Fantasy Baseball’s Points League Paradise (Week 5)

The best buy/sell points league options of the week

With my last edition of this coming so late in the week, it feels like I just wrote this. Which, honestly, is an awesome feeling because everything that couldn’t fit in last week’s now gets to go here. With that in mind, I want to also point something out. I stand by every player decision I make in these articles but please keep in mind it’s injury dependent as well. Christian Encarnacion-Strand was in my last article and got hit in the hand which now results in potential playing time. If you want to hold off on “buying” him in the short term, I completely understand.

Outside of that, I’ve found myself getting a bit wordy with these articles. I do enjoy giving very thorough breakdowns for each player but I also understand it may not be for everyone. For this week’s edition, I’m going to take a bit of a different route and work on more compact, straight-to-the-point breakdowns for players. Let me know which you enjoy more. Feedback is what helps me fine-tune this article into hopefully the best weekly points league article out there.

With that in mind, let’s get into my favorite buy-and-sell targets for this week. As usual, my “Sell” recommendations are not me telling you to drop said player. Typically the players in the sell section would be players who I think will return you the most value at the moment. In order to remain competitive throughout the year, it’s always best to maximize the value of your players whether that be through trades or other means. Knowing when to recognize that maximized value is important. So no I do not think the players in my sell section are bad, but rather they’ve peaked and are better served as pieces used to upgrade your roster for the long haul of the season.


Buy Buy Buy


Austin Riley


2024 Stats: .234 | 2 HR | 16 R | 14 RBI

At this point, it’s very likely that Riley owners are frustrated with the return. He was going in the third and fourth rounds in drafts and had become a lock for 30+ home runs and a .275 average every year. Despite what the slow start may say, this season is no different. He still has 11 XBH in 26 games, and both his barrel rate (14.3%) and hard-hit rate (50.6%) are the second-highest of his career. His pulled flyball rate and 90th EV are all in line with his career numbers, the only real difference is his lack of line drives. Those will come.

If he continues to hit the ball hard, by the time those line drives come around he’s going to be fully back on track. This Seattle series is likely going to have him struggle some more, so try and trade for him now at his lowest point before he gets that chance to get back on track.


Anthony Rizzo


2024 Stats: .277 | 5 HR | 15 R | 15 RBI

Anthony Rizzo is back, baby! At least it sure seems like it. After a couple of year stretch where things seemed pretty shaky, he seems to have gotten back to his old self. His Ideal Plate Appearance and Ideal Contact rates seem to agree also.

2022 25.7% 38.5%
2023 27.6% 41.9%
2024 27.6% 40%

He’s actually very similar to last season where he ended that weird concussion-filled 99 games with 26 XBH and a .328 OBP. The big differentiator between the two is this time around he has both an 89% zone contact rate and a SLG almost 80 points higher. Should he continue down this path, Rizzo can return to the 50+ XBH version of himself with around a .340 OBP. That’s incredibly valuable, especially at a first base position that’s been a bit more thin than most expected. I’d look to add him in all 12 teams or larger leagues, or even 10-team leagues with expanded rosters.


Jordan Westburg


2024 Stats: .304 | 5 HR | 16 R | 19 RBI | 4 SB

I really try to avoid adding guys who are at the top of their game at the moment, but it’s hard with a player like Westburg. There is a legitimate chance he finishes as a top 10 position player at both second and third base. Not something many players have the ability to do. As I’ve mentioned previously, a high IPA% is a great indicator of future points league success. Amongst players with at least 15 plate appearances, Westburg’s 42.6% is the highest in all of baseball. Combine that with a 98th percentile ICR% (58.1%) and enough speed to steal 20+ bases, Westburg is going to put together the type of year you’d expect from a guy drafted in the top six rounds of a draft. He will be a bit more expensive, but if he’s available he’s worth the price to make a move for him.


Sell Sell Sell


Daulton Varsho


2024 Stats: .233 | 6 HR | 16 R | 14 RBI | 3 SB

Coming into this season, I was all the way out on Varsho. He was a guy who could put up decent numbers over the course of a season but it never translated to points league success. Until this season. He had a new approach in Spring Training which followed him into the beginning of the season and led to one of the hottest starts of his career. The problem is, despite his current cold streak when you look under the hood…it’s not great.

2024 37.1% 23.7% 51.6% 82.6 MPH
Percentile 46th 36th 96th 1oth

Despite having one of the highest flyball rates in baseball, Varsho makes incredibly weak contact on those flyballs resulting in continued bad results. His ICR and IPA rates are also almost bang on with his career averages. Unfortunately, over the course of the season, we’re going to end up getting the version of Varsho we always get. You can find utility for him in a category or roto league, but in a points league, his value is going to fade. And quickly. If you’re rostering him, move him now while his value is likely the highest it will be for quite a while.


José Berríos


2024 Stats: 4-1 | 36.2 IP | 28 K | 1.23 ERA | 1.04 WHIP

If you’ve been playing fantasy baseball long enough, you know Berrios is a ticking time bomb. Every year he has these spurts where he looks like a top 15 starter in baseball. He follows those stretches by giving up 18 runs in three games leaving you to wonder which version of him is real. He’s looked great thus far, but much like Varsho when you dig deeper it’s not as sweet as it seems.

2024 11.1% 42.6% 4.13 97.8% 9.7%

There are a few things you need to look for in a successful points league pitcher. The ability to pitch deep into games, the ability to strike hitters out, and the ability to limit hard contact. That hard contact typically leads to more runs and longer outings. Berrios is actually the worst he’s been in all of these categories. His K-BB% and swinging strike rate are both the lowest of his career. His xFIP is almost three runs higher than his ERA and his left-on-base rate is honestly laughably high. He does an ok job of leaning into groundballs, but he still gives up flyballs 31% of the time. For a guy with an 11% solid contact rate against (12th percentile), those flyballs are going to catch up to him very soon. That left-on-base rate is bound to come crashing down very soon as well.

His start to the season has his value at the highest possible point, but Berrios is walking on the thinnest of ice. His yearly implosion is set to happen sooner rather than later, so try and get the value for him now before that happens and he lowers his own price.


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

One response to “Fantasy Baseball’s Points League Paradise (Week 5)”

  1. Kyle says:

    Are these points league paradise articles solely for trading purposes? Pretty useless weekly content.

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