Jeff Trela @jtrela20
2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 22 FAAB Run
In the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 22 FAAB Run, we, as always, have some new options to help you with saves. We have a possible impact power bat, and a team you want to invest in and stack up as many players as you can.
I have many NFBC teams where I am down to just a few dollars. You should be in a similar situation, as anyone you pick up at this point will only be impacting your team for five weeks or less.
While the season is far from over, your team in a format with no trades basically is what it is at this point. But you can gain an advantage using your few dollars by making a pick-up every week to attack your category of need while your opponent is asleep at the wheel.
Nestor Cortes Jr., SP, New York Yankees (34% owned)
Nestor Cortes, Jr has now recorded back-to-back Major League quality starts with seven strikeouts in each. He has put together a season which, if you pull back the curtain, resembles elite. While 56 innings is hardly a large sample size, Cortes' .194 xBA, .253 xWOBA, 4.1% barrel rate, and 2.68 xERA all rank him in the top twenty of starting pitchers.
When we get to late August in Fantasy Baseball, the conversation leads with "what have you done for me, lately?" Well, Cortes has been doing it and seems to have a path to continue.
Domingo German is no guarantee to return, and Jameson Taillon and Jordan Montgomery have been replacement level starters this year. If Cortes maintains these results, he will remain in the rotation, and in your lineups.
Mychal Givens, RP, Cincinnati Reds (66% owned)
Mychal Givens had seemed to have settled into a solid closing role before blowing up last night and yielding the save to Mike Lorenzen, who is only 22% owned in the NFBC himself. Givens has pitched very well this year to the tune of a 2.08 ERA. His 25.5% hard-hit rate is in the top 2-percentile of baseball.
He is certainly deserving of the next save opportunity in Cincinnati. But if he should falter, you will want to quickly pivot to Lorenzen.
Scott Barlow, RP, Kansas City Royals (71% owned)
Don't look now, but Scott Barlow is one of the best relievers in the American League since the All-Star Break. Last night he pitched a perfect ninth inning to record his seventh save, coupled with fourteen holds. So far in the second half, he has four saves, three wins, and a 1.56 ERA.
At this point of the season, saves are probably a make-or-break category in your league. Barlow's role appears quite safe and will offer peripheral value to your ratios as well. Feel comfortable pushing all of your FAAB dollars in on Barlow if you are in that position.
Wil Crowe, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (unowned)
Yeah, this is the Week 22 NFBC FAAB Run, and I am suggesting you pick up Wil Crowe. Before you cancel me, hear this out. Crowe has two starts this week, versus Arizona and St Louis, two of my favorite targets to stream against this year. Yes, he is still Wil Crowe.
The expectation for this week should be about 10 innings, four to five runs, six to eight strikeouts, and about a 33% chance at a win. It's unlikely at this point that one blow-up start will break your ratios, so this is worth a dart throw if you are desperate for some counting stats.
Tommy La Stella, 1B/2B, San Francisco Giants (39% owned)
Tommy La Stella was over-drafted last year after 16 home runs in half of a season in 2019 and disappointed fantasy owners. He missed basically the entire first half of this season, and thus sits on less than half of NFBC leagues.
As I have said many times, multi-position eligibility sometimes is the best ability in Fantasy Baseball. La Stella is eligible at 1B and 2B on the NFBC, with a possibility to eventually earn 3B as well.
La Stella has offered plus power with a near .300 batting average in the past. He is batting at the top of the lineup for one of the best teams in baseball. He is widely available, and a virtual plug and play for the rest of the season.
Evan Longoria, 3B, San Francisco Giants (83% owned)
The thorn in La Stella's playing time may just be veteran Evan Longoria. If he can manage to remain healthy, he figures to get the majority of the playing time at third base. Longoria has been battling soreness in his hand and has been limited to just one at-bat in the last week. But once he returns, he figures to make the lineup most days.
The Giants have shrewdly built a lineup of players that can play multiple positions. You may even see Longoria at 1B at times. I am buying as many Giants players as I can, as they have six games down the stretch in Coors Field while playing to win a division.
Longoria is barreling balls to the highest rate of his career at 14.2%. His absurd 59.1% hard-hit rate would easily be the highest in the league if he reached the qualifying at-bats threshold. In his elder years, he has become a three-true outcomes hitter. His strikeout rate and walk rate are far and away the highest of his career. The new approach is working, as he is stroking more than twenty points over his career average, to the tune of .294.
Brandon Marsh, OF, Los Angeles Angels (68% owned)
Brandon Marsh has caught a little bit of a heater, batting .349 over his last ten games. He does not offer much in the power categories but certainly is capable of a stolen base or two per week. It's an opportunity to jump on a hot hitter while he is hot. The 44.8% hard-hit rate says it should continue, while the 40% strike-out rate tells us to expect a crash and burn.
Aristides Aquino, OF, Cincinnati Reds (7% owned)
It was a fun ride watching Aristedes Aquino club 28 home runs in his first 100 career at-bats back in 2019. We haven't seen much from him since. But with the injury to Jesse Winker, the 27-year-old will get a look.
He is currently hitting to a higher average exit velocity and barrel rate than he was during that magical run, but the swing and miss is still a problem at over 30%.
If you can sustain a drain to your average, Aquino can make a massive impact on your power categories. He hits in bunches and is certainly capable of a four or five homerun week at any time.
For any questions related to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 22 NFBC FAAB Run, or for additional options, you can reach me on Twitter @jtrela20. Otherwise, check me out streaming LIVE this Wednesday at 9:00 PM EST on the Stack Attack Fantasy Podcast, now part of the Fantasy Six Pack YouTube network of podcasts.