NFBC FAAB Report: Week 6

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 28th. 

Estimated read time: 7-10 minutes 

Simeon Woods Richardson MIN  SP 54 $85 $8
Pete Crow-Armstrong CHC  OF 53 $355 $1
Bryce Elder ATL SP 49  $140 $1
Jo Adell LAA OF 46  $171 $33
Bailey Falter PIT SP 44 $100 $16
Mike Tauchman CHC OF 44 $64 $5
Josh Rojas SEA 3B 42 $201 $2
Slade Cecconi ARI SP 42 $101 $1
Ben Lively  CLE  SP 42  $72 $5
Hunter Goodman  COL  OF 42  $68 $1
  • Woods Richardson the new No. 5 starter?

Simeon Woods Richardson

If you were with us last week, we discussed Washington's starting pitcher Mitchell Parker and how the rookie right-hander was finding early success despite below-average fastball velocity. Parker grabbed the attention and FAAB dollars from veteran NFBC managers with two impressive starts against tough back-to-back opponents in the Dodgers and Astros. Parker won both starts, with his four-seamer topping out at 92 mph, highlighted by a seven-inning eight strikeout effort against Houston. This week, the NFBC turned their attention to another soft-tossing right-hander and made Simeon Woods Richardson the most popular pickup entering Week 6 action. Minnesota called up the 23-year-old from Triple-A St. Paul last week to replace an ineffective and recently demoted Louie Varland in the Twins rotation. In his second start of the season, Woods Richardson turned in a solid performance against a bottom-tier White Sox offense, allowing two runs in five innings of work. Woods Richardson finished with six strikeouts and 11 swinging strikes in a no-decision. The Twins seemed intrigued enough to give the former top prospect another turn in the rotation, which led 54 of the possible 57 Main Event leagues to add him this week.

Cruising Woods Richardson's Statcast page, you can't help but notice he is throwing the hardest of his career. The right-hander is still below average and continues to be in the 36th percentile in fastball velocity compared to his peers, but the increase is a welcomed sight for a pitcher looking to stick in the rotation. Pushing at 93 mph with a changeup, slider, and curve pitch mix could be enough tools for a team looking for a stable fifth starter. Woods Richardson's slider has an expected batting average of .174, with a 29.6 whiff rate coming into Week 6 action. 7.3 inches of horizontal break is 2.8 inches above league average, which could become a nice outpitch to build on. It remains to be seen if the Twins will continue to roll with Woods Richardson, as he only lasted 3 2/3 innings on Tuesday in his rematch against the White Sox. However, he could be in line for a two-start week in Week 7 if he remains in the rotation.

  • Could Crow-Armstrong stay up for Chicago? 

Pete Crow-Armstrong

If there's a singular theme for waiver wire pickups this week, it would've been former top prospects getting their chance to prove they are worthy of a roster spot. This time, it was Pete Crow-Armstrong's turn. The 22-year-old outfielder was called up by the Chicago Cubs last week to replace an injured Cody Bellinger on the active roster. With clear and immediate playing time, the rookie was the second-most popular addition to NFBC Main Event rosters. Bellinger lost a fight with the bricks in Wrigley Field after he collided with the unforgiving wall chasing a wind-blown flyball in center field. The former MVP would eventually leave the game, and the Cubs reported the initial diagnosis was minor bruising to his side. After further examinations, the medical staff discovered two fractures in Bellinger's ribs that could put him on the shelve for the next couple of weeks. It's never good to lose a player of Bellinger's caliber, but it does give the Cubs faithful a chance to see Crow-Armstrong on the strong side platoon against right-handed pitching.

Chicago fans have been waiting for Crow-Armstrong to make an impact since being acquired for Javier Baez in 2021. They got a glimpse of the then-21-year-old last season during the stretch run for the Cubs; however, he was hitless in 19 plate appearances. Now a year older, this season has already been much better for the speedy outfielder than last year by going 5-for-16 in five games, highlighted by a go-ahead home run in his first appearance of the season. If Crow-Armstrong can provide some consistency at the plate, he can be an intriguing power/speed combo for any fantasy managers looking to make an impact in either category. Look for the rookie outfielder to start against righties, while veteran Mike Tauchman would start against the lefties until Bellinger is ready to return. Streamer against all projected right-handers this weekend? Or will he be up for good? You know we'll be watching while Bellinger is out of the lineup. 

  • Did Elder earn more starts for Atlanta?  

Bryce Elder

Playing in highly competitive 15-teamers like the NFBC Main Events, you don't have a ton of options on the waiver wire every week. Any opportunity - especially being backed by an Atlanta offense with a 120 wRC+, you're willing to take a chance. That may be the case with the addition of Bryce Elder to rosters this week. Elder was the third most popular pickup, as the 24-year-old right-hander could have some staying power in the Atlanta rotation. Elder recently joined the staff after Darius Vines was sent down to Triple-A Gwinnett. Elder had a successful start to his season with 6 2/3 scoreless against the Miami Marlins. The Braves are still searching to find some stability after losing ace Spencer Strider for the season, and Elder brings some experience after tossing 174 2/3 innings last year for Atlanta. It would be interesting to see how many managers will have Elder starting this week with the big test on the road against the Dodgers offense and their league-best 127 wRC+.
  • Was Adell the best pickup this week?

Jo Adell

Even though Jo Adell was the fourth most popular addition to NFBC lineups this week, he could have the most upside than any free agent remaining on the waiver wire. If the devastating news of Mike Trout's torn meniscus in his knee broke over the weekend, Adell might've been the overwhelming top waiver pickup of the week. The Angels fans have been waiting for a breakout from its former top prospect - maybe not at the expense of its franchise player in the process. Even before the Trout injury, Adell had shown signs of breaking out. Adell launched a two-out, two-run homer that left his bat at 108 mph against the Twins last week. Manager Ron Washington moved Adell up in the batting order after starting in the back half of the lineup to start the season. Adell was featured in the second spot for the first time all season, and the youngster rewarded him and all the NFBC managers who picked him up with a first-inning home run. Adell should have some rock-solid playing time with an Angels team looking for any positive vibes this summer.
  • Can Falter salvage a dream two-start week?

Bailey Falter

Bailey Falter was a popular pickup across all fantasy leagues, and the NFBC was no different. With two prime matchups with the A's and the Rockies, the NFBC added Falter to 44 Main Event leagues over the weekend. It's hard to blame them after a dominant win against a formidable Milwaukee team that has been one of the best lineups in the league. The 27-year-old left-handed starter had a career-high in strikeouts with eight and held the Brewers scoreless through seven innings. His next start came Monday against an Oakland lineup that has been heating up lately but still had a wRC+ of 87 - which was the 27th-ranked offense heading into this week. Unfortunately, the Pirates and the seasoned fantasy managers in the NFBC who picked him up were treated to five earned runs but did salvage five strikeouts in five innings. Do we still trust Falter for a home start against the Colorado Rockies, who have a wRC+ of 79 so far this season? It was the best two-start matchups any fantasy managers could hope for, but he may have been hate-dropped before we reached the weekend.

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

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