Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Stock Up-Stock Down article!
This series is meant to highlight players who are performing outside of their norm throughout the season. Great or ghastly, the goal is to attune you to players to pursue and alert you to players to drop. May it be on the waiver wire, FAAB, or a good ole fashioned buy low/sell high trade.
The easy answer to almost every player performance at this point in the season is: "Hmm, interesting. Let's see how this plays out." But that's no fun, and not how we're gonna do things here. I'll keep it reasonable, but be warned, there may be some slight blatant overreactions below. Thats showbiz baby.
Now, without further ado, let's hop into the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Stock Up/Stock Down list!
2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Stock Up-Stock Down
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Adam Duvall, OF, Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox have lost some key players in the past few years, and largely replaced the pieces with parts. One of those parts for 2023 is Adam Duvall. They journeyman outfielder has never been bad, but he has not always been the most consistent player. He has been a matchup winner multiple times in his career, but rarely twice in the same season. Duvall has also played in some of the best parks in baseball over his career.
To no one’s surprise, Adam Duvall has officially been named AL Player of the Week.
He took Red Sox Nation by storm during his first series with his new club:
8/14, 3 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 6 R, 8 RBI
1.957 OPS, 416 wRC+, .817 wOBA pic.twitter.com/lot7P0eTay
— Big Sox Guy (@BigSoxGuy) April 3, 2023
Fenway may just be the perfect place for the 34-year-old slugger. Through his first 20 plate appearances, Duvall is batting a hilarious .588/.650/1.235 and leading the league in hits with ten. The righty's game is almost tailormade for the green monster, and he has enough power to push the ball around the pesky pole in the opposite field.
Duvall has been a fourth outfielder for a lot of his career, but he is going to get significant run for the Red Sox. There is no way that Duvall maintains this clip, but look for him to still be useful. The last time he had over 500 plate appearances, Duvall led the league in RBIs. With his power and the park factors in his favor, it is not unlikely for him to keep contributing at a high level.
RED SOX LEGEND ADAM DUVALL!
— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) April 1, 2023
Wander Franco, SS, Tampa Bay Rays
There is a lot of implied Wander Franco slander going around recently, and I for one, am tired of it. Not 3 weeks ago, Franco was going after rookies in drafts. The logic being that he has yet to play a full season, and he doesnt have a true power or speed calling card. The flaw in the logic being that he is a two category stud, and can pull his weight in all five categories. That doesn't even begin to describe his value in points and OBP leagues either. Oh, did I mention he is 22 years old?
Wander Franco appreciation post, first 3 games:
2 for 4, HR
3 for 4, 2 x doubles, 1 BB
2 for 3, 1 x double, 1 BB, 1 SB
Total: 7 for 11 with 3 doubles, a HR, 2 BB, 1 SB
EV up from 87.3 MPH in '22 to 92.5 MPH so far in '23
Putting fears to rest.#Rays #MLBhttps://t.co/lnjVCWFC6G
— Mat Germain (@Mat_Germain_) April 2, 2023
It has been nice to see Franco remind us why he was considered a generational prospect so early in the year. So far, he is 8-15 with three doubles, one home run, two walks and two strikeouts. He has the power to hit even singles a long way, and the speed to turn long singles into doubles. Not to mention he could steal twenty bases if the Rays will let him.
Franco could very realistically turn in a .290/.360/.480 slash line with a 20/20/110/80 counting line. Thats an incredibly useful player that is getting no respect.
If you happened to draft one of those rookies ahead of him, maybe see if the Franco owner can be convinced he is buying low and try for a trade.
Wander Franco off to a scorching start this season. Making up for lost time. pic.twitter.com/6rJxqfzuSD
— The Skippers View (@TheSkippersView) April 1, 2023
Jeffrey Springs, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
Jeffrey Springs had a breakout year in 2022, posting a 2.46 ERA over 135.1 innings and 25 starts. Coming into 2023, he was a bit of a sleeper, with an ADP of 146 and ranked in the late-50s of all pitchers. How can you be suspicious of a guy named Jeffrey?
Jeffrey Springs, 11th and 12th Ks (thru 6).
And 🤫 pic.twitter.com/kIibVlIyB4
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 2, 2023
Well, Springs made his first start of the year this weekend, and my goodness is he wide awake now. Over six hitless innings, Springs struck out 12 of the 19 batters he faced, and did it all with just 81 pitches. Sure, it was the Tigers, but if the 30-year-old can maintain a fraction of that production, he could be a league winner. Pitchers are inherently risky, so maybe see if you can sell absurdly high on him. If not, just ride the wave and stroke the furry wall.
Andrew Heaney, SP, Texas Rangers
Andrew Heaney seemed to finally put it all together last year with the Dodgers, when he posted a 3.10 ERA over 14 starts with a 35.5% strikeout rate. Despite his success, the fantasy community wasn't totally sold, as Heaney was ranked just inside the top 80 pitchers.
Early on, it looks like the masses were right on this one. Heaney faced the Orioles in his first start of the year, and it went terribly. The 31-year-old got shelled to the tune of seven hits and seven runs through just 2.2 innings. He also had just two strikeouts to go with his pair of walks.
It can't really get worse, so if you want to bench him for his next start before cutting bait, I wont blame you. All in all though, it appears as though the Andrew Heaney experience has run its course early.
Orioles Pound Andrew Heaney, Give Texas Rangers First Losing Streak - https://t.co/CrRLvA7Tjz via @PostinsPostcard #StraightUpTX
— Inside the Rangers (@insidetxrangers) April 5, 2023
Michael Kopech, SP, Chicago White Sox
Not too long ago, Michael Kopech was considered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. He had a quasi-breakout year last year, and the hope was that he could build on it in his age 27 season.
Michael Kopech did not generate a single whiff on a slider or curve today. pic.twitter.com/jBkqPiu6Hr
— Josh Nelson (@soxmachine_josh) April 3, 2023
In just 4.2 innings in his first start, Kopech allowed seven runs. That's not great in a vacuum, but he also walked three and gave up five home runs. Five bombs in four innings! Here in the biz, we call that "not good." Kopech is supposed to be a fireballer, but his fastball has declined in velocity since 2021. Factor that in with his inability to command the strike zone, and you have a fantasy time-bomb.
If there is a prospect junkie or White Sox homer in your league, maybe try to offload this dying albatross while they still have hope.
Chris Bassitt, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
It's never fun when a former sleeper goes back to sleep, but it appears thats what we have with Chris Bassitt. Since breaking out in 2020 with Oakland, Bassit has posted a sub-3.5 ERA and sub-1.2 WHIP each of the past three seasons with decent strikeout rates.
What a way to start the game! #BACKTOBACKJACKS pic.twitter.com/vO9ydh0u1R
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) April 2, 2023
Bassitt's first start with Toronto could have gone a lot better. Over 3.1 innings, the Cardinals victimized the 34-year-old to the tune of nine runs on ten hits.
Much like Heaney, Bassitt's 24.3 ERA can't really get worse, so brighter days are surely ahead. Bassitt is also pretty durable, so maybe try and hang on to him until someone is in an injury panic and offload him for something a little more trustworthy.
Thanks for reading the 2023 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Stock Up-Stock Down. Be sure to check out more Fantasy Baseball content from the F6P team!