Fantasy Baseball’s Points League Paradise (Week 8)

The best players to Buy/Sell in the points league format right now

Another week, another breakdown of my favorite points league players to buy and sell for all you fantasy baseball fanatics. Or nerds. Or casual players. Whatever you identify as I’ve got a player breakdown that should make your fantasy baseball heart happy.

Last week was my first week writing this where I trended towards some more widely available players. This week I’m going to work on having a mix of both widely available and widely rostered guys. Duality is always the most fun. It should also help make roster decisions about these players easier. Maybe you roster the two guys I say you should target…that would suck. Maybe you also roster the two guys I say sell…that would also suck. This way it gives a wider chance for at least one player in this article to resonate with you and your team.

With all of that being said, let’s hop into this week’s fantasy baseball points league paradise. Grab your margaritas, put your sunscreen on, and get ready to enjoy the fun that is fantasy baseball.


You Should Be Buying These Guys


Gerrit Cole


2024 Stats: There are none

If you’ve followed any of my work you’d know that my favorite trade targets are injured players who’ve gotten a whisper of a return date. Trading for players who have an official “He will be back this date” designation is tough because that’s the point where that player’s value starts to rise quickly. The reason I’m so in on Cole right now is because, for one, he’s Gerrit Cole…and, for two, it’s been announced that he’ll soon be facing live hitting. I don’t want to say this is your last chance to get a steep discount on him, because every league is different, but it really feels like this is that last chance. When he comes back it’s very likely he returns to his Cy Young production levels.

Remember he was a late first, early second-round pick in most leagues and that hasn’t changed. Hope the person who rosters him is down on their luck and looking to make something happen to kickstart their season. It shouldn’t be difficult to get them to come off of a player who’s put up zero points for them through eight weeks of the season. And even if they are hesitant, the price you pay right now will be drastically less than what it will cost to get him the moment a rehab assignment is officially announced. He’s been a top-three-points league pitcher for years now and will continue to be from the point he returns until the end of the season.


Josh Bell


2024 Stats: .233 | 6 HR | 20 R | 24 RBI

Whatever you’re doing right now is not more important than going to make a move for Josh Bell. The good Josh Bell has arrived and it makes my points league brain so happy. And actually, It’s hitting me that what you’re doing right now is reading my article so maybe wait until this is done to go trade for him. Or go make a quick offer and then come back to finish. Either way, Bell has been on an absolute tear the last 18 games and we need to acknowledge it.

If you’ve read some of the prior editions of this article you’ll know I love a good ideal plate appearance rate and how well it correlates with points league success. Well, for the season Bell has an IPA% of just 23.8% which is not good. The easiest way to put it. But in these last 18 games, he’s seen his IPA% rise to 32%, a number that would not only be his career high, it would also put him in the 89th percentile of the league this season.

Bell has always been great at limiting strikeouts which is nice. His 13:6 K/BB ratio in that timeframe is excellent. And his seven XBH and 14 RBI have been numbers you love to see. Essentially, Bell is doing everything you want to see a player do in terms of counting stats while also maintaining an underlying numbers progression that points towards continued success.

Bell is someone who’s either widely available or widely rostered depending on what platform you play fantasy on. Either way, he’s worth the price of admission and should be added. This hot streak he’s on is what we hoped Bell would be this season and this doesn’t look like a short-term thing.


Sell Now Before It’s Too Late


Kevin Pillar


2024 Stats: .333 | 4 HR | 11 R | 20 RBI | 6 SB

One of the tricks to using trading to your advantage is always trying to trade up. Utilizing high-end current production to leverage yourself into a position for even better future production. There may not be a player in baseball who epitomizes that more than Kevin Pillar right now. It’s in your best interest to use these last nine games worth of production and see if you can move him for someone with more rest-of-season upside. As good as he’s been, Pillar is 35 and hasn’t been a real fantasy asset of any kind since 2019. The year you could sneeze on a baseball and it’d fly 415 feet.

There are a few things that point to him falling in points league value soon. First is his lack of XBH ability. In a points league, as you know, you get rewarded for total bases not just home runs. So doubles and triples become even more important than just the base home run number. Pillar has hit four home runs on the season and just three doubles. That alone hinders his value, especially when you account for the fact that two of his home runs came in the same game.

Pillar is currently having a season marred by less-than-ideal decision-making, mixed with very low quality of contact numbers. Despite his 10.2% barrel rate, he’s currently boasting a measly 28.6% hard-hit rate. He’s also got an xBA (.264) and xSLG (.450) significantly below what his current numbers say. If riding the hot hand is your thing, I can see some appeal when it comes to adding Pillar. For me, though, having him and trading home for a better piece feels like the best option. He may get you a solid middle-of-the-road starting pitching option, or could also be used with a sweetener to upgrade at outfield. Either way, let his coming decline be someone else’s headache.


Jo Adell


2024 Stats: .252 | 8 HR | 21 R | 21 RBI | 8 SB

Ok, so I know this “new and improved” version of Jo Adell has been a lot of fun. With that in mind, it’s time to bring your points league expectations back down to earth. That version of Adell who had drastically cut down on his strikeout rate, improved his contact rate, and was swiping bag after bag might be gone. I fell in love with him in Tout Wars. He had some great times in my lineup. Despite that, I’m worried that the prime production ship has sailed.

Overall, his contact ability has fallen back down to earth since his scorching start to the season. Most notable, though, is his decline since the first of May. Since then he’s hitting just .185 with a contact rate of just 73.5%. In that same timeframe, both his hard contact rate and ability to hit line drives have declined as well. And remember what we talked about with IPA%? Well, he’s seen that fall to just 18.8% since May began as well.

Where Adell was going to find success this year was in his ability to pull fly balls and hit line drives. From there he can use his legs to hustle out a few XBH and steal bases along the way. Going an entire month of the season with a line drive rate just barely over 10% isn’t doing him any favors. If you can’t productively get on base, you can’t productively contribute to someone’s fantasy baseball success.

His surface stats are still more than good enough to hold trade value. He’s one of only a handful of players with 8+ home runs and steals this season. He’s cut his strikeout rate down drastically from his career average and he’s got the rest of the counting stats to garner excitement from your league mates. Just like Pillar, Adell is the prime example of a guy you should use to trade your way into much better rest-of-the-year production.


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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