X
Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Gain Access Now

X

Receive free daily analysis

NFL
NBA
NHL
NASCAR
CFB
MLB
MMA
PGA
ESPORTS
BETTING

Already have an account? Log In

X

Forgot Password


POPULAR FANTASY TOOLS

Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

Fantasy Baseball Players To Watch For The Week Ahead (April 15 - April 21)

Colton Cowser - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

The third week of the season has come to a close and of course, we saw more of what we saw last week... oh, you thought I was referring to home runs, pitching gems, and exciting plays? Well, yes of course there were those, but I was referring to pitcher injuries. Bobby Miller looked electric his first time out, not good his second time, and now he's on the IL. It went from good to bad real quick.

While that's bad news for some fantasy managers, the good news is that there are reinforcements on their way and we'll discuss some of them below.

We'll also take a look at some other names below who are on here for a variety of reasons. I've got my eye on them, and perhaps you should, too, whether it be for season-long or DFS purposes. Let's have a look!

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and weekly lineup resources:

 

Players to Watch: Hitters

Marcell Ozuna

What I'm watching: Hit streak

Marcell Ozuna extended his league-leading hit streak to 13 games on Sunday, and it wasn't with some cheap infield single or bloop hit. Ozuna's first hit was a 405-foot single, his second was a double that would have been a home run in 20 out of 30 major league parks, and his third hit of the day was a three-run blast that flipped the score from a 7-6 Marlins lead in the ninth inning to a 9-7 Braves lead that eventually became the final score. Talk about locked-in.

The home run tied him for the most in baseball with Tyler O'Neill who also clubbed his seventh home run of the season on Sunday. The 33-year-old stands alone atop the RBI leaders with 21, he's batting .373, and slugging .780. Sadly, this is an unsustainable pace, so he's sure to cool off at some point, but it may not be early this week.

He'll face the Astros' Spencer Arrighetti on Monday, who has one MLB start to his name, a start in which he gave up seven earned runs. Then, he'll face Hunter Brown on Tuesday, who's given up 14 ER in his last two starts over a total of three-and-two-thirds innings. The cherry on top of the batting practice sundae is J.P. France on Wednesday, who lasted just four innings his last time out after allowing eight earned runs.

Ronald Acuna Jr.

What I'm watching: The first home run of 2024

It's hard to believe that this segment was in last week's article, but here we are again. The fact that Ronald Acuna Jr. doesn't have a home run is starting to get concerning at this point. Is the knee injury from the spring bothering him? Is there some other injury we don't know about?

The reigning NL MVP's average exit velocity is in the 76th percentile, which is unexpected to say the least for someone who was in the 100th percentile last season. The 26-year-old has a Barrel% of 2.8% (20th percentile), which is a full percent lower than the light-hitting Steven Kwan, who has a Barrel% of 3.8% (29th percentile). At least he has seven stolen bases, which is offsetting some of the other offensive underperformance (and might also mean his knee is actually fine).

It's a long season, so it's not time to panic yet, but fantasy managers who spent the first overall pick on the four-time All-Star are certainly starting to sweat. The good news? See the last paragraph for Ozuna above. The Braves take on the Astros to start the week and some super-juicy matchups could help Acuna turn things around.

Colton Cowser / Michael Busch

What I'm watching: Hot starts for rookies

Colton Cowser had a hot spring, which earned him a spot on the Opening Day roster, and he's continued his hot hitting right on into the regular season. With some other Orioles scuffling at the plate, Cowser has finally been getting regular at-bats. The 24-year-old has a little six-game hit streak going, during which time he's gone 10-for-24 (.417), and he's blasted four home runs over his last four games. The 2021 fifth overall draft pick is worthy of a roster spot and is available in over 30% of Yahoo leagues.

Michael Busch has caught fire recently, too, now with a four-game home-run streak after hitting another one on Sunday, bringing his season total to five. The 26-year-old has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, and now has a .327-5-11-8-0 stat line for the season. The former first-round draft pick sent 27 balls over the wall last season at Triple-A in just 390 at-bats, so the power is for real. The lefty hitter is available in almost 60% of Yahoo leagues and is eligible at both first and third base, giving him some added appeal.

 

Key Matchups: Hitters

These hitters caught my eye when looking over batter vs. pitcher matchups. These guys are already rostered in most leagues, so you aren't running out to snag them off the waiver wire, but they could be targets for your DFS lineups. While sometimes there isn't enough matchup history worth looking at, there is frequency with these, and with frequency comes familiarity. These pitchers likely don't have any more tricks up their sleeves versus these batters.

Nolan Arenado vs. Ross Stripling - Monday, April 15
7-for-15 (.467), one HR, three XBH

Paul Goldschmidt vs. Ross Stripling - Monday, April 15
7-for-19 (.368), two HR, four XBH

Gleyber Torres vs. Yusei Kikuchi - Tuesday, April 16
9-for-21 (.429), one HR, two XBH, only two K

Manny Machado vs. Wade Miley - Tuesday, April 16
5-for-16 (.313), two HR, six BB, zero K

Aaron Judge vs. Kevin Gausman - Wednesday, April 17
10-for-25 (.400), four HR, six XBH

Mark Canha vs. Andrew Heaney - Thursday, April 18
6-for-20 (.300), two HR, four XBH

Mookie Betts vs. Sean Manaea - Friday, April 19
10-for-26 (.385), three HR, seven XBH, only three K

Will Smith vs. Sean Manaea - Friday, April 19
6-for-12 (.500), one XBH, only one K

Juan Soto vs. Zach Eflin - Saturday, April 20
11-for-23 (.478), two HR, four XBH, five BB

Anthony Rizzo vs. Aaron Civale - Sunday, April 21
5-for-10 (.500), two HR, three XBH

Bryce Harper vs. Erick Fedde - Sunday, April 21
11-for-22 (.500), six HR, seven XBH, only two K

 

Players to Watch: Starting Pitchers

Justin Verlander

What I'm watching: Season debut

You don't need me to spout out a bunch of stats to tell you about how good Justin Verlander has been in his career. With all of the injuries to pitchers, fantasy managers are looking for help anywhere they can get it these days. I'm anxious to see what the future Hall of Famer has left in the tank, as he's now 41 years old, had Tommy John surgery in 2021, and is currently in the process of working his way back from a shoulder issue.

He may make his season debut this Friday against the Nationals, but I'll point out that there are some red flags in his stats that may give managers pause before depending on him to lead their fantasy rotations. One example is that his K-BB% has dropped in three consecutive years, all the way down to 14.8% in 2023. Another is that while the three-time Cy Young winner's ERA in 2023 looked good at 3.22, his xFIP of 4.56 and SIERA of 4.43 tell another story.

Jordan Montgomery

What I'm watching: Season debut

Jordan Montgomery is also expected to make his season debut on Friday. I talked about the fantasy impact on Montgomery signing with the Diamondbacks right before the season began, but to sum it up: he's coming off of a season in which he set a career high in innings pitched and a career low in ERA. He's not overpowering, so does not strike out a ton of batters, but he should give managers enough innings each time out where the Ks do start to pile up over time, and he won't crush your ERA or WHIP along the way.

 

Players to Watch: Relief Pitchers

Andres Munoz and Ryne Stanek

What I'm watching: Who is the "closer"

While Andres Munoz is listed as the Mariners closer, an interesting dynamic has seemingly taken hold in this bullpen and put fantasy managers in a bit of a conundrum. Set-up man Ryne Stanek has earned two saves in the early going, and in both cases, Munoz pitched the inning before him. Does this mean Stanek is the preferred option? Not necessarily, as Munoz was tasked with getting the heart of the order out, which could be the more difficult, high-leverage task -- it just might come in the eighth inning instead of the ninth.

Unfortunately for fantasy managers who drafted Munoz, one of the better "closer" options who was taken in fantasy drafts won't be racking up as many saves as anticipated. If this trend continues, it obviously dampens Munoz's value while boosting Stanek's value, but that's not good for fantasy unless you own both or are in a league where holds are counted. It's like the dreaded RBBC in fantasy football.



Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy baseball app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, sleepers, prospects & more. All free!



More Fantasy Baseball Advice




POPULAR FANTASY TOOLS

Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

REAL-TIME FANTASY NEWS

Kyle Bradish2 hours ago

Tosses Seven No-Hit Innings Against White Sox
Ronald Acuña Jr.5 hours ago

Ronald Acuna Jr. Diagnosed With Full ACL Tear
Dereck Lively5 hours ago

II Injured In Game 3
Hunter Renfrow6 hours ago

Browns Considering Adding Hunter Renfrow?
Cristian Javier8 hours ago

Misses Bullpen Session
Tyrese Haliburton8 hours ago

Officially Questionable For Game 4
Luka Doncic8 hours ago

Available On Sunday Night
Luke Kornet10 hours ago

Questionable For Monday Evening
Jrue Holiday10 hours ago

Questionable For Game 4
Kristaps Porzingis10 hours ago

Remains Out For Game 4
LeBron James10 hours ago

Considering Phoenix In Free Agency?
Ronald Acuña Jr.11 hours ago

Ronald Acuna Jr. Says He Is Heading To Injured List
Julio Rodríguez11 hours ago

Julio Rodriguez Has Massive Day Against Nationals
José Urquidy11 hours ago

Jose Urquidy To Be Re-Evaluated On Tuesday
Brent Rooker12 hours ago

Out Of Sunday's Lineup
Kyle Larson13 hours ago

Will Miss Start of Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte; Do Not Pick Him in DFS
Ronald Acuña Jr.13 hours ago

Ronald Acuna Jr. Leaves Sunday’s Game With Left Knee Soreness
13 hours ago

Nikita Okhotiuk Moves To KHL
Jamie Benn13 hours ago

Pushes Point Streak To Three Games
Ronald Acuña Jr.13 hours ago

Ronald Acuna Jr. Leaves Sunday’s Game Early With Apparent Knee Injury
William Byron14 hours ago

a Strong Contender for the Coca-Cola 600
Martin Truex Jr14 hours ago

Looking for First Win of the Season at Charlotte
Denny Hamlin14 hours ago

Should Contend for Coca-Cola 600 Win
Wyatt Johnston14 hours ago

Ends Scoring Drought With Two Assists
Triston Casas14 hours ago

On Track To Start Hitting Next Week
Leon Draisaitl14 hours ago

Nullified For First Time In 2024 Playoffs
Blake Snell14 hours ago

Reinstated From Paternity List, Starting Monday
Mika Zibanejad14 hours ago

On The Cusp Of Making History
Jordan Beck14 hours ago

Officially Placed On Injured List
Jimmy Vesey14 hours ago

Out Week-To-Week
Ronel Blanco14 hours ago

Starting Sunday Against Athletics
Kristaps Porzingis14 hours ago

No Update On Kristaps Porzingis For Monday Night
Byron Buxton14 hours ago

Absent From Sunday's Lineup
Tyrese Haliburton15 hours ago

Unlikely Back For Game 4
Tyler O'Neill15 hours ago

Planning To Return Tuesday
Oneil Cruz15 hours ago

Getting The Day Off
Austin Riley15 hours ago

Sitting Out Series Finale
Jeimer Candelario16 hours ago

Sitting Against Dodgers
Shohei Ohtani16 hours ago

In Sunday's Lineup
Derrick Henry16 hours ago

Will Be Involved In Passing Attack
NASCAR18 hours ago

Bubba Wallace Will Start 12th In The Coca-Cola 600
Tyler Reddick18 hours ago

Why Tyler Reddick Is Not A Core Play This Weekend At Charlotte
Joey Logano18 hours ago

What Should You Do With Joey Logano This Weekend At Charlotte Motor Speedway?
Carson Hocevar19 hours ago

Is Carson Hocevar A Value Play At Charlotte?
Ty Gibbs19 hours ago

Will Start On The Pole In Sunday's Coca-Cola 600
Ryan Blaney19 hours ago

a Strong DFS Play at Charlotte
Chase Elliott19 hours ago

Is Chase Elliott A Core Play In Sunday's Coca-Cola 600?
Kyle Busch19 hours ago

a Value DFS Play at Charlotte
Alex Bowman19 hours ago

Why Alex Bowman May Be The Best Contrarian Play In The Coca-Cola 600
Noah Gragson20 hours ago

Should Be Better Than Record at Charlotte
Christopher Bell20 hours ago

Why You Should Limit Your Exposure To Christopher Bell At Charlotte Motor Speedway
Chase Briscoe20 hours ago

Likely Looking at a Mediocre Run at Charlotte
Ricky Stenhouse Jr20 hours ago

Don't Be Afraid to Roll the Dice with Ricky Stenhouse Jr at Charlotte
Kyle Larson20 hours ago

Could Miss Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte
Josh Berry20 hours ago

Isn't a Great DFS Option at Charlotte
Justin Haley20 hours ago

Looking to Keep Momentum Rolling at Charlotte
Ryan Preece20 hours ago

Not On Fire But Improving For Charlotte
Jaylen Brown1 day ago

Helps Boston Claim Game 3
Jayson Tatum1 day ago

Leads Boston To A Comeback Win
Mike Conley1 day ago

Questionable Again For Game 3
Luka Doncic1 day ago

Back On The Injury Report For Sunday
Shohei Ohtani1 day ago

Dealing With A Bruised Hamstring
Joe Burrow1 day ago

No "Special Pitch Counter" For Joe Burrow
Joe Mixon1 day ago

Dameon Pierce Viewed As A "One-Two Punch"
Brandon Aiyuk1 day ago

Reportedly Looking To Double Annual Salary
Jrue Holiday1 day ago

Available For Game 3
John Collins1 day ago

Jazz Reportedly Expected To "Shop" John Collins
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope1 day ago

Nuggets May Not Re-Sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Luke Kornet1 day ago

Won't Play In Game 3
Grayson Murray1 day ago

PGA Tour Player Grayson Murray Passes Away At 30
Jrue Holiday1 day ago

Remains Questionable For Game 3
Tyrese Haliburton2 days ago

Out For Game 3
Michael Massey2 days ago

Held Out Saturday
Karl-Anthony Towns2 days ago

Struggles Again In Game 2
Anthony Edwards2 days ago

Struggles In Game 2
Artturi Lehkonen2 days ago

Doubtful For Training Camp
Roope Hintz2 days ago

In Contention To Return To Action On Saturday
Sergei Bobrovsky2 days ago

Looks To Continue Hot Streak In Game 2 Against Rangers
Igor Shesterkin2 days ago

Attempts To Turn Around Form On Friday
Filip Chytil2 days ago

An Option To Join Top Line Friday
Kaapo Kakko2 days ago

In Danger Of Being Scratched For Game 2
Pat Freiermuth3 days ago

Developing Chemistry With New QB
Russell Wilson3 days ago

Looking Good At OTAs
Caleb Williams3 days ago

Has Struggled At OTAs
Christian Watson3 days ago

Hoping To Move Past Hamstring Issues
Anthony Richardson3 days ago

Won't Change His Playing Style
Blake Corum3 days ago

Rams Seeking Three-Down Role From Blake Corum
Javonte Williams3 days ago

Newcomers Threatening Javonte Williams' Role
Samaje Perine3 days ago

Jaleel McLaughlin Facing Threat To Workload
Courtland Sutton3 days ago

Not At OTAs
Travis Etienne Jr.3 days ago

Jaguars Plan To Ease Travis Etienne Jr.'s Workload
Derrick Henry3 days ago

Ravens Not Putting A Cap On Derrick Henry's Workload
Rome Odunze3 days ago

Expected To Practice Next Week
Marvin Harrison Jr.3 days ago

Cardinals Sign Marvin Harrison Jr. To Rookie Deal
Jameson Williams4 days ago

A "Man On A Mission"
Darren Waller4 days ago

Absent At OTAs
Daniel Jones4 days ago

Has No Doubt He'll Be Ready For Week 1
Si Woo Kim5 days ago

Misses First Cut In 2024
Nicolai Hojgaard5 days ago

Debuts At Charles Schwab Challenge
Harry Hall5 days ago

Returns To Charles Schwab Challenge
Grayson Murray5 days ago

Looks To Continue Playing Well At Colonial
Garrick Higgo5 days ago

Struggling For Form Heading To Colonial
Scottie Scheffler5 days ago

A Favorite To Win At Colonial
Rafael Campos5 days ago

A Risky Play At Charles Schwab Challenge
Lucas Glover5 days ago

A Healthy Option At Charles Schwab Challenge
Hayden Springer5 days ago

Can Hayden Springer Turn Things Around At Colonial?
Tyson Alexander6 days ago

Needs More Than A Putter At Colonial
PGA6 days ago

J.T. Poston Is Risky But Has A Lot To Like At Charles Schwab Challenge
Mark Hubbard6 days ago

Trending Up Ahead Of Charles Schwab Challenge
Alejandro Tosti6 days ago

Headed For Trouble At Colonial
Chan Kim6 days ago

A Potential Value At Charles Schwab Challenge
PGA6 days ago

S.H. Kim A Sneaky Option At Colonial
Justin Suh6 days ago

A Player To Avoid At Charles Schwab Challenge
PGA6 days ago

Matthi Schmid Looks To Regain Form At Colonial
RANKINGS
C
1B
2B
3B
SS
OF
SP
RP

RANKINGS

QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF

MORE RECENT ARTICLES

 
Cooper Kupp - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, Draft Targets

Fantasy Football Wide Receivers You Must Draft in 2024 - Part II

In 2024, fantasy football managers are all about wide receivers, but we’re also about value. With prices skyrocketing everywhere else, we don’t want to pay above market value for a player. We also don’t want to pay for a player at the cost of their 90th-percentile outcome. We need the potential to get a positive... Read More


Ty Chandler - Fantasy Football Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers

Aaron Jones, Ty Chandler - Fantasy Football Outlook for Minnesota Vikings RBs in 2024

The Minnesota Vikings offense will look a little different in 2024. Quarterback Kirk Cousins left in free agency, and the team replaced him with first-round pick J.J. McCarthy. McCarthy or free-agent signing Sam Darnold will start the year as the Vikings quarterback. Even the running position has changed for Minnesota this offseason. They released Alexander Mattison -- who started the 2023 season... Read More


George Pickens - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Fantasy Football Wide Receivers You Must Draft in 2024 - Part I

Running backs are so 2010, am I right? Fantasy football has completely moved on. Now, all we want are the receivers. How many receivers are too many? That’s not actually a thing. You cannot have too many receivers. Who’s my No. 2 running back going to be? I don’t care, but check this out, Jameson... Read More


Ezekiel Elliott - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

Five Fantasy Football Risers on New Teams in 2024

With free agency and the draft now complete and OTAs heating up, NFL roster outlooks are looking a lot more clear than they were at the end of the 2023 season. Some players who switched teams will see a boost to their fantasy football value, while others will take on lesser roles in their new... Read More


Sophomore Disappointments? 2024 Fantasy Football Second-Year Wide Receiver Fallers

We're working around the clock at RotoBaller in preparation for the upcoming fantasy football season! With early best ball drafts already getting underway, we're taking a look at some notable fantasy football players for the 2024 campaign. RotoBaller's David Rispoli digs into three second-year wide receivers who could be facing a rocky road in 2024.... Read More


Breakout Potential? 2024 Fantasy Football Rookie Tight End Analysis

How do you spend the offseason? Here at RotoBaller, we're working around the clock to prep for the coming NFL campaign. With early best ball drafts already underway, we're taking a look at some potential breakout rookies for the 2024 season. RotoBaller's David Rispoli dives into three rookie tight ends who could turn into fantasy... Read More


UFL RANKINGS, FANTASY FOOTBALL,

UFL Fantasy Football Rankings for Week 9: QB, RB, WR, TE Rankings and Analysis (2024)

With Week 8 in the books, the UFL playoff matchups are set despite two weeks of regular season play remaining. There has been no shortage of parity between the top and bottom teams in the league's first season. This week's rankings are likely to be more of a crapshoot than past rankings. Playoff teams have... Read More


UFL RANKINGS, FANTASY FOOTBALL,

Free UFL Betting Picks - Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Week 9

Well, that was not a good week. As has been the pattern--these things happen, especially when Arlington whiffs so bad as the underdog in the week after a 47-point explosion for their first win in what has become a miserable season. As of now, as far as stakes for the 2024 regular season are concerned,... Read More


Rashee Rice - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL wr, Draft Sleepers

Sophomore Slump: Can Rashee Rice, Jordan Addison, and Jayden Reed Meet Expectations in Year Two?

Each year, a new, promising crop of rookies enters the NFL. A number of these rookies meet or exceed expectations as first-year players and establish themselves as rising stars in the professional ranks. Many then proceed to ascend further in subsequent seasons. However, not all of these young talents continue on their upward trajectories; some... Read More


Ladd McConkey - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

2024 Dynasty Rookie Rankings For Superflex Leagues: 20-11

Now that we’re coming off our rookie fever, it’s time to see where the newest NFL players stack up against the veterans. That’s right, we’re talking rookies and dynasty rankings. My name is Ellis Johnson and this is my sixth year writing NFL content with RotoBaller. I also contribute to FantasyPros Expert Consensus Rankings and... Read More


Khalil Herbert - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

D'Andre Swift, Khalil Herbert, Roschon Johnson - Fantasy Football Outlook for Chicago Bears RBs in 2024

The Chicago Bears were extremely active this offseason and will head into the 2024-2025 season trending up. Despite finishing last in the NFC North with a 7-10 record last year, the Bears are surely in a better spot now in the division. That's because of their successful offseason. Chicago traded for veteran wide receiver Keenan Allen and signed... Read More


Second-Year WR Breakouts? 2024 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Risers

The fantasy football action never sleeps at RotoBaller! With early best ball drafts already getting underway, we're taking a look at some potential breakout fantasy football players for the 2024 campaign. RotoBaller's David Rispoli digs into three second-year wide receivers who could turn into fantasy stars in 2024. These sophomore WRs showed flashes of brilliance... Read More


Michael Florio's Football Show - Podcast RotoBaller Network

Florio's Football Show: Love for Levis, Fade Rodgers and Sneaky Targets!

Michael F. Florio is back going over a number of topics this week! Why is he warming up to both Calvin Ridley and Will Levis? He also talks why he is so concerned with Aaron Rodgers, why he loves targeting Kyler Murray and Justin Fields and tries to make sense of the Broncos backfield. All... Read More