Playing the waiver wire can be a tricky proposition, but this time of year it can be even worse, just because so many people are starting to get injured or their early season success is turning into heartache for your fantasy team. That’s the tactical part of the game, however, knowing when it’s time to get rid of someone who used to be a stalwart for a player who is playing well right now. Or the time to pick up a player who hasn’t been playing well but whose history says the bad stretch should turn around.
I know even for myself recently I’ve visited the waiver wire for a 3rd baseman (Yangervis Solarte) and a pitcher (Tom Koehler). Both are playing well enough to help my teams right now, and possibly in the long run as well. I dropped Trevor Plouffe and Ian Kennedy to make it happen, and I have no regrets. Both were playing above their heads and destined to return to earth. I don’t believe Koehler will keep up his great pace but for a one-week replacement who has two starts, I think he’s worth it in the short term.
Now, here are the players you should consider who may be available on your waiver wires for week 7:
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (MIA) – I always believed that if a player is worth it there’s no reason to consider the team that player is on. Saltalamacchia fits that mold even though he plays for the Marlins. With 29 hits and 18 walks, he is still getting on base at a good clip. Elite catchers haven’t been living up to billing, so why not slot Salty in?
Kurt Suzuki (MIN) – He still has a .300 batting average, and his 82 standard scoring fantasy points make him a top 10 catcher so far on the season. You could do a lot worse than picking him up, if even for just week 7.
A.J. Pierzynski (BOS) – Pierzynski has at times been an elite catcher throughout his career because of his ability to hit for power and average. He still sits most times vs. lefties, which is a negative, but if you have an underachieving catcher playing for your fantasy team putting him in your lineup for a week wouldn’t hurt.
Casey McGehee (MIA) – He doesn’t hit for power, but he does have 25 RBIs on the season on 43 hits. He is batting over .300 and could be a good fill-in for your team if you’re missing someone who’s on the disabled list.
Adam Dunn (CHW) – Dunn already has 5 home runs on the season, and he has some good matchups this week. Of course he still strikes out a lot, but he also draws walks (22 on the year so far), so those even out when talking about his on-base percentage. He’s worth a look this week..
Brandon Moss (OAK) – Moss is still playing very well, yet his ownership percentage is still not as high as it should be. And I have a feeling he’s about to turn a corner and be one of those elite first basemen. He has all the tools, and he just gets even more solid as the season goes along. Grab him if you still can.
Jose Altuve (HOU) – Houston has held its own scoring runs this season, and Altuve is holding his own on the team. He has 42 hits and 13 stolen bases so far, making him top 10 among standard scoring second basemen, yet he’s still available in a large number of leagues. Forget what he did or didn’t do last season. Grab him and start him right away.
Aaron Hill (ARI) – So, Kipnis is out for a while, and Cano hasn’t been playing lights out. Hill has been better than both so far this season, and I see no reason that should change anytime soon, yet he’s still not universally owned. What a head scratcher.
Yangervis Solarte (NYY) – Solarte’s ownership has been up and down this season, which makes sense since he’s a rookie and will hit those bumps in the road. However, he’s on an upturn now and would be a steal if you grabbed him right now, because in the long term he will end up being a top 10 second baseman by season’s end. Having 3B, SS, and OF eligibility doesn’t hurt him either.
Matt Dominguez (HOU) – Dominguez may not be flashy, but he’s consistent, which can’t be said for a lot of other third basemen who could slot into your lineups this week. His 31 hits and 11 walks have gotten him on base, which is a solid line. Being on base gives him the ability to score, which should happen this week with good matchups on deck.
Marcus Semien (CHW) – Again, not a flashy name, but again, a consistent performer. The White Sox have counted on him to be steady, and so can you. He’s scored 20 runs and driven in 17 in addition to that. He’s not going to be your solution at third base for the rest of the season, but he can be a good complement to your team for the next couple of weeks.
Juan Uribe (LAD) – It never fails. A guy is hurt, misses a few games, and his status is up in the air for the following week, so you sit him. Then he goes off. Don’t make the mistake with Uribe. If he’s on your fantasy team, he’s in your lineup this week. I think he’ll reward you for the commitment. 41 hits speak for themselves.
Jed Lowrie (OAK) – I told you about Lowrie a few weeks back, he’s still been on fire, and yet his ownership percentage hasn’t gone to 100%, which is surprising really. He hasn’t regressed at all, but too many people are still starting Derek Jeter over him. There are too many solid shortstops who can actually help you, and Lowrie is at the top of that list. If he’s still available on your league’s waiver wire, make that a thing of the past.
Jimmy Rollins (PHI) – Too many people are hung up on his age, or the fact that he hasn’t performed to his lofty J-Roll past performance, but he has been great this year. His ownership hovers at about 85%, and that’s a travesty, but good for you if he’s still available in your league. With a healthy Utley and Howard behind him, Rollins has been revitalized. Get him and start him this week.
Jhonny Peralta (STL) – See what I said about Lowrie. The same applies here. Peralta has been nearly dynamic the past few weeks, but people are settling for lesser production at the position. Don’t be one of them. If he’s still on the wire, grab him now before someone else does.
Brandon Moss (OAK) – See what I said earlier about Moss as a first baseman. The same applies here.
Gerardo Parra (ARI) – Parra is hitting over .300, has 42 hits, and 11 RBIs on the year to this point. I can’t believe his ownership hasn’t gone up dramatically from week to week, but it hasn’t. He has good matchups this week, so get him now, and put him in your lineup right away.
Nick Markakis (BAL) – Markakis started off this season relatively cold, and his ownership dropped off dramatically. But he has turned it around, both in batting average and hits, and his on-base percentage has risen as well. He is a good one-week replacement.
Jordan Lyles (COL) – A pitcher who is 5-0, with a 2.6 ERA, and he’s still widely available on waiver wires. That won’t last, because Lyles is for real.
Alfredo Simon (CIN) – Simon has come crashing down to earth after a supernatural start, but it’s not a surprise. Normalized over a season, though, he was due for a course correction. Now that it’s come, and the mass exodus of owners with it, now is the time to pick him up. You see, just as he wasn’t as good as he looked early, he’s not as bad as he’s looked lately. His regular numbers are good enough to pick him up off the waiver wire, even if you don’t necessarily start him this week.
Steve Cishek (MIA) – He’s a lockdown closer at this point, and Miami has had more chances than expected to use him thus far, so pick him up and get him active.
The Fantasy Ace