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Week 1 Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers: Oh My Lourdes!

Baseball is officially back! With Opening Day in the books, it’s time to shift our focus from draft preparation to in-season management. Here, we’ll highlight risers and fallers each week throughout the season to help you with lineup and waiver wire decisions. An important thing to remember with these early write-ups is that we’re working with small sample sizes and are still in information-gathering mode. While staying on top of player performances is essential, it’s also important to trust your draft process and not overreact to a week’s worth of stats, good or bad. With that in mind, let’s look at some Week 1 Risers and Fallers for fantasy baseball!

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Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers


Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (OF — ARI)

It’s tough to beat Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s hot start to the season. He’s stuffed the stat sheet with three home runs, six runs scored, and 10 RBI across 28 plate appearances. He also logged three multi-hit games and stole a base for good measure.

Gurriel has a strong plate approach and makes a ton of contact in the zone — he sported a career-best 92.3% zone contact rate in 2023. Gurriel hits third in the order and should be a productive bat for a potent Arizona offense moving forward. While he’s unavailable in most leagues, Gurriel is only rostered in 84% Yahoo leagues, which is criminal.

Oswaldo Cabrera (OF — NYY)

Oswaldo Cabrera is swinging a hot bat to start the 2024 season and taking full advantage of a sidelined DJ LeMahieu. He’s slashing .409/.458/.727 with two homers and seven RBI across 24 plate appearances. Cabrera is buried at the bottom of the lineup but is still a solid play in deeper leagues, especially given the Yankees’ loaded offense. Plus, he’s on track to gain third-base eligibility shortly. The Yankees will likely ride with Cabrera as long as he hits, and so should you.

Brice Turang (SS — MIL)

Brice Turang is one of the league’s early leaders in steals. He’s swiped six bags on six attempts while batting from the bottom of the Brewers’ lineup. Turang has looked great early on, collecting seven hits across 15 plate appearances and getting on base at a robust .533 clip. That number will regress as the season progresses (career .293 OBP), but Turang is no stranger to speed. He stole 26 bases in 137 games last season and has 95th-percentile sprint speed.

The Brewers are one of the more aggressive teams on the basepaths, finishing 11th overall in 2023. Turang is a strong-side platoon bat who should continue to get the green light when he gets on base. He’s a solid play if you have the need for speed.

Garrett Whitlock (SP — BOS)

Garrett Whitlock had an excellent season debut. In five innings against the Mariners, he allowed one earned run on three hits. He also struck out eight and didn’t issue a walk. It’s only one start, but scoop Whitlock up in all leagues to see what sticks — especially with a beatable Angels team up next. Boston’s rotation has been lights out to start the season, with Whitlock and Tanner Houck being the more widely available options. Neither should be sitting on the waiver wire.


Esteury Ruiz (OF — OAK)

Esteury Ruiz is one of the week’s biggest fallers after the Athletics optioned him to Triple-A on Monday. It’s a tough pill to swallow for fantasy managers who invested a top-150 pick on the speedster. While Ruiz’s 67 stolen bases led the American League last season, he only got on base at a below-average .309 clip. That ultimately cost Ruiz playing time in the second half of 2023, which carried over to the start of this season. Ruiz should be back up if he figures things out at the plate, but until then, he’s a drop in most leagues.

Nico Hoerner (2B/SS — CHC)

Nico Hoerner is splitting time between the 7-hole and the leadoff spot this season. This is a head-scratcher since Hoerner thrived from the top of the lineup in 2023 — his 98 runs, 68 RBI, and 43 stolen bases across 150 plate appearances were all career-highs. Hoerner can easily hit his way to the top of the order. But if he continues to split time, his runs scored and stolen base totals will be compromised, putting a serious dent in his fantasy value. Stay tuned.

Tim Anderson (SS — MIA)

Tim Anderson was a solid dart throw in 15-teamers this draft season after signing with Miami. However, those interested in taking a flier on a potential rebound season likely assumed Anderson would hit near the top of the Marlins’ order. Unfortunately, he hasn’t hit higher than the sixth spot so far this season. While it’s possible he can return to form with a 10/15/.275+ season, Anderson will need volume to do it. I’d pump the brakes on the Tim Anderson Revival Tour unless he returns to the top of the lineup.

Tanner Scott (RP — MIA)

Tanner Scott has had a rocky start to the season. He’s logged two losses in three appearances, and his control issues that popped up this spring continue to be an issue. He’s issued six walks to five strikeouts across three innings of work, resulting in a bloated 2.33 WHIP and -5.6% K-BB rate out of the 2024 gate.

Scott had a breakout season in 2023 that was fueled in large part from halving his walk rate from 15.9% to 7.8%. Prior to that, he never registered a walk rate in the single digits across his six-year career. If Scott continues to struggle with control, he could cede the closer role sooner than later.

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