FAAB & Waiver Wire Report: Week 1

Holy cow, a ton of starters seem to be in demand. I’ll try to sort the decent ones from the useless glob.

In the article, I cover the players using CBS’s (about 40% or less initial roster rate) and Yahoo’s ADD/DROP rates. Both hosting sites have the option for daily and weekly waiver wire adds. CBS uses a weekly change while Yahoo looks at the last 24 hours. Yahoo is a great snapshot of right now while CBS ensures hot targets from early in the week aren’t missed. The players are ordered for redraft leagues by my rest-of-season preference grouped by starters, relievers, and hitters.

Batters

Note: It’s so hard to determine playing time this early in the season with managers trying to get everyone into a lineup. Most of the following rankings are based on preseason valuations.

Victor Scott II: Scott could be a league changer in leagues that count stolen bases. Last season he stole 94 bases. I just projected him stealing 64 bases. The bidding for him could be intense. I’d not be surprised if the bids exceeded 20% to 30% of a team’s total budget.

Jake Fraley: Strong side platoon bat who could have a 20/20 season.

Mitch Haniger: The 33-year-old is off to a decent start (.300 AVG, 1 HR), but it is supported by a .400 BABIP. I’d still follow his projections of ~20 HR and a .230 AVG.

Oswaldo Cabrera: The 25-year-old DJ LaMehieu replacement has two home runs along with a.714 BABIP. He’s going to be universally added, especially since he’s adding third base to his position qualifications. It’s tough to know if this is just a hot streak or a talent change.

Jordan Westburg: He’s playing right now but has a boring profile of 15 HR, 10 SB, and a .250 AVG over a full season.

Brayan Rocchio: The highly-rated prospect is playing shortstop and batting ninth for the Guardians. The 23-year-old is projected for 10 HR, 15 SB, and a .250 AVG over the full season.

Jared Triolo: Won the second base job in Pittsburg (qualified at 3B). Almost an identical hitting profile to Rocchio (8 HR, 15 SB, and .250 AVG).

Tyler Freeman: He’s playing right for Cleveland (.873 OPS) and should get outfield qualification soon. Limited to a 10 HR, 15 SB,  and .250 AVG upside.

Dominic Canzone: Canzone has talent. He could hit 20 or so home runs with 6 SB in a full season. The issue will be how much he plays in Seattle since the left-handed hitter was platooned quite a bit last season.

Harold Ramírez: Last year, he started only part-time but he’s started in every game so far his year. The major issue with Ramirez is that he’s likely Util-only in most leagues (6 games at 1B, 14 in OF in ’23). Ramirez is a decent source of batting average (.288 on career) and some power (~12 HR projection for a full season).

Mike Yastrzemski: Sits against lefties so just a steamer against righties for 15 to 20 HR over the entire season.

Nick Martini: Martini is interesting since he hit two home runs on Opening Day. He might have 20 HR upside if he plays every day.

Colton Cowser: Cowser made the MLB roster but he’s not getting any playing time. Ignore until the playing time materializes.

Adam Duvall: Short-side platoon bat. Irrelevant except for a couple of weeks during the season.

Jon Berti: Bench utility bat who could steal some bases in a full-time role.

Catchers

Luis Campusano: The streaming catcher pool hasn’t materialized yet but Campusano doesn’t belong in it. Add with confidence.

Hitting Prospects

Chase DeLauter: I’m not sure why there is an uptick in demand for the 22-year-old who has played just six games in AA.

CBS Batter Rostership Trends
Name Previous Roster% Current Roster% Change
Jake Fraley RF  CIN 40% 44% 4%
Luis Campusano C SD 39% 49% 10%
Colton Cowser RF  BAL 31% 35% 4%
Victor Scott II CF  STL 29% 46% 17%
Jordan Westburg 2B BAL 28% 34% 6%
Mike Yastrzemski RF  SF 24% 27% 3%
Chase DeLauter OF  CLE 22% 26% 4%
Mitch Haniger LF  SEA 18% 25% 7%
Harold Ramirez DH  TB 16% 19% 3%
Adam Duvall CF  ATL 12% 24% 12%
Brayan Rocchio SS CLE 8% 18% 10%
Jon Berti SS NYY 7% 11% 4%
Tyler Freeman 3B CLE 3% 1% 2%
Jared Triolo 3B PIT 2% 33% 31%
Dominic Canzone LF  SEA 2% 5% 3%
Oswaldo Cabrera 1% 17% 16%
Nick Martini LF  CIN 0% 3% 3%

Starters

Jared Jones: Jones should be included in any ranking of the top-five pitching prospects. Besides pitching for Pittsburg, he’s an ideal prospect to gamble on. Mid-90’s fastball. Plus slider. Threw 126 IP in 2023, so he could be close to 160 IP this year. Maybe it won’t work out but this will be the only chance to find out.

Ben Brown: I’m high on Brown coming into the season, and should be joining the Cubs rotation later this week.

Garrett Crochet: I was skeptical that Crochet would work as a starter. I still am but 8 K in 6 IP with 0 BB will be turning heads. Like Jones, I suspect this will be the last time this season he’ll be available on the wire.

Jordan Hicks: I’m not sure if the rotation experiment will work with Hicks but I’m interested to find out. His fastball is down about 3 mph but a 97-mph fastball will still play. The biggest question will be if he can stay healthy.

Chase Silseth: Nice upside with a 9.6 K/9 and 49% GB% last year but he walked too many batters (4.5 BB/9). He was better in Spring Training with a 1.4 BB/9 and a 31% Ball%. If he can throw strikes, his stock goes way up.

Casey Mize: Hope surrounds him and it seems like everyone has bought in. I have two worries before going all. Can he stay healthy? Will he get his control back (4.0 BB/9 in Spring Training).

Zack Littell: A solid 4.00 ERA pitcher who should be startable in 75% or more of his starts. Ranked higher than Olson based on team context.

Reese Olson: A solid 4.00 ERA pitcher who should be startable in 75% or more of his starts.

Trevor Rogers: A couple of nice matchups to start the season (PIT and StL). While he’s dealt with some injuries, he’s a solid 4.00 pitcher and should be rostered in most formats while in the rotation.

Tyler Wells: Nice start to the season against the Angels and the Pirates. Now, can he keep up his career .224 BABIP (279 IP)?

Tanner Houck: Houck has the talent to be a team’s fourth or fifth starter. As a starter, he has a 4.17 ERA, 9.4 K/9, and 1.25 WHIP. As a reliever, it’s a 2.68 ERA, 9.6 K/9, and 1.14. He’s near elite as a reliever but just serviceable as a starter.

Max Meyer: The unknown is the only thing keeping Meyer this high. In a limited sample, he has been decent in the past, but only thrown a combined 77 IP over the past three seasons. The best hope is to get 100 decent innings from him.

Louie Varland: Varland is an OK starter. Others think he’s much better. As a starter last season, he posted a 5.30 ERA (4.24 xFIP), 1.36 WHIP, and 8.7 K/9. It’s streamable, not game-changing.

Logan Allen: I’m high on Allen. The increased rostership rate might be because of his start against Oakland, but I like this profile, especially if he can get the walks down. I could understand if someone has him lower.

JP Sears: He’s startable next week with a game against Detroit.

Middle reliever break: I’d start a middle reliever over the starters below. I’d still consider rostering them but I don’t want them near rotation for now.

Reynaldo López: He has yet to debut and it’ll be interesting to see how he performs back in the rotation. The last time he was a full-starter was in 2019 when he posted a 5.38 ERA (5.27 xFIP). Bench and monitor.

Tylor Megill: A career so far of too many walks (3.4 BB/9) and home runs (1.5 HR/9) leading to a 4.72 ERA. Maybe this year he’ll put it all together. Bench and monitor.

Ronel Blanco: Has always struggled with walks (4.9 BB/9) but got them under control this spring (2.3 BB/9, 26% Ball%). Roster and see if the improvement sticks.

Ryne Nelson: He’s been rather forgettable during the regular season (career 4.88 ERA, 6.2 K/9, 1.36 WHIP) but seemed better this Spring Training (11.5 K/9, 2.97 xFIP). I’m not sure he turned a corner but in deeper formats, he might need to be added now before a possible breakout.

Garrett Whitlock: While some STUFFF++pp values might like Whitlock, he’s struggled as a starter (career 4.76 starter ERA, 2.76 reliever ERA). Maybe the move to starting will work this fourth time.

Patrick Sandoval: I don’t think Sandoval is startable if rostered but … IF he can throw strikes, he has more upside of pitchers I ranked ahead of him.

Clarke Schmidt: A solid 4.40 ERA starter. That profile is streamable in a few formats, but not in most.

Dane Dunning: Sparkled in Spring Training (10.7 K/9) but I want to analyze a regular-season start or ten before buying back in.

Bowden Francis: Francis was a decent reliever last season with a 1.73 ERA (4.16 xFIP), 0.83 WHIP, and 8.7 K/9. Now how will those numbers regress as a starter? His fastball was at 94.5 mph. How much will it drop? There are a ton of unknowns.

Paul Blackburn: Good enough to stream (~4.50 ERA talent) when facing the right opponent.

Alex Wood: Wood could only make 3.1 IP in his first start allowing a .538 BABIP leading to 6 ER. While his changeup was decent (20% SwStr%) his slider and sinker got lit up. He needs the slider to start missing bats because a 91.5 mph sinker doesn’t stand a chance. He needs to take a step forward to be streamable.

Matt Waldron: Knuckleballers are kewl, but he needs to get out major league hitters. The 27-year-old hasn’t shown anything yet and he’ll need before I get interested in him.

Josiah Gray: I’ve never understood the hype behind Gray. He walks a ton of batters (career 4.3 BB/9) and allows too many home runs (1.9 HR/9). To be a useful fantasy option, he needs to find a way to get at least one of them under control.

Kyle Gibson: Maybe managers are eyeing Gibson’s two-start week against the Padres and Marlins. Possibly useful in points leagues. Most likely, belongs of the wire.

Martín Pérez: A solid 4.50 ERA pitcher on Pittsburgh. Might be worth a half dozen starts during the season.

Carlos Carrasco: Maybe some managers hope he can handle Oakland on Sunday. I have my doubts. He couldn’t find the strike zone last season (3.8 BB/9) and that trend continued into Spring Training (3.9 BB/9).

Michael Soroka: As I write this, Soroka threw 5 IP with 4 ER, 0 K, and 3 BB. His 2019 season has become a distant memory and I’ll be come interesed once he strings together at least three good starts.

Michael Lorenzen: A middling reliever or horrible starter. Fantasy irrelevant either way.

Kyle Freeland: There is no reason to roster a Colorado starter. None.

Prospects

Ricky Tiedemann: It’s been a year of the Blue Jays considering promoting Tiedemann. I get excited once it happens.

CBS Starter Rostership Trends
Name Previous Roster% Current Roster% Change
Dane Dunning SP  TEX 39% 48% 9%
Reese Olson SP  DET 39% 45% 6%
Clarke Schmidt SP  NYY 39% 44% 5%
Patrick Sandoval SP  LAA 37% 57% 20%
Casey Mize SP  DET 37% 53% 16%
Reynaldo Lopez RP  ATL 37% 45% 8%
Zack Littell SP  TB 36% 49% 13%
Kyle Gibson SP  STL 33% 37% 4%
Ricky Tiedemann P  TOR 31% 36% 5%
JP Sears SP  OAK 30% 34% 4%
Louie Varland SP  MIN 30% 34% 4%
Garrett Crochet RP  CHW 30% 50% 20%
Tyler Wells SP  BAL 27% 55% 28%
Josiah Gray SP  WAS 27% 30% 3%
Jared Jones SP  PIT 25% 49% 24%
Garrett Whitlock RP  BOS 23% 36% 13%
Logan Taylor Allen SP  CLE 23% 29% 6%
Max Meyer SP  MIA 22% 32% 10%
Trevor Rogers SP  MIA 22% 29% 7%
Jordan Hicks RP  SF 21% 33% 12%
Mike Soroka SP  CHW 20% 36% 16%
Martin Perez SP  PIT 20% 29% 9%
Tylor Megill SP  NYM 18% 24% 6%
Tanner Houck SP  BOS 15% 20% 5%
Chase Silseth RP  LAA 15% 20% 5%
Luis Gil SP  NYY 11% 42% 31%
Ryne Nelson SP  ARI 11% 17% 6%
Bowden Francis RP  TOR 11% 16% 5%
Paul Blackburn SP  OAK 8% 11% 3%
Michael Lorenzen SP  TEX 6% 14% 8%
Kyle Freeland SP  COL 5% 8% 3%
Ronel Blanco RP  HOU 4% 12% 8%
Alex Wood RP  OAK 4% 8% 4%
Matt Waldron SP  SD 2% 6% 4%
Carlos Carrasco SP  CLE 2% 5% 3%
Ben Brown

Relievers: Saves-based ranks.

Kyle Finnegan: Below-average reliever who is the closer.

Justin Lawrence: Below-average reliever who is the closer.

Griffin Jax: Great reliever who seems to be the closer.

Kevin Ginkel: Above-average reliever who is most likely the closer.

Abner Uribe: Above-average reliever who seems to be the closer.

Jason Foley: Average reliever who could be the closer.

Will Smith: Below-average reliever who is most likely the closer.

Michael Kopech: Unknown reliever talent who may be the closer.

Jeff Hoffman: Great reliever who could be in line for some Saves.

Yimi García: Good reliever who could be in line for Saves.

Brock Stewart: Great reliever who seems to be the backup closer.

Daniel Hudson: Vultured an early win but is now droppable.

CBS Reliever Rostership Trends
Name Previous Roster% Current Roster% Change
Kyle Finnegan RP  WAS 40% 45% 5%
Will Smith RP  KC 35% 40% 5%
Abner Uribe RP  MIL 35% 39% 4%
Michael Kopech SP  CHW 25% 34% 9%
Griffin Jax RP  MIN 23% 36% 13%
Daniel Hudson RP  LAD 18% 24% 6%
Justin Lawrence RP  COL 10% 14% 4%
Kevin Ginkel RP  ARI 8% 45% 37%
Brock Stewart RP  MIN 7% 11% 4%
Jeff Hoffman RP  PHI 6% 10% 4%
Yimi Garcia RP  TOR 5% 15% 10%
Jason Foley RP  DET 4% 9% 5%
Tyler Alexander RP  TB 0% 3% 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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Ari
1 month ago

Where would Gil rank among the starters?

montrealmember
1 month ago
Reply to  Ari

Gil is a big strikeout pitcher but those walks can be scary.