Walking the Wire: Week 6

There is generally a good reason someone is available on the waiver wire, but the two most common reasons are:

  1. Not enough confidence in trends/player
  2. Not knowing who IS on the waiver wire

I can completely understand how a player like Mike Moustakas can slide under the radar, but after several weeks of above-average production you should have confidence in him at this point. Yet he remains on way too many waiver wires for someone else to snag as their everyday third baseman while yours is underperforming. The same is true of a pitcher like Aaron Harang. Maybe you just thought he got off to a hot start, but he’s still producing while someone like Clay Buchholz is more widely owned but has had more awful times than good ones so far this season.

As often happens, though, too many players end up on the waiver wire and are snatched up by other owners because you weren’t paying attention. Someone in one of my leagues dropped Jay Bruce (not sure why), but I put in my waiver claim for him right away, and now he’s anchoring my outfield. I know other teams in my league had a need for strong outfielders but they weren’t looking and I was. You should check your league transactions daily. I put it as a notification in my phone so it vibrates when a transaction happens, just in case it’s a player I might have interest in who is being dropped.

Regardless of your reason for avoiding the waiver wire, if your record isn’t stellar, or you’ve lost someone due to injury, you should give it another chance. 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. 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…

SHORT-TERM

Kendrys Morales [1B] KC – Yes, I know how many first basemen are dynamic enough to go around, but too often they’re underperforming, and if you don’t have someone who is elite you might want to consider playing the hot hand in Morales as a one-week replacement.

Kolten Wong [2B] STL – Again, he’s not someone I would recommend long-term, but if you need a jolt to your offense for a week he’s your guy. He’s on a good streak, and being on that solid St. Louis offense gives him some good advantages. If you’re the guy struggling about whether or not to sit Robinson Cano you can’t go wrong doing it just for this week with Wong, especially if you have a losing record.

Marlon Byrd [OF] CIN – Don’t look now, but I think Byrd might be back. I even struggled with whether or not to place him in the long-term category, but for now I say you should still pick him up and see if he becomes the guy you can count on for the long haul. He’s proven he can be. Now you can see if he will pick it up again.

Jason Hammel [SP] CHC – Hammel has done this before, so for me he fits solidly into the first category I outlined above, and he’s facing Matt Harvey this week, but that Mets offense has been nonexistent lately, and this game has the makings of a pitchers’ duel. I like Hammel’s chances.

Josh Collmenter [SP] ARI – Two starts this week against a struggling Stephen Strasburg and whoever the Phillies deem worthy to throw out there later in the week, Collmenter should be an obvious candidate to pick up and start for one week. He’s been on form lately, and that’s all I need to know.

LONG-TERM

Brett Gardner [OF] NYY – A .319 batting average and 9 stolen bases to this point, Gardner is living up to his billing as a consistent performer, someone who in fantasy can make or break your team for the week. I like Gardner because he will get his numbers from week to week, which is more than you can say for a lot of the outfielders out there.

Adam Lind [1B] MIL – Lind has been making me look foolish so far this season keeping up his batting average and his power, both things I thought he would struggle with in Milwaukee. And I think it’s sustainable, even though he has played like this in spurts throughout his career.

Nick Markakis [OF] ATL – Just like Lind, Markakis has had stretches with solid hitting in his career. However, the power that he used to possess seems to have lessened, so hitting for average and getting on base have to be good enough. So far they have been, and I don’t see that tapering off anytime soon.

Noah Syndergaard [SP] NYM – He’s here! And yes, I know all the talk might not mean a thing, but I think he’s the real deal, and the Mets apparently agree because he arrives this week, and I like him right off the bat. He’s got a great selection of pitches, and the big leagues hasn’t seen someone like him in a few years. I picked him up and am playing him this week.

J.A. Happ [SP] SEA – Remember what I said about Buchholz? Well, Happ is facing him this week, but even if he weren’t I think Happ is finally having the great year he was supposed to have after landing in Houston a few years ago. I’m trusting him to keep it going not just this week but all summer.

BACK TO THE WIRE

Jean Segura [MIL]

Trevor Plouffe [MIN]

Wei-Yin Chen [BAL]

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