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2023 Fantasy Baseball: Week 1 Risers and Fallers

We’re nearly a week into the 2023 baseball season, which means we’ve switched from off-season draft prep to in season player analysis. Here, we’ll highlight risers and fallers each week throughout the season in order to help with lineup and waiver wire decisions. For this initial write-up, it’s important to remember that it’s early in the season and we’re still in information-gathering mode. While it’s essential to stay on top of player performances, continue to trust your draft process and don’t overreact to small sample sizes. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some Week 1 risers and fallers for 2023 fantasy baseball!

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Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers


Adam Duvall (OF – BOS)

If you took a late-round flier on Adam Duvall this draft season, congratulations! He’s been stuffing the 2023 stat sheet, going 10-for-20 with two home runs, seven runs scored, and nine RBI. Additionally, Duvall is rocking the extra-base hits, logging three doubles and a triple through first five games of the season. Heading into 2023, Boston is looking like a perfect fit for Duvall and his pull-side approach. He’s the team’s starting centerfielder and is cemented in the middle of the lineup. Duvall is one of the biggest risers through the first week of the season and is a must-add if you’re in the market for power.

Brendan Donovan (2B/3B/OF – STL)

I’m loving Brendan Donovan’s hot start to the season. Through four games, Donovan is 6-for-20 with two home runs, five runs scored, and five RBI. He’s also exclusively hit leadoff. What’s intriguing about Donovan so far this season is his newfound power. After overhauling his batting stance this offseason, he hit four dingers in spring and added another two in the first week of the season. (Donovan only hit five home runs in 2022 across 468 PA.)

If the power sticks and he stays at the top of the order, Donovan’s fantasy value should continue to skyrocket. Combine that with his stellar on-base skills and multi-position eligibility, and you’re looking at one of the fastest risers to start the 2023 fantasy baseball season.

Brice Turang (SS – MIL)

Brice Turang made the Brewers’ Opening Day roster and has been making noise ever since. He’s 5-for-14 with one home run (a grand slam!), five runs scored, and five RBI. He’s also thrown in a couple of stolen bases for good measure. Expect speed and a little bit of pop from Turang this season. In 2022, he hit 13 home runs with 89 runs scored, 78 RBI, and 34 stolen bases across 603 Triple-A plate appearances. He also showcased a strong plate approach with a 10.8% walk rate and 19.6% strikeout rate, to go along with a .360 OBP. Turang has yet to hit higher than eighth in the batting order and looks to be a strong-side platoon bat, at least early on. He’ll likely secure himself as the Brewers’ everyday second baseman and bring 10/20 upside to the fantasy table.

Tyler Mahle (SP – MIN)

In a week where there were a bunch of underwhelming pitcher performances, Tyler Mahle’s strong start to the season was a pleasant surprise. He earned a win, registering seven strikeouts, five hits, one earned run, and one walk across five innings pitched. Mahle relies on his fastball, which registered an excellent 34.7% CSW%. He also threw his slider 28% of the time and his splitter 12% of the time – a similar pitch mix that was successful for him in 2021. Hopefully Mahle’s solid start means that his shoulder issues from last season are in the rearview mirror. Either way, he’s worth taking an early shot on to see what sticks.


Tommy Edman (2B/SS – STL) 

Heading into the 2023 season, Tommy Edman was being drafted as a top-75 player – and for good reason.  He’s been one of the more consistent leadoff hitters in the league, racking up 90+ runs and 30+ steals in back-to-back seasons.  He’s also put up nearly identical numbers across the board in those seasons:  

2021 159 691 11 91 56 30 0.262 0.308 0.387
2022 153 630 13 95 57 32 0.265 0.324 0.400

However, Edman’s leadoff status could be in jeopardy.  Brendan Donovan has been getting the lion’s share of at-bats at the top of the order, while Edman has been batting ninth in all but one game this season.  If Edman remains buried in the lineup, he’ll lose a significant amount of plate appearances and run production stats, putting a serious dent in his fantasy value.  Edman is one of the biggest fallers at the onset of the 2023 fantasy season.

Sean Murphy (C – ATL)

Sean Murphy is coming off a career-best season where he slashed .250/.332/.426 with 18 home runs, 67 runs scored, and 66 RBI. He also posted a 122 wRC+ and led the position in games played with 148. Given that – and the fact that he signed a $73 million, six-year contract with Atlanta in the offseason – it’s a bit surprising that Murphy has only played three games to start the season. Fellow backstop Travis d’Arnaud on the other hand, has played in every game. Perhaps this is just a case of load management or an undisclosed injury is at play. Either way, it’s likely not what fantasy managers expected when drafting Murphy this offseason. There’s no reason to panic, but this is definitely a head-scratcher and something to monitor.

Whit Merrifield (2B/OF – TOR)

There was optimism surrounding Whit Merrifield following his trade to Toronto last season. But that quickly faded once his everyday at-bats went out the window and he consistently hit near the bottom of the order. Heading into the 2023 season, it wasn’t clear how the Blue Jays would utilize Merrifield in his first full season with the team. Unfortunately, it looks to be more of the same in the early stages of the new season. He’s played every other day this week, going 2-for-10 with two runs scored and two RBI. A 10/20/.250 season is not out of the question for Merrifield, but his inconsistent playing time (so far) doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies.

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