Wired: Week 8

The waiver wire can give but it can also take away. That’s the primary reason you shouldn’t recycle your whole pitching staff from week to week, chasing the borderline two-start pitchers in hopes of winning. More often than not you’ll find that those borderline options were just that — borderline, and for good reason.

I made two pickups on the waiver wire last week, and both happened to perform for me. One I will be keeping and the other will head back to the waiver wire in favor of a talent another team dropped that I can’t just leave on the waiver wire. That’s how the game is played, remember, always re-evaluating.

Now, here are the players you should consider who may be available on your waiver wires for week 8:

CATCHERS

Derek Norris (OAK) – Usually I shy away from players who don’t play every day, but when it comes to the catcher position I sometimes have to think a bit differently. That’s the case with Norris, as he splits time behind the plate in Oakland, but he’s hot right now, and he’s getting increased playing time.

Yan Gomes (CLE) – His 34 hits and 18 RBIs are no joke, and he’s definitely a solid play this week at a thin fantasy position that has a lot of players who are bunched up at the top.

Kurt Suzuki (MIN) – Talk about consistency and Suzuki’s name has got to come up at some point. He has been one of the most consistent catchers in fantasy to this point in the season, and I even touted him for just this distinction last week, so why is he still available on way too many waiver wires? I have him in one of my leagues and he has outperformed all of his predictions most weeks.

FIRST BASEMEN

Garrett Jones (MIA) – Jones’ 6 home runs show his flash of power, but his 40 hits and 16 walks show that he gets on base quite frequently. And it’s good to be a Marlin right now, as a lot of their position players, including Jones, are under-owned in fantasy, for no good reason except that they’re Marlins. That’s good for you, especially if you’re hurting after losing Jose Abreu to the DL.

Allen Craig (STL) – His .232 batting average is deceiving because he does strike out at a good clip, but he hits for power, and every fantasy team could use a good, powerful batter. 18 RBIs aren’t too shabby for Craig either. He’s not your long term solution at the position, but he could be useful this week.

Justin Smoak (SEA) – Smoak is not the most consistent of fantasy options, but when he’s on he’s really on. He has good matchups this week, though, and he’s due for a big week. If you look at his totals each week, he has gone over 20 points twice in seven weeks, and over 15 two other times. He will hit at least 15 this week.

SECOND BASEMEN

Dustin Ackley (SEA) – Ackley is on fire right now, and 2nd base is an area where if you don’t have one of the top 5 you can be at a distinctive disadvantage playing one guy every week. If you’re going to go with the 2nd-base-by-committee method (which I myself am doing in one league), for this week ride the hot hand in Ackley.

DJ LeMahieu (COL) – Even after a small cold spell, LeMahieu is hitting .294. That should tell you all you need to know about how solid he has been so far, and he’s picked it up again after that small cold spell. Just like Ackley, he’s a good addition to your team for the week.

Brett Lawrie (TOR) – I touted him a few weeks ago, and he has rewarded my selection by playing well, showing plate discipline and hitting for extra bases more often than not when he makes contact. He also has a great on-base percentage, so grab him and play him for this scoring period.

THIRD BASEMEN

Todd Frazier (CIN) – In standard scoring fantasy leagues, Frazier is the 5th highest performer with 3rd base eligibility. There is no way he should be available on your waiver wire, but if he is, and you’re struggling along with Pablo Sandoval, make the switch. This is your long-term solution.

Trevor Plouffe (MIN) – Sure, he’s fallen off a bit since his hot start, but that’s just called normalizing, and that’s not bad when your normal stats are pretty good in and of themselves. He’s not going to surprise you from week to week like some guys, and he’s definitely not of the caliber of Frazier, but he is a good stopgap measure if you need a 3rd baseman for the week.

Juan Uribe (LAD) – So, I touted Uribe this week and he had 4 fantasy points to reward me for it. He was just warming up again after the injury had kept him out, though, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he’s warmed up now. Go with him for this week. The Dodgers haven’t scored the points they are accustomed to in the past few games, but that will turn around this week and Uribe will benefit.

SHORTSTOPS

Alcides Escobar (KC) – See what I said about Smoak earlier. The same applies here. Just like with Smoak, Escobar is underowned because of consistency questions, and yet he has been petty consistent this year. He has gone over 10 points in all but two scoring periods this year. Grab him and get him active.

Brandon Crawford (SF) – Just as with the Dodgers lineup, the Giants have not been living up to potential recently, but Crawford has been playing well regardless. His .442 slugging percentage is above his yearly average, and he’s been getting on base. Give him another look, especially if your current shortstop is not elite.

Jhonny Peralta (STL) – If he’s still available in your league, I would grab him for the long term. I was a bit skeptical of his start to the season but he’s continued his consistency. I like his outlook for the rest of the year, so long as he stays healthy.

OUTFIELDERS

Yangervis Solarte (NYY) – Don’t blink now, but Solarte is here to stay. And his multiple-eligibility is a huge bonus for any team that might be dealing with someone going on the DL, like one of my teams when Brandon Belt got hurt. Solarte slotted right in and he has actually been outperforming his outlook every single week. He won’t be available long, if indeed he is still available in your league.

Gerardo Parra (ARI) – I mentioned Parra last week and he has only gotten better over the course of this scoring period. 49 hits fo the season so far. Sky’s the limit.

Seth Smith (SD) – Only 117 at-bats, but he has 4 home runs, 39 hits, and 18 walks. Imagine if he got more playing time, but even with this relatively small sample size, you can see how he can help your team. I recommend him as a one-week replacement for an injury at this point.

PITCHERS

Tom Koehler (MIA) – A pitcher who has gone over 10 points in each and every scoring period deserves to be owned in every single fantasy league, but Koehler is not. Perhaps he also suffers from Marlins syndrome. Get him and get him active.

Alfredo Simon (CIN) – Simon had one bad start, but the rest of his season so far has been outstanding. Luckily for you, a lot of owners panicked and dropped him on the waiver wire. Grab him and enjoy the benefits.

Ian Kennedy (SD) – With two starts this week, Kennedy is a must-start. He has pitched well enough to win in most of his outings this season, and his velocity is back up. He’s just not getting run support, which has led to his 2-5 record. Trust him this week, though.

The Fantasy Ace

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