Week 24 Quick Grades (2021 Fantasy Baseball)
Greetings, friends, and welcome to Week 24 of the Fantasy Baseball Quick Grades series. We’re still here. We’re still going. I’m still spending several hours a week coming up with these grades, and you’re still reading them. That either means we’re all nuts or something is working. We’ve had some BIG hits the last couple of weeks, with Frank Schwindel two weeks ago and then Brandon Belt last week. Let’s see if we can keep that momentum going, especially for those of you who are in head-to-head playoffs or championship matchups.
I went over how the grades for this series are calculated in Week 1, and I’ll link to that breakdown every week rather than filling this space with a lengthy explanation every time. If you’re interested in knowing my process or just want to talk baseball, feel free to reach out on Twitter @mikeMaher. I reply to Tweets, and my DMs are open. Here’s a link to the Week 1 piece with the full Quick Grades breakdown:
Now, let’s get to the Week 24 grades and notes.
Week 24 Hitter Grades
Note: This table is multiple pages (see the button on the top right) and is sortable and searchable, so feel free to look around!
- The Astros, Rays, Giants, Padres, Yankees, Twins, and Rangers all play seven games this week. As we'll see below, not all of those teams have
- Of those teams, the Astros have the best Matchups grade, followed by the Yankees.
- The Brewers have the highest Matchups grade of the week, followed by the aforementioned Astros, the Marlins, and the A's.
Fades of the Week
- The Brewers, however, are the only team to play just five games this week. That puts fantasy managers in a tough position to decide between matchups and the total number of games.
- The Cardinals have the lowest Matchups grade of the week, followed by the Twins and Rangers.
- When we started up this series back at the beginning of the season, I never imagined we would see a week where Cody Bellinger had the lowest grade out of more than 220 players. But here we are. Bellinger's 44.25 is dead last.
- The 90s for this week: Kyle Tucker, Jose Ramirez, Bryce Harper, Bo Bichette, Marcus Semien, and Juan Soto.
- Jonathan Villar has been on quite a run, but he is still available in nearly 40% of leagues. He grades out as an 88.28 this week, though this Matchups grade is only 15.00 (right around average).
- Mark Canha has a grade of 87.40 and a Matchup grade of 22.50 and is available in more than 25% of leagues.
- Randy Arozarena was activated from the paternity list on Saturday and should be back in all lineups next week.
Week 24 Pitcher Grades
Below, you'll see a grid of probable starters, their matchups, and their grades. The grade is on a scale of 0-100, and here's what those numbers mean.
These grades assume you are in 10 leagues of varying size and format, with a good mix of shallow, deeper, scoring, and roster/lineup sizes. The score for all of these players corresponds to how many leagues I would start a pitcher in if I had him in every league. So, a pitcher with a score of 100 means I would start him in all 10 leagues. A pitcher with a score of 50 means I would start him in five leagues. Zero, zero leagues. Got it? Great.
Note: The starters below are grouped alphabetically by team and schedule, and the table is multiple pages to keep the length manageable (you can click to see the second page on the top right).
- Clayton Kershaw returns from the injured list and is projected to make two starts next week. Kershaw hasn't started since early July and would have likely received a zero for the week if not for his two-start status. But the extra start means we can live with him only potentially lasting four innings in the first start.
- Tony Gonsolin only threw three innings and 55 pitches in his first start back a few days ago, so it's a roll of the dice for him to pitch five innings and qualify for a win next week.
- Jesus Luzardo has been much better over his last three starts, allowing five earned runs over 17 1/3 innings. But I still don't want to trust him in most of my leagues, especially H2H matchups where I am in the playoffs or the championship. Roll the dice in roto if you need innings, but that is it.
- My projections called for Eric Lauer to be a 40, but I overrode the projections and bumped him up to a 60. Over his last 14 innings, he has allowed just one earned run. And those two starts came against the Giants and the Phillies. While not the most overpowering pitcher, he has quietly pitched to a 3.18 ERA through 96 1/3 innings this season. With a matchup against Detroit, I'm banking on another strong performance.
- What do we do with Joe Ryan? He's a former seventh-round pick with solid numbers through his few years in the minor leagues. He is one of those prospects who "disappeared" in 2020, when we didn't get a minor league season. He pitched for Tampa's A, High-A, and Double-A affiliates in 2019 and posted promising numbers. He was sent to the Twins in the Nelson Cruz trade this summer, and he quickly received the call to join the big league roster after making just two appearances in Triple-A. Through 12 innings, he has a 2.25 ERA, 0.42 WHIP, and nine strikeouts through 12 innings. Do we trust him? I'm not sure. But I do know this: unlike many young starters, he doesn't walk people. He posts solid strikeout numbers, but he isn't one of those plus-stuff young arms who walks four batters per nine innings. I'm a little scared to start a young pitcher like this in the H2H playoffs, but he has a favorable matchup against Cleveland this week, so I'm willing to take the risk.
That's it for this week. Again, if you have any questions, feedback, or requests, hit me up on Twitter!
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Mike Maher is an editor and featured writer at FantasyPros and BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive, follow him on Twitter @MikeMaher, and visit his Philadelphia Eagles blog, The Birds Blitz.