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Deep League Waiver Wire Pickups (NL Edition): Week 9

By Johnmaxmena2 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

It's hard to believe that Memorial Day has already come and gone. For many, the day signifies the unofficial beginning of summer, but for fantasy baseball owners it signifies the first "mile marker," so to speak, to gauge what their players are doing. In other words, while there still is plenty of time left for underachieving players to turn things around, it's also time to start being concerned about your slow starters. We are just past one quarter of the baseball season, so it may be time to start seriously looking at your waiver wire for help if your team is struggling.

If you're in an NL-only league, you have come to the right place, as each week we show you some productive guys to grab off waivers that are still available in most leagues. Don't forget you can also check out the chat rooms for any up to the minute help you may need. Here are a few guys for you to consider this week.


Junior Lake, Chicago Cubs, OF

(28% owned CBS, 9% owned Yahoo!)

By Johnmaxmena2 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Cubs outfield is nothing special, so it's easy to overlook anyone who is playing out there on the North side. Emilio Bonifacio's hot start stole most of the spotlight, but the most productive fantasy outfielder on the Cubs so far this year has actually been left-fielder Junior Lake.

Lake is playing regularly and sporting a respectable .273/.304/.482 triple slash. He's also sporting a very nice power/speed combo, as he has hit six homers and stolen five bases. It may not sound like much, but those numbers put Lake on pace for a solid 20/20 season. Anytime you can grab that off the wire, especially in a league-specific format, that's a win.

Lake is almost definitely available in your league, so if you need outfield help, give him a look. He's not must own yet, but he's close.


Brandon McCarthy, Arizona Diamondbacks, SP

(37% owned CBS, 10% owned Yahoo!)

Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy appeared here a few weeks ago, and I am selecting him again based on his paltry ownership numbers. In my opinion, McCarthy is the most underappreciated starter out there this year, and he needs to be owned in all leagues.

This is a classic example of looking past the numbers. McCarthy has only one win, an ERA of 4.87, and a WHIP of 1.25. On the surface, that's not good. When you look at McCarthy's game log, however, you'll see that most of that damage was done early in the season.  You'll also notice that outside of one bad start against the White Sox on 5/9 and a few home runs last night against the Padres, McCarthy has been a quality starting pitcher for over a month.

A month of good starts is no fluke. He's averaging almost a strikeout per inning, as well (55 K in 61 IP). You'll probably have to look elsewhere for wins, since the Diamondbacks stink, but McCarthy is currently offering help in all other pitching categories, so don't be scared off by his numbers. If he is still available, grab him now.


Denard Span, Washington Nationals, OF

(46% owned CBS, 10% owned Yahoo!)

Denard Span has been a bit of a forgotten man, especially if you play in Yahoo! leagues. The problem with Span is that he is a much better player in reality than he is in fantasy.

Span is not a sexy name. He's solid, but not great, in runs, average and stolen bases. He offers no power production whatsoever. It's easy for players like that to slip through the cracks and end up stuck on fantasy waiver wires when they shouldn't be.

Last year, Span hit .279 with 75 runs scored and 20 stolen bases. Those are numbers any real-life manager would love, especially out of a leadoff hitter. In fantsy baseball, it's nothing special, but maybe it should be.

Span currently is hitting only .264, but he has five multi-hit games in his last seven. After a slow start, he is really coming around, and I see no reason why he shouldn't be owned over guys like Eric Young and BJ Upton. If you need a solid source of runs, steals, and average in your outfield, give Span a shot while he's hot.


I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day, and it's never too late to thank your servicemen and women for their sacrifice. See you next week.