Big Kid Adds (Week 13)

While the NFBC Main Event garners most of the attention, there are a handful of leagues with even a larger entry fee ($2.5K to $15K). They get originally named “High Stakes Leagues” and this year there are nine of them. With so much money on the line, these fantasy managers are going to try to gain any advantage. Most of the time, these managers will be a week or two ahead of everyone else on their adds. Here are the players and some information on the ones added in four or more of these leagues.

Note: Just four starters were readily available and were added in half of the leagues. And two were rookies with this free agent run being the first time they could be rostered. Fantasy managers are going to hold onto every reasonable starter they have and stream the hitters.

Batters

Luis Matos (9): The 21-year-old started the season in AA (3 HR. 9 SB, .304/.398/.443) and was then promoted to AAA (7 HR, 6 SB, .398/.435/.685) before being called up to the majors. He has started four straight games in the outfield, all against righties. The first lefty he’ll face is Snell on Wednesday.

Using Steamer600, here are the hitter with similar projections.

There is not a lot to get excited about even with full-time at-bats.

In 21 PA in the majors so far, he has walked five times with no strikeouts. Teams are attacking him with 59% fastballs and don’t seem to be afraid of him (.063 ISO, 99 mph maxEV) or his PCL power (.287 ISO).

Samad Taylor (9): I made Taylor one of my most rostered players this past weekend.

The Royals recently promoted him and Blanco (see below) but I went with Taylor because.

  • He’s younger by six years (24 vs 30).
  • He can play both second base and the outfield.
  • Taylor has a bit more power in his profile as seen with his Steamer600 comps.

Those top few comps are interesting and worth taking a shot at someone similar. There is a chance he fails at the major league level and must be demoted but it was a gamble I was willing to take.

Dairon Blanco (7): Blanco might be more of a stolen base threat than Taylor with 47 SB in AAA (Taylor has 34) but Blanco doesn’t have the added power. The difference can be seen in his Steamer600 comps (which includes Taylor).

If Blanco gets a full-time or even a two-thirds role, those stolen bases projections are intriguing.

Victor Robles (6): Robles was a sneaky add when he came off the IL on Friday and to help boost his value, the Nationals demoted Alex Call. Since the move, Robles (0 HR, 8 SB, .291 AVG) has started in four straight games in center field.

His batting average boost (.224 in 2022) is from cutting his strikeout rate from 26% to 15%.

Ryan O’Hearn (5): A strong side platoon bat (career .742 OPS vs RHP, .507 OPS vs LHP) with Baltimore facing five righties this week. He has been great so far this season with a .359 AVG (.414 BABIP), 5 HR, and 0 SB.

O’Hearn’s future playing time is an issue with Ryan Mountcastle and Cedric Mullins out on rehab assignments.

Carlos Santana (5): No breakout with Santana, he just has seven games and a good weekly projection (125th best weekly hitter according to Razzball).

Starters

Emmet Sheehan (9): I broke down Sheehan in detail in this week’s Waiver Wire Report. Basically, he profiles as a high-strikeout, high-walk arm who might have limited time in the majors with some other pitchers coming off the IL (e.g. Urias).

Brandon Pfaadt (6): Pfaadt is in AAA after struggling in the majors with a 8.37 ERA, 5.38 xFIP, 6.9 K/9, and 1.65 WHIP. Over his last couple of AAA starts (both vs Oakland’s AAA team), he might have turned a corner with a 3.09 ERA, 12.3 K/9, and 0.94 WHIP.

In AAA, he is getting most of his swings-and-misses off his sweeper (21% SwStr%) and curve (15% SwSwr%). Also, there are no signs of him losing any fastball velocity. Fine stash.

Paul Blackburn (5): Blackburn’s production snuck up on me. While he might not get a Win with the Athletics, he has a 3.48 ERA (4.06 FIP), 10.0 K/9, and 1.35 WHIP. His 18.7 K%-BB% would put him even with Hunter Brown and Gerrit Cole among qualified starters.

The biggest improvement with Blackburn is that his strikeouts are at a career-high (7.7 in 2020 was his previous high). To get the extra whiffs, he moved off his sinker (35% to 21% usage, 5% SwStr%) and change (12% to 7%, 12%) and has upped his slider usage (5% to 18%, 20%).

Currently, his projections and the STUFFF metrics don’t like him but the results have been decent. If JP Sears is rostered, so should Blackburn.

Relievers

Jordan Hicks (9): Two Saves (and another on Monday) in a row will have Hicks drawing the attention of managers needing Saves. It doesn’t matter if Hicks is bringing the heat (101 avg FB velo) and the strikeouts (14.1 K/9) because the chance for a closer is all that matters.

Jason Foley (6): With Alex Lange’s recent struggles (15.00 ERA, 1 L, 2 BS, 1 Sv in June), Foley got a Save on Sunday. Foley has been decent with a 2.30 ERA (2.26 xFIP), 8.0 K/9, 1.05 WHIP, and 59% GB%. Not the worse closer spec.

NFBC High-Stakes Most Added Players
Player Leagues Max Winning Bid Min Winning Bid
Emmet Sheehan 9 240 68
Luis Matos 9 167 7
Jordan Hicks 9 157 23
Samad Taylor 9 44 6
Dairon Blanco 7 37 3
Jason Foley 6 36 10
Brandon Pfaadt 6 18 3
Victor Robles 6 3 1
Ryan O’Hearn 5 19 1
Paul Blackburn 5 16 1
Carlos Santana 5 12 2
Jon Berti 5 5 1
Donovan Solano 5 4 1
Eduardo Rodriguez 4 63 2
Alex Wood 4 34 5
Mickey Moniak 4 33 11
Daniel Bard 4 23 4
Patrick Bailey 4 16 5
A.J. Minter 4 8 1
Jose Caballero 4 6 1
Andy Ibanez 4 5 2
Aaron Hicks 4 5 1





Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR twice, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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TheBabbomember
1 year ago

Statcast data from AAA doesn’t suggest there’s much difference in power potential between Taylor and Blanco: Taylor, 83 mph average EV (103 95th percentile), 20 percent hard hit, 4 percent barrel; Blanco, 85 average EV (105 95th percentile), 32 percent hard, 4 percent barrel.

davem1987
1 year ago
Reply to  TheBabbo

i rostered both in ottoneu and am waiting to see who wins the job