NFBC FAAB Report: Week 8

Continuing to build on our NFBC Market Report series, Fighting Chance Fantasy will highlight weekly NFBC Main Event FAAB results to help you find some free-agent gems for your lineups. If you're unfamiliar with NFBC, it's where the sharpest minds in the fantasy baseball community compete 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, May 12th. 

Estimated read time: 7-10 minutes 

Robert Gasser MIL  SP 54 $162 $15
Eddie Rosario WSN  OF 47 $85 $1
Dairon Blanco KCR OF 47  $75 $1
Kyle Manzardo CLE 1B 41  $201 $13
Paul DeJong CHW SS 40 $56 $1
Matt Manning DET SP 38 $113 $22
Jalen Beeks DET RP 38 $111 $3
Andy Ibanez KCR 2B/OF 35 $33 $1
Abraham Toro  OAK 2B/3B 33  $63 $6
Ezequiel Duran  TEX  3B/SS/OF 33  $40 $2

Gasser Ready To Claim Rotation Spot?

Robert Gasser

With the rest of the baseball world foaming at the mouth for the MLB debut of Pittsburgh prospect Paul Skenes last week, the Brewers caught the eye of prospective NFBC managers with the call-up of its top pitching prospect Robert Gasser. The 24-year-old lefthander impressed in his first start in front of the Milwaukee crowd by twirling six scoreless innings while striking out four, allowing just two hits and walking none. Gasser doesn't have 100+ mph fastballs in his arsenal like Skenes but instead kept a St. Louis offense off-balanced with a sweeper-heavy approach and a fastball that topped out at 92.7. It would be understandable for a young pitcher to experience nerves heading into his MLB debut but Gasser didn't appear to be fazed. He only needed 79 pitches to get through six innings and challenged Cardinals hitters with 55 pitches in the strike zone. Any 15-team fantasy leagues would be searching for usable pitching this time of the year, so it wasn't surprising to see Gasser as the most added player after the highly competitive Main Event deadline came and went over the weekend. With the highest bid topping out at $162 coming into Week 8 action, 54 of the possible 57 managers made a play to acquire him. It was the second week in a row a Brewers rookie came away as the most popular player addition in Main Events but hopefully, it will go better than rookie third baseman Tyler Black last week. Black was surprisingly sent down when the Brewers activated All-Star outfielder Christian Yelich out of nowhere.

In the preseason, Gasser was projected to be a major piece of the puzzle for a franchise that lost both frontend pieces in Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes. Woodruff, a two-time All-Star, was lost for the season with a shoulder injury and the team dealt former Cy Young Award winner Burnes to Baltimore after a public contract dispute. The Brewers received both Joey Ortiz and DL Hall from Baltimore, and it was Hall who wound up starting the season in the Brewers rotation. Gasser started his season at Triple-A Nashville after a stint on the injured list recovering from a bone spur in his pitching elbow. Before his promotion, Gasser started three games in the minor leagues and finished with an underwhelming 5.25 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, and a 17:6 K:BB rate in 12 innings of work. Fortunately for Gasser and the managers who acquired the rookie lefthander, his opportunity to stay in the Brewers rotation remains strong. Behind ace of the staff Freddy Peralta, the Brewers don't have a starter who can't be replaced after a couple of sluggish starts. Colin ReaBryse WilsonJoe Ross, and Tobias Myers are decent starters but they're not exactly Maddox, Glavine, and Smoltz. Gasser's next two starts are against a struggling Pirates lineup that will come in with a .220 batting average against left-handed pitching this season. In week 9, Gasser is projected to see a tanking Marlins club that has a below-average 80 wRC+. If Gasser could come unscathed in both of those starts he could solidify his role in the rotation and should be scooped up as more than a streamer going forward.

Rosario Giving Nationals Veteran Presence

Eddie Rosario

Even the most experienced managers in fantasy baseball get fooled every once in a while. As mentioned above, managers who spent a pretty penny to acquire Tyler Black who rudely faced with the news of his immediate demotion to make room for Christian Yelich. You can't blame them for being a little more cautious this week as settled on a veteran outfielder Eddie Rosario. 47 managers added Rosario into the fold before Week 8 action coming off a four-homer week for Washington. Seasoned managers who did their research this week most likely saw Rosario in a strong-side platoon with five right-handed pitchers this week in Jason Martinez's Roster Resource. The 32-year-old is also surprisingly contributing in the steal department and has swiped three bags in the last seven games. Rosario topped out with three steals in all of the entirety of the 2022 and 2023 seasons. Rosario is a player known to go on a hot streak (Just ask the Dodgers). He earned MVP honors in the 2021 NLCS against Los Angeles by going 14 for 35 with three homers and nine RBIs in the series. Washington will probably not appear in the NLCS this year but Rosario could be playing himself into a lineup that will. In the meantime, the NFBC will ride the wave as long as it lasts with Rosario. Good on the manager who spent a single dollar to acquire him.

Blanco More Than A Bench Weapon?

Dairon Blanco

The NFBC made Kansas City's Dairon Blanco the third most added player in the free agent pool hoping for an expanded role for the uber-aggressive speedster. Blanco broke out against the Angels last week with an impressive and rare game starting for just the seventh time in 39 games with Kansas City. The 31-year-old is just the second player in the last 50 years to record a home run, a bunt single, a double, a walk, two stolen bases, and scored four runs in a major league game. How cool is that? Blanco's role on the Royals has been a weapon off the bench as he is one of the fastest players in the big leagues. Blanco is in the 95th percentile in sprint speed and has been recorded at 29.2 feet/second. Before Week 8 action, Blanco had four steals in five games and was top 10 in stolen bases overall despite fewer opportunities than other starters on the list. Can Blanco play himself into an expanded role in Kansas City? Or is he too valuable in late-inning situations for the Royals? This is a situation to monitor as Blanco can supply the much-coveted speed and power combo all fantasy managers look for in free agency.

Manzardo Gets The Call For Cleveland

Kyle Manzardo

With the Guardians' offense scuffling and in need of a jolt, Cleveland management decided to bring up first baseman Kyle Manzardo from Triple-A Columbus last week. Even without a clear path to playing time the NFBC managers rolled the dice and made him the fourth most popular addition to Main Event lineups. Manzardo came to Cleveland with much-publicized power in the minor leagues but was limited in athletic ability and versatility. In 128 plate appearances at Columbus Manzardo hit .303 with nine home runs and 20 RBIs. The obvious issue with Manzardo's outlook will be his role with Josh Naylor being one of the most consistent hitters in the lineup so far and a set-it-and-forget-it first baseman in fantasy leagues. It doesn't help that Manzardo is off to a slow start to begin his career and had one extra-base hit in 19 at-bats in the big leagues. The 23-year-old will face mostly right-handed pitching in Week 8 so he has a great opportunity to show he belongs at the highest level of competition. When adding young ballplayers to your fantasy lineups you must live with their transient life in major league baseball. Especially with a prospect with options, you are most likely to see them up when they are deserving and down as soon as a slump hits.

DeJong The Answer For Shortstop Injuries?

Paul DeJong

The Chicago White Sox have crawled themselves out of the basement of the standings thanks to the recent hot streak of Paul DeJong. The veteran shortstop hit his sixth home run of the season last week and has connected on homers in three of his last four games heading into Week 8 action. The 30-year-old (yes, he's only 30) also scored nine runs and six RBIs in his last 10 games and continues to be Chicago's primary shortstop. With clear playing time, DeJong found homes on 40 new Main Event rosters and will contribute so as long as he keeps hitting well. Chicago got off to a dreadful start to the season but recently took two of three from St. Louis, a game from Tampa Bay, and swept the aforementioned sluggish Guardians team. With seasoned managers of the NFBC conserving their precious FAAB dollars this week, DeJong was a nice under-the-radar addition and cracked the top five in most added players. Especially for the manager who added him for a dollar, he could give some needed stability for anyone looking for a stopgap until shortstops like Trea Turner or J.P. Crawford are to return to fantasy lineups.

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

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