Life finds a way. 

Remember when the Reds had "too many" players for too few lineup spots and that was a reason to fade their highest drafted players? Well, between injuries, suspensions, and just plain old poor performance, TJ Friedl's recent return to the lineup has seen him start four of four games, and there's little reason to think he won't be an everyday player moving forward – assuming he starts hitting, of course. It's been a tough season for last year's breakout, but he's still someone worth looking at on waivers this week if you play in one of the 40% of CBS Fantasy leagues where he's available. 

(The same is also true for Noelvi Marte, who has 21 games left on his suspension after this weekend and could actually find a lineup spot waiting for him if Jeimer Candelario, Jonathan India, and Will Benson don't get going soon. He's a viable stash if you have the roster spot to play with). 

Life finds a way.

Remember when Spencer Turnbull was forced out of the Phillies rotation in late April by the return of Taijuan Walker from injury? Well, Ranger Suarez left Saturday's game after being hit on his pitching hand by a comebacker, and while we hope he won't end up missing much time, it could push Turnbull back into the rotation – he stepped up to strike out six in three innings in relief of Suarez and would absolutely be worth using in all Fantasy formats if he returns to the rotation for the Phillies.

Life, uh, finds a way.

It doesn't always work out that way, of course – the Orioles still have a frustrating log jam at several positions, leaving several viable Fantasy options on the outside looking in for everyday ABs, which is frustrating for those of you who have, at various points, stashed Jackson Holliday, Coby Mayo, or Heston Kjerstad, among others. But, in the long run, more often than not, these kinds of situations have a way of working themselves out – and, with the trade deadline less than two months away, I suspect it will do so in Baltimore, one way or the other.

The point here is to not just give up on players entirely just because they lost their job or are stuck in a timeshare. Guys get injured; guys underperform; and sometimes, guys are so good that they just force their way into a valuable role on their own merits. It looks like the runway is clear for Friedl, and Turnbull could be getting his second chance in the rotation in Week 11. Neither is someone you absolutely need to spend every cent you have in FAB, but both are worth adding in all Fantasy formats if you have the roster spot. 

Here's who else we're looking to add at every position this week: 


Patrick Bailey, Giants (29%) – I don't really get the hesitance with Bailey at this point. He has seemingly taken a big step forward this season, sporting a .431 expected wOBA on contact (league average is .369) with a much lower strikeout rate of 21.4%. His defense keeps him in the lineup regularly, and I think he belongs in at least the No. 2 catcher discussion – and you could argue he could be a top-12 guy. 

Deep-league target: Korey Lee, White Sox (8%) – Lee brings a bit of a different look as a catcher, thanks to plus athleticism for the position that allowed him to steal three bases in May. I don't know if I'd expect much more than his current .256/.294/.395 line moving forward as a hitter, but in a deeper two-catcher league, that'll play along with some out-of-position speed.

First Base

Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Reds (58%) – We've got a few big name corner infielders working their way back from injuries, including Josh Jung and Triston Casas, and Encarnacion-Strand is one of them. He's not as proven as those other two, but he is both more widely available and could be back sooner than either. If you have an IL spot to play with Encarnacion-Strand still has big-time power potential. 

Deep-league target: Jose Abreu, Astros (18%) – I think it's reasonable to assume Abreu is just finished as a productive big-leaguer, but I'm not quite ready to give up on him after how well he finished last season. He came back from his minor-league assignment this weekend and homered in his first game back Friday, a good sign if he does indeed have something left in the tank.

Second base

Nick Gonzalez, Pirates (46%) – The former first-rounder has been a revelation so far for the Pirates, hitting .308/.360/.500 through his first 21 games of the season. There's a bit of pop and speed there, though if he's going to be a viable starting Fantasy option, you'd like to see him run more (two steals so far). But there could be a solid bat here at a lighter position, so he's worth a look at least in category-based leagues. 

Deep-league target: Colt Keith, Tigers (40%) – I was pretty excited about Keith when he cracked the Tigers Opening Day roster, but it's been a tough first couple of months so far. However, he finally hit his first homer last week and followed up with his second a few days later, so I'm willing to bet on the recent top prospect who hit .306/.380/.552 as a 21-year-old at the top two levels of the minors last season.

Third base

Mark Vientos, Mets (22%) – There's still a ton of swing-and-miss in Vientos' game, and his contact profile still isn't ideal – it's still a lot of ground balls and a lot of batted balls to the deepest parts of the park – but he's been so good that the Mets recently sent Brett Baty down to Triple-A, leaving Vientos in line to play pretty much everyday. I have my concerns about his profile, but there's certainly upside here with a guy with 98 career minor-league homers. 

Deep-league target: DJ LeMahieu, Yankees (30%) – LeMahieu has batted ninth in three of his first five games, so I'm fine taking a wait-and-see approach here. But if he gets hot and moves up in the lineup, he could be a terrific source of counting stats, especially runs.


Masyn Winn, Cardinals (48%) – I've made the comp a few times, but Winn is giving some young Tim Anderson vibes, where he just hits so many line drives to all fields that he might just be able to keep running outlier BABIPs. It's too early to say definitively, but he also has the athleticism and bat-to-ball skills we're looking for from that profile, too. His hot start may not be a flash in the pan.

Deep-league target: David Hamilton, Red Sox (10%) – Hamilton has been playing pretty much everyday since mid-May, and the numbers are pretty terrific, with a .333/.385/.500 line backed up by solid plate discipline. He's probably not a .300 hitter, but if he can hit more like .260, there might be enough here to justify a look in deeper category-based leagues thanks to his speed (11 steals in 49 career MLB games).


Ceddanne Rafaela, Red Sox (54%) – Rafaela has played pretty much everyday for the Red Sox this season thanks to his elite defense, but his bat has been a disaster so far despite solid minor-league numbers in the past. Well, it's a small sample size, but Rafaela has made some changes to his swing recently and crushed a couple of homers Friday. There's decent raw power here and plenty of athleticism to spare, so if the Red Sox can find a way to get him to tap into that a bit more consistently, Fantasy players could have a player worth getting excited about here. 

Matt Vierling, Tigers (44%) – Vierling has nearly 1,200 major-league plate appearances to his name, so I'm inclined to remain skeptical about the 27-year-old's apparent breakout. But I don't want to write it off entirely, because there's definitely some interesting stuff going on even beyond the very good surface-level numbers. Vierling remains a very good athlete (88th percentile spring speed) and has had terrific plate discipline this season, with a 22% strikeout rate backed up by really good whiff and chase metrics. And he does that without having to sacrifice quality of contact. Add it all up, and it sounds like a guy who might hit .280 with 20-plus homers, and he might not be a total zero in speed. With Kerry Carpenter on the IL, Vierling is going to play everyday, and he's 14 for 32 during an active seven-game hitting streak. 

Jesse Winker, Nationals (42%) – I can at least wrap my head around the idea of Winker rediscovering his form as a hitter – he's continued to have terrific plate discipline even when struggling, so maybe he just needed to get healthy. Here's what I can't make sense of: Winker just stole seven bases in May. With an 18th percentile sprint speed. What is happening here? I have no idea, but if it's at all real, it's hard to leave him on waivers in any category leagues. 

Pete Crow-Armstrong, Cubs (25%) – I continue to have concerns that Crow-Armstrong is more like a Quad-A bat, but I'm also always going to be interested when I see a guy with 24 homers and 47 steals in 133 games between Double-A and Triple-A get called up. Is PCA here for good this time? Who knows, but he started three of the first four games since being recalled (he pinch-hit in the other Sunday), so I'll buy in if the price remains low. 

Deep-league targets: Miguel Andujar, Athletics (19%) – Andujar is now 13 for 34 since returning to the majors with the A's, with two strikeouts, 18 combined runs and RBI, and just two strikeouts in eight games. Skepticism is definitely the right call, but we are talking about a guy who is still a career .319/.375/.521 hitter. Stranger things have happened than Andujar being a viable hitter in 2024, and we know he's going to keep getting the opportunity with the A's ... Oscar Colas, White Sox (3%) – Skepticism is also warranted for Colas, who flamed out badly in his first taste of the majors last season and hasn't exactly been dominant at Triple-A. But he hasn't been terrible, hitting .270/.356/.455 in 107 games at the level, with 16 homers and nine steals. I'm probably leaving Colas for just AL-only leagues right now, but I want to keep an eye on him now that he's back.

Starting pitcher

Matt Waldron, Padres (52%) – Knuckleball pitchers are inherently volatile, but Waldron looks pretty exciting right now. Though his 4.15 ERA in May isn't terribly attractive, it's also kind of misleading: He allowed seven earned runs in his first outing and then just five in his next four, with 31 strikeouts to six walks over 23 innings of work. And, notably, he's been throwing his knuckleball significantly more since that May 5 blowup, reaching 55.3% in his most recent start, a career high. With matchups against the Angels and Diamondbacks on the way, he's a viable two-start streamer in pretty much all leagues for Week 11. 

Kyle Gibson, Cardinals (50%) – I'm mostly here for the two-start week with Gibson, as he gets the beatable Astros and the even-more-beatable-outside-of-Colorado Rockies this week. Gibson did just put up a 3.33 ERA and 3.74 FIP in May, so he's not without his merits even without good matchups. 

Hunter Brown, Astros (48%) – The turnaround continues! Brown wasn't dominant in his start against the Twins Sunday, giving up three runs in six innings, but it's hard to complain about seven strikeouts in six innings. He has 36 strikeouts to just 11 walks in 32.1 innings since the start of May, and may just be figuring things out after a disastrous April. 

Ryan Weathers, Marlins (44%) – Saturday was a weird start for Weathers. He gave up nine hits, and it was hardly just bad luck, as the Rangers had nine hard-hit balls against him. However, he also had a season-high 11 strikeouts with no walks, racking up 21 swinging strikes, including a whopping 13 with his changeup – tied for the most by any pitcher in a start this season. Since the start of May, Weathers has a 2.54 ERA even including Saturday's, and he has 38 strikeouts in 39 innings in that span. His next matchup is expected to come against the Guardians, and then likely the Nationals and then either the Cardinals or Mariners, which is a pretty nice stretch he should be able to take advantage of. 

Deep-league target: Albert Suarez, Orioles (10%) – Suarez has now made five starts at the MLB level this season, and he's given up five runs over 24.1 innings, with 23 strikeouts. He's probably never going to be more than an average strikeout pitcher, but he pairs that with decent control and a knack for generating soft contact, and backed up by a very good Orioles team (in a great home park), that might be enough to matter in most Fantasy leagues if he remains in the rotation.

Relief pitcher

Yimi Garcia, Blue Jays (24%) – It's not 100% clear how the Blue Jays will disperse save opportunities in Jordan Romano's absence, but Garcia did seem to get most of the high-leverage opportunities in Romano's earlier absence, so I'll bet on him getting first dibs here. Chad Green could also factor in, so don't break the bank for either of them.
Jeremiah Estrada, Padres (24%) – Every season, at least one reliever comes from out of basically nowhere to emerge as a dominant force, and Estrada looks like 2024's version. His streak of consecutive strikeouts came to an end at 13 consecutive batters over the weekend, and he sits on a 0.50 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 18 innings this season. He would seemingly have to be the next man up if Robert Suarez falters or misses time, but Estrada's bonkers strikeout rate has value in categories leagues even without saves.