Fantasy Baseball is a current events class. Students are expected to stay on top of what’s happening in the world around them. The most practical application of this theory is through management of your roster. The best way to handle your players (as mentioned before) is to stream your starting pitchers. But those players are, by design, only temporary on your team. Sometimes, you need to plug permanent holes on your roster. While trading is another way to accomplish this, sometimes desperate situations necessitate a look to the Waiver Wire. Here are some suggestions for players at every position that are currently owned in less than half of ESPN leagues who could make a permanent impact on your team as the season goes on:
Catcher: Derek Norris, Oak – Originally considered to be in a timeshare with John Jaso, Derek Norris has elevated himself into a position to play every day for the A’s, either as Catcher or DH. Owned in less than two percent of leagues a week ago, Jaso is now owned in nearly a quarter of ESPN leagues. Owners in need of some stopping power behind the plate should look no further. Also consider: Wilson Ramos, Wsh
First Baseman: Juan Francisco, Tor – Undoubtedly a streaky player, Juan Francisco has played quite well enough to merit a regular spot somewhere in the lineup. Currently eligible at first and third (with the potential to move to second as well), he provides versatility to your roster while swinging in a dangerous Blue Jays lineup. Also consider: Casey McGehee, Mia
Second Baseman: Jedd Gyorko, SD – Although the most added second baseman is Neil Walker, the odds are he’s already picked up in your league (if not, open a new tab and add him presently). Feel free to scoop up Gyorko, though, as it appears the 25-year-old has turned things around from his early season slump and found his power stroke. Even though second base is very shallow this year, you could do worse than ol’ Jedd. Also consider: Dustin Ackley, Sea
Third Baseman: Chase Headley, SD – Again, the most added player at third base over this past week was Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier, but he’s owned in over 90 percent of leagues, so those still in need of someone to man hot corner should look to Headley. In his four games back for injury he already has two homers. Also consider: Juan Francisco, Casey McGehee (see above)
Shortstop: Alcides Escobar, KC – Although owned in the majority of leagues, if Escobar is available in yours, snap him up. He’s quite possibly the most reliable player on the Royals right now, and his .331 OBP lends itself well to maximizing his highest capability: stolen bases. He’s on pace for 40. Also consider: Mike Aviles, Cle
Outfielder: Gerardo Parra, Ari – Aside from the aforementioned Solarte, Parra has been the hottest outfielder to add over the past week, likely stemming from him suddenly turning on the power and hitting safely in 12 of his last 13 games, with an OBP of .378 in the month of May. A Diamondbacks lineup with a lot of potential could help drive up his performance in the Runs department as well. Also consider: Seth Smith, SD
Relief Pitcher: Matt Lindstrom, CWS – If you can manage to snag Casey Janssen, Mark Melancon or Ernesto Frieri, you should vie for them first. But since they’re all taken in at least 70 percent of leagues, the odds are against you. Matt Lindstrom figures to take the biggest share of the save opportunities coming up for the White Sox, so those in dire need of replacing an injured closer could do worse. Also consider: Bryan Shaw, Cle
Even those these players could quite possibly serve as viable long term solutions on your team, don’t get content. There are always valuable players lurking deep in the web of the waiver wire. Keep your eyes open. Class dismissed.
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