Week 17 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top MLB Pickups + Sleeper Stashes

Last Updated: Jul 18, 2021

Here is The Game Day’s Week 17 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Free-Agent Pickups. Set these key Week 17 MLB Pickups for your waiver wire list this weekend.

Week 17 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Pickups

Jarred Kelenic, OF, Seattle Mariners (48% rostered on Yahoo!)

Congratulations if you checked out last week’s piece and scooped up Jarred Kelenic with a 6-15% FAAB bid. The cheap buying window’s slammed shut, though, with news of his forthcoming call-up on Friday.

Nonetheless, Kelenic has sky-high upside that warrants paying through the nose to add him. Since his demotion to the minors, he’s belted seven homers, stolen four bases in five attempts, and hit .306/.386/.622 with an 11.4 BB% and 14.9 K% in 98 plate appearances, per FanGraphs.

  • Jarred Kelenic Waiver Wire Tip: Kelenic has the potential to be a legitimate five-category contributor, making him worthy of a massive FAAB bid in the 30-35% neighborhood.

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Jarren Duran, OF, Boston Red Sox (42%)

Jarren Duran’s debut was supposed to happen Thursday night. However, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees game was postponed due to COVID-19 positive tests in the Yankees organization. Regardless, Duran’s ready to help the parent club after an eye-opening breakout in the minors this season.

The 24-year-old outfielder’s wheels were his calling card entering this campaign, with a 46 stolen-base campaign on his ledger in 2019. He’s stolen 12 bases this year. However, it’s a power surge that’s kicked his prospect stock up to another level. He’s swatted 15 homers, hitting .270/.365/.561 in 219 plate appearances at the Triple-A level.

  • Jarren Duran Waiver Wire Tip: Kelenic has a longer track record of being a premier prospect, making him the slightly more desirable addition. However, Duran’s a superb consolation prize in a better offense with a five-category profile, too. As a result, he’s worth a 25-30% FAAB bid.
Jarren Duran at second base during 2021 Boston Red Sox spring training

Boston Red Sox OF Jarren Duran is heading to the major leagues this weekend, making him a standout fantasy baseball waiver wire pickup for Week 17. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)

Zach Thompson, SP/RP, Miami Marlins (37%)

At some point, it’s imperative to give up on priors for a non-descript prospect. We’ve reached that point for me regarding Zach Thompson. The 27-year-old righty has pitched great for the Miami Marlins.

In five starts lasting 24.0 innings, he’s dazzled with a 2.25 ERA, 3.24 SIERA, 1.00 WHIP, 7.2 BB%, 32.0 K%, and 31.7 CSW%. Additionally, Thompson was sharp in Triple-A after a sluggish start. In his last four appearances totaling 8.0 innings, he twirled a 3.38 ERA, 2.71 FIP, 1.25 WHIP, 2.9 BB%, and 35.3 K%.

  • Zach Thompson Waiver Wire Tip: I’m buying into Thompson, as his underlying statistics are the real deal. I advise spending 15-20% of your FAAB to nab him.

Week 17 MLB Waiver Wire: Sleeper Pickups (6-15% FAAB)

  • Anthony Bender, RP, Miami Marlins (12% rostered)
  • Ranger Suarez, RP, Philadelphia Phillies (37%)
  • Tarik Skubal, SP, Detroit Tigers (44%)
  • Akil Baddoo, OF, Detroit Tigers (34%)
  • J.D. Davis, 3B/OF, New York Mets (47%)
  • Brandon Nimmo, OF, New York Mets (32%)
  • Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds (35%)
  • Alex Cobb, SP, Los Angeles Angels (22%)
  • Patrick Sandoval, SP, Los Angeles Angels (26%)
  • NEW - Jonathan Villar, 2B/3B/SS, New York Mets (33%)
  • NEW - Luis Urias, 2B/3B/SS, Milwaukee Brewers (39%)

Anthony Bender has yielded at least one run in three straight relief appearances. Regardless, his full-season totals are jaw-dropping. I’m leaning more heavily on his full-season totals than his recent hiccups, and he’s a probable candidate to close games for the Marlins going forward, namely if/when they deal Yimi Garcia.

Ranger Suarez has been the best reliever for the Philadelphia Phillies, recording a 0.77 ERA, 3.07 SIERA, 0.74 WHIP, 8.3 BB%, 26.3 K%, and 65.1 GB% in 21 relief appearances spanning 35.0 innings. He’s also saved two games, both coming in Philadelphia’s last two save opportunities.

Monday, June 21, was an important day for Major League Baseball. It’s the first day they instituted pitcher inspections for foreign substances. So keep that date in mind, as I’ll reference it frequently for the rest of this piece, starting with Tarik Skubal. In four starts lasting 22.2 innings since June 21, Skubal’s recorded a 4.37 ERA, 3.93 SIERA, 1.15 WHIP, 7.2 BB%, 24.7 K%, and 30.6 CSW%.

Akil Baddoo is tied for the 13th most stolen bases this year, swiping 13. The rookie outfielder’s also a helper in batting average and runs since earning a promotion to the leadoff spot.

J.D. Davis is due back from the injured list. He raked before his injured list stint, and he tore the cover off of the ball on a rehab assignment in Triple-A. Specifically, he hit .390/479/.610 with two homers in 48 plate appearances for the New York Mets and slashed .316/.469/.737 with four homers in 49 plate appearances for the Syracuse Mets.

Brandon Nimmo was reinserted atop the Mets’ lineup upon his reinstatement from the injured list on July 3, and he’s done nothing to warrant a bump from his perch, hitting .316/.366/.421. Nimmo’s .480 BABIP will regress. However, he can still be helpful in batting average and should aid teams in need of runs.

Joey Votto’s raked since the sticky-substance crackdown for pitchers, slashing .304/.392/.522 with three homers, eight runs, and 10 RBIs in 79 plate appearances.

Alex Cobb and Patrick Sandoval have been unfazed by MLB enforcing the foreign substance policy. They’ve recorded an identical 3.71 ERA in three starts each since June 21.

NEW - Francisco Lindor is on the injured list with an oblique strain. Luis Guillorme received the first start in Lindor’s absence. Still, Jonathan Villar figures into the playing-time mix. Further, he’s the more intriguing fantasy baseball option, offering a helpful power and speed combo. The multi-positional eligible veteran has hit nine homers and stolen eight bases — albeit with an unappetizing .231 batting average.

NEW - The return of Kolten Wong has bumped Luis Urias down the batting order. Nonetheless, he’s hit well enough to warrant rostering despite the lineup demotion. The versatile infielder has hit .260/.345/.486 with 30 runs, eight homers, 21 RBIs, and three stolen bases in 165 plate appearances since June 1.

Week 17 MLB Waiver Wire: Depth & Streamers (0-5% FAAB)

  • Max Kepler, OF, Minnesota Twins (45% rostered)
  • Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF, Minnesota Twins (32%)
  • Shane McClanahan, SP/RP, Tampa Bay Rays (44%)
  • Jed Lowrie, 2B, Oakland Athletics (18%)
  • Enrique Hernandez, 2B/SS/OF, Boston Red Sox (38%)
  • Garrett Cooper, 1B/OF, Miami Marlins (26%)
  • Dane Dunning, SP, Texas Rangers (12%)
  • Evan Longoria, 3B, San Francisco Giants (24%)
  • NEW - Chad Kuhl, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (3%)

Max Kepler and Alex Kirilloff have been punishing pitchers since June 21, hitting .273/.355/.618 with five homers, 10 runs, 11 RBIs, and one stolen base, and .290/.362/.500 with three homers, eight runs, 13 RBIs, and one stolen base, respectively. Kepler offers more stolen base upside, while Kirilloff should help more in batting average and run production. Let your team needs dictate who is the better waiver claim.

Rookie Shane McClanahan hasn’t been consistently excellent from start to start. However, he’s showcased an electric arsenal with bat-missing stuff, and he’s avoided blow-up starts. The lefty’s worth a look to see if he can smooth out some of the rough edges and better utilize his high-octane arsenal in the second half.

Since June 21, Jed Lowrie’s hitting .354/.391/.631 with five homers, nine runs, and 12 RBIs, often calling a spot in the heart of the Oakland A’s lineup home.

Enrique Hernandez is hitting .246/.372/.536 with five homers, nine runs, and 12 RBIs during that same time frame. He also typically leads off in Boston’s top-10 offense. In addition, Hernandez’s positional versatility adds to the appeal of having him on fantasy baseball team benches.

Garrett Cooper’s been the hottest of the featured hitters in this section since June 21, scalding the ball for a .463/.593/.829 slash with four homers, 12 runs, 10 RBIs, and one stolen base.

The Texas Rangers haven’t allowed Dane Dunning to pitch deep into games. He’s pitched five or fewer innings in 15 of 17 starts. Further, his season-high is only six innings, recorded on April 17 and again on May 20. Nonetheless, he’s pitched well in three starts since the foreign substance rules enforcement, spinning a 1.93 ERA, 4.11 SIERA, 1.00 WHIP, 8.9 BB%, 25.0 K%, and 33.2 CSW% in 14.0 innings.

Do you have an open injured list spot or a deep bench? Then Evan Longoria is a viable stash. He should return before the end of the month, and his Statcast data this year has been mouthwatering. Additionally, the veteran third baseman’s plate discipline has been excellent as well.

NEW - Chad Kuhl is outpitching his peripherals. Regardless, a 2.11 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in his last four starts spanning 21.1 innings are sterling marks. Further, he’s leaning heavily on his best pitch, the slider, and has a few favorable matchups on the horizon. So, he’s a viable short-term addition.


Josh Shepardson

Josh is a fantasy gamer of roughly 20 years and a fantasy pundit for more than 10 years. He's experienced in numerous season-long baseball and football league types and a daily fantasy sports grinder, too. Additionally, Josh is a recreational gambler who has a soft spot for futures and prop bets. He studied and completed his Bachelor's degree in Sport Management at the State University of New York at Cortland, and he remains in Central New York, residing in Auburn.

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