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Week 3 Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers: Holy Cowser!

Welcome to the Week 3 edition of Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers! As the baseball season starts to heat up, the sample size of player data is growing, giving us a better idea of player production. While some players are playing unexpectedly well, others we were high on have been struggling. You may be wondering what to do for fantasy purposes, but don’t sweat it! This weekly write-up will highlight the week’s hot and cold performances to help with lineup and waiver wire decisions. With that in mind, let’s look at some Week 3 fantasy baseball risers and fallers!

Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers

Stats from 4/8 – 4/14


Colton Cowser (OF — BAL)

Colton Cowser killed it last week. He piled up 10 hits — including five barrels and four doubles — and popped four home runs with six runs scored and a league-leading 12 RBI. He also threw in a couple of steals for good measure.

Cowser has edged Austin Hays out of a strong-side platoon role and could get at-bats against lefties if he continues to rake. He’s made excellent quality of contact, barreling the ball at 19.2% clip and logging a 57.7% hard-hit rate. He’s also sporting a 1.297 OPS across 42 plate appearances. Colton Cowser is here to stay, folks.

Brandon Marsh (OF — PHI)

Brandon Marsh is swinging a hot stick, going 8-for-23 (.348) last week with a couple of home runs, four runs scored, and four RBI. He also smoked the ball to the tune of a 76.9% hard-hit rate and 98.3 mph average exit velocity. Marsh’s hot play has earned him a higher spot in the order, moving from the bottom third of the lineup to the middle of the order in his last four starts. He’s also been getting some at-bats against lefties.

Marsh has a nice blend of power and speed, and he improved his quality of contact and plate discipline metrics in back-to-back seasons. If those gains stick, Marsh could be a breakout bat in 2024. He’s a solid power/speed play in 12-team leagues, especially if he gets more volume.

Jacob Young (OF — WAS)

If you’re in the market for speed, don’t sleep on Jacob Young. Last week, he swiped four bases while getting on base at a .400 clip. He also went 6-for-18 at the plate (.333) with a couple of doubles, five runs, and two RBI.

Young replaced Victor Robles earlier this month, taking over the Nationals’ everyday job in center field. He has five stolen bases in eight games started and led off in three of the last four games against lefties. Young’s sprint speed is in the 96th percentile, and he stole 13 bases in 121 plate appearances after being called up last August. Washington is one of the more aggressive teams on the basepaths, making Young a nice speed target in all league sizes.

Anthony Rendon (3B — LAA)

It’s tough to ignore Anthony Rendon’s week. He slashed .450/.500/.500 with five runs scored, one RBI, and a stolen base across five games. He totaled nine hits, including four multi-hit games, and posted a 50% hard-hit rate for the week.

Rendon is mostly an afterthought in fantasy these days. He hasn’t topped 58 games in an Angels uniform, and he’s not the most loveable personality to take the field. But Rendon has elite plate skills and contact rates and is the new leadoff man in Anaheim. If he can continue getting on base, the runs should pile up with Mike Trout and Taylor Ward hitting behind him. Plus, there may be some hidden speed lurking under the surface. Skipper Ron Washington indicated he wants the team to be more aggressive on the basepaths this season, and Rendon already has one steal on two attempts. He’s worth a flier in 15-team leagues and is an easy drop if things don’t pan out.


Jeimer Candelario (1B/3B — CIN)

Jeimer Candelario’s rough start to the season continues. Last week, he logged four hits, two runs scored, and three RBI. He also struck out at a 34.8% clip and was caught stealing.

Strikeouts are at the core of Candelario’s troubles this season. His 32.8% strikeout rate across 61 plate appearances is nearly 10 points higher than his career rate. Additionally, Candelario’s power metrics are down across the board — his 30.6% hard-hit rate on the season is a career-low mark, and he’s yet to barrel a ball. The season is still young, and Candelario has time to turn things around. But in the meantime, he’s dropped from the cleanup spot to seventh in the order, which isn’t ideal.

Ian Happ (OF — CHC)

Ian Happ had a brutal week, going 1-for-22 (.045) with three runs scored and two RBI. While this is likely just a bump in the road for Happ, his lack of power and steals this season is concerning — he has goose eggs in both categories across 69 plate appearances.

On the power front, Happ’s quality of contact metrics are slightly down across the board, but nothing that screams red flag. The lack of steals is more worrisome, especially since Happ is leading off and getting on base at a robust .362 rate. The Cubs are dead last in stolen bases, with a team total of two swipes in six attempts. If the Cubs aren’t running, that’s a problem for Happ’s fantasy value. He stole a career-high 14 bags last season and improved his on-base percentage for three consecutive seasons. It’s a wasted opportunity — for Happ and the Cubs — if the team remains passive on the basepaths. Stay tuned.

Paul Goldschmidt (1B — STL)

The age cracks may be starting to show for Paul Goldschmidt. He went 4-for-22 last week with a lone run scored and RBI. He also struck out in nearly 35% of his at-bats.

Goldschmidt is still walking at a healthy clip this season (10.6%), but his 28.8% strikeout rate (career 22.4%) and .538 OPS (career .904) are uncharacteristic. Also, Goldschmidt’s power has yet to show up, as he has just one barrel and a 28.2% hard-hit rate across 66 plate appearances. Goldschmidt has a long track record of production, so we shouldn’t push the panic button just yet. But it’s worth noting his strikeout rate ticked up for three straight seasons, and he struggled in the second half of 2023 (.763 OPS). We may be looking more at a 20-25 HR/.260 AVG season in 2024 for Goldy.

Triston McKenzie (SP — CLE)

Triston McKenzie had a dud of an outing last Sunday against the Yankees. He allowed five earned runs on four hits across four innings, with six walks and one strikeout. He also only got two whiffs on the day and posted a 15% CSW%.

McKenzie isn’t getting strikes this season (8.1% K%), and his command has been shaky at best (19.4% BB%). Plus, batters are teeing off his fastball to the tune of a .484 SLG (.633 xSLG), which is not what you want to see, given McKenzie throws it close to 56% of the time. Pitchers are going down like flies this season, but McKenzie is a drop in 12-team leagues and a reserve arm at best in 15-teamers.

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