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Deeper Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 2


The first week of the Major League season is in the books, and fingers crossed, we get to finish out the rest of the season. There aren't many takeaways from just a handful of games, but there are still a good amount of players that are sitting the depths of the free-agent pool that deserve to be rostered. This is where this column comes in handy.

This will be a look at players that are under 15% rostered in Yahoo leagues that are options to be considered in deeper leagues, or in the case of the Year of Coronaball, injury replacements with upside that have the possibility of sticking on rosters even beyond a few games or couple of weeks.

Without further ado, time to get this started.

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Teoscar Hernandez (OF, TOR)

11% Rostered, Recommended Move: Add for the long haul

Big things were expected from the Blue Jays lineup coming into the season, but most of that hype was centered around players such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., which is definitely justified, but perhaps also made Teoscar Hernandez a bit undervalued. He posted 26 home runs in just 125 games last season, and was particularly much better after a stint in AAA, after which he really erupted with a .259/.346/.592 slash line thanks to superb barrel, exit velocity, and hard-hit rates.

He's gotten off to a powerful start in 2020, doubling twice in his first four games, and had a two-home run performance against the Nationals on July 27th. Hernandez is not a perfect player though, as he will be expected to strike out close to 30% of the time, but considering the league format and other options, Hernandez should be a nice, quality source of power, playing every day and hitting in a solid Major League lineup.

 

Asdrubal Cabrera (2B/3B, WAS)

11% Rostered, Recommended Move: Add for the long haul 

We all might have expected Carter Kieboom to get the everyday third base role with the departure of Anthony Rendon, but thus far, it has been Asdrubal Cabrera getting the playing time, and it doesn't look like he is relinquishing it anytime soon. Cabrera, who has done nothing but hit for the Nationals since arriving in DC late in the 2019 season, has played in each of the Nationals first four games, while Kieboom has played in just one. He has earned it, as he has come out of the gates hot with a .308/.357/.615 line thus far.

Obviously, that type of performance is not going to stick, but he has definitely shown himself worthy of being in the lineup every day. As long as he continues to hit, he should be a nice option in deep leagues and should provide a decent batting average and an isolated power mark of around .200, which would definitely be nice coming for free off the waiver wire.

 

Nico Hoerner (SS, CHC)

5% Rostered, Recommended Move: Add and stash for a couple of weeks 

One top prospect that, on the contrary, is in the lineup and playing mostly every day to start the season is Nico Hoerner. Hoerner has started three of the first four games for the Cubs, and with only Jason Kipnis to beat out for the position, appears to be in a good position to do so.

In a small sample in 2019, Hoerner had a respectable .282/.305/.436 triple slash in 82 plate appearances, with three home runs. His carrying tool as a prospect was his hit tool, with a chance to develop into some more power to go along with plus speed. Hoerner is currently getting the opportunity to prove himself, and is worthy of a speculative add. Fantasy managers may not want to start him right away, but with more good performances could be a nice breakout player this season. Hoerner currently only has shortstop eligibility, but should soon get second base eligibility. For now, stash him and monitor his progress.

 

Wilmer Flores (1B/2B, SF)

2% Rostered, Recommended Move: Add and stash for a couple of weeks

Flores was featured here last week and still remains incredibly under-rostered. The veteran infielder has hit either second or third in the first few Giants games and so far has hit .294/.294/.471 in the small sample, but the most important thing is that he is effectively locked into an everyday role for now.

Flores had some appeal as a streaming option against a run of left-handed pitchers, but now should see more intrigue as an everyday player. While he is definitely much better against lefties, he can hold his own against righties, with a 101 wRC+ against them in 2019. Managers may not want to immediately put him in their starting lineups, but keep in mind that the Giants are scheduled to play four games in Colorado starting August 3rd. A savvy manager may be looking at picking him up just for those four games, but an even savvier manager can jump the gun and pick him up now and stash him on their bench until that series.

Either way, with playing time locked in for at least the immediate future (we'll see what happens when the Giants get Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria back), Flores should continue to be a good option in deeper leagues.

 

Maikel Franco (3B, KC)

2% Rostered, Recommended Move: Add and stash for a couple of weeks

Franco is not going to be the most glamorous addition to a fantasy team, as it has been a couple of years since he last was a quality Major Leaguer. He is still someone to keep an eye on, though. He's hit two home runs through his first four games and has been in the lineup for the Royals each time they've taken the field.

His batted-balls have had an average exit velocity of 95.7 miles-per-hour thus far, with a hard-hit rate of 42.9%. While it is doubtful that he maintains this excellent start, Franco can be a sneaky source for power in deep leagues in 2020. The Royals will get a lot of favorable matchups thanks to their division and Franco has already taken advantage of it by feasting two homers against the Detroit Tigers to start the week. It would not be unreasonable to see Franco maintain an isolated power mark of around .200 over the course of a full season. While he won't walk a ton, he doesn't strike out a lot so there shouldn't be so much to worry about in that department.

Franco is definitely worth keeping tabs on and perhaps a speculative add, but if he continues to hit the ball well, he won't just be an option for deep leagues and may see himself become generally fantasy relevant in other formats.

 

Rowdy Tellez (1B, TOR)

1% Rostered, Recommended Move: Add for next week 

We started with a Blue Jay and now we'll end with a Blue Jay; this time it's Rowdy Tellez. Playing time was the issue for Tellez this season, as the news of Guerrero moving to first base could have sapped some of his playing time. Those worries, for now, are dampened, as Tellez has started four of the first five games for the Jays. The Jays projected to face only right-handed starters for the rest of this week, with the caveat of us not yet knowing what is going with the Philadelphia Phillies that the Jays are scheduled to face this weekend.

Tellez as a hitter has shown plenty of power through parts of two seasons in the league, popping 21 homers in 2019 and a .614 slugging percentage in his small-sample 2018 debut. The constant for Tellez thus far in his career has been his ability to hit the ball hard, running hard-hit rates of at least 40% in 2018 and 2019, and a barrel rate of 13.2% in 2019 that was inside the top-10% of hitters. Tellez has struggled with strikeouts as well, but he didn't during his minors career, so it is possible that his 28.4% strikeout rate last season drops a bit. Looking for optimistic signs in that department shows that Tellez has only struck out twice through his first three games, but obviously, a larger sample is needed.

For fantasy purposes, Tellez should be an option when the Jays are scheduled to face a heavy amount of right-handers as a potential cheap source of power. Monitor how he does in those games. If he gets his strikeout rate under control, he can be more than just deep-league depth.

 

Looking Back on Last Week's Picks

From here on out, each week's post will end with a look back on the last week's options along with a brief recommendation on what to do with the said player for the future. Last week, there were a lot of extremely deep targets highlighted that could have taken advantage of some (in theory) favorable matchups to start the season. Some worked out, and some didn't, so let's review.

Jordan Luplow (OF, CLE)

Last week: 1% rostered. This Week: 1% rostered. 

Luplow had some appeal last week with Cleveland facing multiple Kansas City lefties to start the season. He didn't actually play that much, getting just four plate appearances and not recording a hit. Cleveland doesn't have any other lefty-heavy matchups up on the docket, and Luplow isn't a lock for playing time as it stands. Current Recommendation: Drop. 

Ryan McBroom (1B, KC)

Last week: 0% rostered. This Week: 0% rostered. 

Like Luplow, this one pretty much fell flat. There was an opportunity for McBroom to get a longer look with Ryan O'Hearn out, but he didn't make the most of it, getting one hit in nine plate appearances. Now O'Hearn is back for the Royals and McBroom is nothing more than a platoon player. He still could be interesting, but not needed in fantasy right now. Current Recommendation: Drop. 

Cameron Maybin (OF, DET)

Last week: 2% rostered. This week: 1% rostered. 

Maybin had deep-league appeal when he was projected to hit in the leadoff spot for Detroit, but then the season came and Maybin found himself in the seven spot. Maybin was also just one for his ten, which isn't exactly worth rostering in this current state. He can still be fantasy relevant with good performance, but managers can pick him up later. Current Recommendation: Drop.

Jake Lamb (1B/3B, ARI)

Last week: 1% rostered. This week: 1% rostered. 

Lamb, scheduled for primary playing time has appeal to see if this fully healthy version can bounce back to his heavy-power days of 2016 and 2017, and while he didn't get off to a great start, getting just one hit in the opening series against the Padres, he was facing some tough pitchers. The pitching matchups don't exactly get easier for the D-Backs, but managers can still hold Lamb to see what he can do, although it really is up to the situation. If there's a player out there better than Lamb on the wire, go for it. Current Recommendation: Hold. 

Edward Olivares (OF, SD)

Last week: 0% rostered. This week: 1% rostered. 

Olivares' main reason for being included last week had to do with the Padres facing two lefty starters and Olivares getting the favorable platoon matchup. He ended up only starting one of those two games against the D-Backs lefties, in which he hit a double and walked in his Major League debut. He's pretty much going to be used in a straight platoon role, and while the Padres are going to Coors this week, they're only lined up to face one lefty. Monitor when the Padres are set to face some lefties and Olivares may be a good streaming option, but for now, he's droppable. Current Recommendation: Drop. 



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Week 6 was relatively healthy and had no coronavirus delays, so let's just take a moment to bask in that. That said, we still saw Miles Sanders (knee) and Zach Ertz (ankle) go down, while Mark Ingram (ankle) has a bye to get healthy. Week 7 byes are Baltimore, Indianapolis, Miami, and Minnesota. Let's get... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Fantasy GMs are to be commended for rising to the unique challenges that have unfolded during this regular season. Injuries to critical players is an unwelcome reality that occurs every year. This is also the case for backs that were expected to operate as RB1s, but have been relegated to committees. However, this season has... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Six weeks of NFL football are behind us, aside from a pair of Monday games, including a late afternoon game between the Bills and the Chiefs. In terms of wide receiver production this week, we didn't have the huge breakouts like we had in Week 5. Chase Claypool didn't score four touchdowns. In fact, only... Read More


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Dissecting Contact Quality In Search Of Fantasy Bargains

Of the 1,015 hitters sampled(1) between 2015 and 2019, there were only 14 instances of hitters making more productive contact against pitches outside of the strike zone than against pitches inside of the strike zone based on xwOBAcon. Based on the same sample, the average hitter was a whopping .116 points better against pitches inside... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 23rd, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Lineup Order Risers and Fallers: AL West 2020 Review

It’s the offseason and there are about to be a bunch of moving parts. This allows for speculation in terms of players gaining or losing playing time, moving up or down a batting order and much more. The idea here is to highlight some lineup situations for each team and some potential winners or losers... Read More


2021 1st & 2nd Year Players with James Anderson - Benched with Bubba (Episode 317)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by James Anderson (@RealJRAnderson) on episode 317. The guys will go over 30+ first and second-year players. They will discuss their current ADP's in the 2 Early Mocks, what to expect of the players in 2021, and much more. They also go over some listener questions, compare Juan Soto to Mike... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 21st, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 21st, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 20th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 20th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 54: 2 Early Mocks APD Player Debates - Benched with Bubba (Episode 316)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They go over some of the positions and look at players with similar ADPs and debate. Going around the diamond discussing some players people are high on and some they are down on with a... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 18th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 18th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 17th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 17th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


2021 Early Mock ADP Values & Reaches: WPC+ Videocast

Pierre Camus and Nicklaus Gaut prepare for the 2021 fantasy baseball season with a look at early mock draft results from the RotoBaller Expert mock. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller... Read More


Statcast Season Review: 2020 Barrel Leaders (Hitters)

The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 14th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 53: 2 Early Mocks APD Trends & More - Benched with Bubba (Episode 315)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More