Fantasy Baseball Preseason Waiver Wire: Pick Up These Sleepers After 2021 Drafts
Fantasy Baseball Preseason Waiver Wire Watch List: This list is a group of players who are likely to go undrafted in all but the deepest of MLB fantasy leagues but who could end up adding value to a team. All ADPs are based on 2021 NFBC data, current as of March 1.
Read our full 2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide.
2021 Fantasy Baseball Preseason Waiver Wire
Chris Martin, RP, Atlanta Braves (ADP 357)
Atlanta reliever Chris Martin is likely next in line to close games behind Will Smith. Martin has been a setup man the last 3 seasons but possesses solid numbers across the board and skills befitting a saves reliever.
In Atlanta, he’s increased his strikeout rate to go along with low walk and home run rates. He’s seen a steady improvement to his ERA in each of his 5 seasons.
If anything happens to Smith, Martin would get at least most of the save opportunities and will be an important add. He already has value in leagues that include holds.
Elvis Andrus, SS, Oakland Athletics (ADP 360)
Shortstop Elvis Andrus was traded from the Rangers to the Athletics in the offseason, and will serve as Oakland’s primary shortstop in 2021. When considering players for a fantasy sports roster, one of the most important qualifiers is the opportunity to play.
Andrus will have the opportunity to play every day in Oakland. That cannot go overlooked by fantasy managers, yet Andrus is going overlooked. Part of that is because he had an awful 2020 where he batted .194, though a .200 BABIP did not do him any favors.
He should see some positive regression in his batting average in 2021 with more time at the plate. Andrus is a candidate for 20+ steals, which he’s done 10 times in his career, along with double-digit home runs. He should be on everyone’s watch list going into this season.
Anthony DeSclafani, SP, San Francisco Giants (ADP 402)
2021 presents an opportunity for improvement from new San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani, after a down year in 2020. Last season was his worst by far, and although it makes him look like a bad pitcher, he should be closer to above average or good in 2021.
DeSclafani saw a decrease in velocity and spin rate last season, which led to a dip in strikeouts and an increase in walks and home runs allowed. Despite last season, he could be a sneaky pick in deeper leagues, and someone to put on watch lists if he goes undrafted.
Fantasy baseball drafters and waiver-wire scouts should look at how the Giants helped Kevin Gausman turn from a failed Orioles prospect into the anchor of San Francisco’s rotation. They helped increase his spin rate and worked on his pitch selection, both of which could be focal points in improving DeSclafani’s numbers in 2021. He should improve and could improve significantly this season and reward fantasy managers who keep a close eye on him.
Watch these players for the 2021 MLB regular season and choose them when you play 2021 daily fantasy baseball.
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Evan Longoria, 3B, San Francisco Giants (ADP 406)
San Francisco Giants third baseman Evan Longoria is far from the fantasy baseball stud he was early in his career, but he still maintains great value late in drafts or in free agency. He may end up losing some time to younger players, but the potential for 20 or more home runs is still there.
He is a career .266 batter, and an average in the .250-.260 range is not out of the question for him this season. Longoria has had a solid hard contact rate recently, and that, along with good but not great barrel rates and launch angles in recent years, has helped maintain his ability to hit home runs. Longoria should be on fantasy managers’ radars as an excellent replacement player at the corner infield or third base slot in lineups.
Freddy Galvis, 2B/SS, Baltimore Orioles (ADP 482)
New Baltimore Orioles infielder Freddy Galvis is another player, like Andrus, who will benefit from the opportunity to play every day. Adding to his fantasy value is the fact that he is eligible to play at both second base and shortstop. Yet, he is going either super late in drafts, or not at all.
A career .247 batting average is not spectacular, and both second base and shortstop seem to be relatively deep positions in fantasy baseball this year, but that should not stop fantasy managers from adding him to their watch lists.
Galvis has a legitimate chance of hitting 20 home runs, which he’s done as recently as 2019. A low BABIP depressed his batting average in 2020, but as the BABIP evens out this season, a .250 batting average is not out of the question. He won’t wow fantasy managers with his contact metrics, but he finds a way to be productive every year, and could be a valuable waiver add in 2021.
More Players To Add In Deep Fantasy Baseball Leagues
- Matt Manning, SP, Detroit Tigers (ADP 486)
- Rio Ruiz, 3B, Baltimore Orioles (ADP 493)
- Nomar Mazara, OF, Detroit Tigers (ADP 498)
- Mitch Moreland, 1B, Oakland Athletics (ADP 524)
- Luis Garcia, 2B, Washington Nationals (ADP 544)
- Mike Tauchman, OF, New York Yankees (ADP 552)
- Aristides Aquino, OF, Cincinnati Reds (ADP 562)
- Sean Doolittle, RP, Cincinnati Reds (ADP 574)