Skip to main content

20 Things to Watch: Week 1 (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

20 Things to Watch: Week 1 (2023 Fantasy Baseball)
camera20 Things to Watch: Week 1 (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

The season is finally here! Welcome to the 2023 fantasy baseball season!

With the season just beginning, it is important to look at some important storylines and aspects this week to be ahead of the curve and gain an edge on your league mates.

Fantasy Baseball In-Season Management

20 Things to Watch: Week 1

Week 2 Schedule Notes

No teams are scheduled to play just five games. The following teams have 7 games this week:

  • Toronto (at KC, at LAA)
  • Kansas City (vs. TOR, at SF)
  • Atlanta (at STL, vs. SD)
  • Washington (vs. TB, at COL)

Max Fried is fried

Max Fried left his start on Opening Day with a hamstring issue. He will definitely miss his next start and could hit the IL. Whether he goes on the IL or not is a big deal because while he definitely misses the next start, he would lineup for a two-start week versus the Reds at home and the Royals in Kansas City, which is about as good as you can ask for.

Young Braves on Display

With Fried ailing, both Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd are firmly in the rotation for at least a little while. Both had impressive springs and are worth keeping an eye on because if they can carry those over to their first regular season starts, then they could become viable in all formats considering the Braves’ offensive ability to rack up wins.

Outman is In

James Outman went deep for his first career home run in his Major League debut with the Dodgers. Outman was a sneaky gamble in deeper leagues because it was unclear if he would make the Dodgers roster. He not only did, but he also was in the starting lineup on Opening Night and cashed in for Los Angeles. He has power and speed but can struggle with contact at times. If he can make close to league-average contact, he has the skills to be a huge waiver wire pickup.

Caught in a Webb

Logan Webb was a tough-luck loser in the opening matchup versus the Yankees, but what he did was pretty impressive. In his first start, he struck out 12 in the game, which is a really good sign after seeing his strikeout rate last year dip from 26.5% in 2021 to 20.7% last year. If those strikeouts are back, he goes back into the conversation as an elite pitcher.

6-13: Closer Confusion

Fulmer leads the way

Michael Fulmer got the first save of the season for the Chicago Cubs, with his chief rival for the closer role, Brad Boxberger, pitching in the eighth inning of the Cubs opener. If he registers their next save, it seems concrete that he is the guy in Chicago. Fulmer has looked fantastic and has always had nice skills, and if he does get the next chance, he should be the top waiver pickup in all formats where he is still available.

Marlin Mayhem

Who is the Marlins closer? Smart money says it is likely Dylan Floro because of his experience in the role already, but the dark horse is A.J. Puk, who looked unhittable in spring training and was part of a trade in the offseason with the A’s. If the Marlins get a couple of save opportunities and give them to Puk, he could be a second-tier closer very quickly with his skills.

Rockies Road

With Daniel Bard out, the Rockies are in need of a closer. Dinelson Lamet and Brad Hand are the likely favorites to fill the role. The Rockies won’t win a lot of games this year, but Bard did lead the NL in saves last year, so there is some upside here if one of these guys can get the job in Bard’s absence

Is Jimenez the guy?

Dany Jimenez got the first save for the Athletics on Opening Night. However, he has not looked good all spring and did get in in the outing before shutting the door on the Angels. If he gets the next save, then maybe he is the guy, but this could end up being a committee on a team with not a lot of wins, or Trevor May could grab the job and run with it.

Philly Committee

The Phillies have a lot of options at the backend of their bullpen, so it is hard to figure out who their closer could be or if it will be a straight committee. It is important to watch and see if anyone gets back-to-back opportunities because the Phillies are a good team, and whoever emerges from Seranthony Dominguez, Craig Kimbrel, Jose Alvarado, and Gregory Soto could be a monster for saves. However, chances are that this is a frustrating committee.

Robertson leads the way?

David Robertson got the first save chance as expected and was able to close out the Marlins, but the Mets were unwilling to name him the closer before the start of the series, making it possible that they will share the duties with Robertson and Adam Ottavino. If Robertson gets the next save as well, maybe he is the guy, but it is something to watch.

Reynaldo Over Graveman?

Reynaldo Lopez got the first save for the White Sox, but now we need to see if this is a committee or if Kendall Graveman is going to share the duties with Lopez. Lopez has a huge upside if the role is his, but this could be a murky situation.

Fantasy Baseball Lineup Assistant

14-16: Steaming Options

Nick Pivetta and Kutter Crawford (vs. PIT, at DET)

One of these guys is getting a two-start week here, and one of them just gets the Pirates at home, which makes both of these guys startable in deeper formats but also viable in shallower formats as well. There is definitely some risk here, but you can’t really ask for better streaming starts.

Brad Keller (at SF)

Keller added a new pitch in spring training and looked like a different pitcher with it. He has a nice matchup in San Francisco and is a viable streaming candidate at the end of the week for H2H leagues.

Michael Grove (vs. COL)

Grove is taking the spot of Ryan Pepiot, who has an oblique injury. Grove is an interesting prospect, but this is more about facing a Rockies team that has a lot of hitters that struggle on the road.

17-20: Two Start Recommendations

Michael Kopech (vs. SF, at PIT)

Kopech was really impressive in Spring Training, looking like the guy that made him one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. He has two fantastic matchups and should be streamed in just about every format.

Zach Eflin (at WAS, vs. OAK)

Eflin signed a big money deal in Tampa this year, and they are counting on him to stay healthy, which is something he has struggled to do throughout his career. That being said, he is healthy right now, and these may be the best two-start matchups you can see this year against potentially the two worst teams in baseball this season.

Reid Detmers (at SEA, vs. TOR)

Detmers was extremely impressive in Spring Training, adding velocity and mowing down hitters all spring. However, this is a very tough two-start week versus two teams expected to be in the playoffs. If he can stay hot against them, he would be putting himself in discussion as a fantasy ace.

Jose Berrios (at KC, at LAA)

Do not start Berrios this week. I know that this is a two-start with one very good matchup in the Royals, but he looked atrocious in the spring after a very disappointing 2022. The reason we should even be watching is if Berrios does not have a good start in one of these two leagues, it means he should probably be dropped in all mixed leagues, which is a crazy falloff from where he was going into 2022.

If you want to dive deeper into fantasy baseball, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you navigate your season. From our Lineup Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team, and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball season.

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Assistant

SubscribeApple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio

More Articles

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Targets: Willi Castro, Zach McKinstry, Ben Lively

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Targets: Willi Castro, Zach McKinstry, Ben Lively

fp-headshot by Blake Meyer | 4 min read
Sunday’s MLB DFS Lineup Advice & Picks: Joe Ryan, Michael Kopech, Yordan Alvarez (6/4)

Sunday’s MLB DFS Lineup Advice & Picks: Joe Ryan, Michael Kopech, Yordan Alvarez (6/4)

fp-headshot by FantasyPros Staff | 2 min read
MLB Player Prop Bet Rankings & Picks: Sunday (6/4)

MLB Player Prop Bet Rankings & Picks: Sunday (6/4)

fp-headshot by FantasyPros Staff | 2 min read
MLB DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Sunday (6/4)

MLB DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Sunday (6/4)

fp-headshot by Joel Bartilotta | 1 min read

About Author

Current Article

time 4 min read

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Targets: Willi Castro, Zach McKinstry, Ben Lively

Next Up - Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Targets: Willi Castro, Zach McKinstry, Ben Lively

Next Article   arrow-image