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Digging Deeper - Week 1 Waiver Wire Targets

We are here, fantasy baseball enthusiasts! As things get underway, this is a great time to overreact and propose Matt Davidson for Felipe Rivero and Brad Hand because closers are fickle beasts. Don't forget to cut Trea Turner because Dave Martinez likes his speed in the 6-hole. I kid, I kid.

Welcome to Digging Deeper. In this recurring series, my goal is to serve the fantasy players who don't get mainstream love. I'm talking to you, 16+ team league owners. And you, 12-team NL-Only with two catchers (disgusting). I will only feature players with <20% ownership to keep things simple.

Because I'll be covering more players, my analysis will be shorter and to the point. Feel free to find me on Twitter (@Max_Petrie) if you have a team-related question, want to shoot the sh*t, or you just want to mock me (deservedly so). Best of luck to you all.

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Digging Deeper: Week 1 Picks

I'm not going to cover Greg Holland and Hunter Strickland because they're likely gone in most leagues by now, but if they are available they are your top two claims anywhere that saves count.

Joe Panik (2B, SF) - 11% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Am I missing something? Panik has literally carried the Giants offense, with home runs off Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen to start 2018. I'm not buying into the power surge, but Panik is criminally underowned. Panik has batted second in both games ahead of a deep Giants lineup (Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, Evan Longoria) and is a candidate for 80+ runs if everyone stays healthy. Throw in a .280+ average and that plays in deep leagues.

Jarrod Dyson (OF, ARI) - 6% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

H2H formats can move along but in Roto steals are a scarce commodity. Steven Souza is out till May and Yasmany Tomas couldn't make the team. Dyson is one-category play, but he's really good at it. Dyson has averaged 30+ steals since 2012 and the Diamondbacks were 7th in steals in 2017.

Cameron Maybin (OF, MIA) - 8% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

In deep leagues, at-bats rule everything around me. The Marlins roster was already thin and may have gotten thinner with Garrett Cooper (wrist) leaving Friday's game after a HBP. That leaves Maybin with everyday playing time. Maybin has only played in 140+ games once since 2012 but he produces fantasy relevant lines when healthy, including 33 steals in 114 games last year. Maybin was one of two outfielders to produce a 10/30 season (find me on Twitter if you know the other!). The average will hover around .250, but he'll be useful in fantasy.

Cory Spangenberg (3B/OF, SD) - 1% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

The Chase Headley reunion may have ended before it got started. After a bases-loaded GIDP in the 11th, Cory Spangenberg saw the start in Game 2. It's likely Headley will see the majority of time at 3rd in April, but look for Spangenberg to start stealing more time. Spangenberg was one of eight third basemen to post a 10/10 in 2017 (he went 13/11) and also has outfield eligbility, albeit it's a crowded Padres outfield. His power/speed combo makes him appealing and worth an add in deep formats.

Kevin Plawecki (C, NYM) - 2% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

This is for you two-catcher animals who lost Mike Zunino, Salvador Perez, Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki. Plawecki doesn't do anything sexy, but he's shown good discipline at the plate (11% BB in 2016 and 2017) and made noticeable strides to improve his pull-tendencies. He's the personal catcher to Noah Syndergaard and Travis d'Arnaud has yet to put together a complete season. Perhaps this is the year the Mets give the 27-year old Plawecki an honest crack in the lineup.

Tyler Glasnow (SP, PIT) - 11% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

When it comes to pitching, the goal is to find the highest ceilings early on. There is no free agent under 20% with a higher upside than Tyler Glasnow.

Glasnow, 24, was dominant at each minor-league stop with the Pirates posting a 10+ K/9 at every stop. His nemesis has been control in the majors, including a 6.39 BB/9 over 62 innings last year. That's NSFW, apologize for no heads up. He is starting 2018 in the bullpen, which is perfect for fantasy owners. Hitters posted a 1.229 OPS the second time through the order versus Glasnow in 2017. If the Pirates use Glasnow as a two-three inning long reliever, he could be a dangerous weapon. And did I mention the SP/RP eligibility coming soon?

Tyler Skaggs (SP, LAA) - 5% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

If you've been burned by Skaggs before, I understand the hesitation. Skaggs, 26, has yet to put together a complete season and the 2017 numbers (4.55 ERA / 1.39 WHIP) aren't anything to look at. While he's had a BABIP over .300 the past two seasons, the low GB rate (41.8%) will do that to you. What he does have is health and a strong start. He threw 6.1 scoreless innings versus the A's (5 K, 0 BB), working in his off-speed pitches effectively. His fastball isn't going to blow anyone away, so his route to success if using his strong command (2.96 BB/9) to work in the curve/change. At 26 years old, he's worth a look in 16+ team leagues.

Matt Andriese (SP, TB) - 1% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Remember when Tampa Bay traded Jake Odorizzi because they had pitching depth? They are down to three starters after Nathan Karns (elbow) was announced out for the year. Andrew Kittredge is expected to get some starts, but Andriese is the obvious choice to step into the rotation. Andriese made 36 starts over the past two years. His profile doesn't jump off the page, but he limits the walks and can be an innings eater in AL-Only leagues.

Amir Garrett (SP, CIN)3% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

I must give Eno Sarris credit for the tip on Garrett during the latest Sleeper and the Bust podcast. Garrett, 25, got off a strong start in 2017 until the wheels came off (7.39 ERA / 1.61 WHIP). We later learned this was due to a hip injury, limiting his ability to generate power. In his first appearance his fastball was back up to 95 MPH. He will serve in relief to start 2018, which is great for Roto players. He can still provide value over 110 IP and the SP/RP eligibility makes him an appealing add.

Mychal Givens (RP, BAL)13% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

The Orioles were non-committal to Brad Brach before the year and those sentiments have likely not changed after Brach's Opening Day performance (2/3 IP, 2 ER, BS). Brach didn't give up hard contact, but he's better suited in a set-up role. Given's fastball is a better play in the ninth until Zach Britton returns. I have some Brach shares but am not running to make a move as this should be a closer-by-committee. Act accordingly if you're starving for saves.


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