Fantasy Baseball Today

Weekly FAAB check-in: Who needs a third baseman?

By Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer

Ryan Zimmerman's thumb injury has Fantasy owners scrambling for replacements at third base. (USATSI)
Ryan Zimmerman's thumb injury has Fantasy owners scrambling for replacements at third base. (USATSI)

You may recall last week, when I first introduced the weekly FAAB check-in and explained why weekly FAAB deserves its own separate analysis, I threw a few $0 bids at some of the flavor-of-the-week third basemen fearing something was wrong with Ryan Zimmerman's shoulder.

Turns out his thumb would be the real issue.

Dustin Pedroia's wrist also makes him too risky to start in the short-term, and as luck would have it, I happen to own both in this particular league. Fortunately, I found out just before the next round of FAAB bidding (and of course, the lineup deadline), but unfortunately, I had to rely on FAAB bidding to meet my needs at those positions (since those $0 bids last time were never completed).

Leave it to weekly FAAB to make an already unfortunate situation all the more stressful. When you have only that one opportunity to find a replacement in a given week, you're liable to overpay just to make sure you don't get shut out.

As a result, most of my claims this week were needs-based, which isn't quite as fulfilling as picking up a player I like.

Charlie Blackmon, OF, Rockies: I bid $9 (of $100). The winner bid $10. Really? A dollar short? That's all it would have taken to get what was clearly the best available hitter this week? Granted, dollars are precious in a weekly FAAB league, and you wouldn't want to throw them away outbidding everyone by four or five for a pet pickup. But would I really miss that dollar come September, when I'm choosing between Darren O'Day and Alexi Ogando for a little ERA and WHIP help? True, Blackmon could fall flat on his face in the weeks ahead, but looking over his minor-league numbers, I'm beginning to buy into him as sort of a poor man's Adam Eaton, offering similar power but with less speed and on-base ability. I can live without him, but in a five-outfielder league, I'd say he's must-own.

Chris Owings, SS, Diamondbacks: I won with a $6 bid. I had put in a claim for Owings even before the Pedroia injury, seeing him as the only middle infielder worth adding off the waiver wire, but then with the Pedroia news, I upped that bid from $0 to an I-can't-afford-to-lose-this-one $6. Like I said, he was the only middle infielder worth adding, so it's not like I had a backup plan. I don't see him as a stud in waiting or anything, but considering he has at least Neil Walker-type power, the fact he's already stolen four bases leads me to believe he'll be a useful piece in Rotisserie leagues.

Mark Reynolds, 1B/3B, Brewers: I won with a $3 bid. I wasn't quite as desperate for a third baseman as a middle infielder since I picked up Mike Olt last week, but having since come to realize Olt doesn't play every day, splitting his at-bats with Luis Valbuena, I figured I could stand to upgrade. As a streaky player who might not hit much better than .220, Reynolds is frustrating to own, but now that he seems to have overtaken Lyle Overbay for full-time at-bats, he's one of the few available players who can deliver home runs in bunches. The trick is not shying away from him during his slumps, but seeing as he's my only choice to play third base until Zimmerman gets back, I don't anticipate it being a problem.

Archie Bradley, SP, Diamondbacks: I won with a $0 bid. Is nobody seeing what I'm seeing? After already replacing Randall Delgado with Josh Collmenter, a pitcher who they were previously unwilling to trust as more than a spot starter, they're about ready to pull the plug on Trevor Cahill as well. Though Mike Bolsinger seems like their first choice to replace him, he doesn't inspire much confidence long-term. Factor in Brandon McCarthy's injury history and Bronson Arroyo's bad back, and Bradley could arrive in short order. He may not be as good as Gerrit Cole was last year, but I'd like to have him stashed away just for the possibility. He certainly has that kind of potential as the game's top pitching prospect.

Jason Vargas, Jake Odorizzi and Brandon Morrow: I bid $0. None of the bids went through. Now that I have so many other players on the DL, I thought it wouldn't hurt to give up Chad Billingsley for someone who can help me right now. I prioritized them in this order, knowing Vargas will work in nothing but pitcher's parks, where he tends to thrive, for the next couple months, but in a Rotisserie league, I'm wondering if I would have been better off gambling on Morrow and his strikeout potential. I ended claiming Bradley instead, which undermined my goal of getting someone to help right now, but that just shows the importance of stashing him right now.

Shawn Kelley, RP, Yankees: I bid $0. The winner bid $22. I put in my bid for Kelley fully knowing I wouldn't win him, but I still didn't conceive him going for so much. People are crazy for closers in this league, which I can sort of understand for the ones that have some hope of keeping the job long-term, but David Robertson should be back by the start of next week. Are a couple saves from Kelley really worth one-fourth of your FAAB budget? For what it's worth, Luke Gregerson went for $15, and Edward Mujica went for $11. I didn't even give them the time of day. Both are way too prospective for me.

The guy who added Gregerson also dropped Jim Johnson. Talk about putting your eggs in one basket. Ultimately, I think Johnson reclaims the closer role in Oakland. As long as it doesn't happen in the next seven days, next Sunday could be my chance to claim him on the cheap.

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