The weekends left with which to improve your fantasy baseball team are getting smaller by the minute, but that does not mean the grind comes to a close. As we look towards another week, or head-to-head matchup, there will continue to be players moving up the fantasy baseball rankings who can add value to your team. Let us take a look at some options to target on the MLB waiver wire. 




MLB Waiver Wire Hitters

Alec Burleson, OF (STL); FAAB Bid: 3%

With Dylan Carlson expected to be sidelined for a few weeks, Burleson should see regular playing time after making his major league debut on Thursday. While there is always going to be an adjustment period for rookies hitting the big leagues for the first time, things could potentially go a little smoother for Burleson due to his strikeout rate of just 14.3% in Triple-A this season. The outfielder showed the ability to hit for both average (.331) and power (20 home runs) while also being a capable run producer with 87 RBI which could make him a fantasy asset down the stretch. 


Isiah Kiner-Falefa, SS (NYY); FAAB Bid: 1-2%

I know things are not exactly going according to plan for the Yankees these days, but did anyone really expect to see IKF batting cleanup? Entering action on Friday, Kiner-Falefa was at least living up to the role as he was hitting .391 with two home runs and six RBI over the last seven days while also throwing in three stolen bases. With only three home runs on the season, we should not expect him to all of sudden turn into a power hitter, but with a .269 batting average and just a 14% strikeout rate, Kiner-Falefa does a good job of putting the bat on the ball and the RBI should continue if there is traffic on the bases ahead of him. For good measure, he has stolen 18 stolen bases so far this season, so that could be a late season boost as well. 


Eduardo Escobar, 3B (NYM); FAAB Bid: 2%

It has not been the best of debuts for Escobar in New York this season, but the veteran does have a solid track record of being a dependable hitter throughout his career. Following his return from the Injured List, the production has been there for Escobar and with Brett Baty sidelined, he will receive regular (or at least semi-regular once Luis Guillorme returns) playing time although if he hits, that should not be an issue. Prior to Friday’s game, Escobar was hitting just .230 on the season (113 games) but he does have 15 home runs, 50 RBI, and 45 runs scored so he has not been a complete non-factor. Those totals are also aided by the fact that he has gone 10 for 19 over the last seven days with three home runs and six RBI. 


Seth Brown, 1B/OF (OAK); FAAB Bid: 1-2%

After hitting four home runs over the last seven days entering play on Friday, Brown is up to 21 on the season which makes him a strong source of power although you have to withstand his .230 batting average and his 55 RBI are a by-product of Oakland’s lineup. Brown is essentially a platoon player (75 plate appearances against left-handers compared to 386 against right-handers) and that suits him just fine. 


Myles Straw, OF (CLE); FAAB Bid: 1%

I know we are really chasing here, but stolen bases have been known to make a fantasy manager desperate. Straw is very clearly one category producer, but he happens to be very fast and has had some success in the past stealing 30 bases in 2021. This season, Straw is limping along at 16, and this is even with a 9.2% walk rate as he is batting just .202. It is interesting to see a player with Straw’s speed have a BABIP of only .239, but over the last seven days, he is batting .300 with a stolen base. If this is a trend, it is certainly something to keep an eye on. 




MLB Waiver Wire Pitchers

Bailey Falter (PHI); FAAB Bid: 2%

I would like things a little better if Falter’s second start of the week was not coming against the Braves, after beginning the week against Miami, but it is hard to argue with his recent success for a hot Philadelphia team. Falter has picked up a victory in each of his last three starts while striking out 15 batters without allowing a walk over 17.2 innings. Prior to his promotion, Falter had a 1.91 ERA at Triple-A this season over nine starts and despite a 31.4% ground ball rate and 7.90 strikeouts per nine innings, he has found success with the Phillies. Through 15 games, 11 starts, Falter has a 4.02 ERA (4.50 xERA) but we do have to be concerned with the fact that he has allowed close to two home runs per nine innings. At this point in the season, we are chasing results, and likely victories, which makes Falter worthy of further consideration. 


Ken Waldichuk (OAK); FAAB Bid: 1%

Waldichuk was part of the package New York traded for Frankie Montas, and it is a welcome development for him to get a chance to show what he can do in the last few weeks of the season. The fact that he is taking the mound twice this week is helpful, although it is against Texas and Houston, so Waldichuk might getting a rude welcome. In 10 innings over two starts, the left-hander has allowed four runs while striking out eight with the main issue being the two home runs he gave up against Atlanta. Over the past few seasons, Waldichuk has generated some buzz while consistently striking out double digit batters per nine injuries. 


Ryne Nelson (ARI); FAAB Bid: 2%

Let us stick with the theme of young pitchers taking the mound twice this week as Nelson will make his second and third starts of his major league career against the Dodgers and Padres, respectively. It will not be an easy start to the week for Nelson but it is hard to top his debut regardless as the threw seven shutout innings against the Padres while striking out seven and picking up the victory. The whole start was impressive, it is hard not to like the fact that Nelson scattered just four hits while not walking a batter. Nelson has not posted a ground ball rate higher than 38.3% over the past two years so there was some concern there and he did struggle through 26 starts in Triple-A this season posting a 5.43 ERA, but the talent is there. 


Jhoan Duran (MIN); FAAB Bid: 1%

While Duran does have six saves so far this year, this is more about what he does as a pitcher and maximizing every inning you get out of your staff from the perspective of ratios and strikeouts. In 61.1 innings so far this year, prior to Friday’s game, Duran has 78 strikeouts while posting an ERA of just 1.76 (2.14 xERA) along with an equally as impressive 0.90 WHIP. Another contributing factor to Duran’s success this season has been his 61.9% ground ball rate which gives him two weapons to stay out of trouble. 


A.J. Minter (ATL); FAAB Bid: 1%

If we are going to follow the same theme, despite having five saves on the season, Minter might be even further removed from the closer’s role, but there is some real value to be found here. Pitching in high pressure and high leverage situations comes naturally to Minter and the Braves do not hesitate to use him as such which has also led to five victories. In 57.1 innings entering action on Friday, Minter has 78 strikeouts while posting a 2.20 ERA and 0.89 WHIP which fits perfectly into any staff. 



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