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Digging Deeper: Week 6 AL/NL Waiver Wire Targets


Welcome to Week 6! By now, you have a pretty good idea of the type of team that you are working with. Is your squad full of over-performing draft picks and waiver adds that are carrying you to the top of the standings? Are you hanging tight despite waiting for a few key players to wake up? Are injuries and early-season busts tanking your team from the get-go? Whatever you're going through, there's a reason to hit the waiver wire. Whether it's trying to bring a spark into a struggling squad, or stocking up on upside to finish what you started in the last five months, there's always room for a waiver add or two.

In Digging Deeper our goal is to serve the fantasy players who don't get mainstream love. The target percentage for players discussed in this article will be 15% owned or less in Yahoo! leagues (although there's a couple slightly over that mark this week). Obviously, that means these players will fail to meet their upside more often than not, but if a few deep waiver adds can breakout throughout the season, you'll be in a good place to win a fantasy league.

Because we'll be covering more players, and because a lot of these players are shots in the dark, our analysis will be shorter and to the point. Feel free to find me on Twitter (@BellRoto) with any questions or comments you may have. Let's do this.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Digging Deeper: Week 6 Picks

Jose Bautista (OF, ATL) - 19% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Everyone is about ready to write off Jose Bautista from ever being fantasy relevant again. Yes, that is the most likely outcome, but there's a few factors that have me wanting to give him one last chance in 2018. For one, his recent form looks pretty good, as he went 6-for-15 in AAA at-bats and added a homer. Joey Bats has continued that trend in the majors thus far, collecting a hit in each of his three starts over the weekend. His batting position in what looks to be a potent lineup all of a sudden could be very beneficial. He's hitting just behind Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman, and Nick Markakis; there should be plenty of RBI opportunities there. Lastly, remember he managed to hit 23 bombs last year in Toronto, and his batting average was barely over .200. Atlanta has a very hitter-friendly park, and there could be 25 home runs waiting for Bautista when the weather warms up. Take a chance on him if you're in need of some power and RBI upside at the outfield position.

Yolmer Sanchez (2B/3B, CWS) - 11% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Yolmer Sanchez is quietly becoming a staple at the top of the White Sox order. He has collected nine hits in his past five games to boost his batting average to .293 on the year, and he tacked on four runs and four RBI in that span. He will certainly cool down a bit, but notice Sanchez has three steals already this year too, so he can help in a few different categories. The White Sox lineup is nothing to write home about, but there will be some run production among Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada, and Matt Davidson.

Brandon Crawford (SS, SF) - 11% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

You can copy just about everything I said for Sanchez and paste it here for Brandon Crawford. He's also been impressive in his past five contests, in fact even more so. We've seen Crawford provide above-average power numbers from the shortstop position before, and it seems like the Giants offense is waking up with him. He could find himself in plenty of RBI spots going forward, and a .260 batting average with 15 home runs would result in a good chunk of run production from a middle infielder.

Alen Hanson (2B/OF, SF) - 11% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Alen Hanson could be another contributing factor to the improvement of the San Francisco offense. He's helped replace the void left by the injured Joe Panik, and the young infielder/outfielder seems to have an everyday spot until Panik heals up over the next two months or so. Hanson was a pretty highly-touted prospect in the Pirates system, so it's no surprise to see him fit in with a major league squad. He'll likely continue to bat in the bottom half of the order, but he provides plenty of batting average, stolen base, and run-scoring upside with a sneaky bit of power to top it all off.

John Hicks (C/1B, DET) - 4% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

The hottest hitter in the Tigers lineup right now is without a doubt John Hicks. While that doesn't always equate to fantasy production, there may be some great value here. Hicks has taken over for the injured Miguel Cabrera for the time being, and he's put together an impressive five-game stretch like the fellas above, collecting nine hits and a homer. The best part of all? He's a catcher! Well, at least in Yahoo! leagues. If you're having trouble finding catcher production, especially in a two-catcher league, Hicks is certainly worth a shot, at least while Miggy is sidelined.

Brad Ziegler (RP, MIA) - 19% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

I know he's not the sexiest closer on the market, but a closer is a closer, and 19% owned is too low for Brad Ziegler. Things looked bleak for a moment when it seemed that Kyle Barraclough might take over the closer role for good, but Ziegler has put together four scoreless appearances with two saves since then. While there certainly won't be a ton of save opportunities, and he's not the most reliable arm out there, Ziegler needs to be at least 50% owned at this point.

Andrew Triggs (SP, OAK) - 8% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

If we take away two horrendous starts from Andrew Triggs this season, we would have a pitcher with 28.2 innings pitched, 32 strikeouts, three wins, and a sub-3.00 ERA. Of course, it's really easy to see how good pitchers would be without their two worst starts, but the strikeout upside from a pitcher with this type of home ballpark is intriguing to say the least. I won't be starting Triggs in Yankee Stadium this week, but if you're afraid that someone else might jump on him, he's a very interesting stash for the future.

Carlos Rodon (SP, CWS) - 6% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Speaking of a stash, remember this guy?! Carlos Rodon is finally on the brink of returning from his long injury absence, as he's targeting a return to the White Sox rotation in late May. It might be silly to think Rodon will reclaim his massive strikeout upside and low hard-hit rate right away, and he'll almost surely start out on a strict pitch count, but the amount of upside you can buy yourself now in an arm like Rodon's is too tempting to pass up. He could be returning SP2 value by the time July rolls around, and he's available almost everywhere.

Chad Kuhl (SP, PIT) - 6% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Every time I watch Chad Kuhl I'm reminded how talented he is, but he fails to consistently display that talent, keeping him off everyone's radar. After spinning seven scoreless, one-hit innings on his way to eight more strikeouts in Milwaukee on Sunday, it might be worth taking a shot on him again. Kuhl's sinking fastball sits at 95-96 mph consistently, and he's using his slider and curveball in a more balanced fashion this year. The walks tend to be an issue at times, but the talent alone always keep me coming back. I'll have some Kuhl exposure when he takes on the Giants at home this weekend.

Jim Johnson (RP, LAA) - 2% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

I feel as though at one point in my life I swore off ever mentioning Jim Johnson's name again, and here we are. There's not much to see here outside of the fact that he MIGHT be the Angels closer going forward. He and Justin Anderson both blew a save on Saturday, and Cam Bedrosian pitched in the sixth inning, so no one really knows for sure what Mike Scioscia will do next time out, but Johnson has the experience factor going for him. If you're really, really desperate for saves, here's a possible avenue to a couple of cheap ones.

 

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