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Fantasy Baseball Burning Questions: Alex Faedo, Royce Lewis, Liam Hendriks

Fantasy Baseball Burning Questions: Alex Faedo, Royce Lewis, Liam Hendriks

It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means.

Each and every Wednesday, I’ll address 10 burning questions that I’m looking for answers to during the week or questions that may help fantasy managers navigate the week-to-week grind of their team.

Fantasy Baseball Burning Questions

Is Alex Faedo for real?

Sometimes it takes time for prospects to perform at the highest level. We see it time and time again.

While I typically try to keep an open mind to that and give players time to perform (hello, Jarred Kelenic and Wander Franco), I didn’t have Alex Faedo on my post-hype sleeper bingo card.

I’m writing this prior to his start against Texas on Tuesday. Even if he gets blown up by the best offense in baseball, it’s still been quite the turnaround.

Faedo has made four starts so far and hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of them. What’s been the most impressive part, though, is that he has 22 strikeouts in his 21.2 innings of work – highlighted by his 10 strikeouts in his last outing against the White Sox.

The indicators are good for Faedo so far, with his 3.05 xERA lower than his actual mark and his minuscule 1.2 BB% on the season. The four-seamer has been his go-to pitch, but his slider and show-me changeup have limited the damage, too.

The one thing I don’t love to see is the six home runs so far in just four starts, but given the nature of the ball this year, it’s not too concerning.

He’s an add, but if someone is really bought into him, I would look to cash in since so many teams are pitching-needy.

Royce Lewis is back!

I’m cheering hard for Royce Lewis. I have zero shares across redraft and dynasty leagues, but I am 100% pulling for him to succeed. The former top prospect has had some rough injury luck with his knees, but he is back in Minnesota, and he made his presence immediately felt.

Lewis went deep in his return on Memorial Day, and he plated four on the day. He’s been the shortstop of the future, and now, he’s the shortstop of the present, too.

It’s easy to forget that he slashed .313/.405/.534 with five home runs, 12 steals and 44 runs+RBIs in 34 games last year before getting hurt.

He’s a top-12 shortstop for me, and I would take him over Xander Bogaerts moving forward.

Liam Hendriks

2023 wasn’t about baseball for Liam Hendriks. It sure as hell wasn’t about fantasy baseball.

It was about living.

Seeing Hendriks return on Memorial Day from cancer is the highlight of the year, and it doesn’t matter what sport you’re watching or who wins the World Series.

Welcome back, Liam. We missed you.

It Finally Happened in Houston

You like that subhead, don’t you? It could go in a number of directions, and I could pull out a lot of old, tired jokes.

But I won’t. I’m not above it, but I just want to instead discuss Jose Abreu.

Abreu finally hit a home run, giving him one in 217 plate appearances now. That’s… not good.

The big-offseason acquisition for the Astros has been disappointing, posting a 52 wRC+. That’s higher than only Jean Segura this season.

The numbers don’t look good for Abreu, and the underlying numbers don’t expect a turnaround, either. So if you’re holding on to him, it’s OK to move on.

With Abreu finally hitting a home run, we are only waiting on Segura, Myles Straw, and Andrew Benintendi to hit their first of the year so that all of the qualified hitters are on the board.

Fantasy Baseball Lineup Assistant

Who are some players rostered in 50 percent of leagues or fewer I should target?

Here are 10 hitters and pitchers who you should add to your watchlist who are available in 21-50 percent of leagues (using Yahoo rostership numbers).


Francisco Alvarez (C – NYM)

Matt McLain (SS – CIN)

Jordan Walker (3B/OF – STL)

Elly De La Cruz (3B/SS – CIN)

Jake Burger (3B – CHW)


Tanner Bibee (SP – CLE)

Reid Detmers (SP – LAA)

Logan Allen (SP – CLE)

J.P. France (SP – HOU)

Matthew Liberatore (SP – STL)

What about 20 percent?

Like above, here are 10 hitters and pitchers rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues or fewer who should be on your deep-league radar.


Mickey Moniak (OF – LAA)

Luis Garcia (2B/SS – WAS)

Jurickson Profar (OF – COL)

Nolan Jones (OF – COL)

Jordan Westburg (SS – BAL)


Ben Lively (SP/RP – CIN)

Kyle Bradish (SP – BAL)

Griffin Canning (SP – LAA)

Alex Faedo (SP – DET)

Ben Joyce (RP – LAA)

Who are you encouraged by?

It’s past Memorial Day, so we have a pretty good sense of players and teams at this point in the season. It feels good to have quantifiable data.

Here are some players I’m encouraged by.

Jorge Soler (OF – MIA):  Jorge Soler has been on one lately, ranking as the No. 2 hitter in fantasy over the last two weeks. He’s as safe of a play against lefties as there is.

Michael Kopech (SP – CHW):  The ride is often a rollercoaster, but Michael Kopech has 29 strikeouts over his last three games, spanning 19.1 innings.

Francisco Alvarez (C – NYM):  The rookie has been the No. 14 player over the last two weeks, and it’s weird what happens when you play your best players. Continue to do it, Buck.

Wander Franco (SS – TBR):  Wander Franco has 19 steals this season. Sometimes players will just steal out of nowhere. Maybe speed isn’t predictable?

Who Has You Concerned?

Fantasy Baseball Lineup Assistant

Any Random Findings?

A few, actually. Thanks for asking, Michael.

  • Wander Franco’s 19 steals are as many as the Colorado Rockies have as a team.
  • There are exactly 15 teams with a below-average wRC+ (100) and 15 teams with an above-average mark.
  • Six teams have yet to have one player with at least 10 home runs.
  • Five players have at least 87 hard-hit balls. Three of them – Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Matt Chapman – play in Toronto.

Tyler Glasnow or Glasslater?

I am thrilled that Tyler Glasnow is back. Truly, I am. But I will forever fade him and other pitchers who haven’t been able to stay healthy. While I want to be wrong here, I will still look to trade away any shares I have.

Glasnow had eight strikeouts in 4.1 innings in his first return back to the mound, and velo was only slightly below where it was last year.

The move, in my mind, is to allow him to reach five-plus innings to “prove” that he is healthy and then post him on your trade block.


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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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