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

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Head-to-Head Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 26

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

Jon Berti (2B/3B/SS/OF, MIA) - 18% Owned

You better believe I'm touting Miami Marlins super-utility man and column-favorite Jon Berti in this final week. Sure, Berti has only three stolen bases and a .239 AVG in September but the Marlins have seven games in this final week of regular season baseball and four of them are against the Mets. As in, the Mets that has he of the noodly appendage behind the dish, Wilson Ramos. The same Wilson Ramos that has allowed 88 stolen bases - or 21 more than Yasmani Grandal sitting in second place. Berti is usually batting leadoff these days is in the final game of an unlikely season in which he exceeded everyone's expectations. You don't think he's going to run against a bad catcher any opportunity he gets? I do. Run Berti, run.

Garrett Hampson (2B/SS/OF, COL) - 18% Owned

How about that? We're finally starting to see some of this speed we've heard so much about in regards to Colorado infielder Garrett Hampson. The 24-year-old rookie has now stolen three bases in his last four games and has six in the past 30 days, after taking advantage of Wilson Ramos for those three bags in his last series. Hampson will get another turnstile catcher in his final series of the year, as Yasmani Grandal (67 stolen bases allowed) and the Milwaukee Brewers come to Coors for three games over the weekend. In much the same situation as Berti above, Hampson is a speedy youngster likely looking to impress against a substandard catcher in his last chance of the season. Plus, Coors!


Home Runs – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Brandon Nimmo (OF,NYM) - 19% Owned

New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo is back and crushing it but is still being widely ignored since returning from a neck injury on September 1. Since his return, Nimmo is slashing .297/.481/.703 with a .468 wOBA and four home runs in 52 plate-appearances, along with 10 RBI and nine runs scored. Having seven games at Citi Field (97 Park Factor for LHB home runs) in this last week isn't ideal but sometimes you ride the hot hand. And a hot hand who's smashing a .405 ISO and gets to face the cellar-dwelling Marlins four times is a good one to pick.

Randal Grichuk (OF, TOR) - 34% Owned

When streaky Toronto outfielder Randal Grichuk gets hot, he usually gets really hot. And right now Grichuk isn't just hot, he's gone plain nuclear, hitting five home runs in his past six games, with 10 RBI and six runs scored. And with Toronto lined up for a seven-game homestand to end the season, Grichuk has a good chance to keep this meltdown from cooling off. Grichuk will end the week facing tougher pitching, as Tampa Bay will come into town likely fighting for their playoff lives. But the Jays open the week up by welcoming the Baltimore Orioles to town and their substandard starting pitching. Which will include home run bingo-machine Dylan Bundy, so just go ahead and start Grichuck with one home run, mmm-kay?


Batting Average – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Luis Arraez (2B/3B/OF, MIN) - 13% Owned

Minnesota Twins rookie Luis Arraez continues to flash the future 60-grade hit tool he was slapped with in the minor leagues and is continuing to hit with a vengeance, with six multi-hit performances in his last 10 games. Even after going 0-for-8 in his last two games, Arraez is still slashing .394/.459/.515 with a 164 wRC+ over 74 plate-appearances in the month of September. Arraez is eligible at three positions and lately has been batting either leadoff or sixth in a powerful Minnesota lineup that's in the midst of their most important stretch of games this year, as they look to hold off the Cleveland Indians and capture their first American Central title since 2010. In this final week, Arraez and the Twins should be helped in the offense department by playing seven games against the lowly Tigers and Royals.

Howie Kendrick (1B/2B/3B/OF, WSH) - 33% Owned

How much does Washington Nationals infielder Howie Kendrick need to hit before we take the renaissance of the 36-year-old seriously? How much has he hit? Try slashing .343/.393/.577 in 346 plate-appearances with a .401 wOBA and 146 wRC+. Read that line again. Surely 346 PA is enough to judge that Kendrick isn't going to suddenly stop hitting, especially since he's saved his best for last by absolutely crushing September. As in, crushing it to the slash-tune of .436/.476/.692 with three three-hit games, and five multi-hit games overall. Fighting for their playoff lives, the National's schedule is fully loaded in Week 26 with a seven-game homestand against the Phillies and the Indians.


Strikeouts – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Dylan Bundy (SP, BAL) - 12% Owned

Let's wind back the tape and recommend Baltimore Orioles starter Dylan Bundy against the Toronto Blue Jays for strikeouts for the second week in a row. Facing Toronto last Wednesday, Bundy piled up eight strikeouts in five innings, allowing just one earned run. But he also did Dylan Bundy things, walking five and allowing five hits for a cool 2.oo WHIP. Bundy sets up for two starts in this final week of baseball, first getting those same Blue Jays on Monday night in Toronto. Our northern neighbors have struggled with their whiffery against right-handers as of late, carrying a 27.3% K-rate against righties since the beginning of August. Bundy's next start is surely dicier, going to Boston to face the Red Sox in the last game of the regular season. If you fear for your ratios, that's one you'll probably want to avoid, with Bundy almost guaranteed to give up a home run or two. Farewell, sweet Dylan. May your offseason be filled with rumors of a velocity increase and tales of being in the best shape of your life.

Tanner Roark (SP, OAK) - 38% Owned

Oakland starting pitcher Tanner Roark may not be known as a strikeout artist but it seems almost any right-hander these days can become one as long as they're facing the Seattle Mariners, who are a carrying a league-worst 28.2% K-rate against righties since the beginning of August. Roark and the Reds will face the Mariners in Seattle on Saturday after getting a little roughed up in his last start, allowing four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings in a no-decision versus Kansas City. But Roark also struck out eight Royals and now has 17 strikeouts in his last 17 innings. Besides the horrible K-rate, Seattle has floundered in other ways when facing right-handers, posting just a .689 OPS and 84 wRC+ against them since August 1.


Wins - Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Vince Velasquez (SP, PHI) - 14% Owned

Anyone else love to play the game where you try to guess when Philadelphia pitcher Vince Velasquez will pitch a gem and when he'll burn the stadium down with his gas hose? Me too! For example, Velasquez last pitched on the road against Atlanta's fierce offense, so it's an obvious gas can night, right? Nope! Five innings, one earned run, eight strikeouts, and the win. What about the certain gem on August 3 when he faced the pitiful Marlins at their pitcher-friendly park? 2 1/3 innings, seven earned runs, two strikeouts. Never mind those facts, let's chase. Velasquez gets those same bad Marlins in Week 26, this time at home on Friday. Miami has now lost eight of their last 10 games and has an 87 wRC+ against right-handers since August 1, so obviously this will be a Velasquez gem that ends in a win, right? Don't answer.

Gio Gonzalez (SP, MIL) - 14% Owned

With the news that Milwaukee starter Gio Gonzalez will stay in a "piggyback" role for the remainder of the regular season (Gonzalez most recently followed a returning Brandon Woodruff last Tuesday), the veteran left-hander could be in a better position to snag a win or two. Gonzalez has always struggled going deep into games as a traditional starter, so entering later may suit him well especially seeing how well he's pitched of late. In four appearances(three starts) since September 1, Gonzalez only went more than four innings once but still had a 1.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP over his 15 innings. You'll need to keep an eye on what exactly the Brewer's plans are for his usage but fighting for a playoff spot, Milwaukee should only deploy him when the situation most behooves them.


ERA/WHIP - Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Aaron Civale (SP, CLE) - 44% Owned

We can do deep analysis, we can do a shallow analysis. But sometimes you need to just check out the bottom line. And the bottom line of Cleveland starter Aaron Civale through his first nine starts in the majors is more impressive than you probably think. Because through nine starts and 54 1/3 innings since he came up on June 22, Civale has gone 3-3 with a 1.82 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. Small sample be damned because the only pitchers since then who've thrown at least 50 innings with a sub-2.00 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP are Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGrom, Jack Flaherty, and Sonny Gray. Not bad company, rook. Civale has two starts on the road this week, going first to Chicago to face the White Sox, who have a 26% K-rate and 89 wRC+ versus right-handers since August 1. Next is a start in Washington on the final day of the regular season, where both teams will still likely be fighting for their playoff lives, so be aware that Civale could have a shorter leash than usual.

Seth Lugo (SP/RP, NYM) - 45% Owned

Yes, you read that correctly. And yes, Seth Lugo is a reliever. But you may not realize just how dominant Lugo has been over the past month and if you need some ratio help in this final week, then Lugo might just be your man. Since allowing seven earned runs in less than an inning against the Braves on August 14th, Lugo has basically been unhittable in his 17 innings (11 appearances) since, allowing just one run and two walks. That's good for a 0.52 ERA and 0.56 WHIP, along with a 2-1 record and three saves. While it's always dicey to count on reliever-usage, Lugo usually manages to get four innings or so per week and with the Mets still in playoff contention, there likely won't be thoughts of compunction as it relates to his usage.

More Streamers and Head-to-Head League Columns

More Recent Articles


Colts Conundrum: What To Do With Marlon Mack Hurt

Hello, my name is Eric Samulski, and I spent all my FAAB on Brian Hill last week. Phew! I’m glad we got that out of the way. Now that that’s on the table, we can talk honestly about this week's biggest running back decision: How the Colts will replace Marlon Mack, who just underwent surgery on... Read More

Offensive Line Rankings Analysis: Week 12

Apologies for not making it out last week. I welcomed my daughter into the world, and while I would have loved the distraction of looking at the ability of offensive lines, that wasn't going to happen. Moving onto Week 12, the outcome of your season-long leagues is now taking shape and you know if you... Read More

Fantasy Football Disaster Recovery: Kenny Golladay

Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds. This isn't a place to find out why you should have sat a player for somebody else on your bench. Disaster Recovery is here to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about starting and to help you decide if you should... Read More

Receiver Leaderboards Entering the Final Stretch - NFL Next Gen Stats

We've consumed our first "double-digit week" set of games. That means we've entered the final part of the season and, in fact, the fantasy football playoffs are closer than you may realize. There are just three more weeks to go until we hit Week 14 and celebrate our presence in the run for the chip,... Read More

NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 12) - Targets and Avoids

Sunday was one of the worst Sunday's Vegas has had all season and remaining entrants in survivor pools nearly had the same fate. However, the Vikings rallied from a 20-0 halftime deficit, the 49ers scored late, and the Cowboys win was much narrower than it should have been. The Saints, Bills, and Ravens took care... Read More

Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Jeff Driskel, Deebo Samuel, Kenyan Drake

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More

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