NFBC FAAB Report: Week 5

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, April 21st. 

Estimated read time: 7-10 minutes 

Andy Pages LAD  OF 57 $266 $40
Jonatan Clase SEA  OF 57 $152 $11
Albert Suarez BAL SP 55  $92 $8
Mitchell Parker WAS SP 54  $177 $2
Sean Bouchard COL OF 53 $87 $3
Mark Leiter Jr. CHC RP 49 $115 $3
Wilyer Abreu BOS OF 45 $350 $31
Hector Neris CHC RP 45 $185 $17
Miguel Sano  LAA  3B 45  $55 $1
Michael Massey  KCR  2B 40  $55 $1
  • Pages earning consistent playing time?

Andy Pages

At this time last week, Andy Pages was still starring in the Pacific Coast League, with hopes to get a promotion to the big club in Los Angeles. With the announcement that veteran Jason Heyward will need extra time recovering from a stiff back and James Outman hitting on the interstate, the suddenly sluggish Dodgers needed a spark. Coming off a weekend series loss to the division rival Padres, the Dodgers called up Pages to join their prolific lineup headlined by three former MVPs, and he didn't disappoint. In five games, the 23-year-old reached base four times and scored five runs, including his first multi-hit game of his career on Sunday. In that game, he displayed his projected power when he crushed a Grant Hartwig sinker 104.8 mph that traveled 413 feet to dead centerA great sign for a slugger who came into this season with a surgically repaired shoulder. What was most impressive for prospective fantasy managers in the NFBC, he played every game since his promotion and was featured as an everyday player - not a platoon bat. With a clear path to regular playing time, Pages was the most popular addition to Main Event lineups heading into Week 5 action.

The three-headed monster that is Mookie BettsFreddie Freeman, and Shohei Ohtani has done their part in the Dodgers lineup, but it's the bottom of the order that is stuck in the mud. According to Baseball Savant, Outman has an expected batting average of .225, while other outfielders Teoscar Hernandez (.210), Enrique Hernandez (.244), and Chris Taylor (.142) all have seen better starts to their seasons. Hernandez got off to a hot start but has cooled off some as we got further into April. Pages has some intriguing upside but would need to dramatically cut down his strikeout rate (45 percent) going into his second week as a pro. However, he has some exciting expected stats for those managers looking for any reason to add power (which is all of us, really). Pages has an expected slugging percentage of .501 and a barrel percentage of 22.2. If Pages is still lingering on your waiver wire, make sure you make room on your roster just in case the power and speed combo is legit.    

  • Is Clase's speed too good to send back down? 

Jonatan Clase

Just like Pages mentioned above, a mid-week callup captured the attention of NFBC Main Event managers last week as top prospect Jonatan Clase was promoted to the Seattle Mariners roster. The 21-year-old outfielder made his MLB debut last week and brought his elite speed to a Mariners lineup that has been underwhelming to start the year. Last year, in two minor league levels, Clase stole 79 bases and is in the 96th percentile in sprint speed, according to Baseball Savant. That kind of elite speed instantly makes him one of the fastest baseball players in the major leagues. As for all fast players, the question remains: can they get on base consistently? So far, Clase has reached safely in all four of his big-league games and had at least one RBI in three of those games. Clase was called up to replace an injured Dominic Canzone, who was placed on the injured list after colliding with the outfield wall. Canzone sprained his AC joint and is without a timeline to return to baseball activities. Clase has a real chance to make an impact in the short term and should be scooped up everywhere for managers looking to add speed. We'll be watching to see how the Mariners handle Clase when Canzone is ready to return to the lineup. He has been added to 57 Main Event leagues just in case the speed is too good to be wasted in the minors.
  • Suarez filling in nicely for injured starters.  

Albert Suarez

Unlike the two youngsters mentioned above, the NFBC turned to an unlikely source to fill out their rosters this week. 34-year-old Albert Suarez was the third most popular player picked up this week, pitching behind a stellar offense in the Baltimore Orioles. Suarez, who last appeared with the San Francisco Giants in 2017, got an opportunity to stick in the Orioles rotation with a decent performance. In his first start against Minnesota, the right-hander kept the Twins scoreless through 5 2/3 innings. Suarez was scheduled as a two-start pitcher this week against two favorable matchups against the Angels and the A's. Suarez rewarded those NFBC managers who picked him up before his Monday start as he once again threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings and earned his first win since 2016. Suarez finished with 16 swinging strikes on 89 pitches and came within one out away from a quality start.

It's unknown how Baltimore plans to use Suarez in the future, as he can be a bullpen arm with an occasional spot start down the road. For now, Suarez just needs to be decent - not great - to have a successful run pitching in the big ballpark, Camden Yards. With those young stars backing him up, he can sneak some much-needed wins into your final totals for the week. Pitchers like Dean Kremer won 13 games last year, so it's not necessary to pitch like an ace every start to have positive results in Baltimore. Plus, Suarez is a fun story to root for, as he played the last two seasons in the KBO and was 11 1/3 scoreless in the big leagues. The Orioles should be getting veterans John Means and Kyle Bradish back in the rotation soon, so it might be short-term for Suarez, but we'll take all the wins we can get this week. Suarez would be advisable for his next start when he faces a bottom-tier Oakland offense. 

  • Parker impresses in Astros and Dodgers starts.

Mitchell Parker 

Starting your career against two potential juggernauts in the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers wasn't a recipe for success. But Mitchell Parker performed swimmingly and left both starts with wins for the Washington Nationals. Parker was able to limit a dangerous Dodgers lineup to two runs on four hits over five innings of work and earned the win on the road. He was even sharper in the Houston start and only needed 73 pitches to shut down the Astros offense through seven strong innings. Only one Houston baserunner reached second base in the game, and he finished with eight strikeouts. Digging deeper into Parker's expected stats, you can't help but wonder how he is doing this with a four-seam fastball that averages 92 mph.

He hasn't allowed a walk in either start and only had six swings and misses against the Dodgers. Granted, he was much better against the Astros with 12 swings and misses. With a fastball in the 20th percentile compared to his peers, can he sustain these early-season results? Parker's spot in the Nationals rotation is solid as long as Josiah Gray is on the shelf dealing with an elbow issue. His next two starts will come against the Marlins and the Rangers, and you know we'll be watching to see if the youngster can keep this up. The first guy he walks will be the first of his career. It would be refreshing to see the second coming of Jaime Moyer.    

  • Should Bouchard play every day in Colorado?

Sean Bouchard

Last Saturday, veteran Kris Bryant exited the game with back tightness after colliding with the outfield wall, which led the Rockies to call up outfielder Sean Bouchard. Surprisingly, the 27-year-old was not included in the opening-day roster despite the Rockies not expecting to compete for a title this year. Colorado has been consistently in the basement and got off to a 5-17 start with mounding injuries to their position players and pitching staff. Why not play the young guys and see what you got? Only the White Sox have been worse this season, so the rebuild should be on the horizon for the Rockies. What fantasy managers want - and what an organization like Colorado wants - doesn't see eye to eye sometimes. Especially when talking about how Rockies management uses its talent, but we'll take the lead from the veteran managers at the NFBC, who made Bouchard the fifth most popular pickup this week.

Bouchard should play every day, but that remains to be seen how the Rockies will play this one out. What we do know about Colorado is the Rockies are striking out at an alarming rate with 216 - fifth worst - heading into Week 5 action. The Rockies also have the second-fewest walks at 59 through 22 games played. Bouchard has shown an ability to be patient at the plate and has 28 walks in 51 total games played in his big league career. Last week, Bouchard walked three times and went 3-for-9 at the plate and only struck out three times. Bryant is eligible to come off the injured list on Wednesday, but there hasn't been an official announcement of his recovery timeline, as of this writing. As long as Bryant is out, Bouchard could provide some decent numbers for a Colorado team desperate for any positive vibes in their current lineup. 

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

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