NFBC FAAB Report: Week 9

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 19th. 

Estimated read time: 7-10 minutes 

Miguel Vargas LAD  OF 49 $68 $28.29
Adam Ottavino NYM  RP 49 $58 $18.67
Jake Meyers HOU OF 39 $57 $18.87
Joe Ross MIL SP 39 $57 $16.31
Luke Raley SEA OF 37 $55 $43.50
Luis Matos SFG OF 35 $223 $95.09
Kevin Pillar LAA OF 34 $47 $16.56
Jordan Beck COL OF 33 $71 $35.07
Alec Burleson STL OF/1B 33 $45 $19.58
Jake Bauers MIL  OF 30 $47 $11.50
  • Will Vargas Get Enough Playing Time? 

Miguel Vargas

Since premiering this weekly article last month, one central theme of each player featured here typically falls into one of four categories: recent hot streaks, two-start pitchers, reshuffling bullpen roles, or mid-week prospect callups. With no obvious pickups netting triple digits in FAAB heading into week 9, the NFBC turned their attention to recent Dodgers callup Miguel Vargas. 49 Main Event managers of the possible 57 leagues added the converted outfielder even without a clear path to regular playing time in Los Angeles. In 39 games at Triple-A Oklahoma City, Vargas hit .295 with eight home runs while getting used to new life as an outfielder. The Dodgers once believed Vargas could take over as an everyday second baseman and was included on the Opening Day roster in 2023. After just 304 plate appearances, Vargas just hit .193 before his mid-season demotion dashed any dreams of regular playing time by the All-Star break.

With the embarrassment of riches — including the budget to pay three players a total of a billion dollars — Los Angeles can move a player of Vargas' potential around the diamond with the prospects of playing with a perennial contender. But will Vargas play enough on his second chance with the club? With the Dodgers activating veteran Jason Heyward recently, Vargas projects to be a bench weapon while being on the short-side platoon in the short term. If Vargas were to get hot at any point while he's up for the Dodgers, he's capable of supplying some value in leagues that are OBP-focused. This is a situation to monitor to see if Vargas gets regular playing time or receives a cup of coffee for his trouble. NFBC managers were treated to another Dodgers callup in Andy Pages earlier this year so maybe there had been some serious FOMO this time around.  

  • Ottavino To Get Save Opportunies?

Adam Ottavino

Coming off a nightmarish week for closer Edwin Diazthe NFBC turned to a veteran reliever to possibly get some save opportunities for New York. Diaz allowed seven earned runs in his last three appearances which prompted manager Carlos Mendoza to shift the bullpen into what he described as "fluid." To gain some confidence and get back in tune Diaz is expected to work in some low-leverage situations in the short term. Even though the Mets have been scuffling of late, 49 Main Event managers jumped at the chance to add Adam Ottavino with the new bullpen reshuffling. Ottavino has been a bright spot in the Mets bullpen this year with eight holds, and 26 strikeouts while sporting a 2.95 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP in 18 1/3 innings. The 38-year-old threw the original sweeper before it was cool so it's nice to see the veteran get a chance to save games even in the short term. Reed Garrett also could factor into save situations depending on the workload of the bullpen. Garrett fired two scoreless innings last Sunday while striking out four Marlins to close out the game. 

  • Meyers Earning Everyday Role For Astros

Jake Meyers

The NFBC got a little taste of everything this week as seasoned NFBC managers added outfielder Jake Meyers into the fold after his recent hot streak in May. Before week 9 action began Meyers was hitting .391 with two home runs and two steals this month, igniting the Astros offense to nine wins in its last 11 games. The 27-year-old is a gold glove caliber outfielder and any offensive production would be a bonus in this Houston lineup. Meyers is out to prove he's more than a passable offensive contributor by hitting .302 with five home runs, five doubles, and 18 RBIs in 107 plate appearances so far this season. It's not hard to root for a player like Meyers who was a 13th-round draft pick in 2017. The Astros viewed him as a starting centerfielder this year but a breakout was unlikely since he hit .227 in each of the previous two seasons. Meyers wasn't off to the best start in April by hitting .220 which mirrored the sluggish Houston offense. Veteran outfielder Chas McCormick was activated off the injured list this week so the Astros outfield could get a little crowded going forward but Meyers's defense should give him in the lineup as long as he keeps hitting too. 

  • Ross Hurt Before Monday's Start

Joe Ross

As mentioned above one of the four paths to be added in NFBC leagues was having a decent two-start week and Main Event managers were riding Milwaukee's Joe Ross this week. With the Marlins on the horizon Monday and the Red Sox on Sunday, Ross was the third most added player this week for prospective Main Event managers. Unfortunately for those who picked up Ross, the right-hander departed Monday's start with a lower back strain and was placed on the injured list on Tuesday. Brewers manager Pat Murphy said Ross had been dealing with an ailing back for a while and felt discomfort warming up before his Marlins start and lasted only one inning before being pulled. The 31-year-old may be looking at a two-week absence which is a shame because he's been a valuable starter for a Milwaukee team looking for healthy arms. Ross was coming off a win over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates last week as he allowed two runs on two hits to go along with a walk and six strikeouts in five innings. Ross had lasted at least five innings in six of his eight starts this season and has surrendered three or fewer runs six times as well.     

  • Raley Crushing In Seattle

Luke Raley

Perhaps the best deal of the week was outfielder/corner infielder Luke Raley. The 29-year-old is riding a hot streak last week and playing himself in regular playing time for Scott Servais and the Seattle Mariners. 35 Main Events managers added Raley after hitting two doubles off Orioles ace Corbin Burnes. Burnes wasn't exactly struggling in his start as he struck out 11 Mariners in six innings last Sunday. Raley finished the week on a six-game hitting streak including three multi-hit games. In his last 24 plate appearances, he had 11 hits including two doubles, two home runs, five RBIs, and two steals. Servais kept Raley's left-handed bat in the lineup over Ty France and carried his hot streak over to the Bronx with a homer on Tuesday. NFBC managers will continue to ride the wave as long as the Mariners are willing to give Raley steady at-bats in Seattle.  


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

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