by Jeremy Gibbs
Do you play in a league that has 15 or more teams? Maneuvering the waiver wire is often difficult, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t opportunity hiding for you to exploit. Let’s take a look at a few of the players who could be available and are worth considering if they are:
Joe Mauer (1B) – Minnesota Twins; ownership in Yahoo/ESPN/CBS (17%/37%/46%)
Believe it or not, Mauer was once considered one of the best fantasy baseball players in the game. Of course that was in 2009 when he won the AL.MVP, when he hit 28 HR and was playing catcher. Since then he’s struggled with various injuries and poor performances. Since he lost his catcher eligibility in 2015 he’s been mostly an after-thought. He’s a guy you wanted to grab for your corner infielder in an AL-only league, but not much more than that. Well, you might want to look at him again. His isolated power (.148) is the highest it has been since 2009. His walk rate (14.5%) is the highest in his career. In the last week, he is 11-25 (.440) with 4 home runs, 7 runs, and 7 RBI.
by Will Overton
Sometimes the best way to approach the waiver wire is to look for the hottest players and ride it out. If you have an open spot on your team due to an injury or a poor performer you may not be able to land a potential long term solution. If that’s the case you might want to look for the hottest guy out there and wait for him to cool off, or for a long term option to become available.
Here are some of the hottest bats available in a majority of fantasy baseball leagues at the moment. I’ll give my take on their value and the possibility that their hot streak can last. Let’s get to work:
Johnny Giavotella – 2B, Los Angeles Angels: After being a part-time player for much of the first month of the season, Giavotella has been holding down the second base job for the Angels the last four weeks. He has hit safely in 17 of his last 18 games with 10 runs scored and 9 RBI. He is 28 and has never been much more than a utility infielder and was never really known for his bat, but this is quite an extended hot streak. The Angels are experimenting with him in the #5 spot in the order, which could really boost his value. Given the lack of depth at the position he plays he may be worth riding out until he cools off and gets dropped in the order again, even though I don’t think this is sustainable long term. Read more
by Jeremy Gibbs
Are you playing in a deeper league and are having a hard time sorting through the rubbish on the waiver wire? It’s tricky sometimes, but here’s a look at some hitters that are worth targeting:
Leonys Martin (OF) – ownership in Yahoo/ESPN/CBS (21%/14%/35%)
Last week, I recommended Martin for a possible speed source for deep leagues. Apparently quite a few fantasy baseball owners read my article as his ownership percentages increased by 9% – 15% across the league hosts. Of course his 13-24 (.542) week with 5 runs and 4 RBI might have had something to do with that as well. This week I am still recommending him, but now it’s not exclusive to if you need speed. His walk rate (10%) is significantly higher than his career average (6.4%) as is his isolated power (.209 vs. .116). He’s now leading off with Ketel Marte on the DL, which will only increases his value even more. If you need an OF, Martin is the guy to grab.
by Will Overton
In leagues that require you to play five outfielders at a time it can sometimes be difficult to find options you actually want to use. Chances are, unless you had one heck of a draft, there is at least one spot in your outfield that is pretty interchangeable.
There’s also the fact that injuries are always happening and that obviously creates holes on rosters as well. Just in the last couple weeks we’ve seen Alex Gordon, Josh Reddick, Michael Brantley, Kevin Kiermaier and Carlos Gomez all hit the DL.
If you have that one spot you can’t seem to fill, or you’ve been hit by the injury bug, we are going to talk about some outfield options to help fill the gap:
Cameron Maybin – Detroit Tigers: After the waiver period this week Maybin’s ownership on ESPN jumped about 20%, but that still leaves him owned in only 35% of leagues. Hehas been back for six games after missing the first month and a half of the season on the DL and has come out of the gates swinging, getting a hit in all six games so far with a .600 batting average and 5 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI and 4 SB. Maybin clearly has a green light on the basesn which is encouraging. More encouraging is the discussion from Brad Ausmus where he says that Maybin could very soon move to the second spot in the lineup to get more speed at the top. He will likely be owned in all leagues soon if that happens, so jump on him now. Read more
by Will Overton
One of the most overlooked and underused assets in fantasy baseball is the middle reliever/setup guy. Unless he is on the coveted “closer in waiting” list he probably isn’t getting much attention from fantasy owners.
On one hand I get it, a middle reliever isn’t getting you much in any one category when he takes the mound (unless you’re playing in a league with holds or the holds + saves category). The middle reliever is more of a slow burn that can help in your ratios and your strikeouts, especially if you’re using K/9. If you’re in a 10 or 12 team league you probably don’t need a middle reliever or two because you can rely on the closers in waiting and starters to round out your pitching staff. In a deeper league you may be better off having a reliever or two to balance your ratios, rather then scraping the bottom of the barrel for another starter who isn’t very good.
Here are a few guys who could fill this spot on your team if you want to balance your pitching out: Read more
by Will Overton
One of the things you’ll find me preaching over and over is that if you want to win your league you need to know your team and your standings. You need to be aware of not only where you are overall in the standings, but where you are in each individual category. If you are winning home runs by 20 you need to know it. If you are within five stolen bases of gaining or losing three of four points, you need to know it. A successful fantasy owner constantly knows where he stands and knows where he can gain the most ground at all times.
We’re only a month into the season so standings can and will change a lot between now and the end of the season. Still, if you ignore a weakness now it’s only going to get worse and you’re going to slip further away from earning significant points there.
If you are in that spot where you need stolen bases, I am going to highlight a handful of guys who can help get you there. These guys might not be real well rounded, but they can help you target a specific stat: Read more