Fantasy Baseball’s Points League Paradise (Week 3)

The Best Points League Buy/Sell Article You'll Read

The coolest part about doing this article every week is I get a chance to word-vomit all my favorite points league research to you guys. In the fantasy baseball writing world, the majority of the research and content you produce focuses mainly on roto and category leagues since that’s what the majority play. Having my own little points league sanctuary is probably my favorite content-related work I’m doing right now.

First, let’s recap last week. In the buy category, we had Triston Casas and Brendan Donovan. Both of them put up excellent numbers. Casas hit three home runs and drove in five, while Donovan hit a dinger of his own, scored a few runs, and drove in a couple while limiting strikeouts.

In the sell category, we had Ronel Blanco and Connor Joe. Blanco finally looked human for once in his one start this week but still threw a six-inning quality start with five strikeouts. Good, not great, as we mentioned. Joe did what we expected as well. A few hits, and limited strikeouts, but not much else besides that. If you sold them, awesome! If you still have them, I get it, but you’re still likely better off moving them for a better long-term option.

Now for the hold category. This one is tougher because they weren’t meant to be guys who would immediately turn things around. Francisco Lindor did not have a good week despite the Mets lineup putting up runs in bunches. Ending the week 2/4 and racking up at least one hit in every game but one is a good sign he’s trending up, though, so there’s still no reason to panic. Henry Davis had himself a solid week. He went 4/13 with a double and a couple of runs scored. He’s still progressing slower than I’d like, but he’ll get there. Trust me.

Now with all that being said, let’s get into this week’s Points League Paradise. Remember, this entire article is points league based. Values here can be vastly different than in rotisserie leagues, so please don’t try and use this info as the end all be all for other formats.




Pablo López


2024 Stats: 16.2 IP | 1 W | 16 K | 4.86 ERA | 1.20 WHIP

If you were high on López like I was coming into this season, the last two starts of his were probably underwhelming. At least if you only look at the box score that may be the case. That’s exactly why he’s here. Part of qualifying for being in the buy category is having a player be at their most trade worthy point of the season. In López’s case, giving up nine runs (eight earned) in your last two starts including a start where you only make it five innings will bring you to that point.

Let’s get real, López is very likely to finish the season as a top-seven starting pitcher. And that might be being modest. With the likes of Gerrit Cole, Spencer Strider, Kodai Senga, Justin Verlander, Bobby Miller, Shane Bieber, and Eury Perez all dealing with injuries that either have them lost for the season or a chunk of it, the door is wide open for Lopez. And outside of a bit of bad luck, nothing has really changed for his outlook at this point.

He’s throwing more fastballs this season (40%) than last season and he’s moved a bit more away from the curveball and sinker. But his extension has increased across the board and his swinging strike rate (14.8%) is at a career-high. Take out his two-strikeout performance against Cleveland and you’ll see he has a 31% strikeout rate against everyone else. Cleveland does this weird thing where they just never strike out at all so in small sample sizes it’s ok to count those starts as an outlier for the starting pitcher.

We haven’t even mentioned his 58% left-on-base rate either. In his career, he has a 73.3% left-on-base rate which is perfectly acceptable. There’s no reason to think the extremely low rate he’s at currently will continue. His xERA (3.60), FIP (3.61), and xFIP (3.63) would all suggest that the 4.86 ERA he has currently is set to come down sooner rather than later. He’s one of the few starting pitchers in baseball who can routinely pitch late into games while striking out 200+ batters. Don’t let his slow start deter you from that thinking.


Colton Cowser


2024 Stats: .441 BA | 4 HR | 7 Runs | 13 RBI | 2 SB

Quite possibly the hottest name in baseball currently, Colton Cowser has done a lot to prove he’s not only a must-roster in fantasy baseball, but he’s an elite rest-of-the-season option in points leagues. He has a great mix of power, hitting ability, and plate discipline that you struggle to find in veterans. Let alone a 24-year-old rookie.

Let’s just throw 2023 right out of the window. It was a disaster in every sense of the word, but there were a few bright spots. He proved that his plate discipline was real. In his minor league career, he had a 15.7% walk rate across 1,174 plate appearances. He also struck out 25.8% of the time. In a points league, there are three really important factors that separate a good hitter from a great hitter. First is the ability to limit strikeouts, the second is the ability to walk, and the third is their ability to generate extra-base hits outside of just home runs. Cowser had 103 extra-base hits in 257 minor-league games, a really impressive number.

This season he’s proving that those minor league numbers were no joke. He’s already managed six doubles and four home runs in just 30 trips to the plate. A pace that may certainly slow down a bit, but the underlying numbers show the slowdown may not be too drastic. When evaluating players for future points league performance I also like to look at both ICR% and IPA%. They measure how good the contact a player is making truly is, and how well they are doing at the plate every time they get up to bat. Coswer excels in both. His 57.7% ICR rate sits in the 95th percentile currently while his 39.5% IPA rate is in the 97th percentile.

It may feel like you’re buying Cowser at his peak right now. I’d argue that right now you’re buying Cowser at the lowest price he’ll be at for the rest of the year. There are some leagues where he’s still (somehow) on the waiver wire. If you find him hiding there, add him. If you need an outfielder or just an overall spark to your offense, trade for him now. It’s worth it.




Willy Adames


2024 Stats: .310 | 3 HR | 11 Runs | 9 RBI | 1 SB

Willy Adames is a standout shortstop in category and roto leagues. He has rare power at the position that only a handful of guys possess. He’s proven time and time again that he can put up those big home run totals. The problem is he’s known to sell out for his power. Especially in the last two seasons where he’s failed to hit above .240 or have a BABIP at .278 or more.

Right now his numbers look great. His strikeout rate is under 20%, he’s barreling the ball up at a career-best 13%, and his .534 slugging percentage is at a career-high. This is what makes him a sell candidate. These things combined are what have him at likely the highest his value will be at for quite some time. Because when you dig deeper, you see he’s got an inflated .349 BABIP and his 37% ICR% is at a career low.

He does have a slightly better than the career norm IPA rate of 27% but that’s only in the 64th percentile. A lot of Adames’s success has come from being an overly aggressive, free-swinging slugger. He swings at a lot of pitches outside the zone. Plain and simple. Right now, he is making his best outside-the-zone contact of his career, but that’s not necessarily good. Most contact made outside the zone is less than ideal soft contact over the course of the season.

He’s shown some overall improvement this season, and the numbers look great right now. The problem is, as they normalize over the course of the year, his points league luster is going to fade. Make a move now while his value is high so you can get the best return possible.


Garrett Crochet


Ok, so Crochet isn’t on this list because he’s bad. I actually like him this season and think he’s pitching quite well. The problem is he currently falls into the more “flashy” than practical category for me in a points league. Everybody loves the guy who comes in throwing triple digits and striking guys out in bunches. It’s fun to watch and makes for an enjoyable statline. But in the fantasy baseball points league space, it’s much less valuable when that player has a ceiling on how long they’re going to be valuable.

Again, leaning on the common theme of “Trade them when their value is the highest”, Crochet is a prime candidate for this. This is the first time in his professional career, at any level, that Crochet has started even one game. He’s now quadrupled that and looked good, but it feels like a ticking time bomb. His previous career high in innings pitched was the 54.1 innings he tossed back in 2021. He threw none in 2022 and just 25 in 2023.

His stuff is electric, and he’s proven that he can be effective against even the best lineups in baseball. It’s just tough to imagine Crochet starting games beyond July. Yes, that’s a few months out so you have some time, but right now there is no pitcher in baseball more electric than him. He’s someone everyone is tuning in to watch. He’s also someone everyone checked the waiver wire to try and pick up these last couple of weeks.

Even in his last start where he failed to make it out of the fifth inning, he still managed to strike out 10 batters. Thats great! But points league success from a pitcher is predicated on their ability to consistently pump out quality starts, pitch deeper into games, limit walks, and strike batters out. And limiting runs, of course. Crochet offers the ability to strike out batters and, in the meantime, limit walks. But there is going to be a hard limit on the number of innings he pitches and how late they let him go into games. He’s already at 22.2 innings which is creeping up on half of his career high and we’re only at the beginning of April.

Plenty of people will still be interested in trading for him right now. Some may even offer a king’s ransom in the right setting. Get yourself someone more reliable over the course of the season. Let someone else figure out how to manage him on their squad as the season rolls along.

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

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