Big Kid Adds (Week 14)

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 were originally named “High Stakes Leagues” and there are ten of them. With so much money on the line, these fantasy managers 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 five or more leagues.

Note 1: The number of obvious moves are way down this week. While there were a couple of high-cost guys, there was a lack of options after them.


Noelvi Marte (10): The most interesting note on Marte is that everyone knew he would miss half the season and no one drafted him knowing he would take up a roster spot. For anyone willing to drop at least $2.5K on a league, they wanted nothing to do with Marte. That was not the case in all NFBC leagues. After the news broke, he was drafted in 6 of 57 Main Events and 17 of 150 Online Championships.

To see if Marte is startable in a league, here are hitters with similar Steamer600 projections.

Some good but not elite bats.

Jhonkensy Noel (10): Noel is a tough guy to value. Projections view him as an HR-only bat that will be a drag on batting average and speed (e.g. Nelson Velázquez or Kyle Schwarber). While there are different opinions on the total home runs he could hit, he will provide fantasy managers with much-needed power. Only if he plays.

The biggest question surrounding him will be playing time. In five games since being promoted, he’s started in three of them. I think he’s a roster and stash to see if the playing time materializes.

Miguel Rojas (8): A volume play with Betts still on the IL. His monthly numbers show he’s trading power (.200 ISO to .132 to .123) for better contact (.267 AVG to .289 to .323).

Stuart Fairchild (6): With TJ Friedl on the IL, Fairchild has started eight straight games in centerfield while hitting in the bottom third of the Reds lineup. Since that point, Fairchild is hitting .333/.333/.433 with 4 SB.

Usually, he is only used against lefties. Over his career, he has a .771 OPS when facing lefties and a .639 OPS against righties.

Over four seasons, he has 556 PA and hit .232/.317/.385 with 14 HR and 21 SB. Those are Daulton Varsho numbers which are playable in most leagues.

Roster and start as long as the playing time continues.

Xander Bogaerts (5): I know Bogaerts is progressing for a return from the IL (shoulder) with the last report stating that he is taking batting practice.

Along with the unknown return timeline, I’m not sure he’ll start every game and how productive he’ll be once he returns. In 200 PA before going on the IL, he was hitting .219/.265/.316 with 4 HR and 4 SB. Hare are some batter posting similar rate stats

Gavin Lux: .221/.270/.301
Alejandro Kirk: .200/.282/.289
Jeff McNeil: .217/.276/.304
Enrique Hernández: .208/.274/.312

An uninspiring list. The hope is that the 31-year-old returns hitting better than when he went on the IL but there are no guarantees. Compared to the past 10 seasons, this season’s walk rate, strikeout rate, isolated power, and average Exit Velocity were the worst.

Now, he could return to meet his projections (Steamer OPS is down 52 points since the season’s start. Here are his Steamer600 comps.

I’m not interested in adding him until I know he is close to returning to the team. I can utilize the bench spot until then to roster comparable hitters.

Luis Matos (5): He’s back on the team as a cromulent outfield (.241/.264/.379, 4 HR, 121 PA) usable in these deeper leagues.


David Festa (10): Fantasy managers were waiting for the Festa promotion and they spent. While Festa has been great in AAA (3.77 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 13.1 K/9), he continued to struggle with walks (3.6 BB/9). In 2023, he had a 6.6 BB/9 in AAA and 3.7 BB/9 in AA.

While he only walked one batter in his debut, he only struck out two batters while allowing five runs over five innings. He attacked hitters with three pitches, a four-seamer, a slider, and a change. Here are the comps for those pitches.




While the changeup projects to be below average, the slider and fastball are near elite. Our STUPH models agree and like the slider and fastball but are tepid on the change.

Hayden Wesneski (9): I’ve been pushing managers to stash players like Wesneski. He was successful as a starter but the team needed to move him to the bullpen. While fantasy managers can stash injured arms or prospects, these bullpen arms can be used in an emergency.

In 20 IP as a starter, he has a 3.10 ERA (3.54 xFIP), 9.3 K/9, and 1.08 WHIP. His 18.8% K%-BB% is comparable to Logan Gilbert and Nestor Cortes. Those stats are must-start if he continues the production.

Davis Daniel (8): No one was targeting the 27-year-old until he went out and threw eight innings of shutout ball against the Tigers with eight strikeouts. Before the season started, I wrote the following on Daniel.

All Daniel offers is hope that his command comes back and he finds a way to start striking out batters.

He got the walks under control posting a 3.0 BB/9 in 76 IP in AAA. Also in AAA, his slider posted a 17% SwStr% and curve with a 11% SwStr%.

In his debut, both of our STUPH metrics agreed on his slider being his best pitch and curve next. The problem is they despise his sub-92 mph fastball and my comps aren’t any better.

It’s so tough to be successful with just one decent pitch but that looks like it with him. At this point, He should be rostered with many managers starting him at Oakland.

Landon Knack (5): After moving in and out of the MLB starting rotation, the 26-year-old is back with several “regulars” on the IL.

While Knack has a 2.08 ERA (4.31 xFIP), 7.4 K/9, and 0.96 WHIP, he should see some regression with his .207 BABIP and 95% LOB%. Focusing on his 14% K%-BB%, he is comparable to Dane Dunning, Tobias Myers, and Max Fried. Some good, some blah.

A low-4.00 ERA guy who should get help with Wins since he’s on the Dodgers.

NFBC High Stake Leagues FAAB Results
Name Leagues Added Max Winning Bid Min Winning Bid
Noelvi Marte 10 436 92
David Festa 10 123 3
Jhonkensy Noel 10 55 8
Hayden Wesneski 9 37 3
Davis Daniel 8 19 2
Miguel Rojas 8 12 3
Stuart Fairchild 6 13 3
Xander Bogaerts 5 44 6
Landon Knack 5 43 3
Luis Matos 5 36 16
Hunter Renfroe 4 22 2
Rowdy Tellez 4 22 1
Kyle Higashioka 4 20 4
Edward Cabrera 4 16 1
Carlos Carrasco 4 15 1
Joey Meneses 4 13 1
Donovan Solano 4 10 1
Tyrone Taylor 4 8 3

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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