sell/Run Away Quickly

Bryce Miller

2024 Stats: 5 IP | 4 ER | 2 BB | 6 K

I promise you, it hurts my soul putting a Mariner in the sell section. Especially one by the name of Bryce Miller. Honestly, though, it feels like it needs to be addressed. Coming into this season the new split finger he was working on was the talk of the town. Now with one start’s worth of data, it looks like that was justified. That split finger was nasty inducing six whiffs on just 10 swings. He also made pretty drastic changes to his pitch usage which you would traditionally love to see. He dropped his fastball usage 20%, slid that new splitter in there 22% of the time, and relied a bit more heavily on his slider.

The problem is Miller is getting absolutely shelled. In a points league, pitchers gain points for both innings pitched and strikeouts. They lose points for hits, walks, and earned runs. Not only does Miller struggle to make it through six innings traditionally, but every pitch he threw in his first start got shelled.

Fastball Slider Splitter Sinker Sweeper
Average EV 94.9 MPH 100.4 MPH 90.5 MPH 95.9 MPH N/A

In points leagues, any pitcher who struggles to register six innings and gets shelled is going to be a problem. This isn’t anything new either, opponents had a 10.9% barrel rate and 42.1% hard-hit rate against him in 2023 as well. The upside is there, but until he can get it together he’s better served on someone else’s team in points leagues.

Teoscar Hernández

2024 Stats: .250 | 3 HR | 7 Runs | 6 RBI

Hernandez has been great at putting up great power numbers in bunches. He did it in Toronto, he did it last season in Seattle, and he’s already doing it this season in Los Angeles. The problem is, outside of his three home runs, there isn’t much Hernandez is going well at the plate. For a guy who thrives on the long ball, his 23.1% hard contact rate and 26.9% IPA rate leave much to be desired. As do the rest of his contact numbers.

On the surface, his counting stat numbers look great, but dig a little deeper and you’ll see he’s already struck out 12 times in just six games. His 46.2% strikeout rate is surely so high because of the small sample size, but keep in mind Hernandez is coming off a season where his 211 strikeouts were just four behind league leader Kyle Schwarber. He’s also surpassed 30 doubles just once, as well as 30 home runs just one time.

I understand those counting stat numbers look tempting right now, and they should be in a category or roto league, but you don’t want those problems in a points league. A guy who struggles in total bases, bats toward the bottom of the order, and has a real shot at leading the league in strikeouts is best served as someone else’s problem.

Blake Meyer

Father of 3 youngsters, writer of words, enjoyer of tequila, horror movie connoisseur, guitar hero savant Current featured fantasy baseball writer for Pitcher List & FantasyPros The Fake Baseball Podcast co-host Overly optimistic Mariners fan

5 responses to “Fantasy Baseball’s Points League Paradise (Week 1)”

  1. Kevin says:

    Love the points league coverage! Quality analysis is so hard to find. I will be a loyal reader. Thank you!

  2. Brian says:

    Good article and information. I know it’s early but keep an eye out for my under appreciated Red Sox! Cedanne Rafaela, Jaren Duran, Garret Whitlock, Houck, and Pivett will all play in points leagues this year.

  3. JimmieFoxx says:

    Great article! Thank you for your hard work!

  4. Eric says:

    “In points leagues, any pitcher who struggles to register six innings and gets shelled is going to be a problem.”

    This applies to literally any fantasy baseball league, not just points.

  5. Tim says:

    Love this! Keep the info coming!! Thank you!!

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