Welcome to Week 18 and our fantasy baseball waiver wire hitters. We’ll be doing this roundup of points leagues every week here at RotoBaller, with waiver wire targets and streaming pitchers being evaluated in terms of the different scoring systems of ESPN, Yahoo!, CBS, and Fantrax.
Player values can vary wildly from platform to platform, so we’ll make sure to highlight where players are the best and worst fits. We know points league players get neglected and we’re here to help.
These fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups are for the week of August 1 – August 7, looking at players below ~50% rostered for ESPN, Yahoo!, or Fantrax. Position eligibility is taken from Fantrax and players are grouped by their most valuable fantasy position, using a hierarchy of: C > 2B > OF > 3B > 1B > SS. Stats and rankings for charts are calculated using games through Friday, August 5.
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Know Your Scoring System
You know what I’m going to say, right? You must account for, as precisely as possible, how a player performs under your particular scoring system. Don’t be fooled into believing you can just make rough adjustments in your head, bumping up guys with high on-base percentages and low strikeout rates. Every point, in every category, counts.
For example, ESPN and Fantrax are virtually identical in their scoring for hitters and roster size. The only difference is that stolen bases are worth one more point on Fantrax and ESPN subtracts one point per strikeout. That’s the difference between Trea Turner being a top-five hitter versus a top-25 hitter.
If your league uses standard settings, then great! Turn to page 94 and you can skip ahead to the leaderboards. If you play with custom settings, it’ll still be fine. Go back to page 43 and look below at the scoring systems of the four major platforms. I bet there’s a chance that you’ll find that your league’s scoring is very similar to one of the four (well, not Yahoo!’s), even if it’s not the platform you actually play on.
You’ll likely find a suitable mirror to your own system if you look above. While every point counts, as long as they aren’t seismic changes you can get away with some “close enough” calls. IE. You’re probably fine if everything is the same except for HBP (or something similar).
Week 18: Waiver Wire Leaderboards
All charts are updated prior to Saturday’s games, on stats and ownerships, and clicking on a chart will open a new page with a magnified version. Players on overall leaderboards are ordered according to their current Roster% on Yahoo.
*APR = Average Platform Ranking – the average platform ranking between ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, and Fantrax (standard point settings)
The 14-Day Leaderboard, Presented by Hansel
These players are so hot right now. Here are the players on the wire who are running inside the top-100 of APR over the past two weeks:
First Base Waiver Wire Pickups
Seth Brown, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 22%, ESPN: 15%) – Covered with the outfielders.
Connor Joe, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 27%, ESPN: 47%) – Covered with the outfielders.
Luke Voit, SD (Yahoo: 32%, ESPN: 30%) – Voit has been on a heater, as evidenced by a 97 APR over the last two weeks but things are already slowing back down, with a .250 SLG and .297 since hitting his last home run on July 29. Too many strikeouts, not enough consistency, and he’s now on a much worse team.
Eric Hosmer, BOS (Yahoo: 35%, ESPN: 31%) – Hosmer is in Boston following his rejection of a trade to Washington but that likely won’t change what you can expect from his performance – below-average scoring rates that only keep him as a viable hole-filler because of his everyday role. Whoo. Hoo.
Dan Vogelbach, NYM (Yahoo: 4%, ESPN: 3%) – Big Salad has come to the Big Apple but will still be limited by not facing LHP. But he’s still useful in daily leagues and is now on a much better offense that will provide more consistent R+RBI opportunities.
Jeimer Candelario, DET, 1B/3B (Yahoo: 14%, ESPN: 45%)
Jesus Aguilar, MIA (Yahoo: 23%, ESPN: 34%) – At best, he’s been average, all season, and there aren’t any indicators that things will change any time soon.
Carlos Santana, SEA (Yahoo: 8%, ESPN: 46%) – Nothing changed – Santana is severely limited but has a K/BB ratio that will let him compile his way to startable for some point formats.
On the IL
- Edwin Rios, LAD (strained hamstring – on rehab assignment)
Second Base Waiver Wire Pickups
Adam Frazier, SEA, 2B/OF (Yahoo: 22%, ESPN: 41%) – Good walk rate, excellent strikeout rate, plays every day, and has now batted leadoff for the past five games, slashing .421/.522/.474, with a .445 wOBA and 201 wRC+. I’ve said it for a few years; the best version of Adam Frazier has a scoring profile that is points gold.
Jose Iglesias, COL, 2B/SS (Yahoo: 18%, ESPN: 12%) – The Jose Iglesias train refuses to slow down. That’s right; I said the Jose Iglesias train refuses to slow down. More impressively, it hasn’t been just Coors-generated – Iglesias is slashing .262/.315/.366, with a .301 wOBA at home but is at .358/.389/.460, with a .372 wOBA and 140 wRC+ on the road. Granted, that batting average comes with a .422 BABIP, but still! In the middle of Colorado’s current road trip, Iglesias has slashed .385/.407/.538 over six games in San Diego and Arizona and comes home to Coors in Week 18 for a six-game set against the Cardinals and Diamondbacks. I get that he’s Jose Iglesias but we can’t just keep ignoring him.
Nico Hoerner, CHC, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 49%, ESPN: 35%) – Hoerner has dropped back below our Roster% threshold but his performance hasn’t justified it, even if he’s been cold lately. He plays every day, with a low strikeout rate, giving him a classic compiler profile.
Jorge Mateo, BAL, 2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 46%, ESPN: 20%) – The dude can just run so hot. Mateo has a 37 APR over the last two weeks that’s being driven by a .406 wOBA, .567 wOBAcon, and a potpourri of counting stats – 3 HR, 8 R, 8 RBI, and 4 SB.
Luis Rengifo, LAA, 2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 17%, ESPN: 4%) – Rengifo has reaped the rewards of batting up in the order since Mike Trout went down, slashing .380/.421/.521 since moving up the lineup. But don’t expect it to last considering that his wOBA and wOBAcon over the past two weeks are backed by expected stats ~100 points lower.
Nolan Gorman, STL, 2B/3B (Yahoo: 39%, ESPN: 16%) – The power is for real (12 HR in 221 PA) but a 32.1% K% and average BB% give him dubious value under most scoring systems.
Ha-Seong Kim, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 14%, ESPN: 10%) – Kim has compiled his way to an 83 APR over the last two weeks and a 116 APR for the year but the playing-time clock is ticking with Fernando Tatis Jr. headed out to a rehab assignment.
Orlando Arcia, ATL, 2B/OF (Yahoo: 2%, ESPN: 1%) – After sporadic playing time following Ozzie Albies‘ injury, Arcia seems to finally have the second base job to himself, starting Atlanta’s last seven games. Over that time, Arcia is slashing .240/.269/.480, with 2 HR and an 11.5% K%. The scoring rates aren’t special but they’ll play if he’s playing every day.
Luis Garcia, WSH, 2B/SS (Yahoo: 6%, ESPN: 3%) – Garcia has a 73 APR over the past two weeks and is back near the top of the order, batting second for Washington’s last four games. It’s still a compiler profile but he has posted above-average scoring rates over the past two weeks, with a .356 wOBA and .451 wOBAcon.
Bryson Stott, PHI, 2B/SS (Yahoo: 6%, ESPN: 4%) – Stott has a 107 APR over the last two weeks but the heavy lifting is done in leagues with a strikeout penalty, with a 74 APR in ESPN compared to a 131 APR on Yahoo.
Nicky Lopez, KC, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 6%, ESPN: 6%) – Lopez (144 APR over the past two weeks) has at least started doing what he was supposed to be doing all season – compile points at a below-average rate but with full-time PAs. Still, you probably aren’t happy if you need to start Nicky Lopez.
On the IL
Third Base Waiver Wire Pickups
Nico Hoerner, CHC, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 49%, ESPN: 35%)
Jorge Mateo, BAL, 2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 46%, ESPN: 20%)
Jeimer Candelario, DET, 1B/3B (Yahoo: 14%, ESPN: 45%) – Candelario was red hot in July (.378 wOBA/149 wRC+) but has slowed back down in August, slashing .125/.176/.125 over five games. His everyday role gives him compiler possibilities but you’re riding a fine line when dealing with an offense as bad as Detroit’s.
Gio Urshela, MIN, 3B/SS (Yahoo: 31%, ESPN: 21%) – Urshela’s role has continued to get more and more tenuous, sitting the past two games (vs RHP) after starting his first three coming off of the paternity list. His skill set is only useful in points if he’s playing every day.
Nolan Jones, CLE, 3B/OF (Yahoo: 16%, ESPN: 7%) – An 11.1% BB% is solid but Jones’ 30.6% K% (33.3% K% over the last two weeks) makes his profile currently untenable under most scoring formats unless he’s crushing consistent bombs. And Cleveland agrees – after starting 16 of 18 games upon getting called up, Jones has now only started three of their past eight.
Geraldo Perdomo, 3B/SS (Yahoo: 1%, ESPN: 0%) – Perdomo has below-average scoring rates but plays every day. This ends our Geraldo Perdomo coverage.
On the IL
- Evan Longoria, SF (strained hamstring – no timetable for return)
- Miguel Sano, MIN (knee inflammation – unlikely to return in 2022)
- Brian Anderson, MIA (sprained shoulder – currently on rehab assignment)
Shortstop Waiver Wire Pickups
Shortstop continues to be a dumpster among players with it as their MVP position and I’d still rather use the players below that were covered earlier.
Jose Iglesias, COL, 2B/SS (Yahoo: 18%, ESPN: 12%)
Nico Hoerner, CHC, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 49%, ESPN: 35%)
Jorge Mateo, BAL, 2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 46%, ESPN: 20%)
Luis Garcia, WSH, 2B/SS (Yahoo: 6%, ESPN: 3%)
Elvis Andrus, OAK (Yahoo: 3%, ESPN: 3%) – We’ve talked about it before – every once in a while Andrus hits a streak that makes him viable for some points format as a low-budget compiler. Also, if you’re starting Elvis Andrus regularly, your team probably stinks.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, NYY (Yahoo: 21%, ESPN: 13%) – What can I say about IKF that hasn’t already been said about Elvis Andrus?
On the IL
Catcher Waiver Wire Pickups
MJ Melendez, KC, C/OF (Yahoo: 42%, ESPN: 13%) – The return of Salvador Perez has in no way hampered Melendez’s playing time, with the rookie starting every game since Perez came off of the IL, with six of seven starts coming in the outfield. His 59 PA over the last two weeks is among the league leaders (regardless of position) and is six more plate appearances than the second-place catcher, Will Smith. Catchers with his skill set/playing time are so rare, I don’t understand why Melendez is still on so many waiver wires.
Danny Jansen, TOR (Yahoo: 15%, ESPN: 6%) – Jansen has been ice-cold since going double-dong on July 22, slashing .111/.138/.111 over 29 PA, with a .115 wOBA and -40 wRC+. Yes, minus 40. When you’re only playing 3-4 times a week, that’s not going to cut it.
Max Stassi, LAA (Yahoo: 2%, ESPN: 2%) – We have a Max Stassi sighting, who has a 108 APR over the past two weeks after being buried all season long. Over his 10 starts since the All-Star break, Stassi is slashing .250/.282/.528, with a 20.9% K%, .338 wOBA, and 120 wRC+. Not very impressive until pointing out that in the first half, he slashed .203/.307/.321, with a 30.2% K%, .286 wOBA, and an 84 wRC+.
All catcher adds are desperate adds. Now and forever.
Jose Trevino, NYY (Yahoo: 16%, ESPN: 10%) – He doesn’t walk but also rarely strikes out and now has a 96 APR over the past two weeks. But it’s still a time-share situation, with his 30 PA over the fortnight lagging well behind other catchers.
On the IL
- Omar Narvaez, MIL (strained quad – no timetable for return)
- James McCann, NYM (strained oblique – currently on rehab assignment)
- Ryan Jeffers, MIN (fractured thumb – out 6-8 weeks)
Outfielder Waiver Wire Pickups
Randal Grichuk, COL (Yahoo: 35%, ESPN: 49%) – Grichuk has already been on a heater, running a 28 APR over the past two weeks and starting nine of Colorado’s past 10 games. He’ll have a chance to keep burning heading into a six-game home stand in the thin air.
Seth Brown, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 22%, ESPN: 15%) – Boy howdy, one of our Best Choices from last week rewarded us with splendor, as Brown has been the sun since returning from paternity leave. In his six games back, Brown is slashing .389/.522/1.111, with 4 HR and a .641 wOBA.
Ramon Laureano, OAK (Yahoo: 45%, ESPN: 14%) – Laureano isn’t exciting but remains an easy plug-and-play, with his 103 APR over the last weeks only being held down by a spike in his K%.
Tommy Pham, BOS (Yahoo: 48%, ESPN: 49%) – Pham is one of the new Red Sox, batting second for each of his four starts. Fenway is no Great American Ballpark but it’s still a good hitters park and Pham should continue to cruise to a top-100ish APR.
Eddie Rosario, ATL (Yahoo: 19%, ESPN: 44%) – Eddie Rosario can finally see! His playing time was initially sporadic following his return from the IL (eye surgery) but Rosario has now started nine of Atlanta’s past 10 games, with the newly acquired, Robbie Grossman, getting just one start in left since joining the team.
Connor Joe, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 27%, ESPN: 47%) – Joe had a no-good, rotten, July that has now carried into the summer. Since the start of July, he’s slashing just .153/.270/.259 over 100 PA, with a .246 wOBA and 41 APR. But he’ll get a chance to turn things around with a homestand in Week 18, including three games against suspect Arizona pitching.
Alek Thomas, ARI (Yahoo: 13%, ESPN: 8%) – He’s had some rookie struggles (and is on a terrible offense) but Thomas continues to show the kind of excellent plate discipline (19.3% K%) that should serve him well under most scoring systems. Plus, three games in Colorado this week, can’t be a bad thing, right?
Oscar Gonzalez, CLE (Yahoo: 3%, ESPN: 2%) – We hyped him a lot prior to his IL stint but Gonzales is back and has started three of Cleveland’s four games since returning, collecting hits in all three and popping a home run. The power was big in the minors, it’s just a matter of if it translates to the bigs. I’m betting yes.
AJ Pollock, CHW (Yahoo: 23%, ESPN: 19%) – Pollock has great per-PA scoring rates over the past two weeks but has been way too inconsistent to count on. Plus, the White Sox lineup has gotten more crowded with the return of Luis Robert, with Pollock sitting in two of the five games since Robert returned.
Victor Robles, WSH (Yahoo: 4%, ESPN: 2%) – Good god! Is tha-…Is that Victor Robles’ music?!?! Ok, well let’s not get carried away because the music might be playing but it’s still as soft as Robles’ exit velocities. But he has moved into the leadoff spot for the past 10 games, stealing two bases and even hitting a home run. Unfortunately, that leadoff spot no longer has Juan Soto and Josh Bell coming after it.
On the IL
- Harrison Bader, STL (plantar fascitis – currently on rehab assignment)
- Avisail Garcia, MIA (strained hamstring – no timetable for return)
- Alex Kirilloff, MIN (wrist inflammation – no timetable for return)
- Harold Ramirez, TB (fractured thumb – no timetable for return)
- Juan Yepez, STL (strained forearm – no timetable for return)
- Manuel Margot, TB (strained knee – no timetable for return)
- Kole Calhoun, TEX (heel irritation – no timetable for return)
- Edward Olivares, KC (strained quad – no timetable for return)
- Trevor Larnach, MIN (core muscle surgery – expected to miss six weeks)
- Dominic Smith, NYM (sprained ankle – no timetable for return)
- Taylor Trammell, SEA (strained hamstring – currently on rehab assignment)
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