This year, we initiated the first ever Fake Teams and Friends fantasy baseball league. It is TGFBI-styled, except the second catcher is a UTIL spot. Each week I’ll use our adds as a launching point for a study of deep league free agents. As our waivers run on Saturday, this should give you a bit of a head start heading into Sunday’s waiver wire runs!
Mike Kurland of the “Bases Loaded” podcast still leads FT&F, unchanged from last week. Apparently, Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger are not to be trifled with.
Brian Entrekin of the “Benched with Bubba” podcast is in second, followed by Fake Teams’ lone representative inside the top three, Punk is Dead. Also notable: Joe’s All-Sleeper team is up to fifth place now. That Austin Meadows in Round 1 play is looking better each day.
You can check out our league standings here, as I’ve made it a public league. Now for our free agent adds heading into Week 8...
One disclaimer before we begin: Keston Hiura, Austin Riley, Yordan Alvarez, and Zac Gallen were already owned heading into this waiver run. Hiura and Riley are 1A and 1B as far as hitting prospect adds go this week. Yordan Alvarez HAS to get the call to Houston soon, based on how much he is raking in Triple-A right now. And if Alvarez is the best hitting stash, Gallen is the best pitching stash. There’s a reason those guys weren’t available on our wire this week.
Now for who was available, and how much we spent (of our $100 FAAB budgets):
$40 Brendan Rodgers to Quinary Apparatuses
$14 Willie Calhoun to Zack’s Okay Team
$13 Nicky Lopez to Bases Loaded
$6 Cole Irvin to Felsen Raster
$6 Jordan Lyles to Zack’s Okay Team
$5 Cole Tucker to Joe’s All-Sleeper Team
$3 Josh James to Joe’s All-Sleeper Team
$3 Steven Duggar to Brian Entrekin
$2 Jonathan Lucroy to Ghoji
$1 Kyle Tucker to Ghoji
$1 Dylan Bundy to Zack’s Okay Team
$1 Roenis Elias to Ghoji
The strong Brendan Rodgers bid was by the team in 15th place. I’m not certain if that played a role in using 40% of the FAAB budget, but whether it did or not it’s an example of what you can expect this weekend on most wires, with guys like Hiura and Riley available in many places. The silver lining with SO MANY prospects available right now is that there might be people trying to snag more than one...so MAYBE that means the price on some of them will be a little depressed. But I tend to doubt it. Earlier this week, we ranked the prospects that are widely available heading into Week 8.
With Hiura and Riley already owned, the next-shiniest young guy was Willie Calhoun, and the $14 bid (of $100) feels about right for what you’ll have to spend to acquire him this weekend. He’s definitely in the middle to lower tier of the young guys. Playing time concerns are real, though. There’s a logjam of useful infielders in Texas, now including names like Danny Santana and Logan Forsythe. I would exercise caution with Calhoun. Put in a backup bid in case you miss out on better targets, but don’t break the bank.
Nicky Lopez going to the first place team is a bummer, but in truth this isn’t a guy that should light the world on fire—at least with regard to power numbers. He’s played five games so far and batted second in all of them. He has a keen eye and that has translated, as he has three walks against only three strikeouts so far. Expect a contributor in batting average and a guy who can steal 10+ bags the rest of the way.
Zack landing Jordan Lyles for $6 was painful, as he was the top guy on my list. Alas, I have no budget left, because I am a moron. In fact, Zack’s additions of Calhoun, Lyles, Bundy, and Matt Manning look like a really nice haul for only $21. I guess he’s the fourth place team for a reason. Lyles is fresh off of decimating the Padres to the tune of 12 strikeouts this past Friday. His .252 BABIP is destined to regress, as is the 87.3% strand rate. But a career-high 26.4% strikeout rate is enough to take a shot on him at this juncture if you haven’t already. Lyles’ curveball is a legitimate weapon, but it does seem as though he’s pitching a bit above his head right now. For reference, the Padres strike out 27.9% of the time against righty pitching, more than any other team. So don’t go crazy for Lyles this weekend. Think of him as more of a back-end starter, not someone you’re adding thinking you’ve found the next big thing.
Ghoji was the king of the $1 bids this week, stabbing the dagger right into my heart with adds of Kyle Tucker and Roenis Elias. Tucker is an EXCELLENT stash this week, as everyone else goes nuts for all the guys who have already been called up. Elias has done a fair job filling in for Hunter Strickland, though his saves chances may not be frequent. But still, a quality add for a buck if you’re hunting for saves help.
Also added, but for $0:
Trevor Richards to Heath Capps
Nathan Eovaldi to Joe Gentile
Josh Phegley to Felsen Raster
Stevie Wilkerson to Felsen Raster
Matt Manning to Zack’s Okay Team
I had a long list of guys ahead of Richards. But the home park in Miami was enough to churn the bottom of my roster and add him. Perhaps there will be a spot or two where I can plug him in.
Stevie Wilkerson is a guy I almost bid on for depth, but I opted to hold onto Travis Shaw for the time being. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Shaw just yet, and I put too much draft capital into him to let go now. I know that’s a flawed way of thinking, but when my option to replace him is Stevie Wilkerson, I’m fine sitting tight for right now.
Lastly, Joe just can’t quit Eovaldi...can you, Joe?