Wired: Week 10

It’s definitely a good week to claim some players off of waivers as more guys have gone down with injuries, but some are coming back too (like Jose Abreu on Monday), so maybe it’s time to let some players go as well. This week I let Miguel Montero walk back to the waiver wire, four weeks after picking him up when Joe Mauer was going through some aches and pains. Now he’s back in solid form so I got rid of Montero so I could pick up Nate Eovaldi, who was amazingly still available. But that’s the positive aspect of playing the waiver wire the right way. I had my choice of Eovaldi or Curtis Granderson, and I went with Eovaldi because pitching is more important to me in the long run.

One rule when considering using the waiver wire to get rid of a player who is underperforming: never get rid of anyone who has 95% or higher ownership, because when they turn it around (and most times they will) you’ll be kicking yourself when they beat you from on someone else’s fantasy team.

Now, here are the players you should consider who may be available on your waiver wires for week 10:

CATCHERS

Carlos Ruiz (PHI) – Again for some reason Ruiz still doesn’t get the respect he deserves in fantasy. He may not be as flashy as a Buster Posey, or a Joe Mauer, but all he does is produce and get on base.

A.J. Pierzynski (BOS) – Pierzynski isn’t as consistent as Ruiz, but he is an RBI machine, which is another major positive when it comes to fantasy production. The power isn’t there as it used to be, but he’s adjusted and he’s playing well while the Red Sox are peaking during their win streak.

Chris Iannetta (LAA) – He doesn’t have the best matchups this week, but Iannetta is on a hot streak so you might be tempted to play him anyway. And if you have an underperforming catcher (not an elite catcher, mind you), you might want to roll the dice and see what Iannetta can get you. You might be surprised.

FIRST BASEMEN

Garrett Jones (MIA) – This will be the last week I tout Jones because his ownership is finally starting to climb, and he might not even be available in your fantasy league anymore. Hopefully you were the one to pick him up. I did in one of my leagues this week and sat him on my bench because his matchups next week are juicy enough to start him. He might even stay in my lineup after that.

Adam LaRoche (WAS) – That .320 batting average doesn’t lie, even though he’s only had 134 at-bats so far this season. He’s hitting for power, too. This might just turn into a special season for LaRoche, and with the proliferation of first basemen who are playing well he might well still be available on your waiver wire too.

Justin Smoak (SEA) – Speaking of consistency, that’s the one thing that has been lacking from Smoak’s game, but when he’s hot, he’s really hot. Seattle has been playing well of late, and Smoak has done well at the same time. He is thriving off the team’s momentum, so ride the hot hand. He may not be your answer at first base long term, but he would be good to slot in for week 10.

SECOND BASEMEN

Emilio Bonifacio (CHC) – He’s a popular pickup off waiver wires this week and for good reason. In addition, he’s also going to be playing some third base, and if and when he becomes eligible at the position he becomes even more of a possible utility star for your fantasy team.

Aaron Hill (ARI) – Hill has 52 hits in 205 at-bats, which is a sign that he gets on base a lot, always good for fantasy purposes. Just like with Garrett Jones, however, owners are finally starting to wake up and get on board, so he may also be unavailable on your league’s waiver wire by this point. If he available, though, you should pick him up and get him active.

Martin Prado (ARI) – Don’t look now, but Prado’s back to being… Prado. He might be the Diamondbacks’ third baseman but his multiple eligibility helps him, especially when it comes to a thin 2nd base crop of real performers. His slow start to the season has him under the radar, too, and he’s still available in a lot of leagues.

THIRD BASEMEN

Trevor Plouffe (MIN) – Plouffe is an example of a player who was definitely droppable a few weeks back but who has made a rebound to early season form. He will probably bounce back and forth from the waiver wire to several fantasy teams and back to the wire again, but for now he’s on fire so pick him up and play him for week 10.

Xander Bogaerts (BOS) – Unlike Plouffe, Bogaerts is the real deal. Now, he may have some regression every now and then, but he should be consistent more often than not. He has all of the tools to be special in the league, and the Red Sox are doing all they can to keep him in the lineup. He should be in yours too.

Casey McGehee (MIA) – McGehee has very quietly gone about his business, so you might be surprised to note that he has 62 hits and 21 walks, meaning he gets on base quite a bit, and when he gets on base he’s scored 17 runs and knocked in 34 runs. Those are great percentages, especially for someone who has spent most of this year on the waiver wire.

SHORTSTOPS

Erick Aybar (LAA) – This will be the last time I’m going to place Aybar here, as he has done enough, in my opinion, to prove his worth as your regular fantasy shortstop, and the numbers are rising in his favor. He’s the sixth-best scoring shortstop in all of fantasy so it’s now or never. Someone will make him their regular fantasy shortstop and you’ll lose out

Ian Desmond (WAS) – Desmond has 32 RBIs on the season to this point, but he also strikes out a lot, so I think people have been wary of picking him up. I suggest grabbing him for the week and trying him out. He doesn’t quite get on fire like some other players, but being able to count on him for double digits in points every week could be enough to put your team over the hump.

Mike Aviles (CLE) – Even with limited playing time, Aviles has made it count, amassing a .279 batting average, and excellent on base percentage. Cleveland has proven this year to have great hitters who are peaking right now, and Aviles fits right into this mold. He doesn’t strike out a lot, and he has proven he can also steal bases. He’s a great play this week.

OUTFIELDERS

Christian Yelich (MIA) – Miami has been a surprise so far, and no one more surprising on their team than Yelich, in my opinion. Sure, he has cooled off since his hot start, but all that’s done is make him more consistent. He’s still hitting for average and getting his RBIs. He’s definitely a “buy low” candidate.

Angel Pagan (SF) – He has 63 hits and an average north of .300, but somehow Pagan is finding his way to a lot of waiver wires lately.  I think that’s a mistake because even though the RBIs haven’t been there (only 16 so far) the law of averages say they will even out to more of his mean from previous seasons. I mean, the average is there, so the RBIs will follow.

Rajai Davis (DET) – Just like with Yelich, Davis has cooled off a bit since his hot start, but he’s still batting .295, and his on-base percentage hasn’t tailed off much. He’s just around the corner from another hot streak, and his speed can guarantee you some stolen bases as well.

PITCHERS

Matt Garza (MIL) – Just as with Gallardo, Garza has suffered from a lack of run support and a tendency to give up fly balls that have unluckily turned into one too many home runs for the opposing team. With two starts in the offing this week, though, Garza has pitched strongly enough to warrant a start on your fantasy team. His metric are consistent with his norm, so he should turn the corner and get more ground balls this week.

Nathan Eovaldi (MIA) – Eovaldi used to be someone you would hold your breath for while he was on the mound if you owned him in fantasy, but he has become a solid addition to the Miami rotation, and he should be in yours. As I said earlier, I picked him up in one of my leagues, and I’m starting him with confidence this week. He has proven his worth to me.

Zack Britton (BAL) – I mentioned Britton last week, and I want to stress my point here as well. He has great mechanics, and now that they’ve officially given him the closer job, he has been amazing in that role as well. His ERA remains infinitesimal, and his confidence is high. That’s a good recipe in a closer. Grab him before somebody else does.

The Fantasy Ace

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