If you play in a league that uses weekly FAAB (free agent auction bidding), you know it makes for a more competitive waiver wire. Daily just isn't the same. Unless a player has an especially big game, he won't catch everyone's attention on the same day, making him easy to purchase for a low dollar amount. But when there's a buildup of headline-grabbers over the course of an entire week, bidding wars are inevitable, making your FAAB budget something you actually budget.
It's a different animal, and as a different animal, it requires a different approach. We're always talking about who to add, who to drop and why, but the reasoning can be pretty flimsy when undoing it is as easy as another day's wait or another $0 bid.
That doesn't mean we aren't giving honest advice. It just means different rules require different responses, and in leagues where every team has just 26 opportunities to add players over the course of the year and knows it has just 26 opportunities to add players over the course of the year, "casting a wide net" probably isn't the best approach.
So because it's so different and because our advice is so often tailored for the opposite, I've decided to use the versatility of this blog to give weekly FAAB the attention it deserves. Basically, I'm going share the results of my weekly FAAB league as often as time allows (it's a 12-team 5x5, so basically as standard as standard gets), revealing both my bid and the winning bid for the players on my radar.
Don't play in a weekly FAAB league? This exercise also gives me a convenient way to riff on trendy players of the day, so you're sure get something out of it regardless.
Francisco Rodriguez, RP, Brewers: I bid $9 (of $100). The winner bid $15. Yup, K-Rod was my top priority. I know manager Ron Roenicke says he's just a temporary solution until Jim Henderson regains his stuff, but he was supposed to be just a temporary solution when Henderson went on the DL with a hamstring injury late last May and ended up keeping the job until he was traded in late July. A 1.25 ERA in his 22 appearances as a closer likely had something to do with that. If Rodriguez does something similar this year -- and he's been lights out so far -- I don't know how the Brewers go back to Henderson, old stuff or not.
James Paxton, SP, Mariners: I won with a $9 bid. Like most Rotisserie leagues, this one offers no shortage of quality starting pitchers, which is why I prioritized what I considered to be the best option for saves in Rodriguez. But of all the players up for bidding this week, Paxton has the clearest case for a breakout. He dominated down the stretch for the Mariners last season and dominated in his first start this year, allowing just two hits while striking out nine in seven shutout innings. Deep position or not, I didn't want to risk getting outbid for a player who could deliver Mike Minor-type numbers. I should mention Tyler Skaggs was already owned in this league. Otherwise, I would have bid heavily on him as well.
Jose Valverde, RP, Mets: I bid $6. The winner bid $26. Someone went hog wild for saves here, which always seems to happen in weekly FAAB leagues where everyone has a chance to catch up on current events. It's a big reason why I always try to get three closers on Draft Day. Yeah, new ones will emerge in season, but the competition for them is fierce. And the replacements too often end up being pitchers like Valverde who I'm not sure you can trust to stick. I want saves too, but spending a quarter of your budget on the same pitcher who couldn't even last two months in the role for the Tigers last year is crazy to me. Rodriguez may not have the same claim to the role, but I trust he knows what to do with it.
Matt Lindstrom, RP, White Sox: I bid $4. The winner bid $21. Unlike Jose Valverde, who I merely suspect will struggle in the closer role, Lindstrom already has. The White Sox don't have many alternatives with Nate Jones on the DL, so he at least has a chance to recover and accumulate a decent number of saves. You'll never feel confident with him, though. In a best-case scenario, he's this year's Kevin Gregg, who I'm still kind of amazed lasted so long for the Cubs last year. Ask yourself this: Where is he now?
Lucas Duda, 1B/OF, Mets: I won with a $4 bid. When the Mets named Duda their starting first baseman Friday and he responded with two home runs, I assumed we'd be in for a bidding war in this league. But then Ike Davis hit a walk-off grand slam Saturday and got the start Sunday, doing nothing to clarify the situation. I think the Mets clearly prefer Duda and just want to keep Davis from losing too much trade value. Power is so in demand in Rotisserie leagues that I'm willing to invest in just the prospect of it. Maybe Duda is another Chris Carter, or maybe he's even better.
Jonathan Broxton, RP, Reds: I bid $0. The winner bid $6. I trust Broxton about on the level of Valverde and Lindstrom, which means I halfway expect him to lose his job before Aroldis Chapman returns. But I think the $6 someone spent on him is far more sensible than the mega dollars those other owners spent on Valverde and Lindstrom. After all, he's stepping into the role as early as this week.
Mike Olt, 1B/3B, Cubs: I won with a $0 bid. Again, power is always in demand in Rotisserie leagues, so I'll invest in it whenever I get the chance. Olt, judging from his pedigree and minor-league track record, has legitimate 30-homer potential if he can make consistent enough contact to hold down an everyday role. He could be another Carter-type player -- and obviously, too many of those will ruin your batting average -- but I'm just accumulating talent right now. I can sort out which of it I actually intend to use later.
Chris Colabello, Casey McGehee, Cody Asche and Trevor Plouffe: I bid $0. None of the bids went through. I had some concerns about Ryan Zimmerman at the time, which explains all the third basemen. In a 12-team league, I wouldn't trust McGehee, Asche or Plouffe to contribute worthwhile numbers. The same is true for Colabello, but I'm intrigued enough by his minor-league numbers combined with his hot start to wonder if I made the right choice picking Olt instead. As I mentioned on his player page, we haven't seen enough of Colabello in the majors to fairly assess his abilities.