NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

This article is part of our NL FAAB Factor series.

We have two goals for this article: 

1. Identify likely free agents and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.

2. Estimate how much of your $100 starting free-agent budget you should bid on them.

Bids in general are best guesstimates. With so much uncertainty at least initially, those values may be even greater estimates than usual. The FAAB chart below lets users easily see at a glance how certain players stack up against others and how much they should command in a variety of formats.

The chart, which is sortable by column (click on the header), include a very basic "player grade" column. This serves as a reflection of a player's skills and role on an A-E scale. An "A" grade is reserved for a high-impact prospect stepping into an everyday role.

If you have questions on players, I'm happy to provide my thoughts in the comments.

PLAYERTEAMPOSGRADE12-Team Mixed $15-Team Mixed $NL-Only $
Tyler ChatwoodCHISPD3914
Anthony DeSclafaniCINSPD3914
Kyle FreelandCOLSPD2711
Tony GonsolinLASPENo05
David PetersonNYMSPD147
Daniel Ponce de LeonSTLSPENo14
Jose QuintanaCHISPD159
Logan WebbSFSPE015
Nick BurdiPITRPD51116
Genesis CabreraSTLRPENoNo3
Alex ReyesSTLRPD015
Wade Davis

We have two goals for this article: 

1. Identify likely free agents and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.

2. Estimate how much of your $100 starting free-agent budget you should bid on them.

Bids in general are best guesstimates. With so much uncertainty at least initially, those values may be even greater estimates than usual. The FAAB chart below lets users easily see at a glance how certain players stack up against others and how much they should command in a variety of formats.

The chart, which is sortable by column (click on the header), include a very basic "player grade" column. This serves as a reflection of a player's skills and role on an A-E scale. An "A" grade is reserved for a high-impact prospect stepping into an everyday role.

If you have questions on players, I'm happy to provide my thoughts in the comments.

PLAYERTEAMPOSGRADE12-Team Mixed $15-Team Mixed $NL-Only $
Tyler ChatwoodCHISPD3914
Anthony DeSclafaniCINSPD3914
Kyle FreelandCOLSPD2711
Tony GonsolinLASPENo05
David PetersonNYMSPD147
Daniel Ponce de LeonSTLSPENo14
Jose QuintanaCHISPD159
Logan WebbSFSPE015
Nick BurdiPITRPD51116
Genesis CabreraSTLRPENoNo3
Alex ReyesSTLRPD015
Wade DavisCOLRPD159
Jeurys FamiliaNYMRPD147
Seth LugoNYMRPC81622
Trevor GottSFRPD3914
Brusdar GraterolLARPD147
Daniel HudsonWASRPD3914
Jeremy JeffressCHIRPD2711
Rowan WickCHIRPD159
Franklyn KilomeNYMRPE015
Drew PomeranzSDRPD3914
Joey BartSFCC147
Chadwick TrompSFCENo04
Victor CaratiniCHICD159
Travis d'ArnaudATLCD51116
Tyler FlowersATLCENo15
Daulton VarshoAZCD147
Kurt SuzukiWASCD2711
Brandon BeltSF1BD2711
Matt DavidsonCIN1BE016
Joey VottoCIN1BC/D51116
Robinson CanoNYM2BD51116
Brian DozierNYM2BENoNo4
Josh HarrisonWAS2BENoNo3
Donovan SolanoSF2BE039
Alex YoungAZ2BENoNo3
Logan ForsytheMIA3BENo15
Evan LongoriaSF3BD3914
Colin MoranPIT3BD51116
Edwin RiosLA3BE027
Dansby SwansonATLSSD25OwnedOwned
Cole TuckerPITSSENoNo5
Steven DuggarSFOFENoNo4
Ben GamelMILOFD2711
Trent GrishamSDOFC81622 (if not owned)
Nick MarkakisATLOFD3914
Gregory PolancoPITOFD71422

STARTING PITCHER

Tyler Chatwood, Cubs: Chatwood, who struggled as a starter in the past, pitched better in relief last season for the Cubs after posting a 3.76 ERA and 1.33 WHIP with a 74:37 K:BB over 76.2 innings. He was sharp in spring training, earning the fourth starter spot for the Cubs with Jose Quintana (thumb) sidelined. Chatwood tossed six innings of one-run ball on three hits and two walks while striking out eight to pick up the win in his first start of the season against the Brewers and followed that up with 6.2 innings of shutout ball Saturday, allowing just three hits and a pair of walks while striking out 11. If he limits his walks, Chatwood should be able to continue this success. 12-team Mixed: $3, 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14

Anthony DeSclafani, Reds: DeSclafani landed on the injured list just before the start of the season with a mild right teres (pectoral) major muscle strain, but will make his first start of the season Sunday against the Tigers. He recorded a 3.89 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 167:49 K:BB in 166.2 innings over 31 starts last season, aided by a tick of velocity to his fastball and close to three ticks to his breaking pitches. New pitching coach Derek Johnson was likely the primary reason for that rise. DeSclafani likely will go just four innings versus Detroit but should ramp up to a full workload fairly quickly as the Reds' fourth starter. 12-team Mixed: $3, 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14

Kyle Freeland, Rockies: Freeland, passable in 2017 and brilliant in 2018, crashed back to earth with a major thud in 2019 after posting a 6.73 ERA and 1.58 WHIP across 22 outings. The southpaw was awarded the third starter spot out of summer camp for the Rockies and has excelled during his first two outings by notching a 1.50 ERA and 0.83 WHIP with nine strikeouts in 12 innings. Freeland uses a fastball/cutter combination to retire hitters with most of his success against teams with lefty-heavy lineups. Tread carefully, but he is capable of exceeding expectations as he did in 2018. 12-team Mixed: $2, 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11

Tony Gonsolin, Dodgers: Gonsolin was an option for the starter spot vacated by David Price opting out but missed out after reporting to camp late, as he was optioned to the Dodgers' alternate site. Ross Stripling and Dustin May earned the two open rotation roles, but as I wrote a few weeks ago, it wouldn't be surprising to see all three of them take on some starting duties during the abbreviated 2020 season. This will be the case now, as Gonsolin started Friday in place of the injured Alex Wood (shoulder) and held the Diamondbacks scoreless across four innings. However, he was optioned down to LA's alternate site with Clayton Kershaw (back) returning Sunday. Gonsolin performed well during his first major-league stint in 2019 by posting a 2.93 ERA and 1.02 WHIP over 11 appearances (six starts) despite less than optimal advanced stats. He is a decent bet to return to the team before too long as a starter or reliever. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $5

David Peterson, Mets: Marcus Stroman's torn left calf muscle, suffered on a comebacker during an intrasquad game, has sidelined the righty indefinitely. While he is making progress, there is no timetable for a return, though he might be back in a week or two. Steven Matz, Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha each moved up a spot, leaving a hole at the fifth starter spot. Peterson, who was selected in the 2017 first round, got the first chance to fill that role. He picked up the win in his major-league debut against the Red Sox, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts over 5.2 innings. Projected as a mid-rotation starter in the future, Peterson is also poised to be a part of the 2021 rotation, with Noah Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery) expected to miss the first couple months and Stroman, Porcello and Wacha set to be free agents after the season. Peterson has good command of a quality three-pitch mix and is excellent at generating groundballs while his fastball has increased a notch or two. He should get several more starts and could remain in the rotation the balance of the season. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7

Daniel Ponce de Leon, Cardinals: Ponce de Leon, moved into the rotation in place of Miles Mikolas (forearm) who is out for the season, took the loss against Minnesota on Wednesday after allowing three runs on two hits and three walks while striking out eight in 3.2 innings. He bounced between starting and relieving last season and opened the season in a middle relief role. But de Leon tweaked his cutter and curveball grips during the shutdown, and those pitches work alongside his changeup and fastball. Make him a viable candidate to remain in the St. Louis rotation. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4

Jose Quintana, Cubs: Quintana, who underwent thumb surgery back at the start of July, has been able to throw for over two weeks and is now throwing off a mound with another similar session scheduled for Monday. He may need just a few more bullpen sessions before he is cleared and ready to return to game action, though the Cubs have yet to specify exactly when he'll make his season debut. When active, Quintana will slot in as the Cubs' fourth or fifth starter producing average results. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9

Logan Webb, Giants: Webb, who entered summer camp as the leading candidate for the Giants' fifth starter spot, is filling that role in San Francisco. Last season, following an 80-game suspension, Webb posted an unimpressive 5.22 ERA in eight starts but the underlying numbers suggested he should be a capable enough starting pitcher going forward. He made his second start Friday, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and four walks while striking out four in a no-decision versus the Rangers. And while Webb still could mirror or piggyback one of the other four starters, he looks locked into a rotation slot. 12-team Mixed: $0, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $5

RELIEF PITCHER

Nick Burdi, Pirates: Burdi, profiled last week, gets another mention after notching his first career save Tuesday. Keone Kela is recovering from COVID-19 while Kyle Crick landed on the IL due to shoulder woes, creating a hole in the back end of the Pirates' bullpen. Injuries have wreaked havoc on Burdi's career, but he's now healthy and possesses a high-90s fastball that should continue to be the first name manager Derek Shelton calls at the end of a game - especially with Michael Feliz leaving Saturday's game with an injury.  12-team Mixed: $5, 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $16 (upped bid and go much higher if need be)

Genesis Cabrera/Alex Reyes, Cardinals: Cabrera and Reyes are working their way back from COVID-19, which forced each of them to miss the start of the season. Both are getting game-ready at the Cardinals' alternate site and are close to joining the parent club. Reyes has been sidelined for significant time during his minor-league career due to injuries, but he was considered a top prospect at one point and could still work his way into high-leverage situations. Cabrera has managed less success in the minors, but he too has a big arm and could pitch in middle-relief. Cabrera - 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $3; Reyes - 12-team Mixed: $0, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $5 

Wade Davis, Rockies: Davis's ERA has steadily risen from 2015, when he helped Kansas City win the World Series. He posted a 2.30 ERA in Chicago in 2017, but saw that number bloat to 8.65 last season. Davis lost the closer job at the end of last July, sporting an awful 6.82 and 1.74 WHIP at the time. Things only got worse the final two months after posting an unsightly 13.91 ERA and 2.27 WHIP over his final 11 innings. Scott Oberg (back) has been sidelined, opening the door for Davis to close once again. He opened the season 2-for-2 but blew the save Friday and his hold on the job is tenuous, though he should hold the job until Oberg returns in mid-August or so and possibly beyond. If he falters again, Jairo Diaz (favorite) and Carlos Estevez (second-in-line) are waiting in the wings. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9 

Jeurys Familia/Seth Lugo, Mets: Lugo, who posted 21 holds and six saves last year while filling a key role out of the late-inning bullpen for the Mets, could end up the team's primary closer. Edwin Diaz continues to struggle by allowing 37 runs in the ninth inning or later since the start of the 2019 season - the most in MLB - and is on the verge of getting removed from the closer role. Lugo, despite blowing the save Saturday and allowing the tying home run Wednesday, has been New York's second-best pitcher behind Jacob deGrom the last two years and has proven able to close games. The Mets are reluctant to use Lugo on back-to-back nights due to his elbow, but can stretch him out for longer outings several times a week. If he is not polishing off a game, Familia - who lost 30 pounds this offseason and rediscovered his heavy sinking fastball back while closing for the team from 2015-18 - is likely next in line for manager Luis Rojas. Familia - 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7; Lugo - 12-team Mixed: $8, 15-team Mixed: $16; 12-team NL: $22 

Trevor Gott, Giants: Gott, profiled the last two weeks, earned another save Sunday for the Giants. Entering the season, Gott was expected to be a factor in high-leverage, late-inning situations in 2020 for San Francisco. Gott appears to be manager Gabe Kapler's primary choice to close over Tony Watson and Trevor Rogers, who were originally supposed to both at least have a share of the role. Nothing is set in stone, but for now, get used to hearing Trevor Gott the save. 12-team Mixed: $3, 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14 (upper from prior) 

Brusdar Graterol, Dodgers: Graterol, who came to LA as part of the Kenta Maeda deal, has already been used five times in the Dodgers' first nine games of the season. Due to his lack of a reliable third pitch and back woes, the bullpen remains the most logical long-term fit, where Graterol's 99-mph sinker and plus slider could be deadly. He allowed one run in 4.1 innings this season and should continue to see heavy usage in 2020 in a variety of high-leverage spots, thereby providing fantasy appeal in deeper formats where holds and plus K/9 rates hold value. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7

Daniel Hudson, Nationals: Hudson recorded his first save of the season against the Blue Jays on Thursday, a day after picking up his first win of the season in relief. With Sean Doolittle still trying to get back into form, Hudson appears to be the favorite for saves out the Nationals' bullpen, a role he filled last season for Washington after coming over from Toronto. Hudson was lights-out following the deal by posting a 1.44 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in 25 innings as a Nat and signed a two-year, $11-million deal to remain in the Nation's Capital. He looks to be the primary option to close games right now for the Nationals. 12-team Mixed: $5, 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $16

Jeremy Jeffress/Rowan Wick, Cubs: Jeffress and Wick opened the season as the main bridges to Craig Kimbrel in the Chicago bullpen. Wick was dominant for the Cubs last season, posting a 2.43 ERA and 35 strikeouts across 33.1 innings of relief, while Jeffress struggled with a 5.02 ERA for Milwaukee. Those recent performances would appear to give Wick the edge in the bullpen pecking order, but Jeffress did record a stellar 1.29 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 89 strikeouts across 76.2 innings in 2018 and was also brilliant in 2015-16. Kimbrel has struggled again for Chicago, putting his hold on the closer job in jeopardy and potentially opening the door for Jeffress and Wick to close. If Jeffress is truly fully over his shoulder and hip issues, he could be the frontrunner. Keep in mind Wick notched the hold and the save Saturday, though he entered after Chicago saw a 4-0 lead whittled to 4-2 with a runner on second in the ninth after Jeffress faced a bases-loaded situation in the seventh and tossed a clean eighth.  Jeffress - 12-team Mixed: $2, 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11; Wick - 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9

Franklyn Kilome, Mets: Kilome, sidelined for the entire 2019 season following Tommy John surgery, was acquired by the Mets from the Phillies in July 2018 for Asdrubal Cabrera. It's unclear whether he will be a starter or reliever in the future, but he was called up Friday and made his major-league debut Saturday. Kilome gave up two runs on two hits while striking out five over four innings of relief, tossing 39 of his 63 pitches for strikes while walking none. With both Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha struggling, it's possible Kilome could get a look in the rotation late this season. 12-team Mixed: $0, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $5

Drew Pomeranz, Padres: Pomeranz successfully transitioned from starting to relieving, parlaying that into a multi-year deal from the Padres. As we noted in our preseason outlook, Pomeranz's stuff played up as a reliever, and he used a lethal mid-90s-fastball/curveball combination to frequently fool hitters. After moving to the bullpen, he held opposing hitters to a .165 average and racked up 50 strikeouts in 28.2 innings. San Diego is using Pomeranz as a multi-inning reliever but he has notched a pair of saves, including Friday night with Kirby Yates struggling with his mechanics, showing he – and not Emilio Pagan – may be next in line if Yates's issues continue. 12-team Mixed: $3, 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14 

CATCHER

Joey Bart/Chadwick Tromp, Giants: Bart, profiled several times in July when the rumors and news of Buster Posey opting out broke, could be called up shortly. He has been taking grounders at first base and could see some playing time there and behind the plate. Teams can now call up prospects without the player accruing a full year of service time, prompting Bart's promotion. The Giants have said in the past they want Bart - who has played just 22 games at Double-A - to learn another defensive position before joining the major-league roster, which he has accomplished by working at first base at the alternate site. Temper your expectations as Tyler Heineman and Tromp are donning the tools of ignorance. Tromp, who posted seven home runs and a .999 OPS in 26 games at Triple-A last season, was called up Tuesday to back up Heineman for now but could lose time when Bart is promoted. Bart - 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7 (up in keeper leagues); Tromp - 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $4

Victor Caratini, Cubs: Caratini has started five of the first six games of the season, playing twice at catcher and three times as the Cubs' DH. Kyle Schwarber was expected to be the team's main DH, supplemented by Ian Happ and others, but he has seen most of his action in left field and has opened the spot for Caratini and Willson Contreras. Caratini has shown he can be effective and utilized at other positions, especially at first base when Anthony Rizzo needs a day off. In addition, the potentially compressed schedule will necessitate increased use of backup catchers, with the Cubs not suffering a precipitous drop off in production by using Caratini. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9 (upped from prior)

Travis d'Arnaud/Tyler Flowers, Braves: D'Arnaud and Flowers missed the beginning of the season due to testing positive for COVID-19, but returned to action Wednesday. After bouncing from the Mets to the Dodgers, TdA found a home with Tampa and blasted 16 home runs while driving in 67 runs in 92 games. He parlayed that output into a two-year, $16 million deal to be the primary catcher in Atlanta. D'Arnaud punctuated his return to the lineup with five runs batted in, including the game-winner, on Friday. Flowers will see 2-3 games a week, providing d'Arnaud sufficient rest to keep him fresh. D'Arnaud - 12-team Mixed: $5, 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $16; Flowers - 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $5

Daulton Varsho, Diamondbacks: Varsho, drafted in 2017, was on the D-Backs' 60-man summer camp roster, but somewhat unexpectedly did not break camp with the big-league club. With the service time date now passed and Arizona in control of Varsho for another year to 2026 and the team needing some offense, he got the call to the bigs Thursday. He will sit behind Carson Kelly and Stephen Vogt at catcher and will rotate in at his natural position while also playing left and center field. Jake Lamb and Kelly, each off to slow starts, both are at risk of losing at-bats and playing time to Varsho, who logged 18 homers and 21 steals at Double-A in 2019 and possesses five-tool potential. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7 (up if you think he gets consistent at-bats)

FIRST BASE 

Brandon Belt, Giants: Belt, who has dealt with injuries much of his career, missed the start of the season due to right Achilles' tendon pain. He was activated off the injured list Thursday and started at his usual first base spot. Belt may DH at times to make sure he remains healthy and could sit against certain southpaws, but should be a lineup fixture. In 2019, Belt hit .234 with 17 homers and 57 RBI in 156 games, a down year for the career .261 hitter. 12-team Mixed: $2, 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11

Matt Davidson, Reds: Davidson was part of the Reds' 60-man summer camp after hitting .333/.429/.778 with two home runs and six strikeouts in 21 plate appearances as a non-roster invitee this spring. He spent all of last season at Triple-A Nashville, where he hit .264/.339/.527 with 33 home runs and 101 RBI over 125 games. Davidson earned a spot on the team out of training camp, but was sidelined after his Opening Day start due to COVID-19. He was activated off the disabled list Friday and should serve as the designated hitter against lefties with Jesse Winker earning the starts against righties. Look for a decent amount of home runs with a weak BA and OBA. 12-team Mixed: $0, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $6

Joey Votto, Reds: Votto likely went very late, cheap, or not at all in some mixed leagues due to his regression the past two seasons. Early on, he is looking more like the player who blasted 94 home runs from 2015-17, as he already has two long balls on the season. The two taters came in the first two contests of the season and the mantra of small sample size applies, but even a mild uptick draws increased interest after two down seasons. Don't break the bank for Votto, but spend more in leagues where OBA is a category. 12-team Mixed: $5, 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $16

SECOND BASE

Robinson Cano, Mets: Cano, profiled two weeks ago, gets another mention as he has gotten off to a hot start at the plate by batting .393 through the first two weeks of the season. He only has three extra base hits, continuing his decline in production the last few seasons. Cano's numbers across the board fell last season, as injuries and ineffectiveness limited him to just 423 plate appearances. One silver lining in that poor season was that his ancillary starts stayed somewhat static, including a hard hot rate and exit velocity that provided a semblance of hope for a rebound. So far, aided by an uptick in his plate discipline, that has been proven to be the case as Cano is riding a five-game hitting streak and has gone 10-for-16 with two walks, two doubles, a homer and four RBI. 12-team Mixed: $5, 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $16

Brian Dozier, Mets: Dozier posted a .770 OPS with 20 home runs and 50 RBI over 135 games with the Nationals last year, but saw his playing time dwindle as the year wore on and received just one plate appearance in the World Series. He signed a minor-league contract with the Padres in February, but failed to make the team and was released. Dozier signed a minor-league deal with the Mets last week, but was added to the team's 30-man roster after Eduardo Nunez (knee) was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday. Dozier should serve as middle-infield depth during his time in the majors behind Robinson Cano, playing mainly against southpaws. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $4

Josh Harrison, Nationals: Harrison, released by the Phillies late in summer camp, agreed to a major-league contract with the Nationals last week. After passing all COVID-19 related tests, he joined Washington last Monday. Harrison's production has declined steadily the past five years, but he should fill a utility role thanks to his prior experience at second base, third base and the outfield. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $3 

Donovan Solano, Giants: Solano's hot start to the season could earn him additional playing time over Mauricio Dubon and Wilmer Flores. He was largely expected to work as a short-side platoon option in 2020 after producing a .339/.382/.461 slash line versus lefties last season but manager Gabe Kapler has given him playing time against righties early this season. As a result, Solano continues to produce, including driving in three runs Saturday to give him a league-leading 13 on the year. Don't overrate, but any hot streak - especially in a 60-game sprint - should not be discounted. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9 

Alex Young, Diamondbacks: Young was promoted Saturday by Arizona and joined the major leagues for the first time in his career, now that he won't accrue an extra year of service time this year since the threshold has passed. Acquired in the Paul Goldschmidt trade last year, Young produced a .903 OPS with 29 home runs and 81 RBI at Triple-A Reno. He'll likely play a depth role at second base, third base and shortstop as he continues to develop in the majors. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $3

THIRD BASE

Logan Forsythe, Marlins: Forsythe, who failed to beat out for Neil Walker for a bench role in Philly, agreed to a minor-league contract with the Marlins this past week. Due to more than half the 30-man roster dealing with COVID, look for Forsythe to be added to the active roster this week. The 33-year-old's ability to play all over the infield and in the corner outfield should at the very least make him a useful bench piece, even if he doesn't capture a regular spot in the starting lineup. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $5

Evan Longoria, Giants: Longoria missed the start of the season due to a moderately strained oblique. He was activated off the injured list Thursday, starting at his usual third base spot. Last season, Longoria hit 20 home runs and managed to record 69 RBI on a weak hitting SF team, but his rise in home runs came with a increased K rate. Signed for several more seasons. Longoria should remain a fixture at the hot corner for the Giants, but may also DH at times to make sure he remains healthy and receives the occasional day off from playing the field. 12-team Mixed: $3, 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14

Colin Moran, Pirates: Moran, profiled two weeks ago, gets another mention as he is playing close to every day at the hot corner or first base while batting in the heart of the Pittsburgh order. He has been red-hot to start the season by already blasting five home runs, including back-to-back games Friday and Saturday. As long as Moran continues to hit well and play even passable defense, he'll keep Ke'Bryan Hayes down at the alternate site. He enjoyed a productive campaign last year and while it would be surprising to see him remain hot all year, stranger things have happened over an extended period of time. Hayes is far superior defensively with a better eye at the plate, but the jury is out on just how must power he will generate. In addition, he tested positive for COVID-19 early in camp while getting a late start to camp and a demotion to the alternate site. 12-team Mixed: $5, 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $16 (upper bid from prior)

Edwin Rios, Dodgers: Rios, profiled the last two weeks, gets another mention thanks to his hot start at the plate. The 26-year-old homered Saturday, giving him two homers, four RBI and three runs scored in only 10 plate appearances. Rios is stuck behind Justin Turner on the depth chart, but he may make a case for more playing time - at least against righties - if he remains hot at the plate. He earned his roster spot following an impressive showing in intrasquad competition, launching three home runs and exhibiting improved defense at third base. 12-team Mixed: $0, 15-team Mixed: $2; 12-team NL: $7

SHORTSTOP

Dansby Swanson, Braves: Despite his red-hot start to the season, Swanson is still just 60 percent covered in leagues. After Saturday's contest, the Braves' starting shortstop is hitting .382 with a 1.064 OPS along with a pair of home runs, 11 RBI, nine runs scored and three stolen bases. This production comes on the heels of Swanson setting new personal bests last season with 17 homers, 77 runs and 65 RBI while tying 2018's career-high 10 swipes. If he is available in your leagues, run - don't walk - to your phone or computer to grab him. 12-team Mixed: $25, 15-team Mixed: Owned; 12-team NL: Owned

Cole Tucker, Pirates: Tucker, who earned a spot on the Pirates' 30-man roster out of summer camp, started for the third time in right field Friday. He also has backup duties in the middle infield behind Adam Frazier and Kevin Newman - the starters at second base and shortstop - though he has yet to see game action at either spot, Down the road, Tucker could earn a starting spot, where he figures to be a glove-first shortstop with 20-steal potential. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $5

OUTFIELD

Steven Duggar, Giants: Duggar was promoted this week with Jaylin Davis and Joe McCarthy being sent down by the Giants to their alternate site. The 26-year-old hit .234/.278/.341 with four home runs and 28 RBI with 78 strikeouts over 73 games with the Giants last year. Duggar should see the occasional outfield start against right-handed pitching. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $4

Ben Gamel, Brewers: Gamel, profiled last week, gets another mention as he should be the primary beneficiary of Lorenzo Cain opting out due to COVID concerns. He played in 134 games last season, but wasn't guaranteed to break camp this spring. And with rosters expanding and the universal DH allowing Ryan Braun to see plenty of time in that role, Gamel was able to lock up a roster spot. He was technically Milwaukee's fifth outfielder, but was to slot in more often than expected into all three outfield spots with Braun seeing most of his time at DH. Now, Gamel might start in center field almost daily. 12-team Mixed: $2, 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11 

Trent Grisham, Padres: Grisham, acquired from Milwaukee in the Luis Urias trade, was profiled last week but gets another mention as he is rostered in just 47 percent of CBS Sports leagues. He was projected to start in center field for San Diego, at least against righties. Grisham's strong camp has given him the shot – at least initially – to also play against southpaws with Edward Olivares available if Grisham proves incapable of hitting lefties. Manager Jayce Tringler is giving Grisham a bit of a leash to remain in the lineup, and he's been able taken advantage so far. He has a good eye at the plate, along with some power and speed as evidenced in three home runs, six RBI, two steals, 10 runs scored and a 1.021 OPS. 12-team Mixed: $11, 15-team Mixed: $22; 12-team NL: Owned (if not $33) (all these are upped bids from prior)

Ian Happ, Cubs: Happ extended his hitting streak to three games, going 2-for-4 with his third home run of the season Saturday against the Pirates. His strong early start to the season builds off his close to the 2019 campaign. Happ posted a .242/.364/.432 overall line last year, though he had registered a 1.059 OPS with five home runs, 17 walks and only 19 strikeouts over his last 20 games. He should continue to start in either left or center field while also seeing occasional action at first base. 12-team Mixed: $8, 15-team Mixed: $16; 12-team NL: $24 

Nick Markakis, Braves: Markakis opted out in early July but changed his mind this past week and will be reinstated from the restricted list. He'll train at the team's alternative camp site until he's ready to be officially reinstated, likely in a week or so. Once he's back with the Braves, Markakis should see semi-regular at-bats between left field and DH, especially against right-handed pitchers. Across 116 games last season Markakis hit .285/.356/.420 with nine home runs. 12-team Mixed: $3, 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14 (early bid, to be upped when he returns)

Gregory Polanco, Pirates: Polanco, now fully healthy, should start close to every day in right field or at DH and bat fifth for the Pirates. We saw in 2016 and 2018 what he can do when he is able to stay on the field. Last season, shoulder injuries adversely impacted Polanco's output - which also happened in 2017 when injuries wreaked havoc with his campaign. The extra time off due to the COVID pandemic allowed him to return at 100 percent for summer camp, where he displayed his skills at the plate and in the field. But a positive COVID diagnosis cost Polanco the first 10 days of the season. He may need a little time to find his swing, but look for solid across-the-board production when he does. 12-team Mixed: $7, 15-team Mixed: $14; 12-team NL: $22 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jan Levine
Levine covers baseball and hockey for RotoWire. He is responsible for the weekly NL FAAB column for baseball and the Barometer for hockey. In addition to his column writing, he is master of the NHL cheat sheets. In his spare time, he roots for the Mets and Rangers.
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