2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Stock Up/Stock Down

by Connor Thomure
2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Stock Up/Stock Down

The 2024 Fantasy Baseball season is already seeing players' stock go up/stock go down. It's still early, so we want to avoid making drastic decisions, but the performances of these players cannot be ignored.

Most of the players listed here are on the edge of Fantasy Baseball rosters. Despite this, I don't recommend dropping the players whose stock is down just yet. Some, however, such as teammates Mookie Betts and Bobby Miller, are mainstays in Fantasy and will be competing for awards at the end of the season.

For news and information on other players, check out the MLB Player News Tracker and the 2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Waiver Wire.

2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Stock Up/Stock Down

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Stock Up

Oswaldo Cabrera, 2B/3B/SS/OF, New York Yankees

After an injury to the Yankees' starting third baseman, DJ LeMahieu, Oswaldo Cabrera earned an opportunity to play every day and is taking it.

In three games, Cabrera has seven hits in 17 at-bats, including one double and two home runs. He scored three runs and drove in six RBI as well. The utility man has one base on balls to six strikeouts.

LeMahieu was diagnosed with a broken foot, and there is not yet a timetable, but it's been reported to be at least two weeks. This gives Cabrera a chance to take the role from LeMahieu completely.

Jared Jones, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates

MLB.com's No.59 prospect impressed in his Major League debut. He earned the win after allowing three earned runs in 5.2 innings. Jones struck out 10 batters, allowing two bases on balls and three hits.

The talk in Pittsburgh this offseason mostly surrounded No. 1 pitching prospect Paul Skenes, however, Jones stole the thunder after making the rotation while Skenes refines his work in the minor leagues.

Mookie Betts, 2B/SS/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

Mookie Betts doesn't have much room for his stock to go any higher, but somehow it is. A top-five draft pick in 2024 Fantasy Baseball leagues, Betts is making people wish they would've drafted him first overall.

He's smashed four home runs and two doubles in six games. He also has seven bases-on balls to two strikeouts. Betts is tied with Matt Chapman, Jake Cronenworth, and Fernando Tatis Jr. for the lead with nine hard-hit balls.

Betts is starting the year better than anybody else and could soon be the favorite to win the National League MVP.

Michael Conforto, OF, San Francisco Giants

I mentioned Michael Conforto as a Fantasy Baseball Deep Sleeper during spring training. The veteran outfielder told reporters that he dropped his weight from 225 to 210 this offseason to help with his conditioning. Thus far, it appears to be working.

Conforto recorded a hit in each of the first three games, including a grand slam on Saturday. On Sunday, he recorded two bases on balls and scored a run. This brings his season slash line to .400/.471/.933 with six runs and five RBI. He's belted two doubles and two home runs. The Giants' outfield is on the up and up.

Bobby Miller, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Bobby Miller came out of the gates throwing heat. In his first appearance of the season, Miller earned a win after throwing six shutout innings versus the St. Louis Cardinals. He allowed one base-on-ball and two hits while striking out 11 batters.

Miller threw 93 pitches in this one. His fastball was the most impressive pitch. He threw that 39 times, averaging 98.8 MPH, and recorded four strikeouts with it.

He also mixed his changeup (21.5%), curveball (15.1%), slider (12.9%), and sinker (8.6%) extremely well, keeping the batters guessing all night.

It's only one game, but the 25-year-old looks ready to build on his impressive 2023 rookie season. If he continues pitching this way, Miller could receive Cy Young votes.

Stock Down

Kris Bryant, 1B/OF, Colorado Rockies

Former rookie of the year and MVP Kris Bryant is off to a horrible start in 2024. He has zero hits in 10 at-bats while stirking out seven times. Bryant has reached base twice, once via balls and the other a hit by pitch. He managed to score one run as well.

Bryant has been on a downward trend since joining the Rockies in 2022. In that span, he is slashing .253/.331/.396 with an 88 wRC+ in 528 plate appearances. The veteran is completely unrosterable in Fantasy Baseball at this point.

A.J. Puk, SP, Miami Marlins

Expectations are high for A.J. Puk, who was thrust into the Marlins rotation this spring. After a rough first start, Fantasy Baseball managers must temper expectations.

The 28-year-old made his first career MLB start against the Pirates. It was about as ugly as it could be for Puk. He allowed three hits and six bases on balls for four earned runs. Puk lasted just two innings and struck out one batter.

If Puk struggles with command moving forward, this experiment of being a starting pitcher could end relatively soon.

Jorge Polanco, 2B/3B, Seattle Mariners

I expected Jorge Polanco's Fantasy value to drop some after moving to Seattle this offseason. However, I did not expect him to start his time there as slowly as he has.

Through three games, Polanco has just one hit and one base on balls while striking out six times. The Mariners' second baseman is likely to rebound, but the slow start is concerning.

In 835 career games, Polanco is slashing .268/.334/.444 with a 111 wRC+. I think he'll rebound and get close to his career averages this season.

Kenta Maeda, SP, Detroit Tigers

Kenta Maeda has had a rough few years. He pitched 106.1 innings in 2021 and recorded a 4.66 ERA. Maeda then missed the entire 2022 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. In 2023, he posted a 4.23 ERA across 104.1 innings.

Not only was Maeda struggling with his performance, but he was also struggling to stay healthy and on the field.

Unfortunately, 2024 looks like it could be a repeat of the previous three seasons. In his first game of the season, Maeda allowed six earned runs, including three home runs, in 3.1 innings. He struck out just two batters and allowed one base on balls.

Maeda's four-seam fastball averaged 88.9 MPH in this game, down from 91 MPH in 2023. His other pitches were also down in velocity: his splitter is down 1.2 MPH, slider 2.4 MPH, and sweeper 1.8 MPH. More so than anything else, the velocity is what scares me the most. If these remain low, Maeda will likely continue getting hit around.

Thanks for reading 2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Stock Up/Stock Down. Check out the rest of the in-season Fantasy Baseball content.

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