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8 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups & FAAB Targets: Week 1 (2024)

8 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups & FAAB Targets: Week 1 (2024)

We have made it to the first week of the MLB Season, which means our first free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) run. These early articles are very tricky as there are varying degrees of options on the fantasy baseball waiver wire depending on when you drafted your leagues. Also, you have a roster you just drafted, so not many initial roster moves will be needed. In this week’s article, I’ll highlight a few players (there are many more) that I would be interested in adding to my roster.

Each week, I will highlight a few players to target in your weekly FAAB process, but know there are many others available and, more importantly, others who may be better fits for your teams. If you have any questions, please ask me on Twitter.

Note: We use Yahoo for player percentages and recommend players rostered in no more than 60% of leagues.

Fantasy Baseball FAAB & Waiver Wire Targets: Week 1

Hitters

Jake Cronenworth (1B, 2B – SD) 

Rostered: 22%
Suggested Bid: 8%

Jake Cronenworth could be a significant addition this week, depending on your league formats. If you received a “free look” at the Seoul Series, Cronenworth and his 5-10 start to the year with two runs scored and four RBIs will be an excellent start to the season.

If you do not get the “free look,” let me make a case for Cronenworth. Besides the valuable CI/MI flexibility, Cronenworth could return to the ‘Rake Cronenworth’ we once knew. Last season was awful for Cronenworth but an injury could have been a significant part of the struggles. The Padres want to hit Cronenworth early in the lineup between Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado, which opens up many fantasy possibilities. This all makes Cronenworth an upside target in the first week of FAAB.

Jake Fraley (OF – CIN) 

Rostered: 21%
Suggested Bid: 16%

With TJ Friedl‘s significant injury, Jake Fraley may emerge as a major winner for fantasy managers. Fraley should take most of Friedl’s playing time, with Will Benson also gaining some playing time. Last season, Fraley played in 111 games and hit 15 home runs while stealing 21 bases. An entire season of Fraley could bring an easy 20/20 season with even more upside. There’s a likely possibility Fraley would be an upgrade over at least one of your outfielders if you are in five-outfield leagues.

Joey Meneses (1B – WAS) 

Rostered: 12%
Suggested Bid: 6%

Joey Meneses is coming off a decent spring, hitting .294 with two home runs and one stolen base. It was a down 2023 for Meneses as he only hit 13 home runs on the season. There may be more to like, however. He hit for average most of the season, which is always nice with a late pick. The power was a significant concern but Meneses hit 11 of his 13 home runs over the last three months of the season. A bounce back to 20+ home runs could be in place. That’s all nice and optimistic but the schedule is the biggest reason to add Meneses this opening week. He opens with three games in hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park, where he should hit cleanup. If anything, add Meneses and other Nats bats like Eddie Rosario to take advantage of the opening schedule.

Pitchers

Cristopher Sanchez (SP – PHI) 

Rostered: 58%
Suggested Bid: 23%

Cristopher Sanchez is coming off a strong 2023 season where he threw 99.1 innings for the Phillies and collected a 3.44 ERA, 3.33 SIERA and a 20.2% K-BB. Sanchez brings an outstanding changeup to the mound that also helped induce a 57% ground ball rate and a 1.05 WHIP. Sanchez was great last year. He should be rostered in far more leagues this season.

A.J. Puk (SP – MIA) 

Rostered: 53%
Suggested Bid: 18%

A.J. Puk was excellent out of the bullpen last year but has been stretched out for a return to the rotation this spring. Despite a small sample spring training size, he was solid, with a 1.13 ERA over 13.2 IPs. Puk struck out 23 over those 13.2 innings for a 33.9% K-BB. Those numbers are not sustainable but a heavy strikeout arsenal should be in play for Puk. A primary concern surrounding Puk is how many innings he will throw. That doesn’t matter as you can add him and drop him later. Plus, the Marlins start the season versus the Pirates, making for an excellent first matchup off the wire.

Griffin Canning (SP – LAA) 

Rostered: 25%
Suggested Bid: 19%

Griffin Canning has been a draft day staple throughout the draft season for me. It was an up-and-down season for Canning last year but he left with great optimism. Canning had a 4.32 ERA and 3.80 SIERA. The ERA could get lower. The factor I am a fan of is Canning’s strikeout ability. He finished the season with a 19.2% K-BB. When Canning was dealing last season, he had a 26.2% K-BB in July and 27.6% K-BB in August. Canning is a pure upside addition and a player I want to ride with all season.

Closers

Joel Payamps (RP – MIL) 

Rostered: 53%
Suggested Bid: 35%

There are a lot of relievers to add this week with all of the closer injuries of late. Joel Payamps is a top-two add. Devin Williams will likely miss half of the season, giving Payamps a nice runway to save. He was stable in the backend of the Brewers’ pen last season on his way to three saves, a 2.55 ERA and 20.9% K-BB. Payamps should get the first shot at saves, which makes him a priority, but Abner Uribe and Trevor Megill are also in the mix.

Griffin Jax (RP – MIN) 

Rostered: 49%
Suggested Bid: 40%

Griffin Jax would be my top reliever add this week with Jhoan Duran out with an oblique injury. Jax has been a primary Draft and Hold target for me in recent years for his chance to steal some saves. Jax should now be the closer, bringing excellent ratios and strikeout upside. Jax could get 10+ saves before Duran returns, which is fantastic off the wire. Brock Stewart is lingering in the distance if you want another speculation add in Minnesota.

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