FAAB Top Targets (Hitters): 5/15/2014 [Free]
We scour the waiver wire to find players at each position worthy of FAAB dollars. This week’s FAAB top targets features a pair of Diamondbacks, two up and coming middle infielders, and this year’s surprise at catcher. We’ll also focus on players whose splits can be particularly useful in leagues with daily roster changes. Recommended bids are based on a $100 budget. Players listed are available in the majority of leagues across all three major formats.
Catcher: Derek Norris, Oakland Athletics
$5 – CBS 45% | Y! 38% | ESPN 19%
With his performance this year, Norris is making a case for starting catcher in 12-team mixed leagues. His wRC+ sits at a whopping 192, which is the best among catchers with at least 30 games. The 25-year-old backstop’s .391 BABIP is well above his career norms, so he’ll be a victim to regression at some point. However, his walk rate (14.1%) and strikeout rate (12.1%) are fantastic. Norris’s wRC+ is 23 points higher at home despite hitting in the pitching friendly Coliseum for half his games. At the moment he’s a hot bat fantasy owners will want to deploy daily. If he stumbles, Norris will still be a must play at home versus left-handed pitching, where his career wRC+ sits at 171.
First Base: Adam Lind, Toronto Blue Jays
$8 – CBS 31% | Y! 30% | ESPN 56%
Lind recently returned from a back injury and wasted no time hitting a two-run home run. The 30-year-old slugger hits in the heart of a powerful Blue Jays’ lineup when healthy, giving Lind an advantage over other FAAB top targets. His 121 career home runs and .287 batting average against right-handed pitchers make him an excellent platoon option in a fantasy lineup. The Rogers Centre is a top park for power hitters, but Lind has shown a neutral split in home games versus away games. Given his availability in most fantasy formats, Lind is a must start against right-handed pitching as he hit .309 with 20 home runs against them in 2013.
Second Base: Rougned Odor, Texas Rangers
$2 – CBS 17% | Y! 3% | ESPN 1%
Odor’s call up was a surprise, but the 20-year-old’s hot start in Triple-A, combined with poor options on the major league roster forced the Rangers’ hand. Odor’s time as the Ranger’s starting second baseman will end once Jurickson Profar returns from the DL, but it’s not a reason to overlook him entirely. Odor displayed power and speed in the minor leagues with 11 home runs and 32 stolen bases across two levels in 2013. Mike Newman speculated on who would fill the hole at second base when Profar was first injured having no idea both Luis Sardinas and Odor would be promoted at the same time. For a team with an available bench slot, or weak middle infield, plugging Odor’s left-handed bat into a fantasy lineup against right-handed pitchers in Arlington is a smart play.
Third Base: Eric Chavez, Arizona Diamondbacks
$1 – CBS 1% | Y! 1% | ESPN 0%
Another righty killer, Chavez is sporting a 192 wRC+ against righties at Chase Field this season. In leagues with daily lineup changes, it’s possible to stash him in deep leagues and play Chavez in optimal situations. For a buck, it’s an opportunity to add 40 games of top flight production. Chavez’s age (36) isn’t desirable in keeper or dynasty leagues, but in deep redrafts with daily roster changes he’s valuable. Mike Newman’s DFS picks have featured the Diamondbacks’ corner man as well, where taking advantage of splits is extremely important.
Shortstop: Wilmer Flores, New York Mets
$2 – CBS 10% | Y! 2% | ESPN 1%
We’re well aware of what Nolan Arenado is capable of, but what if Wilmer Flores and Arenado had something in common? ROTOscouting pointed out their similarities earlier this season. Flores should see playing time as long as Ruben Tejada continues to scuffle. The 22-year-old hit .321/.357/.531 with 15 home runs in the PCL last season. And his age, combined with eligibility at both third base and shortstop, make him an enticing option in keeper and dynasty formats. Few FAAB Top Targets project to hit and be eligible at 2B, 3B and SS. Just remember Flores’ walk totals are low, meaning he’s best utilized in 5×5 formats.
Outfield: A.J. Pollock, Arizona Diamondbacks
$5 – CBS 20% | Y! 16% | ESPN 9%
Pollock offers a combination of power and speed — a rare to find on the waiver wire in leagues of any size. The 26-year-old center fielder has hit four home runs and stolen five bases already this season while dealing with a minor groin injury. Last year, he shared playing time in a crowded Diamondbacks’ outfield, but injuries have resulted in regular plate appearances and he’s even led off several games. Pollock’s career splits are neutral, but this season he’s hit right-handed pitching at a .321 clip. Chase Field is a hitter’s park and the Diamondbacks slow start has caused many fantasy owners to overlook the positive contributions of under-the-radar players like Pollock.
Using Splits To Identify FAAB Top Targets
Many of this week’s FAAB top targets have favorable splits against either left or right handed pitching. While not every roster has the luxury of a deep bench, allowing for a splits strategy, these players are valuable given the number of righties or lefties a lineup faces in a given week. Finding players with favorable splits and leveraging them correctly affords a team All-Star production at a rock bottom price.
15 May 2014 / Mike Buttil / 1
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