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Auction Draft Values Under $1 - Fantasy Baseball Auction League Sleepers (2024)

Garrett Whitlock - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

The $1 players in salary cap fantasy baseball leagues are those who aren't gathering enough hype, the forgotten men. In many leagues, most of these players will stay undrafted. They'll toil, hoping to escape your league's waiver wires.

In standard salary cap leagues, it's simply a result of the system. According to NFBC average auction values, 352 players will carry a cost larger than one dollar this year. In a 12-team league with 16-man to 25-man rosters, even players with values above a dollar may go undrafted.

But these dollar-day men aren't worth ignoring. There are several players in the one-dollar category that could end up outperforming some of the $20, even $30, players by the season's end. With 155 players valued at $1, it's difficult to figure out which ones are worth a spot on your rosters. Let's look at a few who could be.

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

 

Nolan Schanuelย (1B, LAA)

A mere 40 days after being drafted at 11th overall in the 2023 MLB Draft, Nolan Schanuel moved into a regular role at first base for the hapless 2023 Los Angeles Angels. Many expected him to fall flat on his face, but Schanuel remarkably slashed .275/.402/.330 with a home run, six RBI, 19 runs, and a 15.2% walk rate through 29 games. His numbers could've been even more impressive, as indicated by his .280 xBA, .336 xSLG, and .350 xwOBA last season.

The 22-year-old's unmatched on-base skills, with a .505 OBP in the minors and a .615 OBP in his final season of college baseball, should be enough to take him for the dollar, but there's room for much more.

The Achilles heel here is his startling lack of power, as his 85.4 mph average exit velocity and 2.2% barrel rate would've put him among the worst in the league for those power marks. But his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame is built for home runs, and ZiPS has him projected for 16 home runs through 107 games in 2024.

He'll be punching well above his $1 AAV with his contributions in the runs and AVG/OBP category, but he'll turn into a grand slam pick if he unlocks some power.

 

Wilyer Abreu (OF, BOS)

Wilyer Abreu seemingly came out of nowhere in garbage time for the Boston Red Sox, slashing .316/.388/.474 with two home runs, 14 RBI, 10 runs, and three stolen bases through 28 games after his call-up on August 22.

His .431 BABIP is bound for some regression, but the 24-year-old showed what could make him a perennially fantasy-relevant outfielder. He managed to sustain the >10% walk rate streak he's had since 2019 High-A ball, with a 10.6% walk rate in 2024.

He hit the ball hard and well, with a .456 xwOBAcon (xwOBA on contact), 91.3 mph average exit velocity, and 49.1% hard-hit rate. And he hustled in other facets of the game, playing adequate defense and somehow stealing three bases in 2023 with a subpar 26.7 ft/sec sprint speed.

These skills should lead to playing time, and Red Sox brass seems keen on making sure that happens. Per the Boston Herald's Mac Cerullo on X, Red Sox chairperson Tom Werner projects 400 plate appearances for the rookie.

Manager Alex Cora lauded the rookie in a spring training presser, saying he feels comfortable having him in at right. You could feel even half as confident as Red Sox personnel, and Abreu would still give you a lot of production for his $1 AAV.

 

Matt Wallner (OF, MIN)

Matt Wallner had a fantastic rookie year, slashing .249/.370/.507 with 14 home runs, 41 RBI, 42 runs, and two stolen bases through 76 games.

Of course, a hitter with that kind of output doesn't come without certain flaws; the 26-year-old's poor .119 batting average against left-handed pitchers will likely force him into a platoon role. Platoon roles can be scary, but you can stomach his strong-side platoon role when considering ATC projects 17 home runs and a .431 SLG through 440 plate appearances in 2024.

 

James McArthur (RP, KC)

While veteran relief pitcher William Smith is taking the preseason closer title among fantasy baseball managers, second-year reliever James McArthur figures to factor in for some saves.

McArthur was acquired from the Phillies in a trade in May and was called up in June to disastrous results (seven runs allowed in a one-inning relief appearance). He had better luck in his second call-up in mid-August. He adjusted quickly and had an incredible September, throwing 16 1/3 innings with no runs or walks allowed, four saves, two holds, and a 35.8% strikeout rate.

McArthur's arsenal features the type of awe-inspiring, pure, unfiltered stuff that gets MLB front offices to acquire veteran relievers like Smith, John Schreiber, and Nick Anderson to shape that young reliever into the next big bullpen arm.

His curveball is his star pitch, with a 142 Stuff+ grade and 18.8 swinging strike rate on 38.7% usage. Supplementing his curveball is an incredible zone-pounding slider (77.1% strike rate, 41% CSW rate), with a .185 xwOBA and 64.7% ground ball rate on 24% usage. His sinker is less lively than the aforementioned curveball and slider, but it catches the zone well and didn't get hit at all in September.

He's extended his late-season success to spring training, with a 1.08 ERA, 40% strikeout rate, and 3.3% walk rate through seven appearances.

RotoBaller's latest MLB Closers and Saves Bullpen Report projects a closer committee in Kansas City between Smith; a few saves along with his likely impressive ratios should be enough for him to return on the $1 AAV.

 

Garrett Whitlock (SP, BOS)

If only Garrett Whitlock could stay healthy. We've seen what Whitlock can offer on his best days, with his 3.45 ERA, 26.4% strikeout rate, and 1.02 WHIP proving just that. He struggled in 2023, but a 3.74 xFIP and a history of success should allay concerns. The Red Sox will have no choice but to slot him in as a starter this season; if Whitlock can stay healthy, he has the talent to take Boston and your fantasy team to unforeseen heights.



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