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Whitestone’s Waiver Watch: NFBC Main Event (5/20)

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Men of Steal

MLB Counter: 28.9% of the season complete

How does your fantasy team look in the stolen base category? Well, it’s often a good idea to roster players who are faster than a speeding bullet, right?

channel9 channel 9 man of steel #9manofsteel GIF

So it turns out that there is a player who is faster than a speeding bullet (and maybe more powerful than a locomotive?). Elly De La Cruz has just taken over this category. You can look at your league standings and pretty much tell which fantasy managers have Elly on their roster — they are usually first but definitely top three in the league in this category (maybe I shouldn’t have worried about his strikeout rate?).

But before we look at the stolen base league leaders, let’s remind ourselves of what is happening in MLB as a whole. In 2023 and again this year, stolen bases are up to over 0.7 per game from their previous marks of around 0.5. Interestingly, the stolen base success rate is not all that different — yes, it is higher in these last two seasons, but not appreciably so. It seems the teams and players figured out how to get over the 70% success rate in both the old and the new system — making it generally a plus for run scoring either way. 

MLB Stolen Bases

(Updated through Sunday)

Stolen Bases/Game SB Success Rate
2024 YTD 0.74 0.79
2023 0.72 0.80
2022 0.51 0.75
2021 0.46 0.76
2020 0.49 0.75
2019 0.47 0.73
2018 0.51 0.72
2017 0.52 0.73

Below are this season’s top 29 stolen base leaders — those that have stolen 8 or more bases so far this season. These 29 account for 321 of the 1016 steals on the season, or 31.6% of the MLB total. Seven of these 29 were first-round selections in the Main Event: Bobby Witt Jr. (Main Event ADP: 3), Ronald Acuña Jr. (1), Shohei Ohtani (11), Trea Turner (12), Julio Rodríguez (4), Mookie Betts (5) and Corbin Carroll (7). In addition, De La Cruz was drafted on average 20th overall, C.J. Abrams 35th and Jazz Chisholm Jr. 58th. Therefore 10 of these 29 players (and 113 of the 321 steals) were gone by the end of Round 5 in Main Event drafts. It was get ‘em early or hope you hit one of the more unexpected players — as Brice Turang, José Caballero and Jacob Young have really supported fantasy teams with more unexpected steal totals.

Individual Stolen Base Leaders 2024

(As of Sunday)

Steals Player
30 Elly De La Cruz
17 Brice Turang, José Caballero
15 Bobby Witt Jr.
14 Ronald Acuña Jr., Jacob Young
12 Bryson Stott
11 Shohei Ohtani, Spencer Steer, Lane Thomas, Dairon Blanco
10 Maikel Garcia, Jarren Duran, Trea Turner, Luis Rengifo, Trey Lipscomb
9 Anthony Volpe, Julio Rodríguez, Brenton Doyle, Johan Rojas
321 Top 29 Base Stealers

NFBC Main Event — Most Added This Week: Pivot Table

So my helpful FTN Fantasy mentor and editor Vlad Sedler (of @rotogut fame) gently suggested I should include the average winning bid in my information — and told me that in order to do this all I had to do was use a pivot table. So I said “No problem, Vlad” and offered him the very nice table you see below. Vlad replied in a friendly way, “That’s not a pivot table, Todd.” I took the news rather badly, as you can see. But I have worked and worked on this problem and believe I have cracked the code — and can now offer to you, gentle reader, the average winning bid for the 10 widest acquisitions in the Main Event. Therefore I urge you (please, please) to spend a significant portion of your day analyzing and considering this new information carefully, as it was hard won by me in a battle with the spreadsheet gods.

Mascot Flipping GIF by MLB

NFBC Main Event FAAB No. 9

In FAAB No. 9 Sunday (our weekly look at how these top managers are spending their fictional $1,000 free agent acquisition budget in the Main Event), the bidding remained fairly tepid. The top-10 widest acquisitions this week are in the chart below, and Miguel Vargas (LAD) and Adam Ottavino (NYM) were added in the most leagues (49 of 57). Vargas had a higher average winning bid though — $28.29 to $18.67 (this information is not critical — I’m just showing off). It’s unsure whether the Dodgers will play Vargas regularly, but he certainly has the talent to succeed.

For his part, Adam Ottavino could get saves, as Edwin Díaz is in a timeout for the Mets. Third in the hearts of Main Event managers was Jake Meyers of HOU, who is on fire in May (batting .391 with two homers and two steals). The No. 4 most-added player was old favorite Joe Ross, who gets two starts this coming week. Luke Raley of SEA pulled in as the No. 5 acquisition, added in 35 leagues with a solid $43.40 average winning bid (Look, I’m giving you this average bid no matter what, so don’t say anything). Luis Matos of SF had the highest average bid of the 10 widest acquisitions ($95.09) along with an impressive $233 top bid. Four other players were added in 30-34 leagues: Kevin Pillar of LAA (hitting .500 the past two weeks), Jordan Beck of COL (two homers this week), Alec Burleson of STL (9 for his last 19) and Jake Bauers of MIL (could be the primary 1B against RHP).

Player Leagues Added Highest Winning Bid Average Winning Bid Reason
Miguel Vargas 49 $68.00 $28.29 Great potential — will he play
Adam Ottavino 49 $58.00 $18.67 New Mets closer?
Jake Meyers 39 $57.00 $18.87 Batting well over .300 in May
Joe Ross 39 $57.00 $16.31 at MIA & at BOS this week
Luke Raley 37 $55.00 $43.50 Regular PT in SEA
Luis Matos 35 $233.00 $95.09 Rookie is hitting well for SF
Kevin Pillar 34 $47.00 $16.56 Last 2 Weeks: 15-for-31
Jordan Beck 33 $71.00 $35.07 Two homers this week
Alec Burleson 33 $45.00 $19.58 9-for-last 19 with 2 homers
Jake Bauers 30 $47.00 $11.50 Primary 1B vs RHP now

Winning Bids Over $100 and $200

Bidding Stock Market GIF by Pudgy Penguins

I’m also keeping tabs on players attracting the highest individual FAAB bids as well. In the ninth run (Sunday, see below), there were 11 $200-plus successful bids, about the same as last week. Three of those 11 bids were for Jason Foley of Detroit, as the Tigers bullpen is a little unsettled at the moment. In addition, there was one winning bid each for Reed Garrett (see below for more interesting information on Garrett’s winning bids), Jackson Chourio, Byron Buxton, Cristian Javier, Luis Matos, Jorge Soler and Alek Manoah. In addition, there were 24 bids of $100-199 scattered across the player landscape as owners searched for options for the upcoming week.

FAAB Date Winning Bids (< $200) Winning Bids ($100-$199)
3/24 1 9
3/31 58 43
4/7 1 23
4/14 13 80
4/21 14 80
4/28 8 75
5/5 48 95
5/12 10 58
5/19 11 24
YTD 164 487

The Wow Bid of the Week: Reed Garrett

SNL gif. Chris Farley in the Schmitts Gay Beer sketch lifts the sunglass portion of his double lenses in stunned surprise.

The highest overall bid in FAAB Week 9 was for Reed Garrett of the Mets. His services were won with a bid of $420 (the fifth highest bid so far in 2024), which had no problem overcoming an unsuccessful runner-up bid of $78. You can see the happy owner who spent $420 romping through the reeds of a beautiful field below (he thinks it’s a field of Garretts — who am I to tell him differently?).

Garrett was rostered in 42 of 57 Main Event leagues before Sunday’s FAAB run and now is rostered in all 57. The highest of the other 14 winning bids for Garrett was $112 and the average winning bid for all 15 — I can now tell you due to my enhanced spreadsheet skills — was $75.80. You’re welcome.

Animated GIF

  • 3/24: Nolan Schanuel $200
  • 3/31: Jason Foley $479
  • 4/7: James McArthur $225
  • 4/14 Brandon Nimmo $578
  • 4/21 Wilyer Abreu $350
  • 4/28 Pete Crow-Armstrong $355
  • 5/5 Christian Scott $677
  • 5/12 Taj Bradley $444
  • 519 Reed Garrett $420

FAAB Summary: Main Event Managers Holding Back

In the ninth FAAB week, Main Event managers successfully made 1,718 winning bids (as there was declining activity the past two weeks) and have spent about $460 of their $1,000 allocation. This remains significantly lower than the last three years at the 9-week mark, and Week 9 was the lowest since I began tracking Main Event FAAB spending over the past four years at $41 per team. With an average of $540 FAAB left per team, Main Event managers are very well-stocked in FAAB. Apparently, they are waiting for something better than has been available thus far. As you can see in the second chart below, the Week 2 to Week 8 period traditionally exhibits the highest spending per week, and 2024 just does not seem to fit into that pattern.

Total Spent: Main Event Through 9 FAAB Periods

  • 2024: $460
  • 2023: $594
  • 2022: $517
  • 2021: $520

The average Main Event Week 8 winning bid of $24.44 was not too far below the previous two years (which were between $30-33) but slightly above 2021 ($23).

2024 FAAB Week Total # of Winning Bids Total FAAB $ Spent Average Winning Bid Average Amount Spent (per team) Cumulative FAAB Spent (per team)
1 310 $4,929 $15.90 $5.76
2 1460 $46,330 $31.73 $54.19 $59.95
3 1728 $34,480 $19.95 $40.33 $100.28
4 1825 $52,908 $28.99 $61.88 $162.16
5 2029 $57,486 $28.33 $67.24 $229.40
6 1929 $51,835 $26.87 $60.63 $290.02
7 1925 $64,251 $33.38 $75.15 $365.17
8 1875 $45,824 $24.44 $53.60 $418.76
9 1718 $35,076 $20.42 $41.02 $459.79
Total 14799 $393,119 $26.56 $459.79  

Average Weekly Spending Per Team (21-24)

FAAB Period 2024 2023 2022 2021
1 $5.76 $8.46 $11.29 $9.89
2 $54.19 $63.55 $51.24 $86.71
3 $40.33 $70.01 $65.29 $85.95
4 $61.88 $86.51 $62.57 $67.98
5 $67.24 $67.77 $53.82 $67.41
6 $60.63 $77.52 $71.32 $66.39
7 $75.15 $93.31 $83.64 $47.16
8 $53.60 $75.35 $65.81 $42.71
9 $41.02 $51.57 $51.68 $46.22
10 $46.77 $46.93 $59.57
11 $43.38 $42.24 $40.12
12 $65.35 $39.90 $28.44

The Colosseum

Pvp Elden Ring GIF by Xbox

Four Widest ME Pickups from 3 Weeks Ago Leagues Added First 3 Weeks Stats After Wide Pickup
Simeon Woods Richardson 54 19.1 IP (14/4 K:BB) 0 W 3.26 ERA 1.24 WHIP
Pete Crow-Armstrong 53 .190 BA 0 HR 4 SB (2/5 R:RBI)
Bryce Elder 49 11.2 IP (13/7 K:BB) 0 W 11.57 ERA 2.57 WHIP
Jo Adell 46 .186 BA 5 HR 3 SB (10/11 R:RBI)

Each week during the season, I’ll take a look at the four widest Main Event pickups from three weeks ago and evaluate whether it was a good addition based on the early stats (thumbs up), a bad idea (thumbs down) or simply a push. We’re focusing on the first three weeks after the pickup where players can earn their new owners some good stats (as they are generally in the active lineup) or underperform badly, leading to a drop as the weeks go by.

Three weeks ago, we had our sixth FAAB run, and as you can see from the above stats, we had two solid pickups (Simeon Woods Richardson and Jo Adell). Woods Richardson has kept the Twins in the games, and while he doesn’t have a win, he has solid ratios and a good K:BB. Jo Adell has done even better though. Despite his .186 batting average over this period, he has supplied good counting stats along with 5 homers and 3 steals — helping fantasy owners plenty. On the flip side, Pete Crow-Armstrong has not played consistently, and has not done enough while he is in there to get a thumbs up. The 4 steals are nice, but managers may have had to pull him out of their lineups and have not received the benefit of those stolen bases. Finally, Bryce Elder has just been awful, culminating in his start Sunday against the Padres of 3 IP and 6 earned runs. He gets a thumbs down.

Main Event managers still have a strong leg up in 2024 with 12 thumbs up (50%), 7 thumbs down and 5 pushes, which is better than the final 2023 total of 39 thumbs up for the season (44%), 36 down (41%) and 13 pushes (15%). The 2023 good pickups were higher than the 2022 good pickups mark of 39% and 24% in 2021, so maybe we’re all improving?

Colosseum Thumbs Up Record:

  • 2024 thus far: 50%
  • 2023: 44%
  • 2022: 39%
  • 2021: 24%

Overall Leaderboard: Schroter in a “Photor”

Finish Line Summer GIF by @SummerBreak

So Glenn Schroter, the 2015 overall Main Event champ, got angry because he was not leading the 2024 Main Event last week. So he edged back in front in a photo (er “photor”) finish ahead of another Overall Winner Robert Cramutola (who won in 2022) You can see from the actual footage above showing that he isn’t leading by much. Glenn has three Main Event teams — ranked Nos. 1, 59 and 84 out of 855 — wow. However, Robert Cramutola is right on his heels, and this just might be a Schroter/Cramutola back-and-forth all season. Who can we turn to to end this tyranny of the former overall champions? It seems Nelson Sousa has offered to assist. After leading for two weeks in April, Nelson has not faded but remains in the hunt in third place overall. Also not to be overlooked is star fantasy manager Jason Santeiu, who has teams holding down fourth and 29th on the overall leaderboard. Sheesh. I don’t think he’s falling back to the pack anytime soon (at least that’s what Jason told me). Also in the top five is Bradley Libros, who fell back from second place with his top Main Event entry. With his patented “Liberate us from the Main Event Overall Champs” cry, Bradley is a force to be reckoned with (although the shouting makes it a little disconcerting to sit next to him during drafts).

Among the other top-30 contenders, the ever-dangerous Clark Olson is sixth (and 30th), Nicholi Knutson drops from sixth to seventh, Andy Saxton drops back from seventh to eighth, Todd Hoppe continues to move up (this week from 11th to ninth), Todd Hoppe is ninth (from 10th last week) and Eric Drescher rounds out the top 10 overall (from 11th a week ago). 

A few other notables in the top 31 (the top 31 are paid an overall prize at the end of the season – see below table) include Big Deal Greg Diehl (11th), Dave Rhydderch (12th), Bill Gaffney (13th), Brian Magnani (14th) and Stephen Ciepiela (15th). Three guys I recommend keeping an eye on are Chris Boudreaux (17th), Robert DiPietro (25th) and Jordan Rosenblum (28th) – they’re definite threats to move up even further.

But all 31 of these fantasy managers have gotten off to a terrific start, and that’s what you need in a big 855-team contest like the Main Event. We’ve almost reached the 30% mark of the season (28.9%), but there’s still lots of games to be played before October.

Top 31: Main Event 2024

Overall Rank Overall Prize Money Fantasy Manager Overall Points Points Behind 1st Place
1 $200,000 Glenn Schroter 7538.0 0.0
2 $50,000 Robert Cramutola 7503.0 35.0
3 $30,000 Nelson Sousa 7364.5 173.5
4 $25,000 Jason Santeiu 7258.5 279.5
5 $20,000 Bradley Libros 7246.0 292.0
6 $15,000 Clark Olson 7240.5 297.5
7 $12,500 Nicholi Knutson 7,234.0 304.0
8 $10,000 Andy Saxton 7217.0 321.0
9 $9,000 Todd Hoppe 7179.5 358.5
10 $8,000 Eric Drescher 7169.0 369.0
11 $7,500 Greg Diehl 7028.0 510.0
12 $7,000 Dave Rhydderch 7005.0 533.0
13 $6,500 Bill Gaffney 7002.0 536.0
14 $6,000 Brian Magnani 6991.0 547.0
15 $5,500 Stephen Ciepiela 6959.0 579.0
16 $5,000 Abdulaziz Madani 6948.5 589.5
17 $4,000 Chris Boudreaux 6812.0 726.0
18 $3,500 David Einhorn 6788.5 749.5
19 $3,000 Erik Sviggum 6764.0 774.0
20 $2,500 Eric Karlovic 6737.0 801.0
21 $2,400 Andrew Sullivan 6694.5 843.5
22 $2,300 Chris Uram 6680.0 858.0
23 $2,200 Mike Ballschmiede 6634.5 903.5
24 $2,100 Shawn Gidley 6574.5 963.5
25 $2,000 Robert DiPietro 6553.0 985.0
26 $1,950 Matthew Dugan 6538.0 1000.0
27 $1,900 Richard DiMondo 6531.5 1006.5
28 $1,850 Jordan Rosenblum 6531.0 1007.0
29 $1,800 Jason Santeiu 6511.0 1027.0
30 $1,750 Clark Olson 6470.0 1068.0
31 $1,700 Anthony Donisch 6443.5 1094.5
Average Top 31 Overall Score Average Top 31 Overall Score 6908.0

Main Event Leaders in 2024

Week Date Fantasy Owner Overall Points Margin Over Second Current Overall Place
1 3/31 Jenny Butler 7501.5 48.5 291st
2 4/7 Nelson Sousa 7468.5 22.0 3rd
3 4/14 Nelson Sousa 7646.0 13.0 3rd
4 4/21 Greg Diehl 7501.5 134.5 11th
5 4/28 Glenn Schroter 7481.0 63.0 1st
6 5/5 Glenn Schroter 7673.0 255.5 1st
7 5/12 Robert Cramutola 7731.0 105.5 2nd
8 5/19 Glenn Schroter 7538.0 35.0 1st

League of Legends

Legends Never Die GIF by HOMAGE

Here are the 57 Main Event leagues with the current top three in the standings as of the morning of May 20.

Top 3: 2024 Main Event League Leaders

NFBC League # Leader — $7,000 prize 2nd Place — $3,500 prize 3rd Place — $1,750 prize
1190 Kyle Brinkmann Ryan Welborn Dan Iverson
1194 Nicholi Knutson Michael Alloca Daniel DaSilva
1232 Joe Anthony Ray Murphy David Miller
1233 Andrew Sullivan Danny Bronski Andrew Kopicz
1337 Daniel DaSilva Doug Moe Robert Osgood Jr.
1380 Michelle Smith Philippe Dussault Douglas Gruber
1381 Michael Mager Jackson Price Steven Weimer
1418 Neil Petersen Stephen Prepas Tom O’Bryan
1419 Bill Gaffney Michael Brophy Brody John
1427 Robert Cramutola Ian Peterson Dave Anderson
1438 Abdulaziz Madani Dave Rhydderch Chris Uram
1443 Clark Olson Jason Santeiu Nelson Sousa
1460 Erik Sviggum David Hinkel Dalton Del Don
1479 Dave Rhydderch Jordan Rosenblum Robert Beckman
1484 Adam Warner Matthew Shepherd Joe Bavaro
1485 Daniel Semsel Jacob Sebastiao Clark Olson
1487 Brian Magnani Mike Ballschmiede Greg Jewett
1488 Brandon King Brian Edwards Richard DiMondo
1489 Ben Tidd Tyler Jung Joe Green
1493 Alan Mitchell Robert Cramutola Justin Aspite
1516 Andrew Denninno Matthew Davis Mark Bendar
1517 Dominic Rello Bill Macey Eddie Gillis
1518 Michael O’Brien Joe Meyer Jeff Campbell
1519 Kevin Hasting Dalton Del Don Steve Maier
1520 Peter Christensen Bryan Fitzgerald Steven Weimer
1521 Griffin Benger Dave Shovein Kristopher Reed
1522 Glenn Schroter Stephen Jupinka Chris Liss
1523 Clark Olson James Tomony Jacob Halusker
1528 David Einhorn Richard DiMondo Paul Sporer
1539 Bradley Libros Stephen Fiore Dominic Rello
1566 Greg Diehl Mark Srebro Matt Leahy
1585 Leonard Ringle Dave Sowa Lane McVey
1586 Mike Massotto Chris Slack Rich Barry
1587 James Maples Zachary Waxman John Doering
1598 Eric Drescher Robert DiPietro Michael O’Brien
1605 Nelson Sousa Peter Marrero James Maples
1615 Eric Karlovic Doug Cassidy Mike Cameron
1634 Michael Lins Aaron German Bob Catsiroumpas
1645 Stephen Ciepiela Bradley Beckman Dave Rhydderch
1646 David DiDonato Ned Donohue Tony Messer
1647 Jon Stadtmueller Stephen Fiore James Tomony
1648 Dustin Wagner Randall Haines Richard Temkin
1649 Chris Fessler David Bone Jason Anthony
1650 Mark Kieffer Dalton Del Don David Miller
1653 Scott Fleming Steve Brunn Scott Waggener
1658 Chris Uram Matthew Dugan Andrew Kaplan
1676 Todd Hoppe Jason Santeiu Matt Modica
1680 Jeff Freeman Michael DeCalvalcante Lawrence Schechter
1685 Shawn Gidley Michael Wallis Dohn Terrell
1692 Glenn Schroter Robert Brendler Andrew McQuiston
1707 Glenn Giro Brian Edwards Pat Tremaglio
1714 Chris Boudreaux Mike Ballschmiede Anthony Donisch
1778 Andy Saxton Tyler Jung Carter Gill
1817 Matthew Dugan Gregg Martin Tristan Hills
1820 James Hyler Danny Bronski Robert Giese
1831 Jason Santeiu Tim Wagner Dan Leonard
1837 Robert Cramutola Stephen Prepas Luke Proctor

Shout-Outs

Shout Out Love GIF by The3Flamingos

The 23 players listed below account for 15 of the 57 first-place positions (26%) and 51 of the 171 total cashing positions (30%). So far, the most outstanding performance across the Main Events belongs to Robert Cramutola, who has two first places and one second place. Congratulations! Also sporting three league placements are Clark Olson (two firsts and one third), Jason Santieu (one first and two seconds), Dave Rhydderch (one first, one second and one third) and Dalton Del Don (two seconds and one third). But see below as there are several other fantasy managers doing terrific work!

Notables include:

  • Two first, one second — Robert Cramutola
  • Two first, one third — Clark Olson
  • One first, two seconds — Jason Santeiu
  • One first, one second, one third — Dave Rhydderch
  • Two seconds, one third — Dalton Del Don
  • Two firsts — Glenn Schroter
  • One first, one second – Matthew Dugan
  • One first, one third – Nelson Sousa, Daniel DaSilva, Chris Uram, Dominic Rello, Michael O’Brien, James Maples
  • Two seconds — Stephen Prepas, Stephen Fiore, Danny Bronski, Mike Ballschmiede, Brian Edwards, Tyler Jung
  • One second, one third — James Tomony, Richard DiMondo
  • Two thirds — Steven Weimer, David Miller

Good luck in Week 10!

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