The hot and cold starts we see at the beginning of the 2024 MLB season are no different than ones we’ve seen in the past. Your job, as a fantasy baseball GM, is to identify which rising trends have some staying power and which ones don’t. But we don’t want you to do it alone. 

Here at the Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch, we dive into the latest trends to find you some of the best risers to target – whether it’s on the fantasy baseball waiver wire or via trade – and which fallers you should either stash away on your bench, drop during the next waiver period or even try to deal away to your competition. It’s still plenty early in the season so the swings continue to be a bit dramatic, but not so much that we can’t identify who we want to jettison and who we want to keep.

Time again for a little ‘3 Up, 3 Down’.




Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: Risers

Colt Keith, 2B/3B Detroit Tigers

After opening the season on a dismal 1-for-14 stretch, the Tigers rookie infielder has finally started to round into the form we were expecting when we targeted him late in our fantasy baseball drafts. He is currently on a 5-game hit streak, batting .350 (7-for-20) with one double, three RBI, two runs scored, two walks, and a stolen base. 

The numbers aren’t overwhelming, but he’s now raised his batting average from .083 to .250 with a .333 on-base percentage, and the runs and RBI are only going to go up batting fifth or sixth in the order. Best of all, Keith is about to add second base eligibility to his resume. 

He opened the season with only third base eligibility due to where he was playing in the minors, but he’s been starting at second since Opening Day and is just two games shy of the usual 10-game in-season eligibility rule for most fantasy leagues. That extra roster flexibility is going to come in very handy throughout the season as you’ll now be able to move him either to second base or even the middle infield spot.

Abner Uribe, RP Milwaukee Brewers

Though he just hit a little bump in the road against the Mariners, it would appear that Uribe has a pretty strong hold on the closer’s job in Milwaukee. When Devin Williams went down with fractures in his back, the word out of Brewers camp was that manager Pat Murphy was content playing the matchups, and we were looking at a potential committee with Uribe, Joel Payamps and Trevor Megill

But since the season opened, it’s been all Uribe with 3 saves and a win he earned during that last hiccup. Granted, Megill is concussed, but Payamps isn’t going to work himself in right now and for anyone who knows anything about pitching mechanics, banking on Williams to come back and take the job away seems unlikely.

AJ Smith-Shawver, SP Atlanta Braves

This one might be more of a stash play, depending on what the Braves do this week, but with Spencer Strider on the injured list and maybe out for the entire season, the team is going to have to lock down someone for the back end of their rotation. 

There are a few other candidates such as Bryce Elder, Huascar Ynoa and even Allan Winans, but Smith-Shawver is the guy who profiles better long-term, and the handwriting is already on the wall after he was pulled from his Friday start at Triple-A Gwinnett when word broke of Strider’s elbow. 

The strikeouts are always going to be there as the young righty offers up a mid-90s fastball to go along with some strong secondary offerings. His changeup can be deceptive, his curveball is solid, but that slider he uses as an out-pitch has some tremendous break. The Braves were hoping to save him a little for use late in the season, but with their ace on the sidelines, they’re going to have to make a move soon – as early as this Wednesday.




Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: Fallers

Corbin Carroll, OF Arizona Diamondbacks

Ah yes, the dreaded sophomore slump. It’s a tale as old as time and yes, even with a Rookie of the Year winner. Remember such greats as Kyle Lewis, Wil Myers, Chris Coghlan, or Neftali Feliz? Now I’m not saying he’s headed down that path specifically, but after 10 games with zero homers and just one RBI, the birdies are starting to chirp about the shoulder injury Carroll suffered last July. 

There was some offseason talk about the possibility of a clean-up procedure on that shoulder which also happens to be the same shoulder he had surgery on back in 2021, but nothing ever happened in the offseason. Was that a mistake? Are we concerned? Not enough to abandon ship, but someone better get the life-preservers ready.

Framber Valdez, SP Houston Astros

Listen, no one wants to be a Gloomy Gus, but the pitching injuries are completely out of hand right now. 

Eury Perez and Shane Bieber are officially out for the season, Spencer Strider’s earliest return seems to be August if he even does come back, and now we’re hearing that Valdez is experiencing elbow soreness and some tightness in the forearm. Anyone who’s been around baseball in the last 20 years knows that news update is the first of three conversations to happen right before Valdez is lost to Tommy John surgery. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

If you want to hear some really interesting insights about the state of MLB pitching, check out this soundbite from Jim Bowden from Monday’s Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio.

Brent Rooker, OF Oakland Athletics

After a 0-for-12 start and a supposed benching for wearing a bracelet that said “boycott,” Rooker seemed to be waking up with home runs in back-to-back games. Then we got a couple more strikeouts from him and now he’s nursing an abdominal issue caused by swinging and missing.

The guy is posting a 51.6% strikeout rate, he doesn’t draw walks and unless he goes yard, he’s only doing damage to your fantasy team’s overall numbers. Many cite last year’s 30-homer season as a “look what he can do with full-time at-bats,” but having watched the slow-down last year and the increase in strikeouts in the second half, 30 home runs seem way, way off. 

Classic one-hit oneder, amirite? As in “I wonder what happened to the Oneders?”