Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire | Top Pickups, FAAB Tips, & Stashes For This Week
The Game Day’s Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Blog is a continually updated rundown of the latest free agent recommendations and related news that requires analysis. Check back regularly for all of the latest players to both add and put on your watch list.
Scott Engel is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association’s Hall of Fame. He won the 2017 FSWA award for Best Fantasy Baseball Series and was a finalist for the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year Award.
Note: Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire bids are based on a $100 budget for the season. Adjust the percentages accordingly for what you have remaining in your FAAB budget.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Pickups
Alek Thomas, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (52% rostered in CBSSports.com leagues)
Carson Kelly’s hamstring injury opened the door for Thomas to be promoted to the majors, and he could be here to stay. He is still obviously widely available after making his MLB debut on Sunday.
Daulton Varsho has been moved back behind the plate, so if Thomas can hit well enough to stay in Arizona’s lineup, he could take over in center field for good.
When Kelly returns, the priority could be for the Diamondbacks to keep both Thomas and Varsho in the lineup while others sacrifice playing time. Thomas’ promising mix of power and speed makes him a must-add, so check your free agent list.
Thomas hit 18 homers and had 13 steals in 106 minor-league games at two levels last season. It appears that he will get a significant opportunity to contribute in Arizona. He had five hits in his first 13 at-bats with the Diamondbacks.
Alek Thomas Suggested Free Agent Budget Bid: 14% of your available budget.
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Juan Yepez, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals (49% rostered)
The Cardinals needed an offensive boost, so they called up Yepez earlier this month and have been getting his bat into the lineup consistently. He can play both corner infield spots and could see frequent playing time at designated hitter.
Yepez can provide power as he stays with the big club. At two minor-league levels last season, he hit .286 with 27 home runs.
The Cardinals have not gotten much out of their other options at DH, and playing in the outfield can also possibly prevent Yepez from tying up your utility spot from an eligibility perspective.
Yepez is off to a good start in the majors, as he is hitting .400 with two homers and four RBIs in eight games. Above-average home run production is not easily available on the waiver wire right now, so bid more aggressively than we outline here if you have to.
Juan Yepez Suggested FAB Bid: 14% of your available budget.
Dany Jimenez, RP, Oakland A’s (45% rostered)
Many fantasy leaguers thought that Lou Trivino would be among the first closers to lose his job this season, and that has already seemingly happened. When Trivino was out with COVID-19, Jimenez took over the fireman role for Oakland, and may not take his firm grip off it.
Jimenez has not allowed an earned run and has struck out 15 batters in 11 innings pitched so far this year. He is up to six saves already, and you should not overlook him because the A’s are not expected to win too many games. Jimenez will lock the door on a good amount of close victories that they do earn.
Dany Jimenez Suggested FAB Bid: 17% of your available budget.
- Looking for more fantasy baseball tips? Catch our Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Stashes
Brandon Drury, 2B/3B/OF, Cincinnati Reds (42% rostered)
After last season, it appeared that Drury was about to fade into irrelevance. The Mets designated him for assignment in October, and the last time we saw him log regular playing time in 2019, he was a .218 hitter with the Blue Jays.
However, Drury has made the most of a chance to hang on with the Reds. He has six home runs and 18 RBIs in 27 games, and he had his average up to .284 earlier this week. This appears to be the Drury we saw early in his career with the Diamondbacks before he failed to build on expectations and fizzled out.
According to Statcast, Drury has career-highs in hard-hit rate (51.5%) and barrel rate (16.4%). The xBA is a decent .265.
Drury should be added for the positional flexibility and possibly respectable production ahead.
Brandon Drury Suggested FAB Bid: 8% of your available budget.
Glenn Otto, SP, Texas Rangers (9% rostered)
Otto registered consistently high strikeout rates in the minors but only has a 7.5 K/9 so far this season. He does have a 3.14 ERA and 3.97 xFIP this year, however, and has not allowed more than two runs in any of his three starts.
If he starts working deeper into games and registers more punchouts, Otto could merit regular mixed-league usage and fit on the back end of your fantasy staff. At three minor-league levels last year, he was 9-4 with a 3.20 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 95 2/3 innings pitched.
Glenn Otto Suggested FAB Bid: 6% of your available budget.
Tyler Wells, SP, Baltimore Orioles (8% rostered)
Wells has allowed two runs or less in his last five starts, lowering his ERA to 3.75 and his xERA to 3.67. He’s only averaging 6.4 K/9 but had a 10.1 K/9 in the minors.
Much like Otto, Wells is a viable add who should be monitored to see if he can maintain his current levels of success. Both play on teams that won’t win a lot of games, but Otto and Wells have fared well so far despite not displaying much of their strikeout potential.
Tyler Wells Suggested FAB Bid: 6% of your available budget.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Lower Bids or Watch List
- Ben Gamel, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates (13%): Gamel is hitting leadoff for Pittsburgh, and he has 14 RBIs and 13 runs scored. The xBA is at .324, so take the flier.
- Art Warren, RP, Cincinnati Reds (11%): Lucas Sims is on the IL, and Warren may be the best bet for the sparse amount of saves a Reds closer can notch.
- Brooks Raley, RP, Tampa Bay Rays (10%): He is getting some save chances and has two and a win in his last four appearances. The Rays bullpen is unpredictable, but you should add Raley anyway.
- Jake Odorizzi, SP, Houston Astros (28% rostered): Odorizzi has allowed only one run on six hits in his last three starts and now has a 3.38 ERA with a 3.70 xERA. He has increased his cutter usage from 10.3% to 19.8%, and opponents are hitting just .194 against it.
- Dane Dunning, SP, Texas Rangers (27% rostered): Dunning has allowed four runs with 17 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings pitched in his last three starts. His 3.38 ERA is backed by a 3.17 xFIP.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Names From Last Week
- Adley Rutschman, C, Baltimore Orioles (5% rostered): His availability percentage is astounding. You have to take advantage and add Rutschman now, even in a one-catcher league. He is widely regarded as one of the best prospects in the game and should join the Orioles soon after recovering from a triceps injury.
- Jose Miranda, 3B, Minnesota Twins (44% rostered): Miranda is getting an opportunity to demonstrate his potential with Miguel Sano out, as he is playing first base for Minnesota. With two minor-league teams last year, Miranda hit .344 with 30 home runs.
- Josh Rojas, 2B/SS/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (29% rostered): Rojas offers positional versatility and can contribute with some homers and stolen bases. He had 11 homers and nine steals last season in 484 at-bats.