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 operates 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 AndersonLADSPB138
Mitch WhiteLADSPCNo13
Sam LongSFSPDNo12
Jakob JunisSFSPDNo24
Bryce ElderATLSPENo24
Tucker DavidsonATLSPENo01
Kyle MullerATLSPENo01
Mark LeiterCHCSPENoNo0
Trevor WilliamsNYMSPENoNo0
Jhoulys ChacinCOLSPENo01
Ryan FeltnerCOLSPENoNo0
Wil CrowePITSP

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 operates 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 AndersonLADSPB138
Mitch WhiteLADSPCNo13
Sam LongSFSPDNo12
Jakob JunisSFSPDNo24
Bryce ElderATLSPENo24
Tucker DavidsonATLSPENo01
Kyle MullerATLSPENo01
Mark LeiterCHCSPENoNo0
Trevor WilliamsNYMSPENoNo0
Jhoulys ChacinCOLSPENo01
Ryan FeltnerCOLSPENoNo0
Wil CrowePITSPC025
Dylan FloroMIARPB138
Chris StrattonPITRPA259
Lucas SimsCINRPC137
Aramis GarciaCINCDNo02
Jorge AlfaroSDCB02rostered
Victor CaratiniMILCDNo03
Riley AdamsWAS1BENoNo1
Alejo LopezCIN2BENoNo1
Brandon DruryCIN2BBNo1rostered
Michael ChavisPIT2BCNo3rostered
Lucius FoxWASSSDNo01
Sergio AlcantaraARI3BENoNo1
Matt DavidsonARI3BDNo13
Colin MoranCIN3BCNo24
Jon BertiMIA3BDNo13
Alek ThomasARIOFENo01
Jordan LuplowARIOFDNoNo1
Jose AzocarSDOFENoNo1
Anthony AlfordPITOFCNo25
Matt BeatySDOFC013

Starting Pitcher 

Tyler Anderson/Mitch White, Los Angeles 

Andrew Heaney is on the injured list with a shoulder injury. It's unclear how long he'll be out, but Anderson has entered the rotation for the time being. If you're looking for another level of speculation beyond Anderson, Mitch White has regularly pitched multiple innings out of the bullpen and could reasonably transition from a relief role. Anderson: 12-team mixed: $1, 15-team mixed: $3, 12-team NL: $7; White: 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $1, 12-team NL: $3 

Sam Long/Jakob Junis, San Francisco 

Two starting roles opened in San Fran with Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Cobb sidelined. Junis in particular looked ready to seize the increased role after he recorded five shutout innings at Washington on Friday. Long opened with two innings in the same game, but he should be able to pitch deeper into his next outing. As things currently stand, they'll both draw a matchup against Oakland to start the week. These are likely to be short-term adds, but they have the potential to be impactful. Long: 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $1, 12-team NL: $2; Junis: 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $2, 12–team NL: $4

Bryce Elder/Tucker Davidson/Kyle Muller, Atlanta

Atlanta faces a similar situation to the Dodgers. Huascar Ynoa was demoted to Triple-A Gwinnett, which currently leaves Elder in the major-league rotation. He has a pitch-to-contact style, and so far that contact has been loud. That could mean Davidson or Muller gets a chance in the rotation, as Atlanta has shown no hesitation in moving underperforming pitchers to a lesser role. As a note, Spencer Strider has struggled with his command in each of his last three outings and was roughed up Saturday night. That doesn't mean it's impossible that he shifts to a starting role at some point, but it doesn't seem likely soon. Elder: 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $2, 12-team NL: $4; Davidson: 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $0, 12-team NL: $1; Muller: 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $0, 12-team NL: $1

Mark Leiter/Alec Mills, Chicago

This may not be the week to recommend Leiter, as he draws a matchup at Atlanta if he remains in the rotation. He didn't pitch deep enough into his start Thursday to qualify for a win against Pittsburgh, so he's a desperation option only. For those in shallow leagues, Alec Mills is in the midst of a rehab assignment and could return as soon as Friday. That would both bump Leiter out of the rotation and make Mills a worthy stash option. Leiter: 12-team mixed: No: 15-team mixed: No; 12-team NL: $0; Mills: 12-team mixed: $1, 15-team mixed: $3, 12-team NL: $6

Trevor Williams, New York 

Wiliams drew a start Saturday with Taijuan Walker out. Walker looks likely to come back this week, which would bump Williams back to the bullpen. Even if Williams takes another turn through the rotation, he'd line up against Philadelphia on Friday and that isn't an option to rely upon. 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: No, 12-team NL: $0

Jhoulys Chacin/Ryan Feltner, Colorado 

The Rockies had a rainout in Detroit late last week, which caused a subsequent doubleheader Saturday. Without a day off this week, they'll need to turn to a sixth starter. Chacin is a candidate, but he's thrown a combined one inning across his last two appearances. There's no news that Feltner is being recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque, but he's pitched well there to start the season (18.4 K-BB%, 3.10 ERA) and could line up for normal rest Wednesday. Either way, this is likely to be a short-term add, as Colorado will return to a traditional rotation once the schedule gets back to normal. Chacin: 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $0, 12-team NL: $1; Feltner: 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: No, 12-team NL: $0

Wil Crowe, Pittsburgh 

Pittsburgh starters have struggled to work deep into games, so Crowe could return value even though he's currently in a bullpen role. He could line up for wins due to him often entering the game in the third or fourth inning combined with the fact he's pitched at least 2.0 innings in every appearance this season. Most importantly, he's posted a strong 15:4 K:BB across 12.1 scoreless frames. Given all these factors, Crowe has value as a reliever, but Pittsburgh has to make a change in its rotation at some point and he's a prime candidate to benefit. 12-team mixed - $0, 15-team mixed: $2, 12-team NL: $5

Relief Pitcher

Dylan Floro, Miami 

There's a solid chance Floro is already stashed in your league, but now's the time to check. He completed a rehab outing Saturday night by throwing 23 pitches with the Marlins' High-A affiliate. It's not clear whether he will close immediately – or at all – but Anthony Bender has been shaky at best to begin the campaign.  12-team mixed: $1, 15-team mixed: $3, 12-team NL: $8

Chris Stratton, Pittsburgh

The Pirates have utilized David Bednar in high-leverage situations during his last two outings while Stratton has picked up saves. Stratton may also be rostered, but he may have been dumped after it appeared that he wasn't in line for the closer role to open the season. 12-team mixed: $2, 15-team mixed: $5, 12-team NL: $9

Lucas Sims, Cincinnati 

Sims made his debut on Saturday after being activated from the IL. He pitched in the sixth inning with Cincinnati down and surrendered a pair of runs. That said, no one has had the chance to distinguish themselves as closer in Cincinnati, so there are worse darts to throw. 12-team mixed: $1, 15-team mixed: $3, 12-team NL: $7

Catcher 

Aramis Garcia, Cincinnati 

Tyler Stephenson is eligible to return from the 7-day injured list Wednesday, but it's unclear if that will occur. Garcia has operated as the primary catcher in Stephenson's absence and has picked up at least one hit in each of his last four starts. This is neither a long-term nor spectacular add, but he's a reasonable plug-and-play option as needed. 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $0, 12-team NL: $2

Jorge Alfaro, San Diego

Alfaro isn't likely to see much playing time at catcher. But with Luke Voit battling biceps tightness, the DH role could be opening in San Diego. Alfaro started there Saturday and would do well using those at-bats in the catcher slot. 12-team mixed: $0, 15-team mixed: $2, 12-team NL:  rostered

Victor Caratini, Milwaukee 

Caratini has at least the short-side platoon role locked in with Milwaukee having started every game with a southpaw on the mound. He's also posted a reasonable .278/.409/.500 line across 22 plate appearances. Caratini isn't likely to fully take over the starting job, but he has the opportunity to pull closer to an even split with Omar Narvaez. 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $0, 12-team NL: $3

First Base 

Riley Adams, Washington

Josh Bell exited Saturday with a hamstring injury and also left a game earlier in the week with a knee issue. The Nationals could opt to play it safe, and Adams could start at first depending on how the team would choose to fill Bell's absence in the lineup. 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: No, 12-team NL: $1

Second Base

Alejo Lopez/Brandon Drury, Cincinnati

Jonathan India could return as early as Tuesday, but the Reds are depleted by injuries. In addition to India, Mike Moustakas and Donovan Solano are also out. If India returns, Lopez is likely to lose out. However, Drury should be locked into regular at-bats at either DH or second base. Lopez: 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: No, 12-team NL: $1; Drury: 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $1; 12-team NL: rostered

Michael Chavis, Pittsburgh 

Chavis has played all over the field in Pittsburgh by earning starts at first, second and third as well as in the outfield and at DH. Even after going 0-for-4 Saturday, he's hitting .353/.389/.618 across 36 plate appearances. At this point, the Pirates can't afford to hold him out of the lineup. 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $3, 12-team NL: rostered

Shortstop 

Lucius Fox, Washington 

Fox is the other National who could have playing time open if Bell is out for any substantial amount of time. This would require Maikel Franco to shift to first base and leave third to Alcides Escobar, so watch lineups if Fox is on your radar. He hasn't managed any hits in his first 13 plate appearances this season, but should provide stolen bases if his playing time becomes more regular. 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $0, 12-team NL: $1

Third Base

Sergio Alcantara/Matt Davidson, Arizona

Arizona has had a revolving door at third base to begin the campaign, and none of the options have been particularly good. Davidson has started each of the last two games, which have come against left-handed pitchers. Alcantara seems to have maintained at least some role against righties. Alcantara: 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: No, 12-team NL: $1; Davidson: 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $1, 12-team NL: $3

Colin Moran, Cincinnati

As mentioned previously, Mike Moustakas is on the injured list. That should leave Moran in the primary role at third base, though he's still likely to sit against lefties. 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $2, 12-team NL: $4  

Jon Berti, Miami 

Jose Rojas was a late scratch Saturday due to illness. Given the way COVID has begun to move through the league again, it's possible he lands on the IL. If Saturday's lineup is any indication, Joey Wendle will start at shortstop with Berti at third. Berti should provide an OK batting average with some stolen bases. 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $3

Outfield

Jordan Luplow/Alek Thomas, ARI 

The Diamondbacks are in desperate need of an offensive upgrade. Thomas is off to a mediocre start at Triple-A Albuquerque, but he now has 233 plate appearances at the level. Of the prospects still in the minors, he could be among the first called up. Meanwhile, Luplow may return later this week and should enter the lineup nearly anytime a lefty is on the mound. Thomas: 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $0, 12-team NL: $1; Luplow: 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: No, 12-team NL: $1

Jose Azocar, San Diego 

The Padres appear to be intent on platooning Trent Grisham despite the fact he hits lefties just as well as righties. Azocar starts in center field in that scenario. Though he's only registered 10 plate appearances, he's attempted three stolen bases – but only one has been successful. 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: No, 12-team NL: $1

Anthony Alford, Pittsburgh 

Alford returned last week. He may not play everyday in right field, but he should maintain a consistent role. Alford's average will be terrible, but he offers a decent power-speed combo. 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $2, 12-team NL: $5

Matt Beaty, San Diego 

As with Alfaro, Beaty is a potential beneficiary of any significant time that Voit misses. Beaty is a lefty, so he should operate on the large side of any platoon if the Padres prefer him to Alfaro. He's posted a career 100 wRC+, .320 wOBA and .159 ISO so the upside isn't massive, but he's definitely serviceable. 12-team mixed: No, 15-team mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $3

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MLB Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MLB fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Marcus
Dan started covering fantasy sports in 2015, joining Rotowire in 2018. In addition to Rotowire, Dan has written for Baseball HQ and Rotoballer.
Collette Calls: 2023 NL Central Bold Predictions
Collette Calls: 2023 NL Central Bold Predictions
Sleeper Archetypes: 25 Hitters to Target Late in Drafts
Sleeper Archetypes: 25 Hitters to Target Late in Drafts
Boston Red Sox Win Total And Other Futures To Bet In 2023
Boston Red Sox Win Total And Other Futures To Bet In 2023
The Z Files: Adventures in Playing Time
The Z Files: Adventures in Playing Time