What’s happening, Razzball nation?! It’s been a predictably wacky first week of baseball, and I for one already feel like I could use a vacation. We’ve had a tough start for some heavily drafted pitchers, but I’m trying to keep the faith that things will even out eventually. In a few leagues where I had some early nightmarish combinations of Nola, Manoah, and Bassitt, and then added in a Heaney and/or a Finnegan, though… well, it’s hard to look at those ERA/WHIP numbers and think even 25 weeks or so is going to be enough to right the ship. As always, the tough start is even more worrisome in deeper or draft and hold leagues without (m)any decent waiver wire options available. But, press on we must, so let’s do what we do here and take a quick look at some little-owned players that may be of interest to those of us in AL-only, NL-only, and other particularly deep leagues.


Matt Vierling. As spring training was coming to an end it appeared likely that Vierling would get plenty of playing time in the Tigers outfield to open the season, and so far that’s exactly what has happened. Not only is he playing, but he’s also been hitting either first or third, so even though Detroit doesn’t exactly have one of the league’s top lineups, Vierling should continue getting plenty of at bats. Even with an extremely tough schedule so far (3 in Tampa followed by 3 in Houston), he’s off to a nice start, too (7 for 20 with a homer).

A.J. Pollock. Perhaps he was miffed by opening the season just 3% owned in CBS leagues, but he’s up to 12% after hitting 2 homers with 5 RBI on Tuesday. As a part-time outfielder/DH for the Mariners, I certainly don’t see him returning to anything close to his glory days even if he manages to stay healthier than usual. Given that he’s currently battling the likes of Tommy La Stella for DH at bats, though, he may be more deep-league relevant this year than some of us expected.

Dylan Moore. While we’re on the subject of the Seattle Mariners, time for me to give my semi-annual shout out to Dylan Moore. He’s hurt but supposedly getting better, he qualifies at SS and OF, and I always manage to forget about the fact that he’s a Mendoza-line part-time hitter because I’m daydreaming about his excellent baserunning speed and how it might be successfully applied in the first year of the pizza-box sized bases. He’s at least worth an AL-only stash (and he also gets a bit of a bump in OBP leagues), I think, especially given that the Mariners aren’t exactly the Rays when it comes to outfield/DH depth, as mentioned in the above blurb.

Tyler Wells. The Baltimore pitching was supposed to be in the rotation but may have his first start postponed after being needed in emergency relief. The interesting thing about that assignment, if you missed it, was that he ended up pitching 5 no-hit innings against the Rangers. I had Wells on a deep AL-only team last year but haven’t grabbed him anywhere this year as I was worried both about whether he had a rotation spot, his lack of consistency, and his generally unimpressive K rate. But even with all that being said, I’m going to at least keep an eye on him as I think there’s at least a chance there’s a serviceable deep-league fantasy starter in there somewhere.


Jason Vosler. Vosler has gotten more than one mention here at Razzball, including by Grey, and is still just 18% owned in fantrax leagues and 6% in CBS leagues.  Have we already seen the best week of 2023 for him? Probably. Will he be facing mediocre-at-best pitching like he has been so far this year, after opening up against the Pirates, for much longer? Nope. Plus there’s that Votto guy waiting in the wings to take Vosler’s temporary job away as soon as he’s healthy. BUT… if nothing else, Vosler has done exactly what you’d want him to do in his early-season opportunity with the Reds, which is hit really, really well and look like a legit major league baseball player. If he’s available in deeper leagues I’d grab him if you have room, in case the magic continues a bit longer or he actually manages to establish himself in the longer term as a useful piece of the Reds’ current puzzle.

Jason Heyward. The Dodgers outfield has been messy as advertised to begin 2023, and in that mess have come some impressive performances by Trayce Thompson and James Outman, sending their fantasy ownership skyrocketing compared to a week or two ago. Heyward, meanwhile, sits at 7% owned in fantrax and 1% in CBS, and is actually off to a nice little start himself in an admittedly tiny sample size, going 3 for 9 with 2 homers. He may not play a ton and obviously won’t keep up his current pace when he does, but he might be mildly useful in the deepest leagues as the season continues, especially if the younger guys cool down a bit. Feels like a situation worth monitoring, at least.

Orlando Arcia. I drafted him in a deep league basically just to play him in the first series against what I figured would be lackluster (to be kind) Nationals pitching, but am now accepting the fact that Arcia may be a serviceable deep-leaguer for longer than any of us would have guessed after the Braves handed him a 3-year deal to open the season. Frustrating and perplexing for those of us who have Vaughn Grissom rostered in a keeper league or two, but if the Braves are going to ride with Arcia for a while maybe I’ll consider doing the same in a couple of deep leagues.

I hope everyone had a good opening week of baseball and that your rosters are rounding into shape, and most importantly, best to all of you who are in areas impacted by all of the current intense weather!