Digging Deeper: Week 7 AL Waiver Wire Targets

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Welcome back to Digging Deeper! I'll be taking a look at some deeper AL waiver wire options for Week 7 of the fantasy baseball season.

There's plenty of speculation to be had about the players around 20% or lower in Yahoo! leagues this week. I have three hitters and three pitchers below who all possess some kind of upside. Could this be the player that changes your season, win you a category, or leads you to a championship? Probably not. But hey, there's a chance.

Remember, those last couple of bench spots are all about upside at this point in the season. Whether it's stashing a potential closer or hoping a hitter explodes thanks to a lineup change, the name of the game is potential. Any feedback is welcomed, and you can find me on Twitter @BellRoto. Let's do it.

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Digging Deeper: Week 7 Picks - AL

Justin Smoak (1B, TOR) - 20% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

If you are in need of a power bat in the middle of a lineup, Smoak is a guy you'd be kicking yourself for missing out on. Luckily, 80% of you still have the chance to add him. He's shown an impressive ability to get on base so far this season, and we know what kind of power he has from both sides of the plate in a good hitter's park.

A decreased walk rate and an increase in hard contact percentage seem to be the reason for Smoak's early success. Whether or not those trends are sustainable remains to be seen, but a power bat with a .345 OBP is tough to come by, so don't wait too long.

Kevin Kiermaier (OF, TB) - 17% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

A really bad month of April silenced all of the Kiermaier believers in the beginning of the season, but their chirps are slowly becoming audible again, and for good reason. The two-hitter in the Rays' lineup has 10 hits, six runs, six RBI, two homers, and a steal in the past nine days. That's showing potential for a five-tool player. Imagine if you gained from his impeccable defense too.

Kiermaier is still working his way back from an increased strikeout rate and a decreased hard hit rate, but those numbers have looked much better of late. This is a guy worth owning as a fifth outfielder in shallow leagues, and he's obviously more valuable in deep leagues.

Cameron Maybin (OF, LAA) - 4% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

I'm not going to sit here and praise Maybin for his recent five-hit game, although it was impressive and encouraging. What I will say is that he's 9-for-9 in stolen bases this season, and all signs point to him occupying the leadoff spot for the time being. As long as that lasts, Maybin's run and stolen base potential is too great to be this low owned.

JC Ramirez (SP, LAA) - 18% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

The decrease in strikeouts and the poor outing against Detroit may have gotten fantasy owners off of Ramirez of late. However, he showed us the early-season promise once again against the White Sox on Tuesday. Sure, we would like to see that dynamite strikeout rate come back. But hey, he gets a nice park boost in Tampa Bay this coming Monday. If nothing else, I would pick him up to see how that goes.

Steve Cishek (RP, SEA) - 8% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Who's the new Mariner's closer for the time being? I have no clue. A guy named Zych, a guy named Vincent, and I'm sure two other arms should compete with Cishek for the chance to close games. Perhaps Cishek won't get the first crack since he just returned from injury, but we saw amazing stuff at the end of last season, and remember, it's all about upside right now. I'm confident that if Cishek does get a chance to close in the coming days, he'll give the Seattle coaches a reason to consider him permanaently.

Erasmo Ramirez (SP, TB) - 4% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

If there is a pitcher on your wire named Ramirez, you're probably OK to pick him up. Erasmo Ramirez will rejoin the rotation on Friday, and his numbers are impeccable this season so far (one start and 11 relief appearances). We've seen this guy spark and fade in the past, so this could be just another false alarm. Even still, he should get two consecutive home starts here, and I'm going to pay to see the show in a few leagues just in case.

 

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