NFBC Main Event: Fever Dream, Chapter 2

NFBC Main Event: Fever Dream, Chapter 2

In April, I invited you to my first-ever journey into the NFBC Main Event. After seven weeks, it's time to share my first quarterly update on how my "Fever Dream" squad is doing. I promised that I would be fully transparent with you, so I'll review my stats and standings for each scoring period. I'll also review my weekly FAAB results and any lessons I have learned throughout.

As a reminder, here's my opening day NFBC Main Event roster:

April 3 FAAB - $1,000 FAAB remaining, spent $0: The first FAAB run was only a few hours after my Main Event draft concluded. There were only four pickups overall and none were particularly noteworthy. I elected to head into first scoring period with the team I drafted.

Period 1 (April 7 - 10):

Period 1 Stats

AB

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

159

.2642

26

6

23

1

IP

ERA

WHIP

K

W

SV

28.67

4.395

1.116

26

0

2

End of Period 1 Standings

League Standing

=/-

Overall Standing

+/-

3/15

n/a

143 / 705

n/a

Danny Jansen and Brad Miller stood out from this four-game scoring period, hitting two HR apiece. Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta were my only starting pitchers to log five-plus innings, as the abbreviated spring training warranted limited pitch counts for many starters across the league. 

April 10 FAAB - $1,000 FAAB remaining, spent $22

Added Santiago Espinal (3B) for $14 (no backup bid), dropped Reiver Sanmartin - Espinal became a target after reviewing Statcast metrics from the Blue Jays vs. Rangers game on April 8. Espinal's first game of the 2022 season resulted in two barrels after hitting just three barrels total in 2021. These were also the two hardest hit balls of his career. I remember messaging Rob DiPietro about Espinal's game the next day thinking I was sharing some amazing and actionable news. However, Rob said he had already taken note of it — an important reminder that Main Event competitors are often one or two steps ahead of you. At the time of the pickup, I was slightly concerned about Espinal splitting time at 2B with Cavan Biggio, but he started two of three games during opening weekend and entered the game midway through in the third in the game he didn't start. Espinal reportedly added 15 pounds of muscle prior to the season and has been my best Main Event FAAB addition to date. On the flip side, Sanmartin was an easy drop after a disaster first start at Atlanta and two upcoming starts against the Dodgers and Padres. I was fortunate to avoid a landmine in Josh Lowe, who went for $318 and was demoted to the minors just a few weeks later.

Added Ramon Urias (2B/SS) for $8 (no backup bid), dropped Jonathan Loaisiga - Urias was among my conditional bids after playing 2B and 3B during opening weekend while hitting fifth and sixth for the Orioles. More starts at 3B would eventually mean three positions of eligibility and added roster flexibility.

Period 2 (April 11 - 17):

Period 2 Stats

AB

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

278

.2446

41

8

36

8

IP

ERA

WHIP

K

W

SV

43.33

3.116

1.131

44

4

7

End of Period 2 Standings

League Standing

=/-

Overall Standing

+/-

1/15

+2

23 / 705

+120

Vladimir Guerrero hit four HR, while Starling Marte and J.T. Realmuto had productive weeks, respectively. This is the type of production I expect from the first three hitters I drafted. Alek Manoah won both starts from his two-step, while his teammate Jordan Romano racked up four saves during the week.

I felt incredibly optimistic to jump two spots in my league to take the lead, while shooting up 120 spots in the overall competition to 23rd of 705 teams. However, I know standings can fluctuate drastically early in the season. It's also a long season and I haven't won anything yet. Let's see if I can maintain this decent standing in the overall competition for an extended period before I get too excited.

April 17 FAAB - $978 FAAB remaining, spent $8 

The aforementioned Jansen hit the IL with an oblique issue and is expected to be out a few weeks. Since Ryan Jeffers and Jonah Heim are the best available free-agents at catcher, I neglected to make any changes at the position and will keep the injured Jansen in my starting lineup. While I hate to take zeros at C2 for a few weeks, I felt reassured by this decision after I heard some well respected players were doing the same with Jansen.

Lesson learned: Don't drop a catcher with upside whose going to be out for a few weeks for a replacement that will hurt your team offensively more than they'll help. 

Added Chas McCormick (OF) for $8 (backup bid of $5), dropped Brad Miller - AJ Pollock injured his hamstring over the weekend, so I needed additional OF coverage. Taylor Ward was my primary target, but I didn't bid nearly enough ($30) to acquire his services. McCormick was third on my conditional list, ahead of Josh Naylor and Jurickson Profar, who have since out-performed him. Brad Miller has a platoon disadvantage against left-handed pitching and had several southpaws during the next scoring period. Despite his 2 HR output from last week, I felt comfortable dropping Miller and figured I could always add him again through FAAB for a relatively cheap price.

Period 3 (April 18 - 24):

Period 3 Stats

AB

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

266

.2820

32

6

31

3

IP

ERA

WHIP

K

W

SV

49.67

1.812

1.047

56

3

2

End of Period 3 Standings

League Standing

=/-

Overall Standing

+/-

1/15

n/a

15 / 705

+8

Tommy Pham finally woke up offensively with seven hits, including a couple of homers, while my 26th-round pick J.P. Crawford had a breakout week. Crawford has been a nice surprise. Meanwhile, my 21st-round pick, Eric Lauer, dominated his two-step against the Pirates and Phillies, fanning 18 batters across 12 innings this week.

April 24 FAAB - $970 FAAB remaining, spent $30 

Added Dany Jimenez (RP) for $22 (backup bid of $12), dropped Miguel Rojas - Andres Munoz and Kyle Gibson were my primary targets with Jimenez listed third among my conditionals. He probably should have been higher, especially since I'm rostering his Oakland teammate Lou Trivino, who recently went on the COVID-IL. Jimenez was added in 34 Main Event leagues and was the biggest pickup of the week, for as much as $324. I wasn't thrilled with the pick up at the time, but $22 was his second-lowest winning bid of the week. We will wait see if any news breaks on Trivino's status prior to the next scoring period.

Added Brad Miller (1B/OF) for $8 (backup bid of $5), dropped Andy Ibanez - I needed 1B coverage for Josh Bell, who was day-to-day with a hamstring issue that required an MRI. Wilmer Flores was my primary target, but I wasn't even close in his bidding. Miller had a 7-game week forthcoming with five of those games against right-handed pitchers.

Period 4 (April 25 - May 1):

Period 4 Stats

AB

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

287

.2265

35

6

30

6

IP

ERA

WHIP

K

W

SV

77

1.870

0.831

76

3

3

End of Period 4 Standings

League Standing

=/-

Overall Standing

+/-

1/15

n/a

18 / 705

-3

Wow, what an incredible pitching week! Manoah and Lauer dominated yet again, while Eovaldi, Shane Bieber and Miles Mikolas were excellent in their two-steps. The only issue is none of the three starters earned a win! This wasn't a good week offensively - my Fever Dream squad only hit .226 with minimal counting stats - but at least Realmuto swiped two bases.

Lesson learned: Be more on top of Tuesday lineup locks! Oakland didn't play until Tuesday and I while I was awaiting news on Trivino's COVID status, I didn't swap Michael Fulmer out of my lineup to insert Jimenez. Fulmer had a nice week with 2.2 scoreless innings, but Jimenez recorded a save on my bench. We'll see if that save comes back to haunt me later on this season.

May 1 FAAB - $940 FAAB remaining, spent $104 

Added Ryan Helsley (RP) for $69 (backup bid of $9), dropped Ramon Urias - I was one of 27 Main Event participants to acquire Helsley and I was on the lower-end of his bids for the week (he went for a max of $251). Earlier in the day, Helsley fired two scoreless innings with four strikeouts to earn his first save of the season for the Cardinals. He also improved his WHIP for the season to a miniscule 0.12. I'm not sure he's usurping Giovanny Gallegos as the primary closer in St. Louis, but his performance certainly warrants more save opportunities moving forward.

Added Michael Chavis (2B) for $35 (backup bid of $2), dropped Brad Miller - Ha-Seong Kim was my primary target, but my $69 bid wasn't anywhere close to what he went for ($117). I knew I was dropping Miller since he only had a 5-game week with a few LHP on the docket, but I'm not sure why I bid this heavy for Chavis.

Lesson learned: Don't spend $30-plus dollars for a streaming hitter on the short-side of a platoon when you don't know how long they will be on your roster.

Period 5 (May 2 - 8):

Period 5 Stats

AB

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

254

.2441

40

8

26

2

IP

ERA

WHIP

K

W

SV

47

3.638

1.255

42

3

1

End of Period 5 Standings

League Standing

=/-

Overall Standing

+/-

1/15

n/a

32 / 705

-14

What a waste of $35 FAAB dollars. Newly acquired Chavis went 0-for-8 in the Monday through Thursday period that I started him. I fell outside the top 20 overall standings with a lackluster offensive week, especially in terms of RBI. On a positive note, Lauer and Mikolas continue to impress on the pitching front as post Round 20 draft picks.

May 8 FAAB - $836 FAAB remaining, spent $11

Added Ramon Urias (2B/SS/3B) for $6 (no backup bid), dropped Michael Chavis - I needed a backup shortstop with Crawford day-to-day. My bid for Royce Lewis wasn't competitive at all, so I figured I'd end up with the likes of Urias or Jose Iglesias.

Added Miguel Cabrera (1B) for $5 (no backup bid), dropped Michael Fulmer - I had $88 bids in for Wil Myers and Juan Yepez and $38 for Jose Miranda. I was the runner up on Myers by a few dollars, which hurt. Adding Urias and Miggy as your "star" bids of the week when your team is struggling offensively does not inspire much confidence.

Period 6 (May 9 - 15):

Period 6 Stats

AB

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

302

.2517

40

9

37

8

IP

ERA

WHIP

K

W

SV

40

3.600

1.250

37

2

0

End of Period 6 Standings

League Standing

=/-

Overall Standing

+/-

2/15

-1

61 / 705

-29

At least Miggy did something for me. He was one of my top hitters of the week, while Justin Turner finally flashed with 10 RBI. Danny Jansen also returned over the weekend and hit a HR. Tony Kemp had an 9-game week, but only hit .200 with a homer, two RBI, three runs scored and a steal over 30 at-bats. This was also my first week with no saves and it's because I started Trivno over Jimenez. That decision meant another two saves were left sitting on my bench for the week.

May 15 FAAB - $825 FAAB remaining, spent $9

Added Riley Greene (OF) for $9 (backup bid of $1), dropped Ramon Urias - I'm desperate for an offensive spark and Alek Thomas, Joey Gallo, Gavin Sheets and Evan Longoria all went for much higher than I bid on each. I even upped my Thomas bid to $176 right before FAAB locked, but he went for $194 with a runner-up of $183. Greene (broken foot) was listed sixth among my conditionals, but perhaps he'll offer the most value out of this group of hitters when he returns. Now was the time to stash him anyway since he had just resumed baseball activities.

Period 7 (May 16 - 22):

Period 7 Stats

AB

AVG

R

HR

RBI

SB

275

.2000

20

5

17

1

IP

ERA

WHIP

K

W

SV

49.67

3.443

1.067

47

2

4

End of Period 7 Standings

League Standing

=/-

Overall Standing

+/-

5/15

-3

256 / 705

-195

What an absolute DISASTER! Eovaldi kicked off the week by allowing nine runs (six earned) over 1.2 innings against Houston. Thankfully, he rebounded later in the week against Seattle. In sad news, Marte missed the first-half of the week after the death of his grandmother. The Mets were rained out on Monday and I didn't have a replacement for him when he went on the Bereavement List on Tuesday.

Lesson learned: Make sure I have adequate roster coverage and flexibility on my bench for last-minute injuries that occur.

Meanwhile, I got NOTHING offensively. Dylan Carlson and AJ Pollock had decent weeks, but everyone else crapped the bed. My team's weekly performance as a whole ranked 667th for the week, which made me plummet 195 places in the overall standings to 256th! Quite frankly, I'm speechless and am concerned about how (if?) I will recover.

May 22 FAAB - $814 FAAB remaining, spent $77

Added Jurickson Profar (1B/OF) for $48 (backup bid of $41), dropped Lou Trivino - Nolan Gorman ($90), MJ Melendez ($71) and Brady Singer ($71) were my top free-agent targets, but I wasn't in the ballpark for any of them. Profar is fresh off a productive week and has an elite walk rate while hitting in the top-half of the Padres lineup. He's a moderate power and speed threat and his dual position eligibility is nice. I'm hoping he's a longer term addition to the roster.

Added Lane Thomas (OF) for $17 (backup bid of $2), dropped Miguel Cabrera - I picked up Thomas to stream him since Washington has seven games, four of which are against left-handed starters, whom Thomas rakes against. He appears to have supplanted Victor Robles as the Nationals starter in center field. I was pleased to see Phil Dussault pick him up this week on several teams. I'm feeling much better about FAAB when my mindset aligns with The Robot.

Added Isaac Paredes (2B/3B) for $12 (no backup bid), dropped Tony Kemp - Paredes was called up by Tampa Bay with Brandon Lowe (back) out for several weeks. I covered him with Brian Entrekin on his "Benched with Bubba" podcast last week and Paredes responded by promptly hitting three home runs. I had hope for Kemp prior to the season, but his light-hitting ways don't help much when your team is tracking poorly against HR and RBI.

Parting Thoughts:

Overall, I'm tracking quite well to the current 80th percentile targets across the five pitching categories. I'm getting enough at-bats per week and am performing well enough in the Runs, Stolen Bases and Batting Average categories that I'm confident I can make up ground in each. Unfortunately, I'm falling farther and farther behind each week in the Home Run and RBI categories. I'm honestly not sure yet how I will recover. It doesn't help when I keep missing out on my top free-agent targets each week. Guerrero leads my team with seven homers, but my next highest player — actually five players — only have four. There isn't much available on waivers to help in these two categories either. If you have any advice you're willing to share with me, please do so in the comments, or on Twitter

Until next time!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Rufe
Ryan manages the MLB Closer Grid and authors 'Closer Encounters'. He also contributes to the MLB draft kit and has been helping RotoWire subscribers through our 'Ask An Expert' feature since 2014. He's an NFBC enthusiast.
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