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Digging Deeper: Week 8 AL Waiver Wire Targets

Welcome back to Digging Deeper! I'll be taking a look at some deeper AL waiver wire options for Week 8 of the fantasy baseball season.

Not to toot my own horn, but if you've been following this series thus far, you should have found a diamond in the rough by now. Some of the names that I've mentioned at or below 20% in the past eight weeks include: Jose Berrios, Justin Smoak, Cameron Maybin, Eduardo Rodriguez, Didi Gregorius, Robbie Grossman, Alex Wood, and Justin Wilson. Sure, there have been a bunch that haven't worked out as well, but the key is to find the one every once in a while that can change your season.

As always, the pitching landscape in the wasteland of low percentages is tough to even think about. However, we still have some hitters who I feel are underowned. Yes, depth of league matters, but if you are still waiting for that difference-maker offensively, keep plugging away at these waiver wire pieces. Any feedback is welcomed, and you can find me on Twitter @BellRoto. Let's do it.

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Digging Deeper: Week 8 Picks - AL

Wilson Ramos (C, TB) - 13% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Ramos is still on the DL, and has just started to take batting practice. However, the good news is that he displayed impressive power with his first practice swings as a Ray. Yes, this is the catcher who took the league by storm last year, mashing baseballs left and right. If you have a DL spot available and you're catcher is holding you back (especially in two-catcher leagues), try to stash Ramos.

P.S. - If you need a catcher now, Yan Gomes is also under 20% owned, and he's started to show signs of life. Remember, upside is all that matters, especially at this position.

Adam Frazier (2B/OF, PIT) - 12% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

Frazier is a player I picked up wherever possible when the news of Starling Marte's suspension surfaced. This is a high-OBP guy who can hit for a little power and steal a few bases. If he's consistently at the top of the Pirates' lineup (even without good production behind him), he's valuable in most leagues.

Since returning from his recent injury that quickly quieted my optimism, Frazier has put up stellar numbers. He's batting .415 in the last 14 days, and he's collected seven runs, seven RBI, and a steal. He may not be the flashiest player on the wire, but Frazier is capable of hitting over .300 and staying atop the Pirates order for the forseeable future.

Matt Adams (1B, ATL) - 9% owned in Yahoo! Leagues

The perennial Cardinal was traded to the Braves last week, and he'll presumably be an everyday player until Freddie Freeman returns in a couple of months. Adams gets a massive park upgrade moving to Atlanta, and we've seen flashes of a great power-hitting lefty in the past. He's collected five hits and two home runs in his past two games, so throw him in your utility spot and hope this change is what Adams needed to jumpstart his career as a feared hitter.


Speculative Pitchers

Like I said, there's nothing I feel the need to talk about below 20% on the Yahoo! waiver wire this week. However, if you're really scraping for a quality arm on your team, there's a sneaky way to potentially find a top-50 starter or top-20 closer in this mess.

Archie Bradley of the Diamondbacks and David Phelps of the Marlins are two middle relievers who could see their roles change in the near future. It's far more likely that they become starters than closers, but both have good enough stuff to pitch in the late innings and are on teams with less-than-stellar closers.

Could you end up holding a reliever for a few weeks and not get a win or a save the entire time? Sure. However, if one of these guys does see a change in role, we could be looking at an instant difference-maker. Besides, you'll likely get solid ERA, WHIP, and strikeout numbers in the meantime.


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