Image credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the FAAB Review, the column that reviews the goings-on in multiple analyst leagues in the hopes we can help you with your own FAAB bidding process and habits. This column will mostly focus on The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational (TGFBI), a contest that contains 31 leagues of 15 teams each and crowns an overall champion at season’s end. We’ll look at the 10 most popular FAAB buys in those leagues every week. We’ll also focus on some highlights in Tout Wars AL and LABR NL, two deep industry leagues.

TGFBI and Tout Wars use a $1,000 FAAB budget, while LABR uses $100. Tout Wars also allows teams to place $0 bids. All three leagues run their FAAB weekly on Sundays.

Note: This is the final FAAB Review of the season. There is one more FAAB period in some leagues on Sunday, October 2, 2022, but most moves during the final FAAB run are extremely category- and league-specific.


Hayden Wesneski $16 (Highest Winning Bid: $55, Lowest Winning Bid: $1)
Wesneski is a repeater from last week’s FAAB Review and was added in another 11 TGFBI leagues this week. He had another strong start last week, posting a win in Pittsburgh with six strikeouts, six baserunners, and two runs in 6 1/3 innings. He gets the Phillies this week at home and is penciled in to finish the regular season in Cincinnati on Wednesday, October 5. He is a solid option for both games, but it is quite possible the Cubs don’t add innings to Wesneski’s young arm on that final day.

Ji Hwan Bae $8 ($20, $1)
Called up by the Pirates over the weekend, Bae’s primary contributions over the last 10 games are likely to come in stolen bases. He swiped two bags in his major league debut on Friday and has started three games in a row for Pittsburgh. Some believe his future is in a utility role and while that could be true that doesn’t matter this week. Bae is an obvious addition if your primary need is steals.

Bryan De La Cruz $7 ($27, $1)
De La Cruz’s overall line looks awful, but he is slashing .388/.436/.735 in September, albeit in a mere 55 plate appearances. His strikeouts are down considerably this month, and De La Cruz has amassed nearly a third of his 2022 total of extra base hits this month alone. He will play regularly down the stretch and while this level of performance probably won’t maintain this is the time of year to ride the hot hand.

Rodolfo Castro $7 ($20, $1)
Castro is one of those “better in fantasy than in real life” players. The strikeout rate is high, and his overall line isn’t anything to write home about, but 11 home runs and five steals in a 249 PA stretch plays in most formats. I’m not enthused by the Pirates schedule the rest of the way (they get the Reds and Cardinals for six games at home and the Cards on the road for another three) but if St. Louis clinches early and rests or limits their rotation Castro could benefit.

Braxton Garrett $6 ($21, $1)
I was somewhat critical of Garrett the last time I covered him in this column (on July 18), citing the fact that he performed much better against weak teams than strong ones. I can’t say something like “I couldn’t be more wrong” but Garrett has been more eagle than turkey (is that a thing? I’m making it a thing), posting 41 strikeouts in 38 innings since the All-Star break with a 3.32 ERA. He missed a month due to an oblique injury and then was quickly optioned to Triple-A after his first start back from the IL on September 12. Garrett gets a solid matchup in Milwaukee and then a risky one at home against Atlanta (assuming they haven’t clinched by then).

Oswaldo Cabrera $5 ($23, $1)
The appeal with Cabrera is that he is playing almost every day on a Yankees team that generates plenty of runs and RBI opportunities. Cabrera hasn’t done much in power and has done practically nothing in steals, so this is the sort of buy you’re making if you just need volume, and your power and speed needs aren’t urgent.

Nate Eaton $5 ($19, $1)
I knew Eaton had some speed but the 11 steals he has in 100 PA took me completely by surprise. There’s not much else here beyond that, but Eaton has claimed the third base job for Kansas City and should be good for a couple of steals in the last week and a half. Don’t take him if you need more robust contributions across all five categories.

Domingo Acevedo $5 ($22, $1)
Acevedo picked up back-to-back saves for Oakland last Tuesday and Wednesday, and with the A’s not picking up any more saves since then he looks like the closer. While “closer on a terrible team” doesn’t sound particularly promising, having six games remaining against the Angels gives the Athletics a somewhat better opportunity at finishing on a high note than wrapping up the season against teams still in the playoff hunt.

Joey Wentz $4 ($13, $1)
Wentz is a paradox: a potential volume play for the final week and a half of the season who doesn’t really offer much in the way of volume. He has averaged 4.6 innings per start in five major league games, which isn’t going to put you in line for wins unless the Tigers use an opener. The results have been there but even with the soft opponents he has remaining (home against the Royals and Twins) I’m not enthused about Wentz unless you believe his ERA and WHIP will offer a big boost for your homestretch.

Edward Olivares $2 ($11, $1)
There’s something almost too perfect about wrapping up this year’s FAAB Review with Olivares, a player who has never been able to crack the Royals lineup permanently even though his tools and talent seem to make him an obvious fit, particularly on a squad running Michael A. Taylor out there on a regular basis. Olivares has latched on to a regular role of late and could eventually be a fantasy star if that holds in 2023 but given his (and Kansas City’s) track record, I’m not holding my breath.

Tout Wars AL

Emilio Pagán $75
Clay Holmes $42
Joey Wentz $1
Miles Mastrobuoni $0
Livan Soto $0 (Other Bids: $0)
Will Brennan $0 ($0)
Matt Thaiss $0
Conner Capel $0

Doug Dennis of Baseball HQ is ahead by 15 points and implemented his no starting pitcher strategy nearly perfectly, missing only one point in WHIP out of a possible 98 (first in eight categories, last in two). He picked up Pagan for $75, but at this point he could leave his roster static and still coast to his first Tout Wars championship.


Michael Grove $1
Drey Jameson $1

In LABR, I’m in first but in a much more precarious position than Dennis, with a 6.5-point lead over Derek Carty. I have been out of FAAB since early August and have five hitters currently on the IL, with three who are out for the season. Home runs is where my edge is most precarious. A three home run gain by Carty combined with a two home run loss by me would swing the standings 5.5 points. The earlier everyone clinches a playoff spot the better off I likely am, but I suspect it will be a nailbiter for me all the way to the final day of the regular season.

Thanks to everyone who followed around and read the FAAB Review this year. Good luck to all of you still in the running in your own leagues down the stretch!

Thank you for reading

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Thanks Mike and good luck in labr.
Mike Gianella
Thanks. There's no shame in finishing 2nd in LABR but I really want to win, obviously.