2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

1B and 3B Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 1

We are entering a year unlike any we have ever encountered. Some of you are playing out teams you've drafted in February while others are about to draft before Opening Day. What continues to throw a wrench into the whole thing is the ever-changing news. It feels as though just about every hour we have more news of an injury or positive COVID-19 test. With this season already shortened, the waiver wire will be busy so we are here to help.

Before we dive in, we need to keep a few things in mind:

  • We focus on players owned in 5x5 Roto formats in Yahoo! leagues.
  • Player eligibility will also be determined by the Yahoo! player pool.
  • We aim at players owned in 40% of leagues or less. This allows us to provide names to help leagues of all sizes.
  • They will be in order of ownership percentage from highest to lowest.

There has been and will continue to be a ton of turnover. Be quick on the trigger and get your adds in before the next person. Staying a step ahead is key and the goal here is to keep you a step ahead. Now, let's get to those players to add for Week 1.

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First Base Waiver Wire Options

C.J. Cron (1B, DET) - 33% owned

C.J. Cron checks all the boxes. He will be hitting in the middle of the lineup, playing every day and has no one threatening playing time. He is a .250 hitter with 30 home run hitter over a full season and that type of skill set will play. He had a barrel rate in the top 10% of the league in 2018 and top 5% of the league in 2019 at 15.5%. In 2019, Cron ranked in the 83rd percentile for average exit velocity, 84th percentile for hard hit rate and 91st percentile for expected slugging. In other words, he just crushes the ball. If you're in need of power, this is the top priority.

Renato Nunez (1B/3B, BAL) - 28% owned

Renato Nunez is the backup option on this list when it comes to chasing pure power upside. He might only hit .240 in the process but the pull-heavy, fly-ball approach will serve him well in Camden Yards. People often site the .272 BABIP as an argument for batting average upside if it regresses. However, going back to the 46.3% fly-ball rate and 44.3% pull rate, that leads to a lot of outs in the air. This profile is essentially selling out for power and the BABIP won't improve much unless it changes. But the home runs are what you're targeting him for anyway, so we encourage the selling out for power!

Nunez is expected to serve as the cleanup hitter for the Orioles and that's about the best spot you could ask a hitter to be in on any team. Even the Orioles.

Wil Myers (1B/OF, SD) - 30% owned

People often peg Wil Myers as injury-prone, but he has played 155 games or more in three of the last four seasons. He has also stolen 16 bases and hit at least 18 home runs in those three seasons. In 2018, he only played 83 games but managed 11 home runs and 13 stolen bases. What I am saying here is Myers is a must-add for anyone in need of speed in drafts and he brings some added pop in the process. He also started pivoting his back foot this summer. Although we would've expected a pro hitter to be doing this all along, regardless this should help him be a better hitter overall hopefully. Lastly, if there were any questions to playing time, those questions are no longer there.

With the addition of the DH and the trade of Franchy Cordero to the Royals, this assures everyday playing time. He might have let us down in 2019, but the price has dropped tremendously, and he is worthy of rostering entering 2020.

Howie Kendrick (1B/2B/3B, WAS) - 30% owned

Although it has been some time since he has had a full-time role, Howie Kendrick can still swing the bat well. In 2019, he posted a triple slash of .344/.395/.572 with 17 home runs over 330 at-bats. He enters 2020 with the promise of regular at-bats. The inclusion of the DH and Ryan Zimmerman opting out helped clear up the playing time for him and he should be in for a solid year. He is a high-floor type of player. The upside isn't as flashy as others, but if you need a roster stabilizer, this is your guy.


Third Base Waiver Wire Options

Ian Happ (2B/3B/OF, CHC) - 38% owned

Ian Happ enters the 2020 season as the everyday starting center fielder for the Chicago Cubs. He will likely hit at the bottom of the lineup but that shouldn't deter you from scooping him up. He offers the elusive power and speed combo that is highly sought. He also showed some improvements in 2019 with career-best contact rates. That came with being more aggressive at the plate. When production follows tangible change, I am always more inclined to buy into the production. And, if you didn't believe me about the speed, Happ's sprint speed is in the 71st percentile.

Brian Anderson (3B/OF, MIA) - 25% owned

Mr. Anderson had himself a small breakout in 2019. He is easy to overlook and is as boring as his name he needs to be owned in more spots. In a season where at-bats are currency, this is a player who will be slotting into the two-hole on a regular basis. There is some sneaky power upside here as well. In 2019, Anderson posted career-best marks in:

  • Home Runs: 20 (Just 126 games)
  • Launch Angle: 11.1
  • Barrel%: 8.9%
  • Hard Hit%: 45.7% (86th Percentile)
  • Max Exit Velocity: 114.4 (34th in MLB)
  • GB% & FB%

All of this was hidden due to the fact he plays for the Marlins and dealt with injury last season. If the changes in the approach stick, we could see the breakout continue. Add him with confidence.

Austin Riley (3B/OF, ATL) - 18% owned

This might be short-lived, so take advantage, but I expect with Yasiel Puig testing positive for COVID-19 and the Braves now needing another bat in the lineup, that Riley will be that guy. We saw the power potential last season as he posted 18 home runs in just 80 games. With a full offseason of working at his craft and the prospect pedigree, I am willing to take a shot at the young slugger. There is some swing-and-miss in the profile but the power can be difference-making.

Yoshi Tsutsugo (3B/OF, TB) - 17% owned

The dude just mashes. He has been crushing in summer training and is coming off four straight seasons of 28 or more home runs in Japan. This highlighted by a 45-HR season in 2016. The track record may be in terms of what he can do in the states, but the reports have been all positive and the power is undeniable. Take a look for yourself.

With Austin Meadows' Opening Day status up in the air, the potential playing time concerns are not an issue. Well, at least for week 1. Take advantage of it.


Deeper-League Dart Throws

These are a few players to go after in your deeper leagues or if you're in a pinch in general. These players will be owned in less than 10% of leagues.

Eric Thames (1B/OF, WAS) - 8% owned

Ryan Zimmerman opted out and this allowed Thames to step right into the first base or DH role pretty much full time. There is still a chance he platoons versus lefties but on the strong side of a platoon, he can be dangerous and really take off to start the year. He has a career .254/.338/.500 triple slash against right-handed pitchers. We have seen him binge home runs in the past so it is not out of the question that he gets off to a hot start.

Evan White (1B, SEA) - 5% owned

At one point, the big news of the offseason was Evan White getting an extension with the Mariners. His glove is good and should keep him at first base every day. He has been compared to a young Paul Goldschmidt. I buy into that as his long-term potential is a five-category producer. He plays first base and isn't a powerhouse bat but offers some speed and that can prove valuable from the first base or corner infield position.

Jesus Aguilar (1B, MIA) - 3% owned

Batting cleanup for the Marlins, Jesus Aguilar will be aiming to rebound after a down year in 2019. I am not sure what he might have left, but he will surely get every opportunity to succeed in Miami. At least until the trade deadline. If you are rostering Aguilar, you are just aiming for at-bats and this guy will get them.

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