Even though the fantasy season has just begun, injuries have already made their mark on fantasy owners' teams. For those owners who play in weekly leagues, these kind of injuries to important players can be devastating, as finding a streamer pick on free agency who you can trust for a full week is a difficult task. It's for this reason that I'll be writing a weekly article for Rotoballer on what I consider to be the top 5 streamer picks for the following week in weekly leagues. Each of the players I mention will be owned in less than 50% of leagues (I use the ESPN ownership numbers myself as they're easiest to access and compare, but the numbers should translate well to Yahoo and CBS for most players) and I'll try to present a wide spread of different positions, highlighting ones which would complement well with major recent injuries. It is my hope that these articles will help you stay competitive each week despite the injury bug that can be the bane of fantasy baseball.
Editor’s Note: be sure to check out our famous Waiver Wire Pickups List, updated daily with waiver wire options for different positions. Our Waiver Wire Pickups iPhone app is also free, and available for download in the Apple Store.
5 Waiver Wire Hitter Streamers For Week 2
1) Brad Miller (SS)
Opponents: Angels and Athletics
After reading about the Jose Reyes injury, I decided that a couple shortstops should definitely make this list. While Miller is no Jose Reyes, I like the fact that he offers both power and speed to his fantasy owners (given a full season he has a 15/15 season in him I think) without hurting you in batting average. He's been hitting second in the order since the start of the season, and batting right in front of Robinson Cano will offer him both lineup protection and run scoring opportunities. I also love that he'll have the luxury of playing at home the entire week. The only pitchers he could face that scare me a bit are Sonny Gray and CJ Wilson (I'm no Jared Weaver fan this year), but I trust that Miller has the talent to deal with these equally talented arms. If you've got a hole at short he's the guy I would turn to this next week to patch it.
2) Grady Sizemore (OF)
Opponents: Rangers and Yankees
After two years of utter fantasy irrelevance I can't believe I'm writing an article suggesting you pick up Grady Sizemore, but that's exactly what I find myself doing. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect Sizemore to stay healthy for the whole season or to be able to continue hitting the way he currently is. That said, he's healthy right now and he's one of the hottest hitters in the majors right now. He'll be facing the tattered remains of the Ranger's starting rotation to start off the week and afterwords will face a Yankee rotation with a lot of question marks surrounding it. When you throw in the fact that he'll be playing against both of these opponents at home in one of the best hitter parks in the majors, plus the fact that unlike many teams, the Red Sox don't have an off day on Monday allowing Sizemore owners a possible 7 days of production, plus the fact that he'll be hitting in the middle of one of the most talented offenses in the major leagues.......well you have the makings of a very, very nice streamer pick. Don't count on him long term, but for next week Sizemore is the guy I'd turn to for outfield help in your league.
3) Dexter Fowler (OF)
Opponents: (at) Blue Jays and (at) Rangers
If I had to go out and name two of the worst pitching staffs in the majors right now, they just might be the Blue Jays and the Rangers. The Jays are coming off a season in which they posted a team ERA of 4.25 and the Rangers were reduced to starting Tanner Scheppers on Opening Day because he was the best healthy arm they had available. Fowler's a talented player who's shown the ability to hit for both power and average in the past and he's always been a stolen base threat when healthy. He'll be facing these rotations in two of the best hitters parks in the majors and almost certainly batting leadoff the entire time. He may not have the most talented lineup behind him, but I think that even the Astros can hit off Tanner Scheppers.
4) Chris Owings (SS)
Opponents: (at) Giants and Dodgers
Brad Miller is a popular sleeper target in some circles so I also wanted to include Chris Owings' name on this list as well in the event that Miller is already taken. He faces some tough matchups in the Giants and Dodger pitching staffs, matchups which offset his value somewhat. That said if you need a shortstop he has the kind of talent that's worth taking a chance on. Owings consistently hit for power and average in the minor leagues and he has the kind of speed that makes him a threat on the bases as well. Chase Field, his home park, is one of the better parks to hit in for power, especially during day games where the hot desert air aids fly ball distance. Talent wise, I trust him to hold his own against the pitchers he'll be facing. He's definitely worth the chance if you need help.
5) Yan Gomes (C)
Opponents: Padres and White Sox
Wilson Ramos was a popular catcher to draft late this season (I was definitely one of the people leading that particular bandwagon), but with the broken hand he suffered in his first game, many owners who waited on catcher are likely back in the hunt for one. These people would do well to look towards Yan Gomes for help next week. He has a 7 day homestretch ahead of him against two very weak staffs in the Padres and the White Sox. Gomes has surprising pop and contact skills for a catcher and could make a very nice stopgap (with the upside for more) for a fantasy owner in need.