Big Kid Adds (Week 3)

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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 this year 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.

Batters

David Hamilton (8): The 26-year-old speedster has started in six of eight games since being recalled. The only reason Hamilton is being added is for steals. He stole 70 bases in 2022 and 59 last season. So far in 24 PA, he has two in the majors.

The issue with Hamilton is that he is not a major-league-caliber hitter. Projections have him hitting around a .650 OPS, a level that is at the major league replacement level. Additionally, pitchers are attacking him with non-fastball leading to a 46% K%.

Hamilton is a gamble who may pay off in roto leagues if/when he goes on a hot streak.

Edward Olivares (8): The biggest issue limiting Olivares’s fantasy value coming into the season was playing time for the bad defensive outfielder. It didn’t help that the Pirates signed Andrew McCutchen to DH. The expected playing time pattern has continued with Olivares starting in 10 of 17 games (on the bench for the last two).

Fantasy managers are interested in him because he’s been hitting (.308/.357/.564, 3 HR). The gain has come from raising his launch angle (12 to 15 degrees) thereby raising his Barrel% from 8% to 19%.

Blake Perkins (7): The 27-year-old outfielder has started in six of the last eight games (three straight) with the playing time coming when Christian Yelich got hurt. So far, Perkins is riding a .429 BABIP to .367/.441/.567 with 2 HR and 2 SB. The biggest real change behind the improvement is his strikeout rate dropping from 27% to 21%.

I can get the excitement to roster him. His career stats prorate to 18 HR and 21 SB with a .243 AVG. Useful when playing regularly.

Gavin Sheets (6): Even with every decent hitter hurt on the White Sox, Sheets (.270/.391/.541) remains on the strong side of a platoon. Streamable depending on the schedule.

Curtis Mead (6): The 23-year-old Mead has started in six of the last seven games but is not providing much offensively. So far, he’s hitting .243/.333/.243 with obviously zero power even with his average exit velocity up 4 mph and his HardHit% up 4% points. The HardHit% bad luck can be seen with his .359 xSLG.

Maybe at some point, the Rays will go with Amed Rosario at second base or Brandon Lowe (oblique) will take over once he comes off the IL

Anthony Rendon (5): If anyone recently had a third baseman go down, even a backup like Yoán Moncada, it’s slim picking on the wire. I added Abraham Toro as a bench backup.

Rendon is getting added because he’s playing (started in all but two games) and is not a huge drag in hitting (.643 OPS, 1 SB). Now, he is leading off, so his Run to RBI mix is off (8 Runs, 1 RBI).

Jurickson Profar (5): As someone looking for warm bodies, Profar stood out of the crowd as someone playing (started every game) and hitting (.311/.408/.508). No breakout occurring, just some BABIP (.370) luck.

Starters

Yariel Rodriguez (10): I examined Rodriguez preseason and was not impressed with his profile, especially since he hadn’t thrown competitively in about a year. I should have dug in a little more before FAAB ran this weekend as I found his talent intriguing.

In his start, he threw his 95-mph fastball and slider for a combined 90% of his pitches (flashed a curve and splitter).

Here are two STUPH grades on both of them:

Pitch: Stuff+ (100 is average), BotStuff (50 is average)
Four-seam: 94, 63
Slider: 119, 66

The systems love the slider and are split on the fastball. And here are my comps on the two pitches.

Four-Seamer

Slider

While the slider is good, the four-seamer is near elite. Rarely does a fastball have a pERA value under 4.00. He might be getting great numbers from it because he varies his release point.

One area that remains an issue, and might exist for a while, is how far he can throw into games. In the minors, he’s thrown 2.1 IP and 4.0 IP. In the majors, it was 3.2 IP in 68 pitches.

The other issue is that he’s been issuing walks with a 4.3 BB/9 in AAA and a 4.9 BB/9 in the majors.

I should have used the Ben Brown approach by rostering him and hope a role materializes.

José Buttó (9): Anyone who wasn’t following Buttó didn’t notice the changes he made last season, especially the drop in walks.

If he can keep the walks down (3.0 BB/9, 41% Ball% or equivalent to a 4.7 BB/9), he has acceptable fastballs and plus breaking balls. His change and cutter both have swinging-strike rates over 20%. He could see his strikeouts increase if he threw his fastball less.

Again, keep an eye on the walks but there is a decent chance Butto is the best pitcher in the current Mets rotation.

José Soriano (7): Soriano was a great bulk reliever but the Angels gave him a start where he posted 6 K, 0 BB, and 4 ER in 4 IP. In his start, his fastball sat at 98 mph. Additionally, the pitch trackers have him throwing a knuckle curve/slider (13% SwStr%), slider/cutter (24% SwStr%), and change/splitter (29% SwStr%). No one agrees on the pitches but they are missing bats.

One item that may have pushed up his value is that he has two starts this week, at Tampa and at Cincinnati. Some people can’t say no to a two-step.

Wade Miley (7): I feel this is a move to get a week ahead. This week, Miley faces the Padres but then lines up for two-step against the Pirates and Yankees. The 37-year-old’s fastball barely breaks 90-mph and relies on pure luck to get batters out. His strikeout rate has declined for five straight seasons after being at 5.9 K/9 last season.

He didn’t allow any runs in his first start but waed two batters and stuck out noon.

Joe Ross (7): I’m pretty sure the only reason managers added Ross was for his two-step (vs SDP, at STL). In the first start, his fantasy managers were “rewarded” with a 6 ER and 11 H+BB in 4.2 IP. The one change with Ross is that, like everyone else in baseball, he’s leaning into his slider (career-high 43% usage) with its 18% SwStr%.

Coming into the game, a fantasy manager could find some good with a 1.80 ERA, 57% GB%, 9.0 K/9, and a career-high fastball velocity. Maybe a few managers have never experienced the Joe Ross rollercoaster where he is good for a couple of games and then is complete garbage for a month or two. For those new to the Jose Ross experience, enjoy the ride.

The last time Joe Ross was any good was in 2016. Since then, he’s posted a 4.79 ERA (4.49 xFIP) with a 1.42 WHIP.

Relievers

Kirby Yates (8): José Leclerc (9.00 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, 7.9 BB/9) was removed from the closer’s role, so David Robertson (0.96 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 8.7 K/9) and Yates (0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP, 7.5 K/9) seem to be the next guys up. Robertson was universally rostered in these deeper formats, so the Yates shares got sucked up.

Yates is going with the approach of not walking anyone (1.5 BB/9) and creating a ton of fieldable contact. He’s going with a splitter (71 GB%) and a four-seamer (29% GB%). Batted balls are pounded into the ground or popups.

Fantasy managers may hope for more strikeouts from Yates but his profile should make teams work to beat him.

 

Top Adds in NFBC High Stakes Leagues
Name Leagues Added High Winning Bid Low Winning Bid
Yariel Rodriguez 10 143 54
Jose Butto 9 172 12
Kirby Yates 8 153 66
David Hamilton 8 81 8
Edward Olivares 8 32 11
Blake Perkins 7 71 1
Jose Soriano 7 57 12
Wade Miley 7 38 2
Joe Ross 7 35 7
Gavin Sheets 6 63 5
Curtis Mead 6 19 2
Anthony Rendon 5 35 18
Jurickson Profar 5 30 1
Yimi Garcia 5 10 3
Colton Cowser 4 327 233
Jeff Hoffman 4 80 35
Josh H. Smith 4 73 33
Jesse Winker 4 59 15
Jacob Young 4 44 16
Joey Ortiz 4 28 15
Hunter Renfroe 4 12 5





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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freescopemember
1 month ago

Pretty sure Profar was added because Padres have 4 @ COL (M-Th) next week. That’s why I grabbed him.