Image credit: © Tommy Gilligan-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 the end of the regular season. 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 deeper industry leagues.

TGBFI 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 Sunday night between 8 pm to midnight ET.

Yennier Cano $63
(Max Winning Bid: $184. Min Winning Bid: $13)
On Saturday, Felix Bautista landed on the IL with what Orioles general manager Mike Elias said was “some degree of injury” to Bautista’s UCL. While Baltimore could mix and match in the ninth, Cano is the logical choice to close and should be scooped up everywhere. He probably should have already been rostered in all deep mixed leagues in the first place even though he wasn’t getting any saves. Yes, this is true even in a league with an overall contest component like TGFBI.

Jordan Wicks $17 ($61, $1)
Wicks dominated the Pirates in his major league debut, but given the weak opponent and the meh scouting reports on Wicks some caution is warranted heading into this week’s tougher matchup in Cincinnati. Wicks is a soft tosser who keeps hitters off balance thanks to his pitch mix, deception, and a plus change that he relied on heavily in the minors. I thought there might be some more aggressive bids in play because of his dominant debut.

Parker Meadows $16 ($127, $1)
Meadows was a toolsy prospect who struggled for years in the minors but finally broke out in 2022 with the bat. His raw numbers this season at AAA make it look like he took a step back, but the scouting reports say otherwise, indicating that the newly developed power is still there, and the batting eye makes him a sneakily good addition in OBP formats. Meadows might never live up to the early prospect hype, but has just enough footspeed that he could be an extremely useful 20/15 player in Roto formats.

Tanner Scott $16 ($71, $1)
Along with Cano and Aroldis Chapman, Scott has a case for being one of the best non-closer relievers in baseball this season. David Robertson’s struggles since the Marlins acquired him in a deadline deal from the Mets led to Miami yanking him from the closer’s role and Scott got the save yesterday and is the frontrunner for saves. He has mostly put his command issues from the last two years behind him and the biggest risk here is if the Marlins feel they must go back to Roberston because they don’t want to lose face.

JoJo Romero $11 ($31, $1)
Romero and Giovanny Gallegos are splitting the limited save opportunities the rebuilding St. Louis Cardinals are generating down the stretch. Romero should be the closer based on merit and it’s possible he is but it’s hard to gauge given that both he and Gallegos barely pitched last week. Ryan Helsley underwent an additional MRI and his timetable is unclear, giving Romero a little more short-term value.

Ryan Noda $9 ($32, $2)
There is so much information available that the idea of a fantasy sleeper is a quaint one, but Noda as close as you’re going to get thanks to an injury that cost him a month and the fact that he plays for a terrible Oakland team that has mostly been ignored. Noda’s real-life contributions make him a top 10 offensive first baseman, but his fantasy output is suppressed somewhat by playing in a pitchers’ park where Noda’s power and AVG both suffer. He’s a great streamer when the Athletics are on the road but still a useful corner infielder even when they’re home. He might sit against southpaws but even his numbers against them have been above average.

Josh Rojas $9 ($24, $1)
Rojas was sucking wind with the Diamondbacks for the first four months of the season so it was a bit of a headscratcher that he was part of a package for Mariners closer Paul Sewald at the deadline. Since then, Rojas has been on a tear, hitting .290 with three home runs and four steals in 66 PA. Ride the hot streak, particularly if you need stolen bases, although be aware that Rojas will typically sit against southpaws.

DJ Stewart $8 ($33, $1)
A former first round pick for the Orioles way back in 2015, Stewart has found life with the Mets thanks to their rebuild and Starling Marte’s lingering injury. Stewart is hitting for power and even has his average in a decent enough place to make him a solid fantasy starter. He’ll surely slump at some point but the ability to hit the long ball makes him useful as long as he’s playing every day, and he’s probably the Mets second best outfielder right now.

Brandon Williamson $7 ($47, $1)
Williamson’s overall numbers look blah but since July 1 he has a 3.00 ERA in 54 innings with 53 strikeouts. He has mostly ditched his slider in favor of a cutter and Williamson’s fastball/cutter/change combo has mostly been working for him. He gets the Giants in San Francisco this week and is a borderline matchup in deep mixed. I’ll admit I mostly gave up on Williamson and was surprised to see he has done so well of late.

Kyle Harrison $5 ($20, $1)
Harrison’s got an amazing fastball and a potentially great slider but is a work in progress who probably isn’t ready for the majors just yet. The Giants are in contention and desperately need help so ready or not here he is. Harrison has been a strikeout machine in the minors but has trouble throwing the slider for strikes and works a lot of long counts and doesn’t go deep into games as a result. This is a big roll of the dice that probably won’t work in redraft but with a two-start week coming up I’d take the plunge with him as a SP6.

Tout AL
Aroldis Chapman $99
(Other Bids: $22)
Parker Meadows $82 ($39, $19, $14, $0, $0)
Logan O’Hoppe $47 ($14, $1, $0)
Everson Pereira $14
($14, $0)
Xzavion Curry $7
Davis Schneider $7
($0, $0)
Jonathan Loaisiga $6
Wilyer Abreu $5
($0, $0)
Mike Ford $4
Taj Bradley $3
Alec Marsh $0
James Karinchak $0
Korey Lee $0
Caleb Thielbar $0
Kyle Isbel $0
Matt Beaty $0

The Rangers are in a tailspin, so it is difficult to tell if Chapman has supplanted Will Smith as the closer or not. He blew the save yesterday against the Twins (although the one hit off him was a weak single) and this could be a waste of FAAB. In a mono league, it doesn’t matter nearly as much if Chapman isn’t closing since he brings lots of strikeouts and the potential for wins to the table.

I was surprised to see O’Hoppe still available, particularly since I wrote about him last week in the TGFBI segment of this article. My concern was playing time but O’Hoppe started four of the last six games and that plays in any two-catcher league if he can keep that up. He has hit poorly since returning from the injured list, but the potential to be a top 10 offensive backstop makes him worth taking the flier on.

Tyrone Taylor $3
(Other Bids: $2, $1, $1, $1)
Nick Martini $3
Pierce Johnson $2
Carter Kieboom $2 ($1)
Kevin Pillar $1
Drew Rom $1
A.J. Puk $1

Hitters highlighted this week’s FAAB acquisitions in NL LABR. Taylor has quietly reclaimed a starting role in the Brewers outfield, with Joey Wiemer moving to a reserve role. Taylor has four home runs, three steals and a .271 AVG since the All-Star break and is a useful mono league bat with some matchup utility in leagues like TGFBI as well.

My injury woes continued, so I grabbed Kieboom to replace J.D. Martinez. He was posting pedestrian numbers at Triple-A but has two home runs in 19 major league plate appearances so maybe he’ll stay hot for a month. Rom replaces Drew Smyly; the less we talk about this the better. I’m mired in fourth place and my odds of winning are all but gone.

Thank you for reading

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