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]

H2H Category Streamers - Week 21 Waiver Wire


There are plenty of strategies that fantasy managers explore in hopes of getting an advantage over their opponent. Heavy lineup, heavy starting pitchers, no catcher, all (or mostly) reliever staff, no reliever staff, etc. Even if you play a balanced lineup, injuries can cause holes. A few weeks without a key player won’t kill a season, but why accept losing when you can stream?

Streaming can be a risky business. If you do it right and check the necessary boxes, you can win the week. This column will do most of the work for you. It’ll cover weekly recommendations for when you need: steals, home runs, average, strikeouts, wins, and/or ratios (ERA/WHIP).

All position eligibility and ownership percentages are based on Yahoo! Fantasy leagues.

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!

 

Steals – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Delino DeShields (OF, TOR) - 1% Owned

Since being recalled to the bigs on June 2, Delino DeShields has been much improved over his 170 plate appearances, slashing .299/.364/.401 with 13 RBI and 18 runs scored. The speedster hasn't been running as much but still has eight stolen bases in that time and is facing favorable catcher matchups in Week 21. One thing you can count on is DeShields eating the lunch of bad catchers, most recently popping Yasmani Grandal for three bags on August 7. There's steak on the menu this week, with the Rangers first getting the Angels combo of Max Stassi and Kevan Smith, who's 7.4% and 7.2% stolen base per inning caught are respectively sixth and eighth-worst in the league. Next up are the White Sox, whose starter James McCann is decent against the running game but whose backup is not; Wellington Castillo has given up 23 stolen bases in 302 innings-caught, good for a 7.6% that's fifth-worst in baseball. Pickup DeShields now and then hope you don't break your teeth...Because "The Dentist" might be out to lunch all week.

Leury Garcia (SS/OF, CHW) - 21% Owned

Speaking of catcher-lunches, let's save some for Leury Garcia. And serve him up some respect while you're at it, as the Chicago White Sox utilityman is only 21%-owned even though he's been sneaky-good is his 479 plate appearances this year, contributing a little in all categories. Garcia has a .289 AVG in 2019, with seven home runs, 34 RBI, and 73 runs scored. He's also swiped 14 bases and has a good chance to pick up some more in Week 21, as the White Sox travel to Texas to face the Rangers for four games. Which means hot weather, hot hitting, and the ice-cold arm of catcher Jeff Mathis, who's allowed 47 stolen bases in his 546 innings-caught, giving him a percentage that is only better than the stolen-base turnstile that is Wilson Ramos. Grab him for the stolen-base potential but given the likely hitting conditions in his four games in Texas, Garcia could have a big week all-around.

Home Runs – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Willie Calhoun (OF, TEX) - 13% Owned

Like hearing "shake-n-bake" in Talladega Nights, you might want to get used to seeing Willie Calhoun in this spot, because the fireplug-shaped outfielder with the plus hit-tool is seemingly in the bigs for good and is starting to show his developing power. After being in this same spot last week, Calhoun has already hit two home run in Week 2o and still has three games left at home in hitter-friendly Globe Life Park with temperatures pushing 100-degrees. In Week 21, Calhoun has a super-sized schedule with the Rangers having four games at home versus the Angels (with a double-header on Tuesday), followed by four games in Chicago versus the White Sox. Calhoun has been powerful in his 65 plate appearances since being recalled, posting a .610 SLG and a .336 ISO with five home runs and 13 RBI. His .254 AVG over that time is running low, but Calhoun is also running a .233 BABIP so expect the average to rise. At only 13%-ownership, it's full streams ahead for Groundskeeper Willie.

 Ian Happ (2B/3B/OF, CHC) - 27% Owned

25-year-old Chicago Cub utilityman Ian Happ showed glimpses of his power potential in his first two major league seasons, hitting 39 home runs over 875 plate-appearances in 2017-18. But he also struck out 33.8% of the time and went from being pretty decent against lefties in 2017 with a .276 AVG and five home runs in 105 plate-appearances to being downright awful against left-handers in 2018, with a .202 AVG and three home runs in 103 PA, with a 38.5% K-rate. Sent back to Triple-A to start 2019, Happ was recalled on July 26 and has seemingly learned a new trick...How to hit fastballs from left-handed pitching. Happ had a 70% whiff-probability on inside fastballs in 2018, a number that has dropped to virtually zero in his first 53 plate appearances, carrying a .308 AVG against left-handers in this small 15-game sample.  Happ has now started the Cubs past eight games, with three home runs and nine RBI over that span and he'll have six games at home this week, facing the Giants and Nationals, with no left-handers on the agenda. The forecast calls for average temperatures and above-average winds at the friendly confines of Wrigley, so stream Happ freely with conditions favorable for dominance.

Batting Average – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Francisco Mejia (C, SD) – 41% Owned

This might be one of your last chances to acquire the former standout catching prospect, as Francisco Mejia is starting to show off the hit-tool that has earned him a future 60-grade, as well as a 50-game hitting streak in the minors in 2016. Showing once again that the development curve of big-league catchers is not always linear, Mejia is off to a scorching start in August, slashing .515/.529/.758 with a 241 wRC+ over this last 32 plate appearances. This week, the Padres go on the road for three games in Cincinnati, before coming back home for a 3-game set against the Red Sox. With Mejia's recent performance being a pure white light in the flaming pile of garbage that is the catcher position in 2019, his 41%-ownership has nowhere to go but up.

Alex Dickerson (OF, SF) – 6% Owned

After missing the past two weeks with an oblique injury, San Francisco outfielder Alex Dickerson's ownership has dropped to six-percent, even though the 29-year old has been a revelation since being traded to the Giants from San Diego earlier in the year. In his 118 plate appearances since that trade, Dickerson is slashing .343/.398/.657 with a 170 wRC+ and 11.1% barrel-rate that's a career-high. Before the injury, Dickerson had been on fire since the All-Star break, with a .436 AVG and 227 wRC+ in his last 42 plate appearances. The Giants have a short Week 21, with only five games, only playing a two-game set in Oakland over the weekend, but at least their first series will be in Chicago, facing the Cubs in warm weather. Ignore the name, look at the numbers, and don't continue to Dickerson around by leaving the outfielder on the wire, as being only 6%-owned is downright criminal.

 

Strikeouts – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Mike Montgomery (SP, KC) - 8% Owned

Yes, the Mike Montgomery. On July 15 the Royals traded starting catcher Martin Maldonado to the Cubs for the veteran swingman and placed in him the starting rotation, where he has excelled so far for his new team, allowing two or fewer runs in three of his four starts, the only hiccup being a four-run outing against the Blue Jays on July 30. But forget about the ERA, you're here for those sweet, sweet K's that Montgomery has piled up in his last two starts, striking out seven Red Sox in five innings, before whiffing the doors off of Detroit, with 12 K in seven innings. Montgomery has a tasty matchup to keep the strikeouts flowing, traveling to Baltimore for a Wednesday matchup. These Orioles are not just bad, they're bad with a bullet, carrying a league-worst 26.3% K-rate against left-handers in 2019.

Dylan Bundy (SP, BAL) - 8% Owned

If you've stumbled here looking for good ratios, you are implored to go no further and turn back. Because while Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy is certainly capable of occasionally putting together a low-run masterpiece, more often than not those ratios are going to be blown up by all those bombs he loves giving up. But Bundy has always been a master of whiffery, striking out more than a batter per inning this year and is lined up for two starts in Week 21, the first against the Kansas City Royals, who have a 22.1% K-rate and 87 wRC+ against right-handed pitching this year, followed by the Tampa Bay Rays who come to town for Bundy's next start and have a 22.1% K-rate against righties. Neither matchup is ideal but if you're going K-fishing, then Bundy should be good for double-digits this week

Wins - Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Zach Eflin (SP, PHI) - 24% Owned

Pitching out of the bullpen for most of the past month, Philadelphia right-hander Zach Eflin is getting another chance at starting. In Week 21, the Phillies go on the road to face a Marlins team that is mostly made up of big-leaguers and has lost 11 of their last 15 games. Eflin's last appearance in the rotation was a 10-run disaster against Atlanta where he failed to get out of the second innings, but the 25-year-old has been better since making his way to the 'pen, giving up only one run in his four appearances, while striking out seven in 5 2/3 innings. Even when going bad, Eflin still gets deep in games and anyone who goes deep against the Fish is going to have a good chance to reel in a win.

Michael Pineda (SP, MIN) - 34% Owned

After missing the past two weeks with a tricep issue, Michael Pineda came off of the IL and picked up the win in Texas, despite his lackluster start where he went five innings and allowed three earned runs while striking out six. But given the hitting conditions in Arlington - along with temperatures pushing 100-degrees - allowances could be made for the returning veteran and this week Pineda gets a much more favorable matchup, facing the Chicago White Sox at home on Tuesday. Chicago is not only 12 games below .500 on the season but also strikes out against right-handers at a prodigious rate, with their 28.6% K-rate being good for second-worst in the league since July 1.

ERA/WHIP - Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Aaron Civale (SP, CLE) – 35% Owned

Cleveland rookie Aaron Civale debuted to great aplomb on June 22, striking out six Detroit Tigers through seven innings of shutout ball. As it was only a spot-start, Civale was sent back down to the minor leagues but has now been recalled and has put up two more excellent starts since. Facing no pushovers in Minnesota and Texas, Civale went a combined 12 innings, allowing only seven hits, one walk, while striking out a dozen. Through three starts, Civale now has a 1.00 ERA and 0.72 WHIP in 18 innings pitched and goes on the road this week to face the Mets at cavernous Citi Field. Since being blisteringly hot while winning 15 of 16 games, the Mets have cooled off recently, dropping their last three contests.

Cal Quantrill (SP, SD) - 44% Owned

Called by some the Bryan Reynolds of this article series, this may be the last time that this son of a Paul shows his face around here, as San Diego rookie Cal Quantrill continues to roll over his opponents, putting up fantasy-dominant ratios along the way, going 4-1 in his six starts since returning from injury on July 3. It's hard to hold the loss as it came on the road against the league-leading Dodgers and Quantrill only gave up two runs in five innings. The rookie now has a 1.86 ERA and 0.88 WHIP over those last six starts and lines up for two starts in Week 21, going on the road to face Cincinnati - who have lost their last four games heading into Thursday's action - before coming back home for a tilt against the Red Sox, who are 5-10 in their last 15 games.  Averaging a 57 Game Score since returning to the rotation, this may be your last chance to grab the rookie, as Quantrill is having a real breakout and should be owned in all leagues.

More Streamers and Head-to-Head League Columns