Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Head-to-Head Hitter Streamers and Starts - Week 3


Welcome to the hitting streamers column for the week of 4/15 - 4/21. Whether you're looking to maximize the number of games played, exploit favorable matchups, or fill in for injured players, streaming hitters can be a fruitful strategy for those willing to put in a little work every week.

Keep in mind that this column highlights players owned in fewer than 50% of Yahoo leagues who could present nice streaming options for the upcoming week. This applies to any league but specifically is geared toward head-to-head weekly leagues where matchups are more critical.

If the following names aren't available, don't hesitate to check our famous waiver wire pickups list to find some appealing alternatives. Let's get to it.

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!

 

Bats to Stream and Start in Week 3

Seven-Game Weeks: Baltimore, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals, Los Angels Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays

 

Streamer of the Week

Joc Pederson (OF, LAD) - 53% Owned

Pederson is just above the 50% cutoff line, but he’s available in enough leagues that it’s worth checking waivers to see if he’s available considering the upside here. Pederson is off to a great start thus far, with four home runs and a .990 OPS through 48 PA, and perhaps most encouraging is his 14.6% strikeout rate. While his strikeout rate probably won’t be that low over a longer period of time, Pederson also has an 84% contact rate and 90.5% zone contact rate on the season and has been cutting down on strikeouts over the past few years.  Again, it’s early, but metrics like strikeout rate and contact rate can be big indicators of legitimate improvements at the plate.

Numbers aside, what makes Pederson so intriguing is that the Dodgers are slated to take on seven right-handed starters this upcoming week. That means plenty of games in the leadoff spot for Pederson, who has an .848 OPS and .252 ISO against righties all time. The icing on the cake is a four-game series in Milwaukee, where Pederson should benefit from a positive park shift. This upcoming week is just about ideal for Pederson’s skillset.

 

Behind the Plate

Welington Castillo (C, CWS) - 48% Owned

Castillo is just 2-for-21 to start the season, but the veteran backstop has a career .742 OPS and .167 ISO, which is more than serviceable for a streaming catcher. He also hits relatively high in the order, usually around sixth or seventh, and hits cleanup against left-handed starters. The White Sox have three games at home against the Royals and four games in Detroit this week, which means they will be facing low-quality pitching. Chicago also gets two games against lefties, and Castillo has an .834 OPS and .194 ISO against southpaws all time. This week could be a nice slump-buster for Beef Welington.

Omar Narvaez (C, SEA) -  33% Owned

It’s rare to find a catcher on waivers who won’t annihilate your batting average, but Narvaez has shown a solid hit tool over the course of his big league career. He owns a .275 AVG and .362 OBP over 783 career PA. Even though he wields virtually no power, Narvaez is still a positive bat behind the plate. The Mariners are also scheduled to face seven righties this week, and Narvaez has been much better against right-handed pitching, owning a career .760 OPS and .111 ISO against righties for his career. A three-game series against Cleveland is a little rough matchup-wise, but a four-game series in Anaheim offers matchups against rather weak pitching outside of Trevor Cahill, and even Cahill has proven inconsistent over his career.

Also Consider: Jonathan Lucroy (C, LAA) - 16% Owned

 

At the Corners

C.J. Cron (1B, MIN) - 28% Owned

It hasn’t been a great start to the season for Cron, who has just a .577 OPS and 7:1 K:BB ratio in 30 PA thus far. What’s most concerning is his .069 ISO and just two extra-base hits, since Cron’s only positive attribute is power. Cron is known for his streakiness, but he’s still crushing the ball, as Cron has a 90.6 MPH average exit velocity on the year. This might be a good week for Cron to break the slump, as Minnesota has seven games against Toronto and Baltimore pitching. Toronto has had a few surprises in the rotation, but they are still relatively weak and unproven compared to the rest of the league. Cron could provide some decent power production this week if his bat heats up a bit.

Ryan O'Hearn (1B, KC) - 5% Owned

O'Hearn is another player off to an underwhelming start on the surface, but his underlying numbers show promise of better days ahead. O’Hearn is only hitting .240 with a .787 OPS, but he has a 93.4 MPH average exit velocity and .505 xSLG along with an unreal 60% hard-hit rate. This is a small sample size, obviously, but these StatCast numbers are juicy. O’Hearn also has a 5:6 K:BB ratio thus far and has shown great plate discipline throughout his minor league career. Now he gets a seven-game week, with all on the road in good hitters’ parks. He gets three games against the White Sox in Chicago, and a four-game set against the Yankees in New York. This bat was built for Yankee Stadium. The Royals also face just two lefties this week, which means O’Hearn should be in the starting lineup at least five times.

Also Consider: Yonder Alonso (1B, CWS) - 18% Owned

 

Up the Middle

Jorge Polanco (SS, MIN) - 27% Owned

Polanco’s bat has been smoking to start the year, and he owns a .375 AVG and 1.182 OPS in 44 PA going into play Thursday. The nice thing about Polanco, from a streaming perspective, is that he should provide plenty of volume this week. Minnesota has a seven-game week ahead, and Polanco plays virtually every day and hits second for the Twins. That’s the type of player Polanco is from a season-long standpoint, an accumulator, but with four games against Toronto and three in Baltimore, the Twins should put some runs on the board this week. Expect a good batting average and a solid amount of run production this week from Polanco.

Garrett Hampson (2B/SS, COL) - 28% Owned

Hampson was my stream of the week last week, and while in hindsight that seems a little aggressive, it’s hard not to be enticed by Hampson’s skill set, especially given his home ballpark. There’s no hiding the fact that Hampson has been atrocious at the plate thus far. He has a .197 OPS and 29% strikeout rate with zero walks in 31 PA this season. With those numbers out of the way, it’s worth noting that with Daniel Murphy and Ryan McMahon both out of the picture, Pat Valaika is Hampson’s only threat for playing time. Valaika posted a .460 OPS and a wRC+ of 9 (league average is 100, so 9 is really, really bad) in 133 PA last year. It’s sink-or-swim time for Hampson, and with a four-game series at home against the Phillies, he should be able to do some damage this week. For speed, there aren’t many better options on waivers right now.

Also Consider: Andrelton Simmons (SS, LAA) - 43% Owned, Orlando Arcia (SS, MIL) - 2% Owned

 

In the Outfield

Jay Bruce (OF/1B, SEA) - 43% Owned

If batting average wasn’t a category then Bruce would be a fantasy monster. Despite his .204 AVG, Bruce already has seven home runs on the year along with a .972 OPS and .469 ISO in 57 PA thus far. Bruce hit a total of nine home runs in 361 PA last season. We’re just two weeks in, and Bruce is ready to eclipse last year’s home run total. He could do it next week, as he gets seven games and not one against a left-handed starter. Bruce did leave Wednesday’s game early with Achilles tightness, so it’s worth watching the injury report with him. Assuming this is just a day-to-day thing, Bruce should be locked and loaded for next week as one of the best power options out there.

Jorge Soler (OF, KC) - 26% Owned

Soler has clobbered the ball thus far, when he actually hits it. He has a .233 ISO and 90.0 MPH average exit velocity, but also has a 37% strikeout rate and 66.3% contact rate on the year. The ballpark upgrades Soler is getting, three games at the White Sox and four at the Yankees, should be enough to help his power potential when he does make contact. In leagues where Jay Bruce is unavailable Soler is a fine alternative.

Also Consider: Alex Gordon (OF, KC) - 19% Owned, Leury Garcia (OF/MI, CWS) - 4% Owned

More Streamers and Head-to-Head League Columns




More Recent Articles

 

Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 12

Rotoballers, if you're not active on the waiver wire this time of year, there are only two reasonable explanations: 1) You're sitting at 3-8 (or worse) and don't find it enjoyable to play spoiler to your league mates, or 2) You're 8-3 (or better) and have nothing but matchup-proof studs on your starting lineup and... Read More


FAAB Bidding - Week 12 Waiver Wire Targets

Assisting our famous waiver wire pickups list, and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB). As a caveat, these prices do not by any means indicate how much these free agent players will... Read More


Week 12 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

This could be the most exciting installment of waiver wire adds in a while. Not that any of these choices are necessarily league-winners but at least we have a bunch of new names to ponder. Bye weeks are nearly over but this one will be particularly tough with the high-scoring Chiefs, Vikings, Chargers, and Cardinals... Read More


Week 12 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Almost out of time to make that last push for the playoffs--no time like the present to squeak out a win because you picked the right defense. Below are RotoBaller's Week 12 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 12 of the NFL and... Read More


Week 12 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

It's Week 12, and the fantasy football playoffs are just around the corner. Teams are jostling for playoff position both in the real world and the fantasy world. You gotta have the right kicker at the right time in the right matchup, and it matters now more than ever. The margin for error in these... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 12

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered the planning process for Week 12. Some of you are concentrating on building lineups that will commandeer a spot in the fantasy playoffs, while others are making slight adjustments to teams that have already secured their place in the postseason.... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 12

Week 11 is behind us and we're getting closer and closer to the end of the fantasy regular season. For some of us, Week 12 represents the final chance to get into the postseason, while for others we have another week or two left. Here, to help you get ready for the playoffs, is a... Read More


Week 12 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

With fantasy football leagues only a couple weeks away from their playoffs, this is not the time for teams to be short a tight end. Not only do fantasy footballers have no Travis Kelce or Hunter Henry during this crucial week in their fantasy seasons, they do not get to take advantage of using a... Read More


Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 12

We saw some monster weeks at the quarterbacks position, with four quarterbacks topping 37 points, and ten scoring over 25 points. These weren't all big names putting up these points either, as low-owned quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and even Jeff Driskel had some big numbers in Week 11. That means we've got plenty... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 12 Lightning Round

We're onto Week 12, which means the last of the bye weeks approaches. The Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs and Vikings hit the hammocks as we can finally start to look at players without worrying about future offweeks. To help you look towards those precious playoff weeks, here is the waiver wire lightning round heading into Week... Read More


Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups List

Back by popular demand in 2019... RotoBaller has brought back for the NFL season our Ultimate 2019 Fantasy Football Sleepers and Waiver Wire Pickups List.  Be sure to also try our other lineup tools below. Using your phone? Be sure to also download our free app which includes news, notifications, injury alerts & articles.   Rankings WizardWeekly... Read More


Week 11 Surprises? We Must Overreact - Jeff Driskel, Bo Scarbrough, Ryan Griffin

In Week 11, Josh Allen scorched the Dolphins Defense for three touchdowns through the air and one touchdown on the ground, finishing as the No. 1 quarterback on the week. As expected, Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott finished as top-five quarterbacks, while Sam Darnold rebounded in a "get well" matchup against the Redskins. Kyle Allen... Read More


Holiday Shopping - Who To Buy For The Playoffs Run

As the fantasy football season nears the home stretch, most owners should begin turning their eyes towards the remaining six weeks of the fantasy schedule. Either you're comfortably in the playoffs and need to see who you should be rostering in order to get the best matchups or you need that extra boost to qualify... Read More


The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 12)

This is your weekly list of players to drop. I will do my best to limit this list to injured players and players you might consider holding. If you roster pure handcuffs or backups, obviously you can let them go at any time. The players on this list will, ideally, be guys that aren't clearly... Read More


Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 11 Marlon Mack has been diagnosed with a broken hand and may be out several weeks. Emmanuel Sanders (ribs)... Read More