by Will Overton
One of the toughest positions to consistently fill on the waiver wire are the middle infield positions. The positions just aren’t that deep and in a league of 12 teams that uses a middle infield you’re looking at 40+ being owned, which really doesn’t leave a surplus of talent on the wire, and when there is fresh talent it gets scooped up mighty fast.
With Dee Gordon getting busted this week for PED’s and facing an 80 game suspension there are a lot of teams out there looking to fill a void right now. We also recently had Scooter Gennett hit the DL, and while Gennett isn’t on Gordon’s level he was still owned in a lot of leagues.
It’s not easy to fill these spots, but we’re going to do our best to help you find some plugins. Here are some middle infielders worth considering:
Alexei Ramirez – SS, San Diego Padres: This isn’t my favorite add due to a cap in the upside, but if you’re looking for a hot bat Ramirez is your guy. He is 11 for his last 27 at the plate with three runs scored and three runs knocked in during his last seven games. He has yet to hit a home run, but even though he has lost some of his pop I still think he’ll be good for double digit HR at the end of the year. The big drawback is that getting on base the way he has been doesn’t do a whole lot when no one else on the team besides Matt Kemp is hitting and the counting stats aren’t going to be there. Read more
by Will Overton
The old adage of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” applies strongly in fantasy baseball, especially during the first month of the season. Fantasy owners, despite their best intentions, always get a little trigger happy on guys who are off to a slow start and inevitably a couple players get cut who end up turning it around and killing it on another team.
Let me preface this example by saying that the league I am going to mention is just a normal, standard format with a group of college buddies who love baseball. That said, last season after a pretty terrible April someone dropped Carlos Gonzalez. I immediately jumped on this and waited him out, only to watch Gonzalez help carry my team to a title in the second half.
Obviously aren’t likely going to find a Carlos Gonzalez type player on the trash heap of your league, but you certainly can find some value. We’re going to look at some of the most dropped players in fantasy baseball right now and see which ones might be potential treasures given a little more time: Read more
by Will Overton
Last week we kicked off the waiver wire series by looking at some hitters who got off to a hot starts. We’re going to follow along a similar theme this week, except we’re going to be looking at pitchers this week.
It’s a little bit harder to get a read on the market for pitchers early on because owner rates can fluctuate based on most recent performances or streaming opportunities. We’re going to be focusing on guys to add for the long haul rather than short-term, so we’re looking for season long additions.
With that in mind here are some of the hottest pitcher grabs right now:
Jeremy Hellickson – Philadelphia Phillies: We’ve seen both ends of the spectrum from Hellickson so far this season. He allowed just two earned runs in 11.2 innings over his first two starts with an 11/1 K:BB ratio. This weekend he got roughed up pretty good by the Nationals allowing six runs, five earned, in just three innings of work. It’s been encouraging to see his strikeouts on the rise early on, but consistency and keeping the ball in the park will be his challenges. There are other guys on this list I like more, but I think Hellickson has some staying power. Read more
by Will Overton
For the first week of our waiver wire column, or at least the first week since baseball has actually been played, we are going to look at some of the most popular adds from the first week. We talked last week about not overreacting, and we need to stress that again. No one should be swapping Yoenis Cespedes just because he’s only hitting .125 one week into the season.
As we look at the most popular adds we are going to be talking about whether you should make room for them, or let someone else buy into the early hot streak. Either way be careful who you drop as that is almost as important. Sometimes you’re better off letting a guy sit on your bench for a bit than overreacting and dropping him right before a breakout occurs.
We are also going to be looking only at players who are still available in a majority of leagues, so the likes of Jean Segura and Trevor Story aren’t going to be discussed in this. So let’s get to looking at some hot start options:
Eugenio Suarez – SS, Cincinnati Reds: If you’re going to make a play for Suarez you better make it quick because he is flying off of waiver wires. This is a case where I think that is absolutely justifiable. Suarez is 10–23 with 9 R, 4 HR, 9 RBI and 1 SB in these first six games. I don’t need to tell you that he isn’t going to be keeping up on this kind of a pace, but what is important is that he does have power that is obviously blossoming, and he hit .280 last season so something in the .275-.300 range isn’t unthinkable. He is shortstop eligible now but will soon be adding third base, and positional flexibility is just the cherry on top. Read more
by Will Overton
The draft is over and the season has officially begun. That means it’s time to shift from who you should be picking to who you should add to replace that guy you should have never picked. In all seriousness, you spent a lot of time on your draft research and preparation and you don’t want to just throw that all away based on a couple of poor performances.
That said, there’s a really fine line between over reacting not being too slow on the draw and missing out on players that end up turning the tide of the fantasy season for someone else. Each week I will be looking at the wire and trying to pick out some names that fit a specific type.
For our first waiver article of the season we are keeping it simple and looking at a handful of options who didn’t get drafted in most leagues (5% or less) that I think should be on your radar early on:
Zack Cozart – SS, Cincinnati Reds: With the hype in Cincinnati surrounding Jose Peraza and his imminent arrival, Cozart isn’t getting much publicity this spring and that might be a mistake. Last season he was on a Top 10 SS pace (25 HR/80 R/80 RBI/10 SB) before a season ending injury in June. I’m not saying I anticipate those numbers this season, but he has some power and should hit at least 15 HR if he starts all season. Cozart is also going to start the season as the leadoff hitter, which only further helps his value. There is some under the radar value here for a player at a shallow position. Read more
by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Quite a few playing time situations have worked themselves out in recent days, but which ones should we care about? Let’s take a look at a few of the pitchers who have won a spot in their respective team’s rotation and determine if they hold fantasy appeal or not:
A.J. Griffin – Texas Rangers
Nick Martinez was the other candidate, but he was demoted yesterday. Griffin hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2013, when he posted a 3.83 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over 200.0 IP. In fact, he’s thrown a grand total of 14.1 IP over the past two seasons, so you really have to wonder how much of an adjustment period he’s going to need.
He does own a 7.49 K/9 and 2.33 BB/9 in the Majors, but he’s not a groundball pitcher and struggled with home runs pitching in Oakland (1.62 HR/9 in ’13). That’s something that has plagued him this spring (6 HR over 18.0 IP), and could easily continue to be an issue pitching in Texas. Read more