In our fantasy game, it’s one thing if not the other, right?

For once, the injuries finally took a break on our weary souls this week, although, I feel that I’ve doomed us all as I type out those words and gift them to the fantasy gods to ingest and fire back to me with the scorn of a thousand suns. But even if the injuries have lightened up a bit, we are now forced to reckon with decisions on whether to continue roster drafted players we have clutched like a suburban home with expendable income did Beanie Babies in the 90’s.

There have been some grody performances from players we depended on in draft season, committing picks to them in the first 10-15 rounds or outlaying double-digits of our budgeted auction dollars. On Cards & Categories this week, Jeremy and I analyzed some of these hitters for you, and now I’m back for the second important piece on your drop decision – who are you picking up?

Surprisingly, our waiver wires are still stocked with bats, and some arms, that could stick for the rest-of-season as hot performances are transforming into new baselines and playing time battles are being settled. Without further delay, let’s get to it.

The stats and ownership percentages below are updated as of noon central time on 5/17.

As always, if you want advice on specific roster decisions you might have, feel free to leave a comment. You can also find me on twitter (X) (@mcouill7) and bluesky (@mcouill7.bsky.social).


10/12 Team Adds

Tyler Stephenson (CIN, 43% CBS Ownership) – The fantasy community has started to coalesce around Stephenson as stats have started stabilizing, so we can start believing in his 16.5% barrel-rate and fittingly red-hued Savant page. The Reds catcher battled all sorts of injuries in 2022 with a concussion, broken thumb, and broken collarbone that seemed to derail his 2023 as well. Now looking fully healthy, this could be a great opportunity for the former 11th overall pick to shine in a great home ballpark all summer. (5% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Connor Wong (BOS, 42% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), Mitch Garver (SEA, 40% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Danny Jansen (TOR, 33% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Ivan Herrera (STL, 21% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB)

15 Team Adds

Gary Sanchez (MIL, 7% CBS Ownership) – You can never kill the Kraken. I look forward to writing this column in 2034, you know, assuming nuclear holocaust doesn’t break out and Grey continues to pay the server bills, espousing on the virtues of a 41-year-old Sanchez rising to full-time at-bats again to hit .210 with significant power. With Rhys Hoskins hitting the injured list with a bad hammy, the Brewers will rely on Sanchez for additional catcher, DH, and (maybe) first base at-bats to provide a power boost. He’s already posted six homers over 82 plate appearances for a stellar Milwaukee offense, so as long as you can stomach the batting average hit, the Kraken will Kraken for now and forever more. (5% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: David Fry (C/1B/OF, CLE, 15% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), Tyler Soderstrom (OAK, 12% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Korey Lee (CHW, 6% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Blake Sabol (C/OF, SFG, 2% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Adrian Del Castillo (ARI, 1% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB)


10/12 Team Adds

Ty France (1B, SEA, 35% CBS Ownership) – Bienvenue to the feature blurb again, ami. France’s Savant page has regressed since we last covered him here; however, that has coincided with a stretch of 12 home games in the past 19 for the Mariners. That’s not insignificant because T-Mobile Park has become the de facto worst park for hitters and strikeouts. How can there be a strikeouts park factor? Well, tune into this Rates & Barrels podcast from the other week. In essence, the batter’s eye in Seattle is wonky and hitters hate it. Thankfully for France (and other M’s), Seattle gets a nice slate of seven road games next week. France is still sporting a career-high HardHit-rate of 43.5%, looking to do some damage in more batter-friendly parks. (3% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Vaughn Grissom (2B/SS, BOS, 39% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Orlando Arcia (SS, ATL, 39% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Josh Rojas (2B/3B/OF, SEA, 38% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Davis Schneider (2B/OF, TOR, 32% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Andrew Vaughn (1B, CHW, 31% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Masyn Winn (SS, STL, 29% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Zach Neto (SS, LAA, 26% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Wenceel Perez (2B/OF, DET, 24% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB)

15 Team Adds

Joey Ortiz (2B/3B, MIL, 20% CBS Ownership) – It was always a little strange that Milwaukee traded their ace, Corbin Burnes, for Ortiz and proceeded to use him little over the first few weeks. However, maybe the Brewers were just trying to take it easy on their division-mates and show some mercy before reaching a fully operational state. Ortiz will slot into the middle-of-the-order for the next month or so thanks to Rhys Hoskins’ injury while playing a mix of third and second. The rookie is hot of late, posting a .300/.382/.733 slash line with a 12.5% barrel-rate and 45.8% HardHit-rate in 34 May plate appearances. That is a skillset that makes him rosterable in all leagues until he slows down. (5% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Tyler Freeman (3B/MI/OF, CLE, 18% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Jon Singleton (1B, HOU, 16% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Brendan Rodgers (2B, COL, 16% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Gavin Lux (2B, LAD, 15% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Jonathan Aranda (1B, TBR, 15% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Paul DeJong (SS, CHW, 13% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Trey Lipscomb (3B, WSN, 12% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Ezequiel Duran (1B/3B/SS/OF, TEX, 10% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Miguel Vargas (2B, LAD, 9% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), Vidal Brujan (2B/3B/SS, MIA, 8% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Jake Bauers (1B/OF, MIL, 6% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Dylan Moore (2B/SS/CI/OF, SEA, 6% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Gio Urshela (1B/3B, DET, 5% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB)

Only Team Adds

Miles Mastrobuoni (2B/3B, CHC, 0% CBS Ownership) – Mastrobuoni should get a few weeks to practice his stroke while Dansby Swanson nurses a sprained knee. Miles enters a strong-side platoon role despite his career 64 wRC+ thanks to a relatively tight 40-man roster in Chicago that is preventing the Cubs from going calling upon David Bote or one of the young guns in Double-A. What makes Mastrobuoni intriguing for fantasy is purely the speed as he swiped 13 bags last year in 149 plate appearances. He makes a worthy plug-in while Swanson is shelved to try and chase a few steals a week in a deep league. (1-3% FAAB)

Niko Kavadas (1B, BOS, 1% CBS Ownership) – Through 41 plate appearances in Boston, Dominic Smith’s slash line now stands at .179/.220/.231 (23 wRC+) with just two extra base hits… cool. It’s high time to cut bait on Smith and let Kavadas get run at the cold corner as the Baseball Greek Freak is obliterating Triple-A, hitting .310/.454/.670 with nine bombs. And thankfully, there’s a pretty simple roster move to get Kavadas on the 40-man, just cut Smith. (1-3% FAAB)


10/12 Team Adds

Ryan O’Hearn (1B/OF, BAL, 43% CBS Ownership) – A full week of seven games, with six facing right-handed starters, against the likes of the Cardinals and White Sox pitching staffs for a player with this Savant page? Hubba, hubba. (3-5% FAAB)


QUICK HITS: Chas McCormick (HOU, 47% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Jacob Young (WSN, 44% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Lars Nootbaar (STL, 43% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Jake Fraley (CIN, 41% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Jarred Kelenic (ATL, 36% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Mitch Haniger (SEA, 31% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Pete Crow-Armstrong (CHC, 29% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Joc Pederson (ARI, 26% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Jonny DeLuca (TBR, 26% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB)

15 Team Adds

Luke Raley (1B/OF, SEA, 9% CBS Ownership) – This blurb stings a bit because I loved taking Raley during draft season as he was coming off a 2023 in which he smacked 19 homers, stole 14 bags and hit .249 in just 406 plate appearances. It was easy to stretch those numbers out and see a guy who could push 30/30 at his peak. However, the Mariners initially banished Raley to the bench but might be starting to see the light. Dominic Canzone’s IL stint cleared the way for Raley to enter the lineup and produce a .375/.444/.688 line so far in May. With that performance, Raley may have shown an offensively challenged Seattle team what they needed to fully clear the path to playing time. (3-5% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Jordan Beck (COL, 19% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Harrison Bader (NYM, 14% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Richie Palacios (2B/OF, TBR, 13% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Trevor Larnach (MIN, 11% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Darion Blanco (KCR, 8% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Luis Matos (SFG, 7% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Alec Burleson (STL, 6% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Heliot Ramos (SFG, 3% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB)

Only Team Adds

Conner Capel (CIN, 0% CBS Ownership) – Welp, so much for all that roster depth we were worried about preventing full at-bats for our favorite Reds players in the offseason. With TJ Friedl slated for another lengthy absence for a fractured thumb, Cincinnati is now relying upon Capel for full-time ABs at LF or DH. I’ve always liked Capel’s profile and am surprised he hasn’t ever fully latched on somewhere as he sports a career 120 wRC+, buoyed by an 11.1% BB-rate, over his first 153 plate appearances. He also has non-zero speed, swiping 22 bases across all levels in both 2023 and 2022. Add that all together, and you are looking at a player who can swing a league-average bat with homers and steals that would pace into the mid-teens over a full season.  (3-5% FAAB)

Kevin Pillar (LAA, 4% CBS Ownership) – It’s impossible to ignore Pillar any longer as the SoCal native turned into Barry Bonds since joining the Angels, hitting .455/.471/.818 with three homers, eight runs, and 14 RBI over 34 plate appearance. That has made him an easy top-five fantasy player for all leagues over the past week in our Player Rater. Given the state of the Angels roster, Pillar should stick for most of the season in a full-time role, but you will have to temper expectations, obviously. ZiPS currently has the most optimistic projection going forward with a .255/.300/.448 slash, but the playing time is light. It’s possible that we see 15-ish homers from Pillar rest-of-way as he pushes to match his previous career-high of 21 set in 2019. This FAAB spend suggestion is geared towards AL-Only leagues, but I think Pillar warrants 15-team addition and 12-team consideration at this point given his role in Anaheim. (11-13% FAAB)


10/12 Team Adds

Casey Mize (DET, 49% CBS Ownership) – Mize finds himself walking into the juiciest available two-start week, scheduled for outings at KC and home against Toronto. However, I like Mize in the long run too as the 27-year-old has shifted from a flamethrower of old to a much craftier maestro. He sports a 3.60 FIP, 1.19 WHIP and luscious 52.1% groundball-rate. Sure, the strikeouts are light here at 6.6 K/9, but he should be able to keep his ERA below 4.00 and make plenty of starts, which is tough to count on nowadays. (3-5% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Michael Wacha (KCR, 49% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Shane Baz (TBR, 48% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Patrick Sandoval (LAA, 36% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Michael Lorenzen (TEX, 35% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Robert Gasser (MIL, 34% CBS Ownership, 3-5% FAAB), Mitchell Parker (WSN, 33% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Colin Rea (MIL, 32% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), Alec Marsh (KCR, 30% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Ben Lively (CLE, 25% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Griffin Canning (LAA, 23% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB)

15 Team Adds

Joe Ross (MIL, 12% CBS Ownership) – There are two factors feeding into the suggestion of Ross here this week. First, he’s scheduled for one of the better widely available two-start weeks, drawing road starts against the Marlins and Red Sox. But second, you may have noticed that peppered throughout the starting pitcher suggestions here, the entire non-Freddy Peralta Brewers rotation is included. That is not a fluke, as the next month of opponents on the Milwaukee schedule holds a great run of weak offenses with series as follows (including team wRC+): @ MIA (77), @ BOS (98), vs. CHC (104), @ CHW (75), @ PHI (114… the only rough series), @ DET (89), vs. TOR (96), vs. CIN (86), @ LAA (101, but that includes plenty Mike Trout time). What a brilliant stretch to stream all Brewers pitchers, so feel free to pick a few up if you are reeling for wins and pitching rates. (3% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Ryan Weathers (MIA, 19% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), Jake Irvin (WSN, 17% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Cooper Criswell (BOS, 16% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Bryse Wilson (MIL, 13% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Cade Povich (BAL, 12% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Slade Cecconi (ARI, 11% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Matt Waldron (SDP, 8% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Austin Gomber (COL, 4% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB)

Only Team Adds

Sem Robberse (STL, 3% CBS Ownership) – At this point, the only thing holding Robberse back from an MLB debut is the Cardinals Way – pure stubbornness. There were murmurings that Robberse would start in place of the injured Steven Matz, but instead, St. Louis unwisely turned to Matthew Liberatore. The lefty proceeded to get pounded by the Angels, allowing four runs over 3.1 innings. It should be time to work on transitioning Liberatore into the bullpen full-time, where his arsenal plays up, as he sports a career 5.78 ERA as a starter versus 4.19 when relieving. I’m going to keep suggesting Robberse with his 2.64 ERA and 8.9 K/9 in Triple-A as a deep-league stash until he gets called up for that rotation spot. (1-3% FAAB)

A.J. Blubaugh (HOU, 1% CBS Ownership) – The Houston Astros are on a speed run for the most pitchers used in a season (the 2019 Mariners hold the record at 42), as the team has already relied upon 23 pitchers with eight different guys making starts. Between injuries and suspensions, the rotation and team overall have been quite the mess. Blubaugh is not on the 40-man roster but has been pitching well enough to warrant a call-up if needed, producing a 3.66 ERA and 9.8 K/9 in 32 innings over seven starts. He relies on a classic four-pitch mix anchored by a 94-mph fastball and should make a debut for Houston at some point this summer. (1% FAAB)


10/12 Team Adds

Trevor Megill (MIL, 43% CBS Ownership) – That schedule of weak offenses Milwaukee is facing applies to the bullpen too. Megill is the closer on a solid team with 60% winning percentage; he needs to be universally owned. (5% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: Reed Garrett (NYM, 42% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Yennier Cano (BAL, 40% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), A.J. Minter (ATL, 33% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Michael Kopech (CHW, 33% CBS Ownership, 3% FAAB), Griffin Jax (MIN, 30% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Jason Adam (TBR, 27% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Alex Lange (DET, 25% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Jeff Hoffman (PHI, 20% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB)

15 Team Adds

Jalen Beeks (COL, 10% CBS Ownership) – Beeks collected two saves this week as Justin Lawrence has been shifted into more of a high-leverage role in the Colorado bullpen. Beeks, just like every other Rockies pitcher, will have his bumps, especially given that his 16.7% K-rate allows a lot of balls in play for a closer. But saves are saves, and Beeks is your best path to them in a deeper league. (3% FAAB)

QUICK HITS: A.J. Puk (MIA, 16% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), John Schreiber (KCR, 11% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Justin Lawrence (COL, 9% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Blake Treinen (LAD, 9% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Mark Leiter Jr. (CHC, 8% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Lucas Erceg (OAK, 7% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Danny Coulombe (BAL, 6% CBS Ownership, 1% FAAB), Jordan Leasure (CHW, 5% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB), Jacob Webb (BAL, 2% CBS Ownership, 1-3% FAAB)