Tout Wars FAB results: Week of May 2-8

Here are the results of the six Tout Wars leagues using FAB. The direct link to each league is available via the league header. Here you can access standings, rosters and transactions.

American League

Player Team Bid
DHill, Det Howard Bender 138
KBradish, Bal Howard Bender 137
FCordero, Bos Howard Bender 88
RStripling, Tor Jeff Erickson 57
EWhite, Tex Doug Dennis 41
AHedges, Cle Ryan Bloomfield 33
KGarlick, Min Jason Collette 24
JWinder, Min Patrick Davitt 19
RPalacios, Cle Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 19
RMontero, Hou Ryan Bloomfield 13
GJax, Min Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 9
GCelestino, Min Jeff Erickson 7
TNevin, Bal Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 6
APuk, Oak Rob Leibowitz 2
KBubic, KC Joe Sheehan 1
BRaley, TB Joe Sheehan 1
EClement, Cle Mike Podhorzer 1
MMaldonado, Hou Jason Collette 0

National League

Player Team Bid
TDemeritte, Atl Ian Kahn 84
LGonzalez, SF Brian Walton 71
CHummel, Ari Todd Zola 37
LFox, Was Grey Albright 27
ZDavies, Ari Michael Simione 17
SDominguez, Phi Lenny Melnick 11
RAdams, Was Grey Albright 6
EMontero, Col Wilderman/Prior 5
ABass, Mia Brian Walton 2
SWilson, SD Steve Gardner 1
DrSmith, NYM Phil Hertz 1
RQuinn, Phi Peter Kreutzer 1
BWilson, Pit Tristan H. Cockcroft 0
WContreras, Atl Peter Kreutzer 0

Mixed Salary Cap

IKennedy, Ari Tim Heaney 66 DDunning, Tex Justin Mason 44 EHosmer, SD Jeff Zimmerman 44 JWendle, Mia Jeff Zimmerman 44 MChavis, Pit Justin Mason 35 AGomber, Col Alex Chamberlain 33 PSmith, Ari Brent Hershey 33 BDrury, Cin Tim Heaney 24 CIrvin, Oak Scott Pianowski 21 WCalhoun, Tex Justin Mason 17 KBradish, Bal Brent Hershey 17 TNaquin, Cin Jeff Zimmerman 15 TBarnhart, Det Scott Engel 11 OHerrera, Phi Scott Engel 9 CMcCormick, Hou Eric Karabell 6 KThompson, ChC Jeff Zimmerman 5 CHolmes, NYY Eric Karabell 3 MTaylor, KC Scott Pianowski 3 KKiermaier, TB Derek VanRiper 2

Mixed 15 Draft

Player Team Bid
KBradish, Bal Tim McCullough 92
SLangeliers, Oak AJ Mass 84
RHelsley, StL Anthony Perri 65
KGarlick, Min Tim McCullough 51
OHerrera, Phi Tim McLeod 45
PBlackburn, Oak Seth Trachtman 35
EOlivares, KC D.J. Short 35
GOtto, Tex Shelly Verougstraete 33
KIsbel, KC Ray Murphy 29
BGamel, Pit Jeff Barton 26
GUrshela, Min D.J. Short 25
TDemeritte, Atl Perry Van Hook 23
MMelendez, KC D.J. Short 20
JFeyereisen, TB Anthony Perri 15
CArcher, Min Shelly Verougstraete 13
NGorman, StL Mike Gianella 10
CKuhl, Col Perry Van Hook 9
MFranco, Was Perry Van Hook 7
CMcCormick, Hou Adam Ronis 6
LTorrens, Sea Adam Ronis 4
IParedes, TB Shelly Verougstraete 3
BWilson, Pit Shelly Verougstraete 3
MBush, Tex Mike Gianella 1
KSmith, Oak Rudy Gamble 1
CHolmes, NYY Scott White 0
KGraveman, CWS Scott White 0

Head to Head

Player Team Bid
TWard, LAA Paul Sporer 162
EHosmer, SD Chris Welsh 87
DDunning, Tex Chris Welsh 85
JLyles, Bal Chris Welsh 65
SNeuse, Oak Chris Welsh 45
BMarsh, LAA Nick Pollack 43
BNimmo, NYM Clay Link 32
KBradish, Bal Nick Pollack 31
CKuhl, Col Geoff Pontes 26
AMcCutchen, Mil Chris Welsh 25
MChavis, Pit Geoff Pontes 23
WFlores, SF Ryan Hallam 22
AGomber, Col Andrea LaMont 22
GOtto, Tex Nick Pollack 21
TWalls, TB Greg Jewett 18
EHernandez, Mia Ariel Cohen 14
CWalker, Ari Geoff Pontes 7
DJefferies, Oak Geoff Pontes 6
LWade, SF Greg Jewett 3

Mixed 12 Draft (IP and Saves+Holds)

Player Team Bid
MMelendez, KC Jake Ciely 54
EHosmer, SD Jennifer Piacenti 31
RoPerez, Pit Jennifer Piacenti 1
HKim, SD Brian Entrekin 17
SEspinal, Tor Matt Truss 19
ABender, Mia Matt Truss 11
MWacha, Bos Jeff Boggis 22
MKepler, Min Jeff Boggis 12
ELauer, Mil Alex Fast 81
JDiekman, Bos Alex Fast 5
MMoustakas, Cin Brian Entrekin 6
CJavier, Hou Sara Sanchez 40
MPerez, Tex Jennifer Piacenti 6
BSulser, Pit Brian Entrekin 6

Tout Daily: On a Rodon to Somewhere

OK, that was weak. Hopefully, our picks will be strong. Here are some of the plays in this week’s Tout Daily Contest.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Carlos Rodon – Bummed some of the better options are off the main slate, but I want to pay up and Rodon is in a great spot at home vs. the Athletics

Hitter: Jesus Sanchez – Weather could be an issue, but I like Sanchez batting cleanup against Josiah Gray. I’m also looking at Bobby Witt hitting sixth against Dallas Keuchel

CJ Kaltenbach (Fantasy Guru, @TheSeigeDFS)

Pitcher: Triston McKenzie – Angels have struck out more this year and he comes at a nice mid-tier price tag that can let you save money or fit in a Carlos Rodon if you want to.

Hitter: Matt Olson – Marcus Stroman has been not missing many bats this year and Olson has the power to hit it a long way if he makes good contact.

Derek Carty (RotoGrinders, @DerekCarty)

Pitcher: Carlos Rodon – THE BAT projects Carlos Rodon as the best non-deGrom pitcher in baseball, and he faces the worst offense in baseball. He’ll be chalky, but he projects for nearly 30 DK points and is a great play regardless.

Hitter: Cody Bellinger – The recency-biased “Cody Bellinger sucks now” people have quieted in recent days with Bellinger crushing, but his price hasn’t risen much. $3.2k for a good hitter in the best lineup in baseball is a steal, especially when that offense is the only one of the day to project for 6+ runs.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy)

Pitcher: Josiah Gray – Carlos Rodon is the chalk play but Gray at $8400 faces a Miami offense that averages less than 4 runs per game. In his last 2 starts Gray has thrown 10.1 innings and allowed 4 hits, 1 run and struck out 13 batters.

Hitter: Austin Riley – Riley is 4 for his last 10 with 2 HRs and 3 RBIs. He faces Marcus Stroman who’s alllowed a HR is every start, 16 hits in 13.1 innings and opponents are hitting .286 against him. All this and Riley is only priced at $3800.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Carlos Rodon – Averaging 30.4 Fantasy Points Per Game. You have to pay up for him at $10,100, but he has a favorable home matchup tonight against Oakland.

Hitter: Owen Miller – He was tearing it up before he was hit with Covid. Taking advantage of his depressed salary at $3,400 this evening. He is batting .445 on the season.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50)

Pitcher: Tony Gonsolin – Like the price and the DBacks have yet to hit anyone.

Hitter: Mat Olson – Nothing to add to CJ’s comment

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner)

Pitcher: Sandy Alcantara – The Nationals rank 24th in scoring and OPS. Alcantara has been great in his three starts and should be able to take advantage.

Hitter: Mookie Betts – With a .203 average, people seem to be writing him off, so I’ll expect him to have low ownership despite the fact that he’s leading off vs. the D’backs.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports)

Pitcher: Max Fried – Great price for a guy who should have a great outing

Hitter: Austin Riley – Why is he priced so low ? The new daddy is taking Stroman deep

Jeff Erickson (Rotowire, @Jeff_Erickson)

Pitcher: Tony Gonsolin – You ask me for miracles. I give you the Diamondbacks.

Hitter: Cody Bellinger – Still only $3.2 against Zach Davies. Seems like an auto-play to me. It also seems like I’m going to have the same plays as everyone else. Oh well.

Tout Wars FAB results: Week of April 25-May 1

Here are the results of the six Tout Wars leagues using FAB. The direct link to each league is available via the league header. Here you can access standings, rosters and transactions.

American League

Player Team Bid
MKing, NYY Chris Blessing 63
JFeyereisen, TB Joe Sheehan 18
AVelazquez, LAA Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 18
GOtto, Tex Jeff Erickson 13
AHaseley, CWS Joe Sheehan 11
JLyles, Bal Joe Sheehan 8
HCastro, Det Ryan Bloomfield 7
KPlawecki, Bos Patrick Davitt 4
CSchmidt, NYY Ryan Bloomfield 4
BBurke, Tex Chris Blessing 3
RPinto, TB Jason Collette 3
CPoche, TB Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 3
CPerez, Bal Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 3
RLewis, Min Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 2
JRuiz, CWS Doug Dennis 2
AAllen, Oak Jason Collette 1
JAdam, TB Jason Collette 1
ACimber, Tor Patrick Davitt 0
ALoup, LAA Patrick Davitt 0
JTrevino, NYY Rob Leibowitz 0
NAllen, Oak Rob Leibowitz 0

National League

Player Team Bid
YHernandez, Ari Ian Kahn 61
KThompson, ChC Ian Kahn 46
CKuhl, Col Steve Gardner 33
LGuillorme, NYM Todd Zola 23
JJunis, SF Phil Hertz 21
BElder, Atl Grey Albright 13
ARivas, ChC Brian Walton 12
MDavidson, Ari Derek Carty 12
RHelsley, StL Brian Walton 6
JVanMeter, Pit Wilderman/Prior 3
TMatzek, Atl Wilderman/Prior 1
ALopez, Cin Peter Kreutzer 0
OArcia, Atl Peter Kreutzer 0
ArGarcia, Cin Steve Gardner 0
TGott, Mil Peter Kreutzer 0
AMinter, Atl Derek Carty 0

Mixed Salary Cap

Player Team Bid
PWisdom, ChC Tim Heaney 127
EPagan, Min Alex Chamberlain 98
ABohm, Phi Scott Engel 70
TEstrada, SF Alex Chamberlain 68
JNaylor, Cle Scott Swanay 67
JFleming, TB Jeff Zimmerman 55
TanScott, Mia Tim Heaney 44
BZimmermann, Bal Tim Heaney 41
SNeuse, Oak Michael Rathburn 35
SBeer, Ari Scott Pianowski 31
DJimenez, Oak Zach Steinhorn 27
NHoerner, ChC Scott Engel 24
NLopez, KC Jeff Zimmerman 19
MBush, Tex Eric Karabell 11
ArGarcia, Cin Scott Engel 5
MKing, NYY Scott Pianowski 4
MCabrera, Det Bret Sayre 2
RStripling, Tor Derek VanRiper 2
JAdon, Was Derek VanRiper 0
JTrevino, NYY Rob Leibowitz 0
NAllen, Oak Rob Leibowitz 0

Mixed 15 Draft

Player Team Bid
DJimenez, Oak Tim McLeod 59
JNaylor, Cle Adam Ronis 58
DLynch, KC Ray Murphy 36
DBundy, Min Ray Murphy 35
GSheets, CWS Adam Ronis 28
AMunoz, Sea Mike Gianella 28
TyAnderson, LAD Seth Trachtman 25
NHoerner, ChC D.J. Short 25
DVogelbach, Pit Jeff Barton 24
JHicks, StL Charlie Wiegert 23
MChavis, Pit Perry Van Hook 17
CPache, Oak Anthony Perri 17
TLarnach, Min Shelly Verougstraete 15
SNeuse, Oak Seth Trachtman 15
TomMurphy, Sea D.J. Short 10
OMercado, Cle Charlie Wiegert 7
NSolak, Tex Perry Van Hook 7
ZCollins, Tor Adam Ronis 6
BZimmermann, Bal D.J. Short 5
JJunis, SF Perry Van Hook 4
JBeeks, TB Perry Van Hook 4
MLorenzen, LAA Shelly Verougstraete 3
KFarmer, Cin Scott White 0

Head to Head

Player Team Bid
MKing, NYY Nick Pollack 16
JNaylor, Cle Nick Pollack 7
TEstrada, SF Greg Jewett 9
HDozier, KC Ariel Cohen 44
BZimmermann, Bal Ariel Cohen 43
TyAnderson, LAD Clay Link 23
DLynch, KC Andrea LaMont 31
KFreeland, Col Andrea LaMont 29
AHicks, NYY Frank Stampfl 21
JJunis, SF Paul Sporer 6

Mixed 12 Draft (IP and Saves+Holds)

Player Team Bid
FReyes, Cle Chris Clegg 211
MCanha, NYM Chris Clegg 79
MMikolas, StL Brian Entrekin 68
JrgLopez, Bal Brian Entrekin 67
BZimmermann, Bal Brian Entrekin 56
SBeer, Ari Jake Ciely 46
BMarsh, LAA Brian Entrekin 43
DRobertson, ChC Andy Behrens 32
TEstrada, SF Jennifer Piacenti 26
IKinerFalefa, NYY Sara Sanchez 26
SNeuse, Oak Brian Entrekin 24
NHoerner, ChC Jake Ciely 18
DVogelbach, Pit Brian Entrekin 18
JMateo, Bal Chris Clegg 17
MKing, NYY Chris Towers 11
CWalker, Ari Jake Ciely 9
ZCollins, Tor Chris Clegg 7
BAnderson, Mia Alex Fast 7
SMatz, StL Jake Ciely 7
FMejia, TB Andy Behrens 6

Tout Table: Early Season Performance

Sorry, posting is delayed this week. Hopefully the examples aren’t too outdated.

This week’s query: How do you go about gauging early season performance? What underachiever are you most concerned about?

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, The Process, @jeffwzimmerman): For starters, I’m only looking at K%-BB% but waiting at least four starts until I make a move. For hitters, I’m only looking for changes in playing time (lineup order or platoon). It takes two-months for a hitter’s talent to take shape so I’m in the waiting game a week into the season.

AJ Mass (ESPN, @AJMass): The short answer is I don’t. In normal seasons, I’m usually loathe to make any big roster moves (save for injuries or a clear change in role where a player has clearly lost playing time). In 2022, with the shortened spring, it’s going to be a while. So a leadoff hitter who seemingly can’t make contact with the ball – looking at you, Mr. Grossman – gets an extra week or two to try and recapture his timing before any panic sets in. Marathon. Not a sprint.

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): I typically do not overreact to anyone’s performance during the first couple weeks of the season unless they are losing playing time. For pitchers, it usually takes a few weeks to build up endurance so I am not concerned about starters going 4 innings or throwing 70 pitches. I do have serious concerns about Jarred Kelenic right now even though we are less than a week into the season. He looked completely overmatched for most of his tenure with the Mariners in 2021. But I figured that experience, along with the fact he would be in the starting lineup everyday this year, would help him mature and figure things out. However, he still looks lost and confused. It is obviously too soon to give up on him, but I am growing concerned that he may not be as good as all the hype that has surrounded him since he was drafted by the Mets. The Mariners have plenty of outfield depth, so it would not be surprising if Kelenic loses playing time if he does not figure things out soon.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): I look at velocity and K-BB ratio for pitchers. I also look at strikeout rate for hitters, as those who are striking out often could be lost at the plate and might lose playing time. But mostly I’m looking for role and opportunity. I want to find players who are cementing important roles and drop those who have been relegated to smaller roles. The players I’m most concerned about those who needed to bounce back from a bad 2021 season and have started out poorly. Cody Bellinger would be the poster boy for this group.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): Bellinger…his rough spring and slow start, until 2 hits Sunday and Joe Adell’s K streak to start season until 2 hits Monday. KikiHernadez is stilllooking for first hit, but he’s always been streaky so no major worry. Urias start in Colorado so no major worry except velo down. Ryu struggled last year, so first start being bad makes me wonder.

Brian Walton (CreativeSports2, @B_Walton): For me, the most worrisome underachiever has to be Cody Bellinger. From a 1.025 OPS in 2019 to .789 to .542 last season. Then .301 this spring and now .432 out of the gate in 2022. This trend looks like my stock portfolio!

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): The actual results are mostly meaningless. I focus on the underlying skills that stabilize quickest – pitch velocity, batted ball exit velocity, and perhaps changes to batted ball type distribution (ground ball/fly ball rates). Those metrics will tell me if a player’s underlying skills have changed, whether or not the results have been affected yet. It’s wayyyyyy too early to even label players as underachievers so far, let alone be concerned about any of them. I don’t usually start to seriously evaluate results until at least two months into the season.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): I don’t even worry about anything except health and playing time until after April. I still rely on projections otherwise. I am not overly worried about a specific player unless they are getting less playing time than expected.

D.J. Short (NBC Sports Edge, @djshort): I’m not focused on results as much as I am on how they are doing it and what opportunities will be like moving forward. It’s much too early to deviate signficantly from what you thought a week ago. I’d say someone like Alec Bohm is concerning because his defense at third base is just so bad and the Phillies have a replacement right there in Bryson Stott. Not that those in mixed leagues were really counting on Bohm in the first place, but some (including myself) were hopeful about a rebound. Limited flexibility in the DH spot really hurts him.

Perry Van Hook (Mastersball, @): For Hitters I am just looking at playing time and health – if they are secure in their job, then I expect they will round into expected results. But injuries are a bid and largely unknown problem so I am very concerned about Anthony Rendon, who is supposedly healthy but struggling. I would also be worried about Bellinger IF I owned him, but fortunately don’t. Starting pitchers I give a longer leash, especially with the shortened spring training this year but we are already seeing far too many injuries. I do look closely at relief pitchers early to try and get some clue as to what their usage is and will be, although we haven’t been taught much in four games.

Bret Sayre (Baseball Prospectus, @BretSayreBP): I have a feeling this is going to sound broken record-y with all the bright minds in this article, but in a normal year we’d be a week and a half out from Opening Day and performance concerns or velo dips wouldn’t really be much of a concern. In my mind, none of this matters until at least the fourth week of April and even then, we’d be applying SSS disclaimers to everything we see. In other words, trust your preseason valuations and ask again in mid-May. It’s another weird year.

Vlad Sedler (Fantasy Guru, @rotogut): Not as much performance but am trying to stay wise to pitch count expectations when making lineup decisions this month. For example, certain teams like the Astros have been letting their starting pitchers go a bit deeper into games. We know that leagues can be won or lost by a couple of stats or points at the end of the year. Being mindful to the wins and strikeouts category in the next couple weeks will be imperative and could have end-of-season implications.

Matt Williams (The Athletic, @MattWi77iams): I do not care about early results, at all. The only thing I look at this early is of there has been an obvious change to opportunity (loss of role or playing time) or a tangible change such as mechanics, pitch mix, or velocity. Plate discipline is certainly the most “sticky” early season barometer, so I may keep an eye of strikeout rates (hitters) and K-BB% (pitchers).

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): I’m looking at who’s getting PT and in what circumstances and how are relievers being used. I’m especially looking for usage that was not expected. I’m not worried about anyone (unless it’s a health issue), YET.

Frank Stampfl (Fantasy Pros, @Roto_Frank): I don’t really care much about the actual results but rather what’s under the hood. For example, if a pitcher gets rocked and his velocity/spin rates are way down, that’s something I would pay attention to. For hitters, I like to pay attention to plate discipline early and playing time, specifically with young players. Julio Rodriguez and Spencer Torkelson each have seven strikeouts over their first four games. It doesn’t matter much now but if they continue to struggle this bad for the first 2-3 weeks, we could see them lose playing time.

Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @andybehrens): I’m not even sure it’s safe to call Cody Bellinger an underachiever at this point, because maybe this is simply who he is. I didn’t buy the dip on Bellinger, so this isn’t a situation that directly affects me. But I don’t have much confidence he’ll surge at any point, not after his miserable spring (5-for-36, 0 XBH, 18 Ks). As for the rest of the player pool, I’m primarily concerned with prospects who start slow and risk demotion.

Larry Schechter (Winning Fantasy Baseball, @LarrySchechter): This early only thing that matters is health, role or lineup changes. I don’t have Akil Baddoo but would be concerned if I did. He has hit at bottom of order and when Riley Greene is ready they will have a glut of OF after adding Austin Meadows. And major concern…Jonathan Villar…not playing!

Jennifer Piacenti (SI.com, @jenpiacenti): I gauge by whether or not they are better than Cody Bellinger. Kidding. (sort of). For hitters I look for plate discipline, playing time, and where they are being used in the order. Pitchers who show control and go deeper into games this early in the season are the ones that intrigue me.

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner): The red flags for me are indications that the manager has lost confidence in a player. Akil Baddoo, as Larry mentioned, being dropped down in the batting order after the Tigers acquired Austin Meadows or sitting against a left-hander is a bit concerning. Also, a ton of strikeouts early will make me worry. (Hello Jo Adell.)

Derek VanRiper (The Athletic, @DerekVanRiper): Process stats are key for me. The quality of contact metrics we have now go a long way toward determining whether a player’s slow start is just bad luck, or a hint of a bigger problem. When something stands out in the underlying numbers, I try to dig in and watch video, or at least make a point to follow-up on the player once we have a slightly larger sample to work with. For pitchers, velocity fluctuations are important to me in very small samples. Shane Bieber is the player I’m most concerned about. He’s averaged 90.6 and 91.0 mph on his fastball in his first two starts, respectively, roughly two full ticks from his 2021 velocity and more than 3.0 mph down from his 2020 shortened-season mark (94.1).

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): I’ll be the bad guy here. Next level MLB metrics are great, but they’re still far more descriptive than predictive. I get trying to be first with prescient analysis, but even using the new information, a paragraph beginning with, “It’s a small sample, but…”, should still be taken with a grain of salt. We all want to force smart analysis into a scenario where it just isn’t time… yet. So-called stabilty points are a huge misnomer. Yes, if you don’t act on an available player, someone else will, but because we want to believe the new metrics are more telling doesn’t make it so.

Sara Sanchez (bleedcubbieblue.com, @BCB_Sara): I have stats I am watching, but honestly I don’t think we’ve had enough games to pass judgement on anything. For hitters I’m keeping a close eye on K% and BB% compared to previous years. Even with that, I don’t feel like I have enough data to pass judgement there, 3-5 games just isn’t a big enough sample size for me to say anyone has changed their approach at the plate. Come back to me in two or three weeks for actual concerns about hitters. For pitchers I do look at pitch changes and velocity drops, but even then it’s important to compare month v. month data because lots of pitchers have variance in season on their pitches. That said, Robbie Ray and Joe Musgrove’s velocity looks down a bit this year, which I am keeping an eye on. If that persists for another start or two I will be very concerned. I would caution putting too much stock into other pitch changes month to month this season, however, considering the sticky stuff crackdown was later in the year so the data isn’t comparing apples to apples.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): As Jeff Zimmerman said above, its K-BB%. That tends to stabilize very quickly, and I particularly look at this for pitchers. I’m also looking for velocity changes and pitch mix changes in pitchers, and how it realtes to their change in performance. For hitters, it is a bit early really, however for stolen bases – I am looking at how often they run. Opportunities tell the story of their willingness to run. Take Luis Robert who already has 4 SB. Cody Belinger is most concerning.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): The only thing that would cause me to reevaluate a Hitter this early in the season would be either an uptick or downturn in playing time (batting much higher or lower than expected in the order would also count). For Starting Pitchers a marked increase or decrease in their velocity. For Relief Pitchers, any Closers who seem to be wresting control of what was previously thought to be a Committee situation. Again though, for the most part it’s too small a sample size to radically change your evaluation of players at this point.

Toby Guevin (BatFlipCrazy Podcast, @batflipcrazy): For pitchers, I’m looking for changes in velocity, pitch mix or new pitches that can change their underlying skill. For hitters, it’s more about any changes in lineup spot and then monitoring plate skills for anything that might change there (o-swing, contact rates), since the samples become meaningful quickest on per pitch metrics.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): I generally don’t? For pitchers, a severe velocity drop could mean an injury so I’ll watch for that. For hitters, I’m looking at role changes, platoons, etc. that might mean I need to reconsider playing time and overall stat projections. Jo Adell is probably the player I’m most worried about. Between the slump and Joe Maddon’s weird obsession with Taylor Ward, a demotion wouldn’t be surprising.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): With a grain of salt. Some of the best moves that I’ve ever made were the ones that I didn’t make. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I do look at players that have been dropped by an impatient league manager (we all have them) that are off to a slow start. Top hitters that are off to a slow start like Trea Turner or Bryce Harper are not tradable at this time, but players drafted outside of the first few rounds that I am most concerned about is Adalberto Mondesi and his lack of stolen bases to date. He has 1 SB to date and is batting .167.

Alex Chamberlain (Rotographs, @DolphHauldhagen): Not a lot you can do. But: (1) Has a hitter done what he’s doing at some point before? [For example, if so-and-so has a 0% K through 5 games—can you look at his rolling graphs to see if this has happened before? If not, maybe this is a legitimate improvement.] (2) Has a hitter or pitcher altered his mechanics? [Alex Cobb went to Driveline to clean up his mechanics and train with weighted balls—now he’s throwing harder than ever, in his mid-30s.] (3) Has a pitcher added a pitch, changed pitch usage, added or subtracted velo, changed pitch shape, etc.? [Drew Rasmussen now throws a cutter—and based on my pitch comps for it, it looks like it’s at least an above-average offering.] Otherwise, try not to overreact, which I’m sure we all have not done! No overreactions whatsoever. Nope. None at all.

Adam Ronis (Fantasy Alarm, @AdamRonis): For hitters, it’s about playing time. Cavan Biggio and Jo Adell are the ones who are the concerns as of now. For pitching, I am looking at velocity changes and new pitches. With the abbreviated spring and lack of pitchers getting built up in the spring, it’s difficult to overreact to one or two starts.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): For pitchers, I’m looking for new pitches, new pitch shape, more (or less) velocity, and K-BB%. For hitters, I look at lineup spot and playing time as playing time is the key to everything. To be honest, it is way too early to freak out if you are in a roto league. The season is a grind! However, if you play in a weekly head-to-head league, you need to be active on the wavier wire if you see any positive (or negative) changes.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn): I’m not really concerned about anyone yet, particularly underachieving starting pitchers, who have been hurt by the shortened spring training. Most teams have been limiting their starters to around 75 pitches to this point, so the small sample size factor especially applies to them. Over the first few weeks of the season, I pay most attention to playing time for hitters and closer situations. Saves are becoming harder and harder to predict but sometimes you can guess right and a modest FAAB investment in early-April could net you 25+ saves.

Brian Entrekin (Benched with Bubba, @bdentrek): It is obviously way too early to fully panic, but there are a few things I look at if I am concerned. First, playing time. If a player I am rostering is not playing as much as I thought they would, I am starting to get concerned. For hitters, I am also concerned with poor plate discipline, aka- striking out a lot. When it comes to pitchers I watch velocity. If the velocity is down a bit, I begin to watch closer as my concern grows. I am not overly concerned with too many players yet, but Jo Adell would concern me as he is being platooned and having trouble with the swing and miss.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy): With an abbreviated spring training, I’m trying not to overreact to some of the cold starts we are seeing. Managers are handling their pitchers with kid gloves and many hitters are still working on their timing. When it comes to evaluating the hot starts, I look for fundamental changes in certain guys, like Jesus Luzardo, Tylor Megill and Alex Cobb all seeing upticks in velocity. Guys who develop a new pitch or alter their pitch-mix are also ones to watch. I’m in on those guys as opposed to just watching some ham-n-egger who has a nice outing in a soft match-up. For hitters off to hot starts, many of them like Steven Kwan, I’m ready to sell to some poor sucker who doesn’t understand that they’re chasing yesterday’s points. Kwan, for example, doesnt have a lot of power or speed and he’s certainly not going to be hitting over .300 in a month’s time. Can’t say there’s an underachiever I’m concerned about, but with all these closers gettting beaten up, we could be looking at some higher-end guys getting bumped soon enough.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): I try not to over think the first few games of the season. The sample is too small to draw any major conclusions. My concerns at this point are the injuries to pitchers which can be traced back to the shortened spring training. Players like Patino, Walker, Giolito have all gone down and one has to wonder was the 3.5 weeks of spring training a cause and which pitcher will be next.

Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): This isn’t mind-breaking stuff – I mostly look to exit velocities and plate discipline for hitters, more to get a sense for what’s been weird rather than looking for breakouts just yet. For pitchers, velocity, repertoire, pitch usage, spin rate, anything really on Alex’s Tableau Leaderboard. I’m concerned about more pitchers than I can name. Some of them will get their missing velocity back. Some of them won’t. And some of them will injure themselves TRYING to get their velocity back.

Tout Wars FAB results: Week of April 18-25

Here are the results of the six Tout Wars leagues using FAB. The direct link to each league is available via the league header. Here you can access standings, rosters and transactions.

American League

Player Team Bid
TLarnach, Min Howard Bender 79
PBlackburn, Oak Ryan Bloomfield 72
ZCollins, Tor Mike Podhorzer 23
JHeim, Tex Doug Dennis 22
JFleming, TB Chris Blessing 21
WCastro, Det Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 18
RStanek, Hou Jeff Erickson 17
DJimenez, Oak Rob Leibowitz 8
KAkin, Bal Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 8
IParedes, TB Jason Collette 3
TRomero, TB Jason Collette 2
JBeeks, TB Jason Collette 0

National League

Player Team Bid
DPeterson, NYM Phil Hertz 111
APujols, StL Ian Kahn 87
CHummel, Ari Todd Zola 77
JCamargo, Phi Phil Hertz 57
SStrider, Atl Ian Kahn 21
BHand, Phi Michael Simione 7
ABarnes, LAD Steve Gardner 6
ATrejo, Col Brian Walton 5
WCrowe, Pit Steve Gardner 3
LGarcia, SD Brian Walton 1
VArano, Was Peter Kreutzer 0
JAdon, Was Derek Carty 0
SAlcantara, Ari Peter Kreutzer 0

Mixed Salary Cap

Player Team Bid
HRobles, Bos Jeff Zimmerman 121
JProfar, SD Scott Pianowski 71
HNeris, Hou Zach Steinhorn 63
JChoi, TB Zach Steinhorn 57
OMiller, Cle Scott Engel 56
TWard, LAA Brent Hershey 55
MMikolas, StL Tim Heaney 46
JDiekman, Bos Tim Heaney 36
MLorenzen, LAA Scott Swanay 34
PBlackburn, Oak Alex Chamberlain 33
LArraez, Min Michael Rathburn 32
AMunoz, Sea Doug Anderson 27
BKeller, KC Scott Swanay 24
DSmyly, ChC Derek VanRiper 17
SEspinal, Tor Michael Rathburn 16
MWacha, Bos Brent Hershey 12
ZCollins, Tor Tim Heaney 11
NSolak, Tex Tim Heaney 11
OMercado, Cle CJ Kaltenbach 11
SPatton, Tex Justin Mason 11
BGamel, Pit Scott Pianowski 9
JHeim, Tex Michael Rathburn 8
CPinder, Oak Michael Rathburn 8
CPache, Oak CJ Kaltenbach 4
KGraveman, CWS Bret Sayre 3
DVogelbach, Pit Michael Rathburn 2
DKeuchel, CWS Scott Pianowski 2
DBundy, Min Scott Pianowski 2
KAkin, Bal CJ Kaltenbach 2
THearn, Tex CJ Kaltenbach 2
DAcevedo, Oak Alex Chamberlain 1

Mixed 15 Draft

Player Team Bid
OMiller, Cle AJ Mass 255
JStaumont, KC Scott White 117
JDiekman, Bos Anthony Perri 43
JChoi, TB Tim McLeod 37
JHeim, Tex Tim McLeod 32
TEstrada, SF Tim McLeod 31
TWard, LAA Adam Ronis 28
JIglesias, Col AJ Mass 25
BKeller, KC AJ Mass 25
JrgLopez, Bal Rudy Gamble 18
JSteele, ChC Perry Van Hook 17
HNeris, Hou Charlie Wiegert 17
GRodriguez, Bal Tim McLeod 13
CIrvin, Oak Charlie Wiegert 13
HRobles, Bos Adam Ronis 12
MMeyer, Mia Tim McLeod 11
SStrider, Atl AJ Mass 11
AIbanez, Tex Tim McCullough 8
DPeterson, NYM Charlie Wiegert 6
FMejia, TB Anthony Perri 5
CMcHugh, Atl Tim McCullough 4
DCameron, Det Perry Van Hook 2
BGamel, Pit Shelly Verougstraete 1
CSchmidt, NYY Shelly Verougstraete 1
MWacha, Bos Seth Trachtman 1
BBurke, Tex Shelly Verougstraete 0
RContreras, Pit Shelly Verougstraete 0

Head to Head

Player Team Bid
MGore, SD Ryan Hallam 78
JSanchez, Mia Clay Link 47
CPaddack, Min Ryan Hallam 43
PBlackburn, Oak Clay Link 43
SKwan, Cle Paul Sporer 38
DKeuchel, CWS Ryan Hallam 37
ASantander, Bal Ryan Hallam 31
CIrvin, Oak Chris Welsh 30
MBumgarner, Ari Ryan Hallam 27
JSteele, ChC Ariel Cohen 26
OMiller, Cle Andrea LaMont 25
JMateo, Bal Frank Stampfl 23
BKeller, KC Frank Stampfl 22
JPederson, SF Ryan Hallam 21
GCooper, Mia Greg Jewett 9
JProfar, SD Greg Jewett 9
JDuran, Min Greg Jewett 9
DRobertson, ChC Ariel Cohen 8
SHilliard, Col Ryan Hallam 4
LArraez, Min Nick Pollack 4
JHeim, Tex Paul Sporer 2
VReyes, Det Nick Pollack 1

Mixed 12 Draft (IP and Saves+Holds)

Player Team Bid
MKelly, Ari Chris Towers 247
MGore, SD Sara Sanchez 164
OMercado, Cle Jeff Boggis 152
JProfar, SD Jeff Boggis 152
BElder, Atl Jeff Boggis 103
AHeaney, LAD Alex Fast 81
NCortes, NYY Jeff Boggis 55
OMiller, Cle Jeff Boggis 55
JChoi, TB Jennifer Piacenti 36
AFrazier, Sea Chris Towers 34
JHeim, Tex Jennifer Piacenti 33
BKeller, KC Chris Clegg 32
KGraveman, CWS Chris Clegg 23
CIrvin, Oak Matt Truss 21
GCooper, Mia Sara Sanchez 16
AHicks, NYY Chris Clegg 14
TLarnach, Min Jake Ciely 13
TomMurphy, Sea Alex Fast 12
TWard, LAA Matt Truss 11
DBard, Col Jake Ciely 6
JPCrawford, Sea Alex Fast 5
EHaase, Det Matt Truss 2

Tout Daily: The Wright Stuff

Welcome to the first Tout Daily of the year. Contributions are a little light this week, hopefully they’ll pick up. The Touts play in a voluntary DFS league, usually on Tuesday, but this week it’s on Friday. We’ll share some of our favorite picks.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports)

Pitcher: MacKensie Gore – You can’t find a better incentive, pitch well and you might get to stay with the big league club! Tough assignment, but the Acuna-less Braves haven’t been tearing the cover off the ball, so at $5k I’m taking the risk

Hitter: Max Muncy – Looking for Mad Max to take the Cincy rookie deep, plus love the 2B roster spot. Sleeper pick Jorge Mateo, after a day off, he’s back to racking!

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Kyle Wright – Wright had 27.7 Draftkings fantasy points in his first start of the season and could be the breakout pitcher of this season. Wright was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. He pitched 6 strong innings with 6 strikeouts, a 0.00 ERA and a 0.50 WHIP. I like him on the cheap at $6,700 tonight at San Diego.

Hitter: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Not cheap at $6,000, but he can single-handedly win your DFS contests tonight. He hit 3 home runs in a single game against the New York Yankees this week.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Brad Keller and Kyle Wright – Hardly anyone is going five innings. The approach is either double cheap arms or paying way up and hoping to get at least five innings. I’m choosing the former.

Hitter: Shohei Ohtani – Cheap pitching paves the way for a Halos stack against Matt Bush and a parade of icky relievers. It’s an industry term

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy)

Pitcher: Carlos Rodon – I know the Guardians are swinging the bats well, but Rodon looks like he’s pitching on a whole other level. I’ll keep banking on him until the shoulder finally gives out.

Hitter: Joey Gallo – Lefty bat is bound to homer and it’s Lyles on the bump for Baltimore. Oh baby!

Tout Wars FAB results: Week of April 11-17

Here are the results of the six Tout Wars leagues using FAB. With a run last Wednesday night, the pickings were much slimmer, but there was another closer in the National League going for over 800 units.

The direct link to each league is available via the league header. Here you can access standings, rosters and transactions.

American League

Player Team Bid
CPaddack, Min Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 288
JBurger, CWS Chris Blessing 63
EPagan, Min Larry Schechter 33
LeurGarcia, CWS Rob Leibowitz 28
JDuran, Min Patrick Davitt 14
BKeller, KC Howard Bender 6
HRobles, Bos Jason Collette 3
HCastro, Det Doug Dennis 0

National League

Player Team Bid
TRogers, SD Michael Simione 822
HelRamos, SF Grey Albright 67
JSteele, ChC Michael Simione 57
DLeone, SF Phil Hertz 51
BDrury, Cin Wilderman/Prior 28
HPark, Pit Brian Walton 5
AVesia, LAD Derek Carty 3
TSantillan, Cin Ian Kahn 2
TJankowski, NYM Peter Kreutzer 0

Mixed Salary Cap

Player Team Bid
KWright, Atl Bret Sayre 181
DBard, Col Scott Engel 44
FMejia, TB Tim Heaney 37
JAlcala, Min Michael Rathburn 33
RCano, NYM Zach Steinhorn 28
JHicks, StL Tim Heaney 26
AIbanez, Tex Brent Hershey 22
DJefferies, Oak Scott Swanay 16
JSiri, Hou Tim Heaney 15
RUrias, Bal Jeff Zimmerman 15
AHouser, Mil Scott Pianowski 13
CFlexen, Sea Scott Pianowski 13
TSantillan, Cin Eric Karabell 11
JDuran, Min Brent Hershey 11
JSteele, ChC Jeff Zimmerman 5
BMiller, Tex Scott Pianowski 4
CArcher, Min Scott Swanay 4
SStrider, Atl Derek VanRiper 3
RSanmartin, Cin Alex Chamberlain 3
RHill, Bos Alex Chamberlain 3
ZThompson, Pit Justin Mason 1

Mixed 15 Draft

Player Team Bid
HelRamos, SF Anthony Perri 56
KWright, Atl Jeff Barton 52
JProfar, SD Perry Van Hook 27
BRaley, TB Anthony Perri 25
TDuffey, Min Adam Ronis 18
TSantillan, Cin Perry Van Hook 17
AHouser, Mil Perry Van Hook 17
DCastillo, Sea D.J. Short 15
JDuran, Min Ray Murphy 14
MDuffy, LAA Perry Van Hook 9
RCano, NYM Tim McLeod 8
CPinder, Oak Rudy Gamble 6
VVelasquez, CWS Charlie Wiegert 4
GHolland, Tex Rudy Gamble 3
WFlores, SF Charlie Wiegert 2
SEspinal, Tor Shelly Verougstraete 1
CStratton, Pit Scott White 0

Head to Head

Player Team Bid
KWright, Atl Clay Link 143
CAbrams, SD Paul Sporer 98
JLowe, TB Frank Stampfl 33
RHill, Bos Andrea LaMont 28
DSmyly, ChC Andrea LaMont 13
THearn, Tex Ariel Cohen 13
JHicks, StL Geoff Pontes 9
MWacha, Bos Ariel Cohen 6
MStassi, LAA Paul Sporer 3
DJansen, Tor Paul Sporer 1

Mixed 12 Draft (IP and Saves+Holds)

Player Team Bid
JMcNeil, NYM Andy Behrens 132
CKluber, TB Jeff Boggis 55
KWright, Atl Jeff Boggis 55
ABummer, CWS Alex Fast 24
TKemp, Oak Matt Truss 17
HelRamos, SF Matt Truss 14
JMateo, Bal Chris Clegg 6
PJohnson, SD Chris Clegg 6
JTaillon, NYY Matt Truss 6
CHernandez, Was Sara Sanchez 6

Tout Table: Early Season Focus

This week, we ask the Touts:

What are some things you will be paying extra attention towards early in the season? It can be player or team specific or an overall league-wide consideration.

Michael Rathburn (Rotowire, @FantasyRath): The impact of the shortened spring training on starting pitching

Brad Johnson (NBC SportsEDGE, @BaseballATeam): Closers in general. There’s so much still up in the air, and it’ll probably remain this way all season. But if there are any tea leaves to read, those who find them first will profit.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): where MLB teams are not deploying players as projected and whether we think that will continue or further changes are on the horizon.

AJ Mass (ESPN, @AJMass): Quite frankly, I’m going to be holding my breath each time one of my pitchers takes the mound for the first time, fearful of a “ramp it up” injury due to the abbreviated spring. Hitters will eventually figure out their timing, but one wrong landing by a pitcher and a 60-day IL stint looms. Pins and needles.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): I’m most curious about early season spin rates and how the ball is playing by comparing April average fly ball distance to past Aprils

Sara Sanchez (bleedcubbieblue.com, @BCB_Sara): How the DH will impact players’ total at bats in the NL, ie, who gets those extra bats. Related, how the DH pushes up NL ERA/WHIP numbers. I tried to draft with this in mind, but am curious to see the actual impact

Nando Di Fino (The Athletic, @nandodifino): I’m resting my brain the first three weeks or so — there are so many variables to consider (short spring training, a lockout where team officials and players couldn’t communicate on ramp-up and rehab plans, the NL DH, new managers, a ton of prospects starting with their teams) that I’d like a little of the dust to settle before I start analyzing things that won’t have clear-cut reasons behind them

Ian Kahn (The Athletic, @IanKahn4): In the first weeks in Dynasty leagues, I will be looking for teams who were looking to compete, that might have a really tough start to the season. I will then look to move some of my young bats to teams for some of their older guys who can help me in my push to win a crown. I am targeting late April as the time to start reaching out.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): Pitch counts, looking for bargain pitchers who are being held back now because of the shortened spring training that will get stronger in a month. Players getting a shot because on injuries if they can keep jobs, and always, closers.

Dan Strafford (FNTSY Radio, @DanStrafford): I will be keeping an eye on velocity changes for starting pitchers in an effort to get out ahead of any potential injuries to start the year. While it isn’t fool proof, tracking large changes in velocity has shown to provide a sign of potential injury. This will help in two ways. One is simply to track your own pitchers and be able to pivot to the waiver wire were necessary, potentially prior to the injury list. Secondly, it may provide a chance of depth chart/minor league scouting on future FAAB bids if the pitcher in question does in fact hit the IL.

Grey Albright (RazzBall, @razzball): Keep an eye on lineups in the early going. A manager once said, “I don’t know what I’m doing until I do it.” Sure, it was a manager of a Pottery Barn, where I was working, but I think it applies here, as well.

Matt Williams (The Athletic, @MattWi77iams): I will be paying attention to how new managers handle stolen base opportunities (Showalter w/ Marte & Lindor) and how teams handle at-bats for the new DH in the National League.

Justin Mason (Friends with Fantasy Benefits, Fangraphs, Fantasy Alarm, @JustinMasonFWFB): How will offense change with all parks now having humidors and how live of a ball do we have this year?

Michael Florio (NFL Network, @MichaelFFlorio): Rookies! They’ve been all the rage and seeing climbing ADP. Will monitor them closely and keep a close eye if other teams start following suit and quickly calling up their top prospects.

Tim McCullough (Baseball Prospectus, @TimsTenz): Pitching! How long are starters staying in games? Which middle relievers are being used for multiple innings and their potential to garner wins and holds. About half the league is still “fluid” in terms of closers, so I’m looking to see who gets the high leverage work and the ninth inning. I’m always on the lookout for FAAB pitcher targets in all roles.

Alex Fast (Pitcher List, @AlexFast8): I’ll be paying a close eye to a lot of those closer-by-committee bullpen situations (SEA, CIN, MIA, etc.) to see if there are front runners or if managers are actually sticking to the committee approach.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): Closers and bullpen situations that are fluid, but also platoons (or non-platoons) and how they shake out for my deeper leagues.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): Pitcher velocity, pitcher velocity and pitcher velocity. Early on, I look keenly at lineups as well as bullpen usage. More than individual players – I look at which teams attempt many stolen bases.

Ryan Bloomfield (BaseballHQ, @RyanBHQ): Agree with Ariel — I’m focused on finding the “next Lucas Giolito”, homing in not only on velocity changes for individual pitchers, but also pitch mix changes. Those tangible changes in approach can separate signal from noise early in the season when we otherwise don’t have enough of a sample size to draw from.

Rick Wolf (Fantasy Alarm, @RickWolf1): Important for all fantasy players to understand how the designated hitters will be used for each team in the NL. In the AL, we know the managerial styles surrounding the use of a steady DH or a cycle approach. Understanding that in the NL will help you find the players that can help your team especially in NL Only leagues. Also, will be watching how this affects innings for starters as they will not need to be pulled for a pinch hitter.

Bret Sayre (Baseball Prospectus, @BretSayreBP): Lineup construction, at least certainly more than usual. Due to the short spring, the crunched season and the larger rosters, I will pay more attention to who is getting days off and how managers are using non-full-time players. Even in weekly leagues, if we can get a sense for who is playing 4, 5 and 6 days a week (and against what kind of arms), we’ll be able to make better lineup decisions.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): I’ll look at roles as much as anything else. Volume is so important in terms of plate appearances and innings. I’ll look at platoons, lineups etc. to figure out which players are set for favorable volume.

Chris Welsh (In This League Podcast, @IsItTheWelsh): Rookie usage. It’s been exciting see the influx of prospects break camp, but with expanded rosters, will the teams beyond the Royals and Witt give major playing times. Do the Phillies let Stott play between SS and 3B the majority of April? Do the Padres use CJ Abrams like a full-time player? Does Nick Lodolo get significant starts? Besides Witt, Julio and Tork, we put some last minute stock in Lowe, Stott, Kwan and Abrams. Are teams committing themselves to these players, or is this a product of expanded April rosters?

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): I’m a Met fan, so I’m curious how they handle the DH – and the PT of Davis, Cano and Smith.

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, The Process, @jeffwzimmerman): Keep it simple. Pitch velocity and arsenal changes. Who teams go for Saves? Look over lineups for platoons and lineup positions. Don’t over react to the first few days when mangers let everyone play.

Nick Pollack (Pitcher List, @PitcherList): What Jeff said. April is the time of surprising pitchers doing new things that allow us to jump in quickly. Monitor velocities, approach shifts, pitch counts, etc. and if it matches with a favorable schedule, jump in and see what happens.

Lenny Melnick (LennyMelnickFantasySports, @LennyMelnick): Min Innings will be carefully watched

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): Generally I will be paying closer attention to all pitchers early in the season. The shortened spring training and overall trend of starters not going deep into games will have a detrimental effect on starting pitchers’ overall performance and stats. Closers are always volatile, so it will be interesting to see who comes out of the gate and emerges as a viable closer or is quickly replaced. The waiver wire will be key for pouncing on those middle relievers who suddenly ascend into a 9th inning role.

Dr. Roto (DrRoto.com, @DrRoto): How quickly managers give the hook to their starters

Derek VanRiper (The Athletic, @DerekVanRiper): I’m looking for early flashes of skills growth through Statcast. For young players, it might be getting actual reads on them for the first time. For more established players — is there an uptick in velocity, a new pitch, a change to the previous pitch mix, more raw power than expected? Anything that might put me in a position to make an early-season move that could offer a longer-term impact is on my radar at the moment.

Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @andybehrens): I can’t recall a season in which I’ve been so invested in so many first-year players. It’s basically the golden age of prospecting. In recent days, I’ve really drafted myself into a spot where I’m gonna need C.J. Abrams to—at the very least—hold down the favorable side of a platoon arrangement while running like crazy. He’s swiped 28 bags in 76 minor league games, so I’m confident he’ll run when he plays.

Greg Jewett (Fantasy Alarm, @gjewett9): Will starting pitcher workloads reflect the 2020 shortened ramp up with most lasting four inning or fewer? Taxing bullpens early will have an effect on them down the road. Plus, will humidors across the league affect spin rates? Even more injuries for pitchers than we can imagine? At least Statcast will be provided for all games, not the limited data we receive during spring training.

Scott Engel (Rotoballer, @scotteTheKing): How Luis Severino and Noah Syndergaard look early on. Will be watching closely to see if Christian Yelich can quickly begin to put lthe last two years behind him.

Matt Truss (Razzball, @MattTruss): Bullpens, bullpens, bullpens. There are so many gigs up in the air right now and so often the first guy that gets trotted out there and gets a save is the guy a team runs with. BAL, MIA, COL, TEX just to name a few.

Toby Guevin (BatFlipCrazy Podcast, @batflipcrazy): I’ll be paying attention to velocity readings and Statcast player breakdown pages for changes at the skill level (velocity, pitch mix, whiffs, etc.) as well as usage patterns in lineups and lineup spot. It’s hard to find meaningful changes early in the season, but velocity bumps (or decreases) and changes in pitch mix are some of them.

Glenn Colton (Fantasy Alarm, @GlennColton1): This seems kind of obvious but bullpen usage. Not so much who gets the saves in the early going but which pitchers are getting more high leverage work than expected and thus can be grabbed cheaply before the FAAB crazy bidding on a Sunday after the manager anoints them closer

Jason Collette (Rotowire, @jasoncollette): Offense overall, but particularly homers. The first 7-10 games of the season in recent years has been a very strong indicator of how the season would play out for homers. Spring Training has already shown increased offense while the HR/Contact rate this season is down from both the 2021 Spring Training and 2021 regular season.

John Laghezza (The Athletic, @MLBMovingAvg): The ball, the way it carries, outliers in YOY HR/FB% or anything regarding power that raises an eyebrow

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): Mainly paying attention to lineups and who gets used as a Closer in situations where that isn’t obvious going into the season. It’s never too early to start making incremental improvements to your roster via the waiver wire.

Tristan H. Cockcroft (ESPN, @SultanofStat): I’m the guy who has fought for years for quality starts replacing wins in traditional rotisserie scoring, so starting-pitching workloads are of particular interest to me, especially how they trend in the final two weeks of April and into May as well as over the course of the full year. If the league’s average for innings per start hovers around five, as it did last year (5.02), I’ll be making my pitches to quickly pivot off that category for future years.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): Pitcher velocity. I always pay attention to that metric all season anyway, but with a shorter spring training, some pitchers may not have had as much time to build up their arm strength as they typically need. It will be interesting to see if strikeout rates are down a bit over the first couple of weeks compared to the same time period historically.

Ryan Hallam (Fighting Chance Fantasy, @FightingChance): So many things to watch early. The DH in the National League and how teams that didn’t go out and get one (Nelson Cruz) will handle it with their rosters. Early returns on CJ Abrams, Bobby Witt, Josh Lowe, Julio Rodriguez. Closer situations that were in flux coming into the season, and if starting pitchers (outside of studs) continue to go fewer innings

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): As many have said before, I’ll be watching velocity, strikeout rates for both hitters and pitchers, and well as HH/PA for hitters. I’ll also keep my eyes on the high minors. How well are Oneil Cruz, Nick Pratto, MacKenzie Gore and when is it time to stash them on my bench?

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): Closer situations are usually a primary interest early on, especially in clearly unstable ‘pens like TEX, BAL and OAK. I’ll also be keeping an eye on prospects who start the year on the big-league roster, and noting who’s next in line should the prospect flame out.

Chris Blessing (Baseball HQ, @C_Blessing): In nearly every league I’m in this year, it’s been incredibly difficult to grab pitching of value off the wire. It’s causing me to be more speculative filling out pitching depth than ever before. I’m really counting on nabbing a few post-hype guys to get me over the pitching hump. Guys like Taylor Hearn, JT Brubaker and Bruce Zimmerman. Dudes I don’t really believe in so much as I’m hoping for one of them to outperform and give me a legitimate depth option in case someone goes down in my rotation.

Alex Chamberlain (Rotographs, @DolphHauldhagen): Rosters will shrink by two spots in May. The players who could be optioned may be of little consequence from a fantasy standpoint, but it will almost certainly impact AL/NL-only leagues, so keep an eye on playing time as the month wears on.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): Pitch counts affected by the shortened spring and the subsequent use of bullpens. I expect many pitching staffs, both rotations and bullpens, to be in a constant state of flux and more this to start from the very early portion of the season.