July 10, 2022, 1:20 pm
This week’s edition will be a deep dive through the waiver wire. In past articles, I’ve spent varying amounts of time on the subject, but this week I will solely focus on those players who have seen the sharpest changes in their roster percentages over the past week, and those who should be seeing one in the coming days. There is a ton of value just sitting out there and depending on your league size and competitiveness, you may be able to score multiple upgrades for nothing (or for minimal FAAB bids).
Let’s get to it!
Hicks has been on fire lately, with 13 R+RBI, 3 HR, 2 SB and eight hits over his last 20 ABs. He leads the MLB with a 322 wRC+ and a .550 ISO over the last week. He’s actually been the No. 1 player in category leagues over that stretch. I don’t have a ton of faith that he keeps it up long term, but he can be added in almost every league (9% rostered) to give struggling lineups a short-term boost, and who knows, he might just be able to keep it up longer than we expect.
Nimmo leads off for a top-5 offense in baseball, which alone should be enough, but he’s been shockingly undervalued for someone who has produced at a top-150 rate this season. The problem with him in years past was durability and he’s been much better with that this year, appearing in 76 of 84 games for the Mets so far. He’s batting over .300 for the last month to go along with 32 R+RBI and five homers. Nimmo is a strong ROS option for those in need of outfield assistance.
Long-term pitching options are almost impossible to come by via the waiver wire, but there is a chance that Junis could be a rare find. He’s been out for about a month with a hamstring strain and he will be making a rehab start on Monday. He went to the IL with a 2.63 ERA and a 5.3BB%. He’s also now in one of the best organizations in baseball for pitching development and mid-career advancement. There’s a chance he wont be great, but there aren’t many (if any) better stashes right now in terms of injured pitchers.
Rojas has been cooking with gas these last couple weeks, going 18-for-43 (.419) with 22 R+RBI, a big fly and 2 steals while predominantly leading off for the Diamondbacks. He provides a nice baseline across all five standard categories, with good potential to be something close to a 15-15 guy with solid periphery stats. He’s eligible at 2B, 3B, SS and OF, making him easy to plug into lineups as a bench player. A must add in 15-teamers who warrants consideration in shallower ones as well.
Carpenter has come back from the dead this year, when most thought him finished as a professional baseball player and fantasy asset. He’s been on a ridiculous pace, with a career high 1.219 OPS and .406 OBP. He’s on another hot streak with three homers in his last six games and he makes for an extremely appealing asset in daily changes leagues, where he can be plugged in against righties and at home (although these last three dingers have come on the road, so maybe he’ll have value anywhere he plays!) Carpenter is still available almost everywhere (7% rostered) so go grab him for a power boost.
Haase has been a beast over the past month, with 29 R+RBI, five home runs and a .345 average (19-for-55). He is a very streaky hitter and is on one of those streaks right now. He has eligibility as a catcher and outfielder, one of the best and most unique combos in the sport. He hit 22 bombs in 351 ABs last year, so we know the power is there. Haase is a great add at the weakest position in fantasy.
Stripling has been a blessing for the Blue Jays, a team that lost Hyun-Jin Ryu, Yusei Kikuchi and Kevin Gausman to injury lately. He’s got a 3.34 ERA on the season to go along with a 1.16 WHIP. He’s handled his own and then some, with only one outing on the season in which he allowed four earned runs way back in early May. The Jays have a bit of an easier schedule coming up, with series against the Royals and Tigers upcoming, and multiple series against the Orioles in August (they’ll have cooled down by then). He’s an attractive stream on those days at the absolute least.
Diaz has been an on-base machine this year. His .408 OBP is fourth among qualified hitters, making him invaluable in leagues that use that metric as opposed to batting average. He doesn’t do too much for you in terms of counting stats, but he’s been a great source of runs and hits. He’s more appealing in points leagues, but he should definitely be rostered in more than 21% of leagues.
Hall has shown phenomenal power in his brief time in the show, with four home runs through his first 35 ABs. He’s been in the cleanup spot for the Phillies and is protected fantasy wise by the strong bats around him (Castellanos, Hoskins, Realmuto, and Schwarber). Hall is currently only UTIL eligible on Yahoo (1B on ESPN) but he only needs a few more appearances for that first base position for the former.
Franmil is always a tricky one, but we saw him do something similar last year. A poor first half followed by very strong production down the stretch which led to a 30 HR and 85 RBI season. He’s starting to heat up now, as he is in the midst of a seven-game hit streak with four bombs over this past week. He should be a serviceable add in a surprisingly decent Guardians lineup.
I feel like I’ve written about Duran quite a bit over the past couple of months, but people continue to ignore him. Despite a rough outing on Saturday, he needs to be picked up He currently sits at 52% rostered on Yahoo and 21% on ESPN (Absurd). He has a 33.8 K% against a 4.2 BB%, a 2.37 ERA, .92 WHIP and five saves. It is only a matter of time before he will be made the closer, and saves will be a much needed commodity after the trade deadline when established arms are moved around to contenders. As long as the Twins don’t go out there and grab another high leverage arm, the closer job should fall to Duran.