NFBC FAAB Report: Week 13

Since premiering this weekly article focusing on the NFBC Main Event FAAB results one central theme stood out with each player featured. Veteran managers in this high-competitive league typically fall into one of four main categories: recent hot streaks, two-start pitchers, reshuffling bullpen roles, or mid-week prospect callups. The chart below shows the top 10 most added, highest, and average winning bids over the weekend. If you're unfamiliar with NFBC Main Events, it's where the sharpest minds in the fantasy baseball community compete in 57 high-stakes leagues for grand prizes upward of $250K. For us, mere mortal fantasy players, analyzing NFBC market trends can be a useful tool to stay ahead of your competition. The following players were added on Sunday, June 16th. 

Estimated read time: 7-10 minutes 

DJ Herz WSN  SP 51 $131 $1
Tyler Soderstrom OAK 1B 50 $126 $1
Yariel Rodriguez TOR SP 49 $95 $7
Carson Spiers CIN SP 47 $43 $2
Jacob Stallings COL C 47 $29 $1
Drew Thorpe CWS SP 44 $116 $2
Chad Green TOR RP 43 $60 $3
Ryne Stanek SEA RP 37 $261 $1
Michael Toglia COL 1B/OF 36 $37 $1
Ty France SEA  1B 31 $44 $3

Herz takes the top spot in NFBC

DJ Herz

When they compare the third start of your big league career to a former Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg, you know you're doing something right. When they're comparing your start to every starting pitcher since 1901 you know you're doing something really really right. Washington pitching prospect DJ Herz had baseball historians and statisticians burning the midnight oil trying to find a pitcher to compare to his 13 strikeouts, zero walks performance last week. Only Strasburg accomplished the feat within his first three starts in 2010 by striking out 14 Pirates that year. In that start, Strasburg struck out the last seven Pittsburgh hitters he faced to achieve the rare feat by a rookie pitcher. It didn't go unnoticed in the NFBC as Herz struck out seven Marlins the first time through the order last Saturday. The 23-year-old lefty would strike out five more Miami hitters the second time through the order and was perfect through four innings until Jake Burger singled to begin the fifth inning. Only New York's Luis Gil has recorded more strikeouts in a game this season while Gil allowed only one walk in his dominant performance over the White Sox in May.

Fifty-one managers in Main Event leagues placed a bid for Herz over the weekend with a high of $131. Prospective managers looking for any positive pitching performance would not miss 21 swings and misses in the NFBC's highly competitive free-agent market. Herz overwhelmed the Marlins hitters with his four-seam fastball and worked the black in the upper quadrants of the strike zone Saturday. Unlike Gil, as mentioned above, Herz didn't hit 100 mph on the radar gun but was just as effective with his fastball. Eight of his 13 strikeouts were punctuated on the four-seamer; including the last pitch he threw at 94.7 mph to Tim Anderson — the fastest recorded pitch of his outing. Herz kept pounding the zone and disguised his changeup well with four more strikeouts to keep the Marlins guessing all game. When the Nationals visit Coors Field this week, NFBC managers will look for Herz to keep it going. The Rockies' offense will begin Week 13 with a 92 wRC+ against left-handed pitching on the season with a 24% strikeout rate against all southpaws. Colorado is only hitting .251 and slugging just .399 versus LHP but still hit in a ballpark with high altitude. Coors is notoriously unforgiving to any pitcher, not just a rookie on his fourth career start.

Soderstrom must-add as a catcher

Tyler Soderstrom

Check Tyler Soderstrom's eligibility in your league. Like right now. The 22-year-old has been a mainstay as Oakland's primary first baseman since being called up last month but only appeared as a catcher once this season. The site you play on might've retained his catcher eligibility on his profile from last season, potentially making Soderstrom a near must-add at the position. Even without the catcher eligibility in the NFBC, the former first-rounder was the second most added player in Main Event leagues over the weekend. Fifty league managers added the first baseman into the fold with a high bid of $126. Last week the A's and proactive fantasy managers enjoyed a full seven-game week and Soderstrom delivered with a hit in every game highlighted by four hits in the doubleheader Sunday. Once Soderstrom reaches the threshold for battled balls in play his Statcast page, it will light up bright red like a Griswold around Christmas. Soderstrom has a 17% barrel rate with a 93.2 exit velocity and a .527 xSLG which would compare with some of the best hitters in the Major Leagues this season. In 89 plate appearances entering week 13, Soderstrom has 17 hits with four home runs, 11 RBIs, and 12 walks since his call-up. The question remains if NFBC managers can stomach his 31.6 strikeout rate and his .224 batting average. If you're one of the fortunate ones who can slip Soderstrom in as your catcher you might not mind the high strikeout rate. However, it might be a little tougher to get Soderstrom in your lineup unless you're looking for some help with a corner infielder. Let's just hope Yusei Kikuchi doesn't go all Bobby Boucher and tackle him while chasing a foul ball again.

Rodriguez is set to return this week

Yariel Rodriguez

Minor league hitters are probably pretty happy to see Yariel Rodriguez come off the injured list and return to the Toronto rotation this week. Rodriguez made his sixth (sixth!) start of his rehab at Triple-A Buffalo last weekend and Blue Jays manager John Schneider confirmed he will be reinstated to start on Friday against Cleveland. With the anticipation of the return of Rodriguez, 49 NFBC Main Event managers made Rodriguez the third most popular addition to rosters with a high bid of $95. The right-hander was placed on the IL on April 30th with thoracic spine inflammation. Before the injury, Rodriguez was gaining traction and experience as a big-league pitcher but has never recorded an out past the fourth inning in either of his four starts. The 27-year-old didn't get much further in his rehab start last week as he reached his pitch limit after going three innings and giving up three hits and two walks. Rodriguez has a high upside for strikeout totals so far in his big league career but needs to go deeper in games to be trusted as an every-week starter in fantasy. Rodriguez profiles more of a backend-of-the-bullpen type of pitcher with his filthy repertoire. He carries a 22.2 strikeout rate and has only allowed three barrels in 47 battled balls in play this season. He throws his devastating slider 33.9% of the time and has recorded 10 of his 16 strikeouts on that pitch. Rodriguez's slider has a ridiculous 10.3 inches of horizontal movement which is 4.4 inches above league average. As long as he's been used as a starter in Toronto he's worth a roster spot — especially after only four starts but don't get upset when Bowden Francis voltures his wins when the Blue Jays piggyback him.

Spiers could stick in the rotation 

Carson Spiers

Carson Spiers might surprise some in the fantasy baseball community but not the NFBC. Forty-seven prospective managers picked up the recent May call-up this week with a masterful performance last week and a possible two-start opportunity on the horizon. Spiers came in for an injured Frankie Montas last week and went 5 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and zero earned runs. With Graham Ashcraft demoted to the minors, Spiers has a chance to stick in a Reds rotation that needs some stability. Spiers still has a small sample size for his career in the big leagues but has only allowed five barrels in 104 batted balls in play the last two seasons. He has yet to give up a home run this season and has only allowed one homer in his career. In his first big league appearance this season he allowed three walks in four innings of relief but has just allowed one in four appearances since. Cincinnati could use solid pitching performances as the organization decides what to do with pitching prospect Brandon Williamson. The 26-year-old appeared in 23 games with the Reds last year and the former second-round pick was projected to pitch with the Reds at some point this season. Cincinnati was pondering shutting down the lefty for three weeks to remove a lesion from his pitching shoulder (ouch).

Stallings in play with injuries

Jacob Stallings

Injuries are part of the game — especially when talking about catchers. Knees and hips ache throughout the summer but have we ever seen more injuries on a catcher's interference this season? We lost Willson Contreras with a broken forearm as he reached for a pitch earlier this season. Well, add All-Star catcher Elias Diaz to the list. Last week Diaz was whacked on his wrist reaching for a pitch and was placed on the IL with a strained calf. Fortunately for scrambling fantasy managers, there are decent replacement options for those in need of a new catcher including Diaz's backup Jacob Stallings. The 34-year-old veteran is enjoying a career year at the plate by hitting .304 with three home runs and an OPS of .840. Stallings has seven barrels this season in 81 batted balls in play. Compare that to 10 barrels in 179 batted balls in play for the entire 2023 season. 47 Main Event managers picked up Stallings heading into Week 13 with a full seven-game schedule — all at Coors. If you still need a replacement for recently hurt J.T. Realmuto — you can do worse than Stallings in Colorado.  


Follow Michael Chasco on Twitter (X) @ChascoFCF for more fantasy baseball coverage.

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