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NFBC Main Event Tracker: Week 3 review

Rotoworld Baseball Add, Hold, Drop: Pick up Kopech
Eric Samulski highlights Michael Kopech as a high performer on a bad White Sox team as an add while making the case to cut bait on the Rangers' Josh Jung.

Main Event Tracker: Week 3 review

Welcome back! By now, I hope that you’ve been following along since the start of the series, but if you haven’t you should check out the first three installments. The first one (which can be found here) breaks down the pre-draft preparation and the actual assembling of this fine squad that we’re going to track all season. The second article (here) takes a look at the first half-week of games, lineup decisions, planning and FAAB process. Last week’s (here) details the heartbreak that we experienced in week two.

We’re not here to live in the past though, it’s onward and upward toward hanging a championship banner in 2024.

Looking back at the few decisions that we had up in the air heading into Week 3, we wound up going with Erick Fedde over Ryan Feltner for the final spot in the rotation. On the hitting side, we rolled out Luis Rengifo over Javier Baez for the entire week, played Jake Fraley for the whole week between outfield and utility and mixed and matched with the rest. Let’s check out how we did.

Listen to the Rotoworld Baseball Show for the latest player news, waiver claims, roster advice and more from our experts all season long. Click here or download it wherever you get your podcasts.

Hitter Review

Week 3 Hitting.png

To be completely honest, it looked as though this week was going to be a major step in the wrong direction on offense – leading to a big tumble down the standings. Somehow though, this squad managed to pull everything together on Sunday afternoon, crushing six homers, stealing six bases and filling up the box score to salvage what we could toward our targets.

The first thing that you’ll notice is that we almost hit our target of 300 at-bats for the week. If you can manage to keep tracking toward that number, you should keep yourself in the game for the most part. Even with the monster day on Sunday, we still finished a couple of homers short of our goal in that category. We also came up 6.5 RBI short of our target there again – and are now 14.8 RBI behind the yearly total that we’re tracking to. It’s been called out every week since the beginning, but once again that category looks to be a real concern. We did manage to just barely eke out our targets in runs and stolen bases, while falling woefully short in batting average.

One encouraging sign is that the eight stolen bases that we did accrue were a full team effort, and none of them came from Jarren Duran, who had been keeping us afloat in the category through the first week-and-a-half.

William Contreras was an absolute monster and carried the team offensively. He hit .360 with nine runs scored, two long balls, seven RBI and a stolen base for good measure. What an absolute stud.

Tyler O’Neill socked another couple of dingers while Jose Ramirez left the yard twice as well. Mark Canha made it into our lineup for the weekend, going deep and driving in four runs despite a poor batting average. Ezequiel Tovar had a jack and a bag and has been terrific in the early going. Jorge Polanco showed some signs of life finally with a two-run bomb on Sunday. Joey Gallo only had two hits on the week, but one of them left the yard. Jake Fraley only had 12 at-bats, but he made the most of them with a whopping six runs scored, two RBI and three stolen bases (all on Sunday). Rengifo finally functioned as an actual starter for the Angels and he nabbed a pair of bases while driving in three runs throughout the week.

On the other side of the coin, there’s some major concerns here. Paul Goldschmidt has been pretty awful since his home run to start the season, hitting .182 with just one run scored and one RBI on the week. It gets worse than that though. J.D. Davis (week one’s major FAAB acquisition), has looked completely lost at the plate and doesn’t have an RBI over the last two weeks. He went hitless in 10 at-bats in our lineup this week and left Sunday’s game with a groin injury. He could potentially be a drop.

The biggest issue though, has been Jose Abreu. Looking like a complete shell of his former self, the 37-year-old has been the worst hitter in baseball through 2.5 weeks. He’s hitting a cringe-inducing .111/.180/.133 with one RBI and a 14/2 K/BB ratio. The Astros have already dropped him down to the eighth spot in the lineup, the only other place he can go is to the bench – or to the curb. He needs to be replaced, even if he eventually turns things around, we can’t suffer through this any longer.

Pitching Review

Week 3 Pitching.png

We knew that life was going to be much tougher on the pitching side of the ledger without Shane Bieber in the mix, and that certainly played out in Week 3.

One of our best pitchers for the week was unheralded FAAB acquisition Trevor Williams who was brilliant over his two starts. He secured one of our two victories on the week, piled up nine strikeouts and posted solid ratios. Williams should even have won his second start on Sunday – he exited with two men on in the sixth inning with a 6-1 lead, but the Nationals’ bullpen allowed both inherited runners – and four additional runs to score to lose it for him.

Corbin Burnes pitched like the ace that we need him to be, securing a victory and punching out 11 batters with terrific ratios over his two starts. Can’t really argue with that.

Our other streaming FAAB pickup, Martin Perez, did more than we could have hoped for in his lone outing against the Tigers – hurling eight innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts. Unfortunately, David Bednar imploded in the ninth inning there and wiped away his victory.

After Burnes and the streamers though, it gets dicey. We actually should have rolled out the other streamer that we added – Ryan Feltner – who earned a victory against the Blue Jays, allowing two runs and punching out four in his five innings of work. Instead, we used Erick Fedde in that spot, who wound up blowing a 5-0 lead and hurting our ratios.

Michael Wacha and Ryan Pepiot weren’t any better in their respective single starts, allowing a combined nine runs over 11 innings while striking out 10. Kutter Crawford actually pitched well in his start – piling up six strikeouts over five scoreless innings, but he too was denied a victory when his bullpen imploded after his exit.

Josh Hader went another week without seeing a save chance and still has just one on the season. Alexis Diaz converted his lone save chance on the week, bringing our team total on the year to three. No reason to be concerned here, but eventually we need to make up ground in the category.

Even with all of the turmoil and the ragtag bunch that we trotted out there in Week 3, it wasn’t all terrible in tracking toward our targets. We still managed to hit our ratio goals, while falling five strikeouts, two wins and two saves short.

Overall when looking at the season totals through 2.5 weeks, we still have a cushion of 23.3 strikeouts and one win, while we’re already almost five saves behind the pace and have ground to make up in ERA. The WHIP is still in great shape.


It’s hard to know where to even begin right now. We have several gaping holes on offense in which none of the players that we’re trotting out there are really doing anything. The problem is that the waiver wire is picked so clean that there’s not much out there. I can’t stomach another week from Jose Abreu and it’s only a matter of time before the Astros call up Joey Loperfido to steal his playing time. I’m concerned about the struggles of J.D. Davis and would like to upgrade there as well, even if it’s only on a week-to-week basis. Joey Meneses hasn’t had any meaningful contributions this season, and even when he’s going right he’s not a major asset in the power department – plus he’s only utility eligible. He’s on the chopping block as well. As bad as Javier Baez is, he at least provides coverage for Rengifo at middle infield, and could even play and allow us to slide Rengifo over to corner in some instances that make sense. Plus, he did steal a base and hit his first home run of the season on our bench this week, so maybe there’s still some hope there?

The real dilemma is that the best available hitters on the free agent market are outfielders. Jurickson Profar plays everyday in the middle of the Padres’ lineup and is hitting over .310 with a couple of homers and 13 RBI on the season. It may not look like terrific production, but stacked up against what we’ve been getting from a few of those spots, it looks awfully intriguing. The same can be said for Edward Olivares. He has some of the best exit velocity numbers in all of baseball and has already slugged three home runs for the Pirates this season. I don’t necessarily want to add another pair of outfielders, but we’ll be in the mix for both of them hopefully.

Beyond those two, I also have mild interest in Jesse Winker. I know that I’ve been far too invested in the Nationals’ lineup this season, already cycling through Gallo, Meneses and Trey Lipscomb, but Winker is playing everyday in the middle of the lineup – even against left-handers – and has shown signs of life at the plate. He’s hitting .341/.482/.500 with a homer, three RBI and has even chipped in a pair of stolen bases already on a Nationals team that has been running like wild. Seems like he could add something to the squad.

I also have some interest in Josh Rojas, who is the Mariners’ regular third baseman against right-handed pitching. They get four right-handers during the upcoming week, though two of them are during a weekend series at Coors Field. He’s got 2B/3B eligibility and could wind up being a useful piece as well.

I also have some interest in Tommy Pham who reportedly inked a minor league deal with the White Sox on Sunday. The issue is that he’ll probably need a week or two of minor league at-bats before he’s ready to join the team.

On the pitching side, the available names are even less intriguing for the most part. One name that does stand out though is Kirby Yates. I wasn’t planning to pay anything for saves after investing such early draft capital into the position with Hader and Diaz, but with only three saves through 2.5 weeks it’s becoming clear that we’ll need to cycle in a third at some point if possible. Rangers’ skipper Bruce Bochy removed the struggling Jose Leclerc from the closer’s role this week, but the team didn’t have another save chance over the final five days to give us an idea on who the next man up is. The closest we got was in a 12-8 victory where David Robertson worked the eighth and Yates finished it out. Yates was also warming for the ninth inning on two other occasions. I think he’s going to be the guy there, and as long as he stays healthy he could run with the gig. We’ll put in a real bid there, but it still might not be enough.

Aside from that, it’s decent single starts from Wade Miley and Jose Quintana – each of whom would double the following week. Jose Butto looked terrific on Sunday, but he gets a brutal start at the Dodgers next week and probably shouldn’t be used for that one. Jose Soriano has some strikeout upside but a very tough double at the Rays and at the Reds. Cole Irvin gets a tough double as well, though the Orioles could win him one of those games and we need strikeouts.

In the end, we’ll probably wind up spending too much on players that we don’t really want, but probably make our team incrementally better.

FAAB Review

Alright, let’s take a look and see what gifts are under the tree for our roster this week. The biggest bid of the week ended up being Jose Butto, who went for $186 with a runner-up bid of $48. We had interest in Butto, but were nowhere near that same area, coming in significantly under the runner-up bid.

We were in the right area for Kirby Yates, but came up just short. The winning bid ended up at $127 and we were the runner-up at $107. It’s a bit disappointing, but I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to win that one, so I can live with it. Could end up being a major win for that manager if Yates takes the job and runs with it, but I couldn’t justify going any higher with two solid closers already on the roster.

The next four players off the board we didn’t have interest in: David Hamilton $118 ($63), Ryan Weathers $99 ($7), Ivan Herrera $48 ($13) and Jameson Taillon $46 ($16).

We did have interest in Jesse Winker, thinking that we could probably sneak him by for a couple of bucks, but it appears as though everyone was paying attention to his strong week. He went for $42 ($31).

I hate to admit that I panicked at the very last minute and upped my bid on Jurickson Profar. Watching Sunday Night Baseball as the minutes ticked down toward 10 PM EST, Profar came up to bat with the bases loaded. The analysts highlighted his absurd hard-hit percentage this season and he smacked a three-run double off the wall in center field. That caused me to up my bid from $27 to $38 to give me a better shot at him. Ultimately, $27 would have been enough as the runner-up bid was only $22. That’s $11 I’ll never get back. Hopefully it will be worth it. Abreu was the drop on that one – the first of five additions for the week.

We had interest in Jose Quintana, but didn’t get to the same level that he went for $32 ($18). We did wind up adding both of our top two outfield targets, winning Edward Olivares with a much tighter spread at $22 ($20). We thank Joey Meneses for his time served.

Tommy Pham wound up going higher than I anticipated at $18 ($14), but I don’t think I could have made that work after adding Profar and Olivares to the mix already. Legendary NFBC competitor Phil Dussault got Jose Soriano from us with a bid of $14 to our runner-up mark of $6.

Our three remaining winning bids were all unopposed, with Wade Miley ($9), Cole Irvin ($4) and Josh Rojas ($4). Miley will take on the Padres on Tuesday and could be an option in that start, but I’m also interested in his double the following week at the Pirates and vs. the Yankees. Cole Irvin, on the other hand, will probably be used for his double this week – vs. the Twins and at the Royals. Rojas brings added flexibility to the roster as he can cover middle and corner, and he gets a weekend series with a couple of right-handers at Coors Field.

Interesting drops around the league this week include Robert Stephenson, Abner Uribe, Max Kepler, Tyler Freeman and Brandon Lowe. Four players who had been rostered in 100% of Main Event leagues were dropped this period – Uribe, Lowe, Tyler Wells and our drop of J.D. Davis.

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead to next week, what do we have in store for this squad? Taking a gander at the hitting decisions for the first half of the week, it looks relatively straightforward at the top. Both Contreras brothers are locked in, Goldschmidt, Polanco, Tovar and Ramirez never leave the lineup while Randy Arozarena, O’Neill and Duran are every-week plays in the outfield. That once again leaves us with five spots – two in the outfield, corner infielder, middle infielder and utility. Let’s dive in.

For the outfield, Jake Fraley has been on a roll and gets three right-handers in the first half of the week. It’s three tough right-handers (Logan Gilbert, George Kirby and Bryce Miller), but he almost has to be in there. Mark Canha gets four games against the Rangers. Jarred Kelenic gets three at the Astros, though all of them are against right-handers as well. Profar will get three games against the Brewers in Milwaukee, drawing Joe Ross, Wade Miley and Freddy Peralta. I don’t hate that either. Oliveras gets three games as well – his are against the Mets in New York and taking on Adrian Houser, Jose Quintana and Luis Severino. Nothing terrifying there either.

Perhaps it’s just the euphoria of winning a couple of FAAB bids, but on paper it at least feels like I have much better options than I’ve had the past couple of weeks at this spot at least. I would honestly be fine rolling out any of these five options – and can start three of them between the two OF spots and utility. It may wind up coming down to who’s actually in Monday’s lineup, but I don’t think I can really go wrong here.

It gets tougher for the other two spots. At corner infield we’re left with the options of Joey Gallo getting three right-handers from the Dodgers (including Tyler Glasnow and Yoshinobu Yamamoto) and Josh Rojas drawing three against the Reds (two right-handers in Frankie Montas and Hunter Greene. There’s a third option as well, which would involve shifting Rengifo over to the CI spot and playing Javier Baez at shortstop for four games against the Rangers.

Looking at things logically, given Gallo’s recent struggles and the fact that Rojas is only likely to play two games, I think I’m leaning the Baez/Rengifo route for those two spots. I certainly don’t feel as good about it as I do about the outfield, but that seems like making the best of a bad situation here.

On the pitching front, there aren’t as many options to choose from. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there’s currently five arms on the team that are going to be in the lineup regardless of matchup. Right now that’s Corbin Burnes (at the Royals), Kutter Crawford (vs. Guardians and at Pirates), Ryan Pepiot (vs. Angels) and the two closers. Pepiot may eventually need to be evaluated, but for now we’re trying to keep the faith.

That leaves us with four spots remaining that need to be filled. Let’s check out the options. Michael Wacha gets a single start, but it’s against the White Sox in Chicago. The right-hander took on the White Sox in his second start and struck out eight batters over seven scoreless innings on his way to a victory. Think he has to be in there.

Erick Fedde is much less of a sure thing. He plays with the worst offense in the league providing support for him, which is going to limit his chances to win games. He draws a decent matchup against the Royals (Brady Singer), but I don’t think that’s enough to put him over the edge. At least not yet. Martin Perez was terrific in his single that we streamed last week, but we also picked him up to roll his double starts for this week – at the Mets and vs. the Red Sox. There’s always a chance that he’ll turn into a pumpkin once again and inflicts ratio damage, but we have to roll him out there to find out – especially with where the staff is at right now.

So five automatic, Wacha and Perez gets us to seven. What else is in the armory? We picked up Wade Miley this week, and he draws a decent matchup against the Padres (Dylan Cease) in Milwaukee. We’re more interested in using him next week, but he can probably gut out five innings with decent ratios and a shot at a win. It’s not the ideal circumstance, but maybe. As mentioned in the FAAB write-up above, the only reason to pick up Cole Irvin was to use his double (vs. Twins, at Royals), so he has to get a spot. That’s eight.

Justin Verlander is tentatively scheduled to make his season debut against the Nationals over the weekend. He could have a limited pitch count in his first start back, and there’s always a possibility that the Astros decide to give him one additional rehab start to get right before throwing him to the wolves. Given our current options though, I’d probably lean toward a rusty 41-year-old Verlander against the Nationals instead of Fedde or Miley. Hopefully we’ll get some clarity regarding his status before rosters lock on Monday.

Where we Stand

For most of the week, things were trending in a very bad direction. Pitching fell short of its targets and the offense was digging a massive hole that would have been difficult to climb out of. Fortunately, the huge day from the bats on Sunday salvaged the week and made it about neutral overall.

Despite the struggles from several key spots on offense, the loss of Shane Bieber, the major deficiency in saves and the fact that the pitching staff is being held together by FAAB and duct tape, we finish Week 3 still holding onto first place in our 15-team Main Event league. We’re currently just 0.5 points ahead of second place and 13.5 points clear of third place.

Naturally, we have tumbled in the overall standings after a mediocre week and will enter Week 4 in 160th place out of 855 total teams in the competition.

I feel much better about the offense as a whole though after Sunday’s FAAB additions and am cautiously optimistic that a return from Verlander could wind up stabilizing our rotation. The hope is that by next week we won’t need to be as active in FAAB and can start to conserve a bit of our budget that we’ve blown through the first three weeks. We currently have $810 of our $1000 FAAB budget remaining.

As always, I would love to hear your feedback on what you think of the article, the team, my poor decision making – anything. Just drop me a line on X (@DaveShovein) and I would be happy to discuss.