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Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers - Brooks Lee, Colt Keith, Jameson Taillon, and More!

Jameson Taillon - Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers, Pitcher Rankings

There is nothing quite like the ups and downs of fantasy baseball. Every at-bat in every game is the final straw based on that moment whereas in real life, MLB players will have hundreds more across the next handful of weeks to neutralize whatever outcome resulted.

Across the past two months, plenty of recently unknown players have thrived in fantasy baseball while many perennial All-Stars have disappointed. Below, I discuss which known commodities should work their way back to fantasy stardom and which flavor of the month may stick.

For all complaints, contact Kev Mahserejian on X (@RotoSurgeon). Without further ado, here are your risers and fallers for Week 16 of the fantasy baseball season!

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Fantasy Baseball Risers

Brooks Lee, Minnesota Twins

44% Rostered on Yahoo!

This top-50 MLB prospect is making the most of his initial call-up to the majors. Brooks Lee is slashing .458/.462/.625 in his first week as a pro. Yes, these numbers are bound to regress, but it is always nice to see a player hit the ground running. One number we can appreciate and see stick in a near-elite range is Lee's strikeout rate, which sits at a meager 7.7%. Lee has held a high batting average and low strikeout rate throughout the minors and should carry that throughout this season and into his career.

Lee is batting toward the bottom of Minnesota's recently potent order (has not hit above seventh) but can move up by stacking good weeks and earning his keep. Lee is not a speedster but his contributions between average, runs, RBI, and HRs should be enough to keep him viable in fantasy.

Verdict: Pick him up in all 12+ team leagues.

Jameson Taillon, Chicago Cubs

43% Rostered on Yahoo!

Jameson Taillon has reverted to the Jameson Taillon of old since June. What looked like another tumultuous season after a stretch in May has recentered itself. Oddly enough, Taillon started this season on a hot stretch that fizzled out given it was carried by luck.

Taillon's first four starts:

1.13 ERA, 11.7% K-BB, 4.42 xFIP

Taillon's next five starts:

5.68 ERA, 9.2% K-BB, 4.53 xFIP

Taillon's most recent six starts:

2.37 ERA, 21.8% K-BB, 3.78 xFIP

This is an odd way to look at a season, but Taillon is performing well on the surface and within his peripherals. He is still getting lucky, but regression would be milder with a strikeout-to-walk percentage above 20% (well above league average).

Verdict: Pick up in all 10+ team leagues and hold. Only bench in the toughest environments/matchups. 

Colt Keith, Detroit Tigers

31% Rostered on Yahoo!

Colt Keith is finally hitting home runs. After an arduous start to his MLB career filled with bad batted-ball luck, Keith is finding out that regression can be kind. Seven of Keith's eight HRs have come since May 31 while four were hit since July 4. Keith possesses 30-HR power in his bat and profiles as a player who can hit for a good average given his mix of power and a low strikeout rate throughout the minors.

The biggest issue for Keith in fantasy is the surrounding Tigers offense. Detroit ranks at the bottom of the league in every offensive category imaginable against righties and lefties. Regarding handedness, Keith's strikeout rate nearly doubles against left-handers (albeit, in a much smaller sample). He is a pure platoon bat in fantasy but one that can pack a punch.

Verdict: Poor Man's Joc Pederson in a worse offense. Pick up in 12+ team leagues if MI is needed. 

Fantasy Baseball Fallers

Nolan Jones, Colorado Rockies

64% Rostered on Yahoo!

Nolan Jones fooled us all this season. After an exact 20/20 campaign in 2023, Jones appears as one of fantasy baseball's biggest (healthy) busts in 2024. The Rockies OF is slashing .190/.295/.304 this season with just three HRs and three SBs through 47 games.

Jones suffered a knee contusion in spring training after fouling a ball off his leg, but any lingering effects should be gone by now. His walk rate of 12.5% mirrors his 2023 rate while he has raised his strikeouts from 29.7% to 33.7% this season. The biggest outlier in Jones' metrics in 2023 was his .401 BABIP, which is high even for Coors Field hitters. That number sits at a much more feasible .287 this season. Also, Jones is benched more often this season when facing lefties, making him even less valuable in daily formats.

Verdict: Drop him outside of deep OBP leagues. He is a streamer in Coors when they face a stretch of RHP.

David Fry, Cleveland Guardians

45% Rostered on Yahoo!

The David Fry regression has not been fun. If you picked him up after his hot stretch earlier this season, the past few weeks can only be described as miserable. Fry has zero HRs since June 1 and is slashing .223/.287/.337 in this span with just two runs and six RBI.

Fry is still playing often but Bo Naylor's return to the lineup threatens him, especially against right-handed pitching. On the season, Fry's expected average sits at .267 with his expected slugging at .412. These numbers are slightly above average for a catcher but replaceable in the waiver wire. Target a hot hand elsewhere in a better offense or home park.

Verdict: Drop in all formats outside of deep two-catcher leagues. 

Ezequiel Tovar, Colorado Rockies

79% Rostered on Yahoo!

Ezequiel Tovar in July: 35 plate appearances with zero walks and 13 strikeouts while slashing .032/.061/.032.

Tovar recorded his first hit of the month on Tuesday and it came with his first July RBI, too. This is the coldest streak of Tovar's season and possibly MLB career. Luckily, he is an elite fielder, making playing time a lock, and the All-Star break looms for him to readjust.

Tovar is a free swinger in the mold of Javier Baez without the same caliber of tools. He will have stretches of cold play in the future and hot play as he did to start this season. Him being an everyday player at a premium position (shortstop) with the benefit of Coors makes him a difficult drop in deeper formats.

Verdict: Hold in 12+ team leagues using average as Tovar should continue playing every day and making up for struggles in the second half. Drop in all OBP formats or shallow leagues. 



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