NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

This article is part of our NL FAAB Factor series.

We have two goals for this article: 

1. Identify likely free agents and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.

2. Estimate how much of your $100 starting free-agent budget you should bid on them.

Bids in general are best guesstimates. With so much uncertainty at least initially, those values may be even greater estimates than usual. The FAAB chart below lets users easily see at a glance how certain players stack up against others and how much they should command in a variety of formats.

The chart, which is sortable by column (click on the header), include a very basic "player grade" column. This serves as a reflection of a player's skills and role on an A-E scale. An "A" grade is reserved for a high-impact prospect stepping into an everyday role.

If you have questions on players, I'm happy to provide my thoughts in the comments.

PLAYERTEAMPOSGRADE12-Team Mixed $15-Team Mixed $NL-Only $
Tyler BeedeSFSPENo05
Logan WebbSFSPE017 (future spec bid)
Madison BumgarnerAZSPD2711 (same early return bid)
Josiah GrayLASPB2711 (upped early spec bid)
Jeff HoffmanCINSPENo05 (same bid as prior)
Kwang Hyun KimSTLSPD12RosteredRostered
Kyle MullerATLSPC2711
David PriceLASPD3914 (based on spot in starting rotation)
Taylor WidenerAZSPD/E1

We have two goals for this article: 

1. Identify likely free agents and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.

2. Estimate how much of your $100 starting free-agent budget you should bid on them.

Bids in general are best guesstimates. With so much uncertainty at least initially, those values may be even greater estimates than usual. The FAAB chart below lets users easily see at a glance how certain players stack up against others and how much they should command in a variety of formats.

The chart, which is sortable by column (click on the header), include a very basic "player grade" column. This serves as a reflection of a player's skills and role on an A-E scale. An "A" grade is reserved for a high-impact prospect stepping into an everyday role.

If you have questions on players, I'm happy to provide my thoughts in the comments.

PLAYERTEAMPOSGRADE12-Team Mixed $15-Team Mixed $NL-Only $
Tyler BeedeSFSPENo05
Logan WebbSFSPE017 (future spec bid)
Madison BumgarnerAZSPD2711 (same early return bid)
Josiah GrayLASPB2711 (upped early spec bid)
Jeff HoffmanCINSPENo05 (same bid as prior)
Kwang Hyun KimSTLSPD12RosteredRostered
Kyle MullerATLSPC2711
David PriceLASPD3914 (based on spot in starting rotation)
Taylor WidenerAZSPD/E147
Anthony BenderMIARPD2711
Heath HembreeCINRPD71422 (upped bid from prior)
Michael LorenzenCINRPD/E016
Joey BartSFCB3914 (up if Posey sidelined long-term)
Curt CasaliSFCENoNo5
Robinson ChirinosCHIRPENoNo4
Chadwick TrompSFRPENoNo4
Jakson ReetzWASRPENoNo4
Jonathan LucroyATLCE159
Kevan SmithATLCE015
Austin NolaSDCC/D3914
Matt AdamsCOL1BENoNo5
John NogowskiPIT1BD159
Rowdy TellezMIL1BD/E147
Rodolfo CastroPIT2BENoNo5
Tommy La StellaSF2BE027 (early spec return bid)
Brian AndersonMIA3BC51116 (early spec return bid)
J.D. DavisNYM3BC12 (lowered bid)RosteredRostered
Evan LongoriaSF3BC71422 (upped return stash bid)
Orlando ArciaATLSSD159
Paul DeJongSTLSSC816Rostered
Lorenzo CainMILOFD2711 (same bid as prior)
Kole CalhounAZOFC/D51118
Stuart FairchildAZSSE017
Lars NootbaarSTLSSENoNo4
Brian O'GradySDOFENoNo4
Zach ReksLAOFENoNo4
Cole TuckerPITOFENoNo4
Cristian PacheATLOFB159 (spec call up bid)
Drew WatersATLOFB/C2711 (spec call up bid)
AJ PollockLADOFC1525Rostered

STARTING PITCHER

Tyler Beede/Logan Webb, Giants: Beede, who was on the 60-day IL, was activated Tuesday. Working his way back from Tommy John surgery, he began his minor-league rehab May 6 and totaled 12 appearances with a 6.56 ERA and 40:32 K:BB across 35.2 innings. Beede will likely be used out of the bullpen as he was in his first appearance Saturday where he allowed three runs on two hits while striking out two in one inning, but he could make the occasional spot start. Webb, on the Injured List since Jun. 3 with a strained right shoulder, made just one rehab start throwing 26 pitches over two innings at Triple-A Sacramento. He was to make several more, but was reinstated from the 10-day injured list ahead of his Friday start against the Nationals. Webb tossed three scoreless innings while giving up one hit while striking out four, but was sent down Saturday. The plan is for him get some work in the minors during the All-Star break, as he's still building up his innings load following the injury. It's unclear if Webb will pitch as a starter or reliever when he rejoins the Giants. Beede - 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $5; Webb - 12-team Mixed: $0, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $7 (future spec bid) 

Madison Bumgarner, Diamondbacks: Bumgarner, who left his Jun. 2 start with shoulder inflammation, tossed 55 pitches in three innings in an Arizona Complex League game on Jul. 5 with no ill-effects. That came after a 34-pitch simulated game and 20-pitch bullpen session with his next step a rehab start. Over a six-game stretch between Apr. 18 and May 17, Bumgarner appeared to turn back the clock posting a 1.32 ERA and 0.59 WHIP across 34 innings. But he allowed at least five earned runs over his next three outings, including the start against the Mets he left with the injury. Barring a setback, Mad Bum should be back with the D-Backs later this month. 12-team Mixed: $3, 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11 (same early return bid) 

Josiah Gray, Dodgers: Gray, the Dodgers' top pitching prospect, made one start at Triple-A Oklahoma City before getting shut down with shoulder impingement. He returned to action and threw two innings Sunday before tossing a third frame in the bullpen. Manager Dave Roberts said a little over a week ago that Gray would not be joining the Dodgers' rotation "in the near future", but will be evaluated down the road. With Trevor Bauer's status uncertain and Clayton Kershaw out with a forearm injury, Gray will need to be able to throw five innings and/or 75 pitches to potentially be called up this season, which leaves a window of opportunity. He inched closer to that mark Saturday when he allowed one hit across four scoreless innings while fanning four on53 pitches. Gray - despite just 39.1 innings above A-ball - will see at least a handful of starts in the minors to continue his development before being promoted. If he and his trio of above-average to plus offerings (fastball, slider, changeup) and athleticism prove impressive at Triple-A, he should be up by late-summer and pitch in the bullpen. 12-team Mixed: $2, 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11 (upped early spec bid) 

Jeff Hoffman, Reds: Hoffman, out since May 27 with right shoulder soreness, made a fourth rehab start with Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday. He had gone 10 innings without allowing an earned run during the assignment before surrendering three runs in 5.1 innings. The Reds don't seem to be in a hurry to bring him back or decide whether he'll start or relieve when he does return. Hoffman likely will need one or two more rehab starts before the Reds activate him from the 10-day IL. Cincinnati has yet to determine his role upon returning from the IL, but he would have to settle for bullpen duties if the club opts to keep Vladimir Gutierrez in the rotation. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $5 (same bid as prior) 

Kwang Hyun Kim, Cardinals: Kim, rostered in less than 50 percent of CBS Sports leagues, has been on a major roll lately not allowing more than one run in five of his last six starts and tossing 13 consecutive scoreless innings after keeping the Cubs off the board Saturday. The southpaw has posted a 3.11 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 59:25 K:BB through 72.1 innings to build on his strong finish to 2020. Kim's ERA and FIP are within half a run of each other, boding well to maintain his current success. 12-team Mixed: $12, 15-team Mixed: Rostered; 12-team NL: Rostered

Kyle Muller, Braves: Muller, optioned to the minors after last Sunday's start, will return to the Braves' starting rotation following the All-Star break. He's recorded a 3.45 ERA through 15.2 major-league innings, 14 of which have come in his three starts since moving into the rotation. Muller made seven starts for Triple-A Gwinnett to begin the year posting a 4.90 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and 41:19 K:BB in 31.1 innings. The lefty features a plus mid-90s fastball, though his command of the offering tends to waver as he pushes the velocity. Muller should have a fairly secure spot at least in the short-term with Mike Soroka (Achilles) out for the season, Huascar Ynoa (fractured hand) sidelined until early August and Tucker Davidson (forearm) on the 60-day IL from Jun. 16. 12-team Mixed: $2, 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11

David Price, Dodgers: With Trevor Bauer sidelined indefinitely and Clayton Kershaw (forearm) also out, Price is expected to begin getting stretched out to be able to throw starter innings beginning with Friday's outing. Prior to 2021, he was a full-time starter for 11 straight seasons, but has been used out of the bullpen this year after opting out last year. It will take Price a few appearances to be able to go five innings, at which point Josiah Gray may be an option and Bauer or Kershaw could be back. And with the trade deadline three weeks away, LA could use a prospect or two to acquire a starter. But for now, Price is being targeted to fill the spot and worth a bid due to upside potential. 12-team Mixed: $3, 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14

Taylor Widener, Diamondbacks: Widener, limited to 1.2 innings since Apr. 22 with groin tightness, made his second rehab start last Saturday giving up four runs over four innings High-A Hillsboro while throwing 62 pitches. That was aslight improvement over his first rehab start, where he surrendered five runs and two home runs over 2.2 innings for the ACL D-backs. Widener was a surprising call up Friday, as he was originally expected to need to throw well in a rehab start before returning to the majors. He pitched decently in 4.1 innings against the Dodgers by only allowing one run, but his reward was a trip to the minors Saturday. Widener wouldn't have been able to pitch again until after the All-Star break, so it makes sense he'd be the one demoted to clear a space from Kole Calhoun to return from his hamstring injury - but he could be back in 10 days. Prior to being sidelined, Widener posted a 2.63 ERA (albeit with a 5.01 FIP due to low-BABIP and high-strand rates) in a 24-inning sample. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7

RELIEF PITCHER

Anthony Bender, Marlins: Bender, profiled two weeks ago, gets another mention as he notched his first career save Monday against the Dodgers. The right-hander was given the chance as closer Yimi Garcia pitched each of the previous two days and surrendered four runs Sunday. The rookie has forced himself into a high-leverage role with a 1.59 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 38:7 K:BB through his first 28.1 innings in the majors. Should Garcia be out of the picture for any significant length of time or dealt at the trade deadline, Bender may well take over the ninth inning for the Marlins ahead of Dylan Floro or Anthony Bass. 12-team Mixed: $2, 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11 

Heath Hembree, Reds: Hembree, profiled last week, looks fairly ensconced as the Reds' closer of the present with three saves this past week and five in his last six appearances - the sixth of which was a blown save - and shows he's assumed the mantle as the main man in the ninth. Amir Garrett remains in the mix while Lucas Sims (elbow) and Tejay Antone (forearm) won't be back until at least the end of the month. On the season, Hembree has posted a 4.80 ERA thanks to eight homers allowed in 29 innings, but his 50:11 K:BB highlights how dominant he can be when everything is clicking, which was the case his first seven outings of 2021. 12-team Mixed: $7; 15-team Mixed: $14; 12-team NL: $22 (upped bid from prior)

Michael Lorenzen, Reds:  Lorenzen, out all season with a strained shoulder, won't rejoin the Reds until after the All-Star break. His rehab assignment was transferred to Triple-A Louisville on Monday, but he will need to make a few more appearances before coming back to the majors. Lorenzen has primarily worked out of the bullpen – which will be his role when activated - since making 21 starts as a rookie in 2015, and was a high-leverage piece for the Reds in 2019 with seven saves, 21 holds, a 2.92 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 85:28 K:BB over 83.1 innings. 12-team Mixed: $0, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $6

CATCHER

Joey Bart/Curt Casali, Giants: Buster Posey's left thumb contusion is a bone bruise, so it remains unclear if he'll be forced to miss time after the break. Casali, who is nothing special but had a hot streak two weeks ago, started Friday and originally figured to do the majority of the work behind the plate while Posey is sidelined. Bart, who's been tearing up Triple-A and fully over the foot injury that bothered him last week, was promoted Saturday. He swung a hot bat in 35 games for Sacramento homering eight times while slashing .338/.400/.581. Casali and Chadwick Tromp will be the backups. And if Posey is sidelined beyond the break, Bart is likely to remain the starter. Bart - 12-team Mixed: $3, 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14 (up if Posey sidelined long-term); Casali - 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $5 

Robinson Chirinos/Chadwick Tromp/Jakson Reetz: Backup catchers were promoted/activated in Chicago, San Francisco and Washington. Chirinos, who began the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and slashed .278/.422/.556 with three home runs, six RBI and six runs in 13 games, signed a one-year contract with the Cubs on Monday. The 37-year-old will serve as the backup catcher after Taylor Gushue was designated for assignment in a corresponding move. Tromp was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Monday with Buster Posey first sidelined and then landing on the IL with a thumb injury. He appeared in three games with the major-league club in early June and will back up Joey Bart and Curt Casali with Posey sidelined. Reetz was promoted Saturday to serve as the Nats' backup while Yan Gomes (oblique) and Alex Avila (calf) spend time on the injured list. He appeared in only three Triple-A games and went hitless after hitting .233 in 120 Double-A at-bats earlier this season. All - 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $4

Jonathan Lucroy/Kevan Smith, Braves: Lucroy, who inked a minor-league deal with the Braves in mid-May after he was released by the Nationals in April, was called up by Atlanta on Tuesday. The veteran backstop slashed a less than impressive .220/.351/.330 across 31 games with Triple-A Gwinnett, but he'll still returning to the big leagues with the scuffling William Contreras getting sent down in a corresponding roster move. Lucroy started Wednesday against the Pirates behind the dish and figures to share the catching duties with Smith - who was backing up Contreras -  going forward until Travis d'Arnaud - who has progressed to swinging a bat with both hands - is ready to return in a month or so. Lucroy - 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9; Smith - 12-team Mixed: $0, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $5 

Austin Nola, Padres: It's been a nightmare season for Nola, as injuries have limited him to just 18 games and 59 plate appearances. Since suffering a knee sprain May 24, he began a rehab stint Friday at Triple-A El Paso and should be able to return right around when the Padres resume play Jul. 16. Nola should see substantial time behind the dish when he returns, relegating Victor Caratini to backup duty. If fully healthy, he certainly has starting potential in most fantasy leagues. 12-team Mixed: $3, 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14

FIRST BASE

Matt Adams, Rockies: Adams, out since early June with a right elbow strain, was activated Saturday. He was reported to be nearing a rehab assignment, but the club instead brought him back on the 26-man roster without a trip to the minors. Adams should primarily continue as a pinch hitter while also occasionally spelling C.J. Cron at first base and see time against certain righties or when Cron needs a day off. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $5

John Nogowski, Pirates: Nogowski, dealt to the Pirates last Saturday after he was designated for assignment by the Cardinals, was activated Monday. He will provide depth at first base while Colin Moran (wrist) and Erik Gonzalez (side) are sidelined. Nogowski struggled in his short stint with St. Louis by going 2-for-22, but the Pirates will give him a chance to show his prior minor-league performance wasn't a fluke. In his last full season in 2019, he slashed .295/.413/.476 with 15 homers and a 69:54 BB:K for Triple-A Memphis, though he had struggled this year. Manager Derek Shelton is penciling Nogowski in the lineup – replacing Phillip Evans - almost daily at first base. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9 

Rowdy Tellez, Brewers: The Brewers acquired Tellez from Toronto on Tuesday in exchange for Trevor Richards and Bowden Francis. The lefty slugger joins a first base corps that's without Daniel Vogelbach (hamstring) until August. Keston Hiura's inconsistencies also necessitated the addition of another first baseman, which might allow Tellez to carve out semi-consistent playing time. The Blue Jays optioned him to Triple-A on Jun. 22 after he hit .209 with four homers and eight RBI in 139 at-bats for them this season following a 2020 campaign where he made strides across the board. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7

SECOND BASE

Rodolfo Castro, Pirates: Castro was recalled to the 26-man roster from Double-A Altoona on Tuesday to make his second appearance with the Pirates. He hit 19 homers in 2019 while splitting time between Low-A and High-A and had 11 home runs in 212 plate appearances at Altoona before being promoted. Castro will provide the infield depth following Phillip Evans move to the 7-day concussion IL. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $5 

Tommy La Stella, Giants: La Stella, sidelined since early May due to a hamstring strain, resumed his rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Friday. He suffered a small thumb fracture during a rehab assignment in late June resulting in a two-week shutdown. La Stella could return shortly after the All-Star break as long as he doesn't face any more setbacks. Prior to being sidelined, he had struggled to a .235/.297/.353 line with a homer and five RBI over 25 games this season but was still an important part of the lineup against righties. When back, La Stella should time at second and third. 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $2; 12-team NL: $7 (same spec return bid) 

THIRD BASE

Brian Anderson, Marlins: Anderson, out of the lineup since May 25 with a left shoulder subluxation, has begun taking batting practice on the field while also doing defensive drills. He won't be eligible to come off the 60-day IL until Jul. 27, but could potentially go on a rehab assignment in the next week or so. Anderson was finally starting to heat up at the plate before the injury posting a 1.006 OPS over his last 11 games after struggling to a .556 OPS from the first 24. Once activated, look for him to resume his role as Miami's starting third baseman. 12-team Mixed: $5; 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team-NL: $16 (early spec return bid) 

J.D. Davis, Mets: Davis, out since May 1 with a sprained left hand, will be activated Friday. He began a rehab assignment Jul. 1 and will see additional at-bats at Triple-A Syracuse before being activated. Prior to getting injured, he was slashing .379/.410/.679 with a pair of home runs and seven RBI to make up for his still subpar defense at the hot corner. Despite all the work Davis has done to improve his defense, that side of his game remains a problem. Manager Luis Rojas did not commit to Davis as the starter Saturday but stated he'll be in the mix, which may be due to the fine play of Jonathan Villar. But if Davis is able to rake at the plate like he was, the Mets will live with his defensive issues and possibly replace him late in games. He batted .307/.369/.527 with 22 homers in 2019 while posting a .761 OPS last season. 12-team Mixed: $12 (once healthy, lowered bid); 15-team Mixed: Rostered; 12-team-NL: Rostered 

Evan Longoria, Giants: Longoria, profiled last week, gets another mention as he increased his baseball activity Friday. On the injured list with a sprained left shoulder since Jun. 6, he could return around the third week of July, which is about a week beyond what was originally reported. Prior to being sidelined, Longoria had produced a solid .280/.376/.516 slash line with nine home runs, 30 RBI, 28 runs scored and a stolen base as a near-everyday option at third. Wilmer Flores should continue to receive the bulk of the playing time at the hot corner while Longoria continues to recover, but cede the role when Longoria returns. 12-team Mixed: $7; 15-team Mixed: $14; 12-team NL: $22 (upped return stash bid)

SHORTSTOP 

Orlando Arcia, Braves: The Braves recalled Arcia from Triple-A Gwinnett last Saturday. Acquired from the Marlins in April, he played four games with the Braves before being sent to Triple-A Gwinnett. Arcia slashed .303/.380/.552 with 13 homers, 11 doubles, 28 RBI, 41 runs scored and five stolen bases in 201 at-bats to earn the promotion. Atlanta is using him in left field to potentially fill the offensive void created when Marcell Ozuna (finger) left. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9

Paul DeJong, Cardinals: DeJong missed nearly a month after suffering a non-displaced rib fracture on May 14. Prior to the injury, he was hitting just .177/.277/.371 with seven homers, three doubles, 17 RBI and 18 runs through 33 games. DeJong didn't do much following his return to action, but he seems to finding his way lately. The 27-year-old still carries a disappointing .185/.286/.385 slash line with 28 RBI, 26 runs scored and three stolen bases through 234 plate appearances, but he's hit safely in six of nine in July while going 8-for-27 and homering in back-to-back outings. 12-team Mixed: $8; 15-team Mixed: $16; 12-team NL: Rostered 

OUTFIELD 

Lorenzo Cain, Brewers: Cain reported to Triple-A Nashville to begin a rehab assignment that started Thursday and will run through the All-Star break. Multiple injuries have limited the 35-year-old to 31 games this season. Cain hit .223 with three homers and nine RBI and still appears to be on track for a post-All-Star break activation when Jackie Bradley will likely shift back to his role as a fourth outfielder, though that depends on how Cain hits upon returning. 12-team Mixed: $2: 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11 (same bid at prior) 

Kole Calhoun, Diamondbacks: Calhoun, sidelined since Apr. 27, played in an AZL game Thursday and has recovered sufficiently from his setback to resume game action. The 33-year-old hadn't fully tested his hamstring at game speed, so he figured to require a handful of contests in the minors before rejoining the big-league roster, which was just after the All-Star break. Instead, Calhoun was activated Saturday. He hit well in 12 games prior to the injury posting a .292/.333/.479 slash line and he'll try to recapture that form. With Arizona last in the NL West, the team will likely look to shop Calhoun - who is in the final year of a two-year, $16-million contract that includes a team option for 2022 - at the trade deadline. The 33-year-old hit .292/.333/.479 with two home runs and one steal in 13 games prior to suffering the injury. Calhoun has been a moderate source of power, albeit with a weak batting average. 12-team Mixed: $5; 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $18 

Stuart Fairchild/Lars Nootbaar/Brian O'Grady/Zach Reks/Cole Tucker: The Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Padres, Dodgers and Pirates activated/called up fifth outfielders this week. Fairchild, the 38th overall pick by the Reds in the 2017 first-year player draft, was traded along with Josh VanMeter last summer in exchange for a month of Archie Bradley's services. He offers solid on-base skills along with decent speed, average-to-plus defense in center field and a plus arm that point to a future role in the majors. Fairchild was called up from Triple-A Reno on Tuesday and will see some playing time in a crowded Arizona outfield that already includes David Peralta, Josh Reddick, Pavin Smith, and Josh Rojas. Most of his action will come against lefties considering all four of the aforementioned players bat left-handed. Keep in mind the eventual return of Ketel Marte (hamstring) will add another blocker to playing time for Fairchild. The Cardinals recalled Nootbaar from Triple-A Memphis on Wednesday. He hit .160 with a triple and three RBI in 25 at-bats before being sent down Jul. 1, but posted a .310 average and five homers with Memphis. Nootbaar provides additional outfield depth, but may only be up through the All-Star break. O'Grady was promoted Saturday by the Padres. He once again will give them some outfield depth, but could very well head back down after the break. Reks was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday to make his second appearance in the majors and provides LA outfield depth. The Pirates recalled Tucker from Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday for his second stint in the majors this season. He hasn't hit much in Indianapolis following a .214 average with two homers and 10 RBI in 112 at-bats. Tucker and Rodolfo Castro are filling the roster spots of Gregory Polanco (hip) and Phillip Evans (concussion) and will be depth options. Fairchild - 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $7; All but Fairchild - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $4 

Cristian Pache/Drew Waters, Braves: Ronald Acuna's torn ACL suffered Saturday leaves a huge hole in the Braves' outfield. That could accelerate the timing to promote either Pache or Waters - or both. Pache broke camp with the Braves, but landed on the IL in mid-April with a left groin strain and was sent down after being reinstated. He rejoined the major-league roster after Guillermo Heredia landed on the 10-day IL, but lasted just two weeks before being sidelined with right hamstring tightness. Pache's hitting has always been his worst tool while his center field defense is a game-changing weapon, which should keep him in the lineup if promoted. He does have a little pop in his bat and should start almost daily if he gets the call, with Heredia moving to right. Waters got off to a decent start at Triple-A Gwinnett before slumping, as he is still struggling with making contact and his strikeout rate. The good news is that he's been better of late and plays all three outfield spots, which could give him the edge over Pache. Waters boasts plus speed, above-average power and exit velocities that suggest he could eventually develop plus power, but he needs to make consistent contact to unlock that potential. Pache - 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team-NL: $9; Waters - 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11 (spec call up bid, go higher if called up)

AJ Pollock, Dodgers: Pollock, rostered in only 34 percent of CBS Sports leagues, should see that number rise substantially due to his red-hot play at the plate. He went 4-for-4 with a double, two solo home runs, an additional run and two walks Saturday and has now been on base in 11 of his last 14 plate appearances to raise his OPS from .731 to .851 over three appearances. In the past three weeks, Pollock has blasted seven of his 12 long balls while driving in 13 of his 31 RBI on the season. 12-team Mixed: $22; 15-team Mixed: $33; 12-team NL: Rostered

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jan Levine
Levine covers baseball and hockey for RotoWire. He is responsible for the weekly NL FAAB column for baseball and the Barometer for hockey. In addition to his column writing, he is master of the NHL cheat sheets. In his spare time, he roots for the Mets and Rangers.
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