Fantasy Baseball Waiver Advice: April 17
Dan Malin is here to look around the Fantasy Baseball waiver wire to point out some of the hottest hitters to pick up for your team!
So today’s piece will feature an abundance of names you’ve seen in recent Waiver Advice columns because it’s essentially last call on a lot of these players. But don’t worry, rather than just re-hashing old names and going back to the well, I’ll throw in some new guys as well to keep it fresh so Malin isn’t mailing it in.
10 Team Leagues
A.J. Minter (Relief Pitcher – Atlanta Braves) and Jeremy Jeffress (Relief Pitcher – Milwaukee Brewers) FAAB Bid: 20-25% - So it’s no secret these two have made the waiver column at least twice and it’s only the middle of April. For Minter it’s simple; he’s been pitching better, he already has a save to his name AND Arodys Vizcaíno was placed on the injured list with a shoulder issue. So this is Minter’s chance to show the organization what he can do over the next week. In Jeffress’ case, he is coming off the IL and he should be picked up assuming the Brewers go back to him as the closer, which obviously isn’t good news for Josh Hader . Jeffress didn’t look great in his rehabilitation appearances so there’s some concern, but at this point if you’re in need of saves you should roll the dice on this guy.
Tim Anderson (Shortstop – Chicago White Sox) FAAB Bid: 20-25% - There’s a strong chance Tim Anderson isn’t available in your league. Currently he’s about 80-85% owned depending on the site you play on, but in shallower leagues there’s a chance he’s still out there. He’s slashing .453/.463/.679 with three home runs, 11 runs, and ten RBI to go along with five stolen bases. Anderson is still only 25 years old so perhaps a breakout campaign is looming for the former first-round pick.
Jason Heyward (Outfielder – Chicago Cubs) FAAB Bid: 12-15% - I’ve been bearish on Heyward just based on his production in recent years. Spoiler alert: it hasn’t been great. In his two previous seasons with the Cubbies he totaled just 19 home runs, five steals, and back-to-back seasons with a sub-.800 OPS. That’s not exactly worth the $184 million the Cubs threw at him, but right now he’s certainly earning his keep. Through 10% of the season he’s slashing .362/.458/.638 with three four home runs and three stolen bases. He’s also walking twice as much as he’s striking out so while it’s still early in the season and regression is likely, right now you can start him with the Cubs moving him to the fifth spot in the batting order.
Brandon Lowe (Second Baseman, Outfielder – Tampa Bay Rays) FAAB Bid: 10-12% - I’m buying into this guy. I’ve mentioned him before and the ownership spike occurred Monday night into Tuesday as it surged up to 46% owned on Yahoo. On ESPN he’s still under 20% owned, which is baffling, but perhaps ESPN hasn’t updated their ownership numbers just yet. Regardless, he’s hitting very well. So far in April he has five multi-hit games after a sluggish start at the end of March. He has four home runs, three doubles, and two steals. He does take a hit in points leagues because he’s currently striking out 31.7% of the time compared to his 9.5% walk rate. If you’re playing on ESPN it’s time to open your eyes and add this guy.
Max Fried (Starting Pitcher – Atlanta Braves) FAAB Bid: 10-15% - I’m buying into Fried at this point. I’ve picked him up wherever I could. He hasn’t generated a ton of strikeouts in 2019, but in 33.2 innings of work last year with Atlanta he had an 11.76 K/9 and some gaudy walk rates across all levels of professional baseball. So far this year both the strikeouts and walks are down, so hopefully he can generate more strikeouts while also limiting the free passes. In Tuesday’s game against Arizona he lasted six innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits and a walk. He only managed to strike out three batters, but I’m not quitting on this guy.
Brad Keller (Starting Pitcher – Kansas City Royals) FAAB Bid: 10-12% - If you miss out on Fried, Keller’s a decent Plan B. Keller, who is still only 23 years old, has logged four straight quality starts for the Royals. He struck out ten batters in his last start, but don’t expect those numbers consistently because he’s prone to giving up free passes to opposing hitters as well. However, he’s been good with keeping the ball in the park and the Royals aren’t afraid to let him pitch deep into games and he is four-for-four with quality starts. His next start comes Wednesday night against the White Sox on the road.
12 Team Leagues
Touki Toussaint (Starting Pitcher – Atlanta Braves) FAAB Bid: 8-12% - Toussaint played the role of bullpen savior Saturday night against the Mets. Sean Newcomb got the start and clearly didn’t have his best stuff. He got pulled after allowing four earned runs, five hits, and two walks in just 1.1 innings. Enter Touki Toussaint who went on to dazzle those in attendance with six innings of work in relief with seven strikeouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker has gone on record saying that Toussaint will move to the rotation and he’s scheduled to face the Diamondbacks Thursday night to close out the homestand. His ownership is currently on the rise so grab him while he’s out there.
Jesse Winker (Outfielder – Cincinnati Reds) FAAB Bid: 5-8% - After getting off to an awful start in 2019, Winker is finding a groove. Over the last week he has four home runs, seven runs scored, and eight RBI. Now the reason the FAAB suggestion is so low is because the Reds still have a crowded outfield and Nick Senzel will eventually be called up. So playing time could be scarce and he’ll never be in the lineup when the Reds are facing a lefty. Winker is a .190 career hitter against southpaws compared to hitting .310 against righties. At this juncture, he can be stashed, but approach him with caution based on these concerns.
Franmil Reyes (Outfielder – San Diego Padres) FAAB Bid: 8-12% - If you’re not as excited by Winker then turn to Franmil Reyes . Since April 8th, Reyes has fourth home runs and he’s moved up to hitting second in the Padres’ lineup. For those of you who don’t watch the Padres you need to understand he boasts a ton of raw power. He’s massive at 6’5” and 275 pounds. He’s a BIG dude. He may go through cold spells every once in a while, but he’s still only 23. If you play in a 12-team, five-outfielder league you should really go pick this guy up because he loves to hit for power.
Jeff McNeil (Second Baseman, Third Baseman, Outfielder – New York Mets) FAAB Bid: 5% - You might be able to get McNeil for free, but I was stunned to see him under 40% ownership on ESPN and Yahoo. He has multi-position eligibility; he doesn’t strike out that much and he has five straight multi-hit games. He doesn’t come with a ton of power, but he’s a startable fantasy option who can aid in batting average. The Mets are also willing to let him run although he’s been thrown out on both his stolen base attempts. I just don’t get why his ownership is so low…
Hunter Dozier (First Baseman, Third Baseman – Kansas City Royals) FAAB Bid: 1-2% - Heading into Tuesday night’s slate of games Dozier had five straight multi-hit games with four home runs, eight runs scores, and seven RBI dating back to April 6th. It’s unlikely he can keep this up (hence the low FAAB bid), but strike while the iron is hot and give this guy an add. Typically Kansas City has been hitting him towards the bottom of the order, but on Monday night they slotted him at the cleanup spot and he hit a double and a solo home run, and they moved him to third in the order on Tuesday night. He just might be worth a stash early on.
15+ Team Leagues
Jordan Lyles (Starting Pitcher / Relief Pitcher – Pittsburgh Pirates) FAAB Bid: 1-3% - Lyles has come on strong so far this year although most of his numbers are inflated because of the ten strikeouts in his last start against the Cubs. He’s mostly a two-pitch pitcher and his changeup doesn’t feature great velocity separation from his fastball. Despite only generating 13 swinging strikes against the Cubs he only surrendered three hits and a walk, but it’s worth mentioning one of the hits was a home run to Jason Heyward . This week he gets a home start against the Giants so he’s worth deploying in deeper leagues.
Delino DeShields (Outfielder – Texas Rangers) FAAB Bid: 3-8% - Believe it or not, I actually think people can throw a little FAAB toward this guy if you can’t get him for free. Steals are very hard to come by in deeper leagues or five-outfielder leagues. And DeShields is currently tied for second with six on the young season, with four coming in his last four games. The downside is he’s only hitting .209 and he doesn’t boast power. However, he is exhibiting better plate discipline with his 18.5% walk rate. Another annoying factor with DeShields is that if he isn’t leading off, he’s likely batting ninth. And you can take that one of two ways: he’s missing out on plate appearances hitting ninth, or if he’s getting on base at the bottom of the order then the heart of the lineup can drive him in. He’s available practically everywhere. Get this guy if you need help with stolen bases.
Héctor Neris (Relief Pitcher – Philadelphia Phillies) FAAB Bid: 5-8% - Saves are about as difficult to find on waivers as steals are and Neris finds himself in a position to start accumulating the opportunities with David Robertson hitting the Injured List and being a disappointment early in the season with a 5.40 ERA and 2.10 WHIP. Now don’t be too surprised if Pat Neshek and José Álvarez get a few chances as well and never completely count out Seranthony Domínguez , but he may not be as available as the other three.
Freddy Galvis (Shortstop – Toronto Blue Jays) FAAB Bid: 2-3% - Realistically you could potentially get Galvis for a minimum bid. He’s likely not available in Yahoo or CBS leagues, but he’s still heavily available in ESPN leagues. Since April 5th he has four home runs, three doubles, six runs scored, and eight RBI with a stolen base. He can’t be trust too much in points leagues because he doesn’t walk very much and he carries a career strikeout rate of 19.5%. But if you need help at shortstop or middle infield then Galvis can help you out in the short-term.