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So, uh, how’s everybody’s team faring this week? Do you have any arms left? Does your fantasy league allow you to put your 2B in as pitcher, much like the major leagues? I’m pretty sure Mookie Betts could see some mound time by the end of the month at the rate injuries are going.

There was a time in 2020ish where we had a streak of Fantasy Football profiles that posted just before crucial season-ending injuries. I feel that way with Coolwhip’s extraordinary effort on Shane Bieber, which posted mere hours before our favorite pitching sleeper announced his journey to the sterile field where his arm will be opened and filled with cyborg parts.

For more on the injury updates, see Keelin’s Fantasy Baseball Injury article, where the list of injuries will be longer than my article. FWIW, having been both an editor and a writer of the injury article, it’s a thankless and tough article to write — go send her a virtual high five for her work.

Let’s dive into players that might help your team this week. Because you might have an entire rotation that is now torched, I’m opening the field up to pitchers as well — no point in waiting three weeks if you happened to have a Strider / Bieber start to your staff.

What I Like:

Michael Conforto (OF, SFG, 64% Rostered): Got a feature in my article last week and jumped 60% in rostership. Dropped another dinger with 5 RBIs this week and has been batting fourth. He even picked up a couple walks! Conforto’s not going to to keep this up all year but he’s worth rostering in 12-team leagues and at worst hanging out on your bench, if not starting. Conforto’s a must play in deeper leagues.

Brady Singer (SP, KC, 60% Rostered): Bieber down? Get another Singer! Brady Singer was Grey and my’s (take that editor Truss!) favorite pitcher sleeper last year, and the guy underperformed so he seems like he’s persona non-gratis on teams this year. But we need to remove our biases and embrace our Bieber-like ability to bounce back. Singer’s always been buffeted by a low-key ability to throw strikes, but he’s never been an over-powering K guy. He’s that kind of pitcher who saves your fantasy team by tossing 160+ IP of 9+ K/9 work with low walks and maybe some Wins. This year? He’s got a 34% CSW rate and FIP work below 2.50 through two starts, which isn’t terribly predictable but it’s also light years ahead of the competition. Considering you can straight-up add him to your roster in 40% of leagues and a bunch of teams are losing Bieber, Singer would be my first target to rebuild your teams.

Charlie Blackmon (OF, COL, 18% Rostered): Already down in batting average? Here’s a dude with 6 games coming up this week, who’s batting first ahead of Nolan Jones and has been hitting .333 on the season. Sure, he won’t get any RBI or HR or maybe even any runs, but you’re here because your team sucks, right? We wouldn’t have this problem if you drafted Mookie Betts instead of Shane Bieber, but now we’ve gotta make up time, so let’s go to the Rockies and see if we can get high.

Connor Joe (1B/OF, PIT, 11% Rostered): The playing time isn’t entirely guaranteed, but he’s got multi-position eligibility and the ability to make contact. Hittertron hates him for the upcoming week but we’re talking about a guy who bats in the top part of a lineup and has been getting on base at a .429 clip with 4 Runs and 4 RBIs over the past week. He makes contact and that’s all you want out of a dart throw.

Alec Marsh (SP, KC, 3% Rostered): He’s pitching after I write this article, so let’s see how my predictions do! Guy with 10+ K/9 in the minors gets a cup of coffee early in the season. He’s not replacing Spencer Strider, but we’re talking available dart throws, so give it a shot.

Jose Quintana (SP, NYM, 40% Rostered): Lifelong streamer faces the Pirates later this week. Need a rebound while you recover from Bieber? Quintana will get you through the week at least.

Kevin Gausman (SP, TOR, 100% Rostered): Got a manager who is selling low? Buy, buy, buy! Sure there are signs of worry — velocity down, swinging strike rate down, blah blah blah. His xFIP is also half of his current ERA, which means he’s simply “bad” rather than “atrocious.” We’re talking about one of the most reliable SP over the past few years, and if you can get him at 70-80% value from a worried manager, I take that.

I’m the Problem — It’s Me

Oswaldo Cabrera (OF/3B, NYY, 50% Rostered): Impressive bat control for a rookie in a high-stress playing situation. But after a blistering start, he’s watching too many pitches pass him by, and his batting average has tanked. D.J. LeMahieu is working his way back and isn’t too close to a return, but it does announce the coming end of Cabrera’s cup of coffee. I’m not saying drop, but I am saying — the signs are all there to move on.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand (1B, CIN, 100% Rostered): 5 for 36 to start the season and zero walks. But actually hitting a fair amount of line drives and a 12% barrel rate with a launch angle of 16 degrees. I dunno — what do you think? The K rate screams “demotion incoming” but the hard hit rate says “buy low!” Generally speaking, 30%+ K rate and .286 SLG with a busy roster means “demotion”, and I would be looking for a backup if you’ve been using CES as your primary 1B.

Spencer Torkelson (1B, DET, 100% Rostered): This is why I don’t like dynasty baseball all that much. How many of y’all traded entire teams for Tork, when you could have just taken Connor Joe off the wire? I kid, I kid (< things I have to say because sarcasm on the internet is hard). JKJ came up to me with a quandry this week — he had been posed with a situation where Tork was available in a league, and the manager wanted to spend 50% of their FAAB to snag Tork. Maybe if it’s a dynasty league, sure. But for you redraft mavens…Tork just isn’t putting in the torque to play right now. K rate manageable, which is good, but his anemic SLG rate and 0% barrel rate (you read that right!) means he’s effectively a pitcher in the batter’s box. Remember those days? Tork has the pedigree and team investment to stay in the majors and work out his slow start, but your fantasy team doesn’t have to wait for that. Move Tork to the bench while he figures himself out, and start somebody else.


As our esteemed colleague Jolt pointed out last week, yes it is I that have been topping the RazzSlam charts to start the season. And, much like y’all, I’ll need to figure out what to do now that Shane Bieber is done for the season. The long-term solution is probably not on this list. That’s just the way of things. It takes time for players to situate into their roles and allow their performances to stabilize. Don’t overreact to your fast starts or slow starts. They are merely starts, and 90% of the season is still ahead of us. Good luck all!

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Speaking of Razzslam, don’t forget the first FAAB of the season is Tuesday night at 10 PM ET!

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Dude
Dude
1 month ago

RP Question for SVHD ROS. Who are the 4 odd men out?

Alzolay – 6K -1SVHD- 3.18ERA- 5.2IP
Jansen – 6K- 3SVHD- 0.00ERA- 4IP
Estevez – 1K -3SVHD- 0.00ERA- 3IP
Finnegan – 4K -4SVHD- 5.40ERA- 5IP
Payamps – 4K- 3SVHD- 8.31ERA -4.1IP
Brasier – 8K- 3SVHD -1.50ERA- 6IP
Pressly – 7K -2SVHD -11.57ERA- 4.2IP
Gaddis – 9K- 3SVHD- 0.00ERA – 6.1IP
Kittredge – 5K- 5SVHD – 2.08ERA – 4.1IP
Ottavino – 7K- 2SVHD – 4.50ERA – 4IP
Fernando Cruz – 10K – 3SVHD – 3.38ERA -5.1IP
Kopech – 12K – 2SVHD – 2.45ERA -7.1IP

Dude
Dude
Reply to  everywhereblair
1 month ago

Thank you sir! Do you mind if I ask why you went with those 4?

Jeremy
Jeremy
1 month ago

Please help!!? Drop tovar or pena for holloday?? 7cats league with ops and walks

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
1 month ago

Hi Blair,

sorry to bother you you. I am not sure if you saw my question below. Your help is always appreciated!!

Dude
Dude
1 month ago

Great stuff!
SVHLD
Pick 2 please. Ratios are huge in this league.
Fairbanks
Payamps
Finnegan

Jolt In Flow
Jolt In Flow
1 month ago

Thanks for the write-up as always.

One guy you haven’t mentioned anywhere yet (as far as I can tell). Bo Bichette; he’s not been what I’ve expected for a while now. Luckily, he’s still nowhere near the 28-30 age range optimal years where he might improve.

However, is this version of Bichette what we should expect going forward?

Thanks EWB!

Jolt
PS. Nice work holding top 3-ish overall in the league!

martin rostoker
martin rostoker
1 month ago

Hi Blair,

I was so looking forward to your review of my team and what possible actions to take.

My Current team is the following:

C: Gabriel Moreno with Sean Murphy on IL
1B: Rhys Hoskins with Spencer Torkelson as backup
2B: Marcus Semien with Ketel Marte as backup
3B: Nolan Gorman
SS: Jackson Merrill with Thairo Estrada as backup
LF: Lourdes Gurriel with Jarren Duran as backup
CFJurren Duran with Cedric Muillins, Jackson Merrill and Brandon Nimmo as backups
RF:Jorge Soler in RF and no backup
DH: Katel Marte:

SP: Burnes, Skubal,Nola, Wheeler, Cole Ragans and GreyRod
Streamer: Kutter, Cristopher Sanchez, Sean Manaea, Casey Mize and Crockett
RP: Hunter Harvay

The pitching looks solid. Would you move any of my streamers to get a RP?

What are your your thoughts as to possible moves if any?

1.Should I have a backup for 3B and RF? If yes, who to choose (one option is to waive Nimmo or Thairo Estrada and pick up a 3B or RF?

3B

Matt Chapman
Eugenio Suarez
Ryan McMahon

RF:
Charles Blackman
Mark Canha
Brendan Donovan
JJ Bleday

2.Would you cut Torkelson or be patient?

1B;
David Fry
Alex Kirilloff
Mark Canha

3, Should I take a flyer at getting Lindor for one of my OFs (and maybe throw in Estrada? Would you make a move?

I can’t wait for your response

Martin

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
Reply to  everywhereblair
1 month ago

Thanks Blair- I so enjoy your detailed and common sense responses!.

Among Nimmo, Soler, Duran, Mullins, Merrill and Gurriel , who would you offer for Lindor?

I moved Estrada for Ryan McMahon.

Thanks again!!

bheck
bheck
1 month ago

Any tips on how to approach thee first round of FAAB bidding in Razzslam?

Coolwhip
1 month ago

I too am back in on Singer where he’s still available. This season he’s added a 4-seamer to tunnel with his slider. Seems to have had great effect so far in keeping hitters honest moving their eyes up and down.

Jolt In Flow
Jolt In Flow
Reply to  Coolwhip
1 month ago

CW, any other guys you’re looking into that you have in your back pocket? Loved the Bieber and Civale write-ups.

Jolt
PS. I know you likely won’t say anything until you finish their write-ups, but it’s worth a shot to ask.

Coolwhip
Reply to  Jolt In Flow
1 month ago

You’ll just have to wait and see Jolt! OF update ranks coming this afternoon

RATManfred
RATManfred
1 month ago

Any roleless robs have your attention?