Some fantasy owners never utilize the waiver wire unless someone gets hurt on their team. They draft a team they think is great, then lost their first few games because of underperforming, but they let some overperforming players sit there on the waiver wire to be scooped up by fantasy owners who are using them to win games. In the same respect, though, don’t be one of those players who overhauls his entire team every week to try and play matchups because that also doesn’t work. You need to be selective when you head to the waiver wire, but how?
A simple solution is to analyze your team once a week, preferably somewhere near the end of the week, to see where your weaknesses lie, and what you might be able to do about them. For example, if you have been relying on Jayson Werth to power your team, he just hasn’t done that so far. Then you look on the waiver wire and you see Jay Bruce sitting there, who has shown more power and consistency than Werth so far this season. If you have a roster spot open, or you’ve still got Joe Nathan hanging in there on the end of your bench, make the move. Sit Werth for Bruce this week. I guarantee you won’t regret it. And when Werth comes around again you can slot him in.
Each week I’m going to scour the waiver wire for some obvious and some not-so-obvious adds for your team based on matchups or increased worth. Some of them will be good one-week replacements and others will be for the long haul. The key is to know the difference. It’s time for Walking the Wire…
Adeiny Hechavarria [SS] MIA – If you’re like me and you lost Ben Zobrist (who was functioning as my SS) for a few weeks, Hechavarria can be a good fill-in. If someone like a Jean Segura is still available pick him up first because he has the most upside.
DJ LeMahieu [2B] COL – While the .419 batting average is unsustainable, LeMahieu has been on fire lately. He’s on the road this week, but he does have good history at Arizona and at San Diego.
Nick Markakis [OF] ATL – The rumors of Markakis’s demise have been a bit exaggerated. This week he faces struggling Nationals’ pitchers (besides Scherzer) and the back end of Cincinnati’s crew. He also has 10 walks already on the season, so he adds value by getting on base.
Aaron Harang [SP] PHI – It’s time to start believing in Harang, who has pitched the best of any Philadelphia starter so far this season. He could slide into the “Long-Term” category with two more quality starts.
Ubaldo Jimenez [SP] BAL – I recommended Jimenez earlier in the season and he came through. He should again in a 2-start week against Hector Noesi and Jake Odorizzi.
Billy Butler [1B] OAK – 24 hits in 73 at-bats speaks to plate discipline, and it’s easily sustainable for someone of Butler’s breadth of work.
Angel Pagan [OF] SF – Pagan has had similar stretches of success in his career, but this .355 batting average speaks for itself. He’s picking up the slack for Pence, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Mark Teixeira [1B] NYY – Remember when the Yankees first picked up Tex and how well he did? Well, he’s hitting at a higher clip right now, and he’s not slowing down. Pick him up now before he’s no longer on your league’s waiver wire.
Bartolo Colon [SP] NYM – Until his arm tires out, Colon will be a solid workhorse for the Mets. It’s his MO, so don’t be surprised if that 2.77 ERA is sustainable, at least through July.
Wade Davis [RP] KC – Even when Greg Holland is back and healthy, Davis has value. The Royals play in enough close games, so Davis gets as many chances to pick up wins as any of those starting pitchers. And of course for the foreseeable future he’s a lockdown closer.
BACK TO THE WIRE
Rajai Davis [DET]
Austin Jackson [SEA]
Clay Buchholz [BOS]