What’s up Razzerinos? The fantasy baseball year has passed the Memorial Day holiday and has entered into the next phase: where you start hearing about fantasy football. Myself, I’m oddly excited about football season. It could be because my RetroBowl team is about to claim the Super Bowl, if only I could manage not to throw interceptions under pressure. It could also be because the Minnesota Vikings just gave Justin Jefferson an amount of money that feels like Gerrit Cole levels of payment. Watch your slider, Jet! ENYWHEY. Let me know if you’re also pumped for football draft season down in the comments. For everybody else, let’s check the overlooked players that might help your fantasy team:

That’s What I Like

Jesse Winker (WSH, OF, 44% Rostered): A lot of times my job ain’t even that hard. Just load the Player Rater and see who ranks high with low rostership. Jesse Winker is that guy. Sure his luster faded last year but this dood used to be a perennial OF3/UTIL on teams and now he’s not even rostered? OK, maybe the power ain’t the same and it’s like listening to a Red Hot Chili Peppers album made after 2009. Over his last 70 at bats, Winker’s batted .356 with a mediocre .441 SLG (which is actually lower than his OBP!). Over the last week, he’s getting on base at a .500 rate, which is literally a coin flip. Usually, batters are flipping those 4-sided coins, or maybe a 3-sided coin if they’re lucky. But Winker? He’s got a legit quarter in his hand to get on base. Oddly enough, Winker added speed to his skillset this year, swiping 11 bags on the season, which is basically more steals than he’s done at high level baseball combined. With any luck, Winker finishes out the year with a 15/20 line, but being on the Nationals might land him with 50 RBIs to finish the season. He’s in the Top 100 on the Player Rater right now, so if you think his stats suck, you might be right, but he sucks less than the other 600 hitters in the league, and that’s all that matters.

David Fry (CLE, C/OF, 88% Rostered): Featured him last week but his rostership didn’t budge, so I figure he’s worth a shot again. The messaging is still: He’s on his way to C/1B/3B/OF eligibility, with 1B coming sooner. Had a bit of a cold streak last week but three of his four hits were doubles and he completed the week with a 112 RC+ rating, which bodes well for continuing performance. Remember: you may not personally like a stat line, but if that stat line is still 10% better than the other lines out there, you’re 10% better than the competition. This is how Wendy’s stays in business. ENYWHEY. Maybe somebody doesn’t believe in advanced stats and dropped Fry — mmm, Bagglers…sorry —  so you’re going to dunk your hand in the sauce and fish filet him out. I mean, Fry is C5 on the year. People love dishing out dough for catchers. Remember Yermin Mercedes? Remember Joey Bart? Jake Burger? Sorry, just got FryBrain. You can get the fifth best catcher in the league off the waiver wire right now in 10% of leagues. But I’ve got Adley! you shout into a half-empty Biggie cup that you combined Gatorade and Sprite into. Who cares if you’ve got Adley, ‘cuz Fry is OF27 on the year right now. Last I checked, a 12-team league needs 36 OF — so unless you have 3 top-25 outfielders, you’d still be starting Fry. Do you have a team with Adley and 3 top 25 OF? Great, now you add Fry and trade him to the team that foolishly started the draft with Corbin Carroll, Mike Trout, and Randy Arozarena. Lesson learned!

Spencer Turnbull (PHI, P, 22% Rostered): Here’s where you need to trust SABRmetrics. Remember back to the mid-2000s when Brad Pitt managed the Oakland A’s and Jonah Hill was his assistant? They believed in a stout man named Kevin Youkilis and his ability to get on base. 20 years later, we now call their style of baseball “Hitternomics.” At least that’s what ChatGPT tells me what happened. ChatGPT also tells me that the Atlanta Braves won the World Series last year. SEW! Spencer Turnbull. His ERA sucks. His FIP over his last three outings, though? -0.86. That’s right. Negative. His K rate? 18 K/9. If we expand back to the point where he got put into the bullpen, Turnbull has a a nearly 7:1 K:BB ratio with a 2.80 FIP with a Win and a Hold. Last year, we saw Matt Strahm hold steady throughout the year on the Top 100 pitchers — often sitting around SP20-30 — in a similar Roleless Rob situation. Turnbull needs some Win luck and increased usage, and he’d be a candidate to return to the rotation in the event of injury. RCL’ers and deep leaguers who need a shot in the dark option? Turnbull is looking like he could break out if given a shot.

I’m the Problem – It’s Me

Alek Manoah (TOR, SP, 93% Rostered): OK first of all, how did Manoah get 93% rostered? He’s the 28th worst “highly-rostered” player on the Player Rater. He was literally sent back to instructional ball last year, and I warned y’all against drafting him this year. Oh, his ERA this season was 3.70? That’s nice. His FIP was 5.15 and his CSW% was 28.4%, which is super pedestrian. Barrel rate against? Nearly 11%. BABIP of .200 and HR/9 near 2.0. Things just weren’t going his way. And now he’s off to Dr. Freeze or Dr. El-Freeze or possibly the Amazon Doctor Warehouse, where in the hours after work they use the packaging robots to rebuild arms. I kid! Those warehouses are open 24/7 and there’s no time off for the robots. I write this knowing that my kind, gentle readers out there thought so positively of their dynasty teams that they held on to hope for Manoah and refused to trade him at his lowest 2023 value. Well, you know what’s lower value than a guy demoted to the minors? A guy who won’t return to regular action until 2026. I wish the best for Manoah in real life, and I hope he gets clarity to the challenges he’s faced over the last year. But for your fantasy teams — and I’m looking toward the dynasty managers right now — it’s time to move on. If you can get anything for Manoah, take it. Otherwise, when he returns, he’ll be near 28 years old and one presidential term removed from being an effective SP. It’s time to look elsewhere.

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4 days ago

Thanks for a great column! always enjoy your perspective!

I have the following players that can afford to be traded:

Jeremy Pena
Brent Rooker
Lourdes Gurriel
Kutter Crawford
Cristopher Sanchez
Reese Olson

1.Who would you offer to get Fry?

2. Who would you offer to get Houch?

3. Would it be possible to get Harper?

4. Would you try and get Austin Riley?

Thanks so much!!!!