Week 21 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top MLB Pickups & Sleeper Stashes

Last Updated: Aug 13, 2021

Here is The Game Day’s Week 21 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Free-Agent Pickups. Set these key Week 21 MLB Pickups for your waiver wire list this weekend.

Week 21 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top Pickups

C.J. Cron, 1B, Colorado Rockies (56% rostered on Yahoo!)

Rules are made to be broken, hence C.J. Cron’s inclusion in this space despite being on more than 50% of Yahoo! rosters. Cron’s enjoyed home cooking in his first season with the Colorado Rockies, batting .301/.402/.660 with 15 homers and 50 RBIs in 184 plate appearances at Coors Field. The Rockies are at home for six games next week, making Cron a priority add.

  • C.J. Cron Waiver Wire Tip: Cron’s worth a 15-20% FAAB bid, as his upside is huge next week. Furthermore, forward-looking gamers with bench space can rotate him in and out of the lineup for his home and road series the rest of the way, which includes nine home games at the end of September — championship time in head-to-head leagues.

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Patrick Sandoval, SP, Los Angeles Angels (50%)

Patrick Sandoval barely makes the cut, and that’s insane. He should easily be on more than 80% of rosters based on how well he’s pitched this year, especially in the second half.

The 24-year-old southpaw ranks inside the top-30 among starters with at least 20 innings pitched since the All-Star break in ERA, FIP, xFIP, and SIERA. He’s a strikeout machine, too, as his 29.4 K% in the second half ranks 16th among the same group of starters.

  • Patrick Sandoval Waiver Wire Tip: Gamers should pony up a FAAB bid in the 25-30% range to secure the services of this locked-in top-50 fantasy baseball starting pitcher.

Tanner Houck, SP, Boston Red Sox (37%)

Please allow me to offer a mea culpa to the fantasy baseball community for sleeping on Tanner Houck too long. I included him last week, but the cost for rostering him has undoubtedly gone up since then.

The 25-year-old rookie turned in another strong outing on Thursday afternoon at Fenway Park, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits, zero walks, and eight strikeouts in five innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. He now has a whopping 12.9 K/9 rate on the season to go along with a 2.93 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 1.84 FIP.

  • Tanner Houck Waiver Wire Tip: Houck’s a burgeoning stud, namely as a strikeout source. Backed by a talented offense, his potential for earning wins is enhanced as well. Therefore, a FAAB bid in the 25-30% neighborhood feels reasonable.
Tanner Houck Boston Red Sox SP

Boston Red Sox rookie Tanner Houck has been the team’s best starting pitcher since making his MLB debut in 2020. (Image: USA TODAY)

Week 21 MLB Waiver Wire: Sleeper Pickups (6-15% FAAB)

  • Brandon Belt, 1B/OF, San Francisco Giants (47% rostered)
  • Abraham Toro, 2B/3B, Seattle Mariners (44%)
  • Anthony Santander, OF, Baltimore Orioles (38%)
  • Huascar Ynoa, SP, Atlanta Braves (38%)
  • Josiah Gray, SP, Washington Nationals (34%)
  • Kolten Wong, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers (32%)
  • Patrick Wisdom, 1B/3B/OF, Chicago Cubs (29%)
  • Tejay Antone, SP/RP, Cincinnati Reds (27%)
  • Harrison Bader, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (25%)
  • Brendan Rodgers, 2B/SS, Colorado Rockies (22%)
  • Lewis Brinson, OF, Miami Marlins (21%)
  • Tyler Clippard, SP/RP, Arizona Diamondbacks (16%)

Brandon Belt hits in a prominent lineup spot against righties for the San Francisco Giants, and they’re one of MLB’s top offenses. Furthermore, he’s been swinging a hot bat since returning from the injured list on August 5 with four home runs and seven RBIs in seven games.

Abraham Toro’s bat caught fire just before the Houston Astros dealt him to the Seattle Mariners, and it hasn’t cooled off. Over his last 70 plate appearances, he’s batted .361/.443/.689 with five homers, 12 runs, 10 RBIs, and one stolen base.

Speaking of hot bats, Anthony Santander is returning to his breakout 2020 form. The switch-hitting outfielder has been dialed in this month, as he just had an eight-game hit streak and a three-game homer streak snapped on Thursday.

Huascar Ynoa was stretched out to 83 pitches in his last rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett on August 11, and it’s possible his next start could be for the Atlanta Braves. The 23-year-old showcased his massive strikeout upside with a 10.1 K/9 in 44 2/3 innings pitched earlier this year.

Josiah Gray is coming off the best start of his career in which he struck out 10 and yielded only one earned run to the Braves in five innings. He’s already fanned 25 hitters in just 18 innings since making his MLB debut on July 20, boasting the swing-and-miss stuff that supports a strikeout rate of better than one per inning.

Kolten Wong continues to chug along from the leadoff spot for the Milwaukee Brewers, batting a rock-solid .283/.344/.448 with eight home runs, eight steals, and 45 runs across 75 games this year. He doesn’t move the needle a great deal in any single category, but he chips in across the board.

Patrick Wisdom has homered in back-to-back games while batting in the middle of the Chicago Cubs’ revamped lineup. While his .265 average is bound to come down based on his 37.6 K% rate, he’s been an excellent source of power with 18 homers, 36 runs, and 36 RBIs in 221 plate appearances this year.

Tejay Antone is nearing a return from the injured list and has a viable path to saves given Heath Hembree‘s recent struggles. If Antone takes over the ninth inning, he could be a top-10 reliever the rest of the way.

Thanks to a sharp reduction in his strikeout rate, Harrison Bader is in the midst of the best offensive season of his career. The 27-year-old outfielder is contributing in multiple categories with nine homers, six steals, and a career-high .269 batting average. Unfortunately, hitting in the bottom half of the order has suppressed his runs and RBIs.

Like Cron, Brendan Rodgers will have six games at Coors Field to do some damage next week, assuming he isn’t too hampered by his recent hand contusion. The former top prospect is breaking out in 2021, batting .286/.348/.485 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs in 59 games.

Lewis Brinson is dripping with tools, but they’ve previously failed to translate to big-league success. Now in his fifth season, he finally seems to be putting it all together. Over his last 10 games, he’s batted a sizzling .432/.475/.865 with four home runs, 15 RBIs, and 10 runs. Having moved up to the cleanup spot as a result, the 27-year-old outfielder has the potential to be a fantasy difference-maker down the stretch.

My perception is that Tyler Clippard has the most job security among the widely available closers. Thus, he’s in this section instead of the forthcoming one.

Week 21 MLB Waiver Wire: Depth & Streamers (0-5% FAAB)

  • Jonathan Loaisiga, SP/RP, New York Yankees (44% rostered)
  • Travis d’Arnaud, C, Atlanta Braves (40%)
  • Chad Green, SP/RP, New York Yankees (39%)
  • Touki Toussaint, SP/RP, Atlanta Braves (29%)
  • Dylan Floro, RP, Miami Marlins (23%)
  • Carson Kelly, C, Arizona Diamondbacks (21%)
  • Anthony Bender, RP, Miami Marlins (12%)
  • Sam Hilliard, OF, Colorado Rockies (11%)
  • David Bednar, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates (10%)
  • Drew Steckenrider, RP, Seattle Mariners (3%)
  • Chris Stratton, SP/RP, Pittsburgh Pirates (1%)

Here’s the glut of relievers with the potential to save games, including Jonathan Loaisiga, Chad Green, Dylan Floro, Anthony Bender, David Bednar, Drew Steckenrider, and Chris Stratton. Colleague Kev Mahserejian already outlined the closing situations for all 30 teams in this week’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Closers Rankings & Bullpen Depth Charts article. The only thing I’ll add to his analysis is that I’m lumping all eight of these relievers in the same bucket, meaning they’ll require similar bids to add.

Travis d’Arnaud and Carson Kelly are a pair of catchers with the potential to hit their way into single-catcher relevance again. If you’re riding the catcher carousel, consider scooping one of them up.

Touki Toussaint has made five starts for Atlanta this year, four of which have yielded two earned runs or less. With 28 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings, he’s worth rolling the dice on.

Sam Hilliard has feasted at home in his young career, batting .300/.368/.654 with 11 homers in 144 plate appearances at Coors Field. He’s a streaming option with the Rockies at home next week.


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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