Waiver Watcher: Week 6

Learning from the past to make smart moves in the future.

Now that April has ended, it’s time to get down to the real business of spending our FAAB — wisely this time. Sure, it’s fun to throw around 50% of your budget in the first month, but what do you have to show for it after its all said and done? An injured reliever and a fourth outfielder? Perhaps. If that doesn’t sound like you, congratulations on resisting the urge and perhaps congratulations on fielding the only team out there not riddled with injuries.

With the first month worth of FAAB behind us, I’ll be continuing to look over weekly trends in waiver pick-ups and FAAB spends across a series of leagues, with a focus on National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC) 15-team leagues, including the Main Event (ME) and The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational (TGFBI). The ME sports 43 different leagues (645 teams), while TGFBI has 29 leagues this year (435 teams). If you don’t play in these leagues, don’t worry, there’s useful info coming your way here as well. The trends from these leagues give all fantasy managers insight into the value being put on both long-term and short-term production, while bringing light to some of the tough decisions that have to be made to get the most out of your roster, whether it be a 40-man roster or 20-man roster.

To put things in perspective, all NFBC rosters have 30 spots with no Injured List (IL) spots, so in a 12-team league like the Online Championship (OC), the “best” 360 players are rostered at any given time while in a 15-team league like the ME or TGFBI you could assume the “best” 450 players are rostered, making scraping the free agent barrel a bit more difficult. Of course, I put the word best in quotations, as the players rostered will fluctuate based on not only the managers that play in the league and their own evaluations, but also the roster construction and needs of the teams involved. With no spots to stash injured players, NFBC leagues force managers to make tough decisions when it comes to when to cut players not performing and how long to stash both prospects and injured players, giving everyone else watching an eye into the potential production of players on the edge of your watch list. You don’t have to play in an NFBC league to make use of the information provided from those who do.

Ok, now that formalities are out of the way let’s get to work pointing out some of the most interesting trends, pick ups, and drops I noticed in the latest FAAB period, which concluded on May 9. I’m going to keep my focus on the 15-team leagues this week as the pick ups here may still be readily available in your 12- or 10-team leagues, so keep an eye out.


Getting the Call


Cooler Heads Prevail

The FAAB plateau has arrived. Sure, we still see a few triple digit bids by those who have the means and the will to spend on the bright new toy, but as a whole cooler heads have taken over the bidding. In the Main Event only three players who were picked up in more than one league averaged triple-digit winning bids, while in TGFBI only two such players averaged over $100.

NFBC Main Event Adds with >$100 Average Winning Bid – 5/9


TGFBI Adds with >$100 Average Winning Bid – 5/9

It’s important to watch your league drops of course, when special players can randomly become available that are deserving of the triple digit marker, but on average we should continue to see a more conservative approach moving forward. Even top additions in William Contreras and Trevor Larnach saw tempered bidding on average as budgets continue to get chipped away.


Playing Time Is Still King

With all the injuries going around the league, fantasy managers are constantly on the lookout for warm bodies that see time in the field. Enter Kevin Pillar, Leury Garcia, and Tyrone Taylor. Even if, in Pillar’s case, that extra playing time may be short lived, the $14 average bid is worth having a full outfield and not taking the zero. I can all but guarantee those teams that walked away with Pillar also have conditional bids on Garcia, Taylor, and probably also Seth Brown and Nomar Mazara — which is by design. The ability to identify multiple free agents that fill the same void allows the FAAB bidding to stay muted and saves that money for a bigger splash down the line. Don’t be the one that sets the max bid on Leury Garcia ($125 in the Main Event) when you can simply be happy walking away with any everyday playing filler outfielder with a good upcoming schedule.


Two-Start Burn

Perhaps the two-starter pitchers have burned one too many so far this year — looking at you Austin Gomber and Joe Ross — or perhaps more and more leagues are seeing teams pick up scheduled two starters a week (or two) early. Whichever the case may be, you’ll see less and less two-start pitchers being picked up in multiple leagues moving forward, as shown in this past week where only Houston’s Luis Garcia made the top 10 additions in this past FAAB period, expected to start Monday against the Angels and Saturday against the Rangers. if you remember, Garcia was a top addition in the Main Event as well — last week as he was added in 23 of the 43 leagues with an average winning bid of $32. Compare that to the 11 additions (out of 29 leagues) made of Garcia in TGFBI this past weekend at an average winning bid of $39.

Most Added Players
NFBC Main Event Most Added Players – 5/9


TGFBI Most Added Players – 5/9


Being Demoted


We Know, Everyone’s Hurt

Tommy John? Cut. Hip Flexor? Cut. You name it, someone’s got it and it’s forcing them to your league’s free agent pool. Some injuries obviously make it easier to make the cut than others, but in a format like NFBC, where there’s no such thing as an IL slot, the season is making it difficult to roster anyone beyond the elite players who are expected to return within a month or so. It’s a long season, sure, but those roster spots are still important and shouldn’t be used lightly. In a league like NFBC you basically have the flexibility to hold maybe two “stashes”, and that may include a prospect you drafted like a Bobby Witt Jr.or Wander Franco — both of whom have been slowly cut from rosters in the past few weeks. These players placed on their IL now take up one of those stash slots and provide less and less flexibility to move players in and out of line ups based on match ups, off days, and skipped starts. Don’t be surprised to see your league mates being a bit more aggressive as the season moves on with cutting injured players, regardless of their all-star status.


Watch Your Drops

Some interesting single league drops from the Main Event this past weekend included Germán Márquez, Marwin González, and Andrew Vaughn, while in TGFBI we saw Diego Castillo, Tyler O’Neill, and Bobby Dalbec hit waivers in a single league. It will come as no shock to anyone to see each of them get bid on this Sunday, especially in such deep leagues.


NFBC Main Event Most Dropped Players – 5/9


TGFBI Most Dropped Players – 5/9



Photos by Kiyoshi Mio and John Cordes/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Jacob Roy (@jmrgraphics3 on IG)

Adam Howe

Adam resides in Indianapolis after spending the better part of a decade in Oakland, CA and growing up in Massachusetts. He co-hosts the On The Wire podcast with Kevin Hasting, analyzing your weekly FAAB options before your bid deadlines every Sunday.

3 responses to “Waiver Watcher: Week 6”

  1. Mike Honcho says:

    A.Hays, V.Robles, A.Gimenez, Avisail G., Eaton, were all dropped in our 12-teamer this week.
    Any of them a priority add?

    • Jay says:

      Avisail then Hays

    • Adam Howe says:

      At this point, none of them would be considered a “priority” add. Each of them could be streamed in and out of your line up based on their match ups each week. They’re all basically the hitter version of a Toby in a 12-teamer.

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