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Outfield Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 5

Managers can easily make decisions to affect their team positively, but often they're too hesitant, cautious, or even scared. Sometimes you have to make the hard choice to choose a player in the right circumstance to produce. These are the best players when we start streaming. We look at the matchups and other variables to put our team in the best position to succeed. That is the best we can do. There is no need to be scared about making these types of choices. No Fear, Just Fantasy.

Some outfielders would be better suited to stream for a hot bat. Others need to be replaced just because they are no longer on the field (IL). That is a situation that is affecting many owners, and there is nothing you can do except find a suitable replacement as quickly as possible or risk losing valuable counting stats. In this article, I’ll discuss waiver wire targets for the outfield in week 5. This week we cover a few guys that are on a little hot streak while a couple of other players have enticing matchups.

Even in the first few weeks, ownership can change quickly. Be quick to check your leagues for their availability. Key points - this list will focus on players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. When you want to chat it up regarding outfielders, prospects, or dynasty leagues, message me directly on Twitter @EllisCan2.

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Outfield (OF) Waiver Wire Options

Kole Calhoun (OF, LAA) — 4% Owned

Let’s look at a guy you can get free as he’s hardly owned. If there was ever a time to own him, it is when circumstances align for his benefit and this week is that time. His performance thus far might surprise you as well. On a team with the best player in all of baseball, it is probably shocking that Calhoun is leading the team in homers (tied with 7) as well as RBI (16). The downside is that he is bringing a .212 batting average to the table. That is tough to swallow, but sometimes you have to take chances to win it all. Thankfully, it isn’t a complete risk as he is facing four right-handers this week. He is a .256 hitter against righties so you can breathe a little easier now. The only other consideration is that the Angels only have five games this week. While not optimal, he is still a quality asset for you to have on your roster, especially if you can stream daily.

Shin-Soo Choo (OF, TEX) — 42% Owned

To get it out of the way, Choo only has five games this week as well. Now that the sticky part is out of the way we can cover why he should still be owned. He’s hitting .310 atop a very good offense, and all the games will be at home in hitter-friendly Globe Life Park. The Rangers are not playing against premium staffs in the Pirates and Blue Jays, but they are facing five right-handed starters. Choo overwhelmingly enjoys righties to the tune of a .329 batting average this year. Even if he doesn’t tear the cover off the ball, he has a .414 OBP that will definitely help the counting stats.

Ramon Laureano (OF, OAK) — 27% Owned

Laureano has had a mixed bag to start the year. He’s had three homers and two stolen bases, but it comes with a .247 average. His defense will keep him on the field, so at-bats should never be an issue. The power and speed combination is tough to leave on the waiver wire, or even the bench for that matter. Oakland gets six games this week on the road in Boston and Pittsburgh. Laureano will get to enjoy five right-handed pitchers, against whom he is hitting .281 this year. Don't get too focused on the past and ride with him knowing that he can go off at any moment.

Brett Gardner (OF, NYY) — 27% Owned

Gardner still produces but seemingly in bunches these days. Thus far he’s hit a few homers before a streak of games alternating zeros with by multi-hit days. In the end, if he continues his .336 OBP, it will be enough to get him into position to tally some steals. Also helpful is that he has increased his contact rate to an excellent 90.2% and lowered his swinging strike rate to an equally impressive 3.5%. He only has five games this week with two against the Diamondbacks before returning home to face the Twins.

Keep in mind that the games in Arizona will cause some players to get crunched out of the lineup since they have to include a pitcher. Of course, there aren't very many left-handed hitting regulars, aside from the group that sounds like regular waiting-room guys (Mike Tauchman, Tyler Wade, Mike Ford). Gardner might miss a game because of the shuffling, but he’ll still give you a chance for steals with some newfound power pop.

Josh Reddick (OF, HOU) — 24% Owned

Reddick has exploded the last couple of weeks hitting .421 with three homers, a steal and 10 runs. He has always done quite well in the first month of the season. Even more impressive is his 9.8% strikeout rate this season. To keep this going, he’ll at least have to chase pitches fewer than a third of the time 34%. Reddick, who is usually in a platoon situation, will enjoy more playing time this week. He travels on the road to Minnesota before heading west to face the Angels. During those six games, the Astros will see five right-handed starting pitchers. In 10 major league seasons, he is a career .274 hitter against righties. Get him in your lineup and enjoy, even from the sixth slot in the lineup.

Eric Thames (1B/OF, MIL) — 10% Owned

Thames seems to have taken over the first base job for the struggling Jesus Aguilar. He's making the team look smart with two bombs, six RBI, and a .333 average in the last week. Thankfully for us, Thames also qualifies at outfield. The flexibility he provides is an additional asset to your roster. He's also blessed to have a full schedule of games which leads to more opportunity for production. This is a no-brainer to grab a power hitter enjoying a full slate in Miller Park.

Jesse Winker (OF, CIN) — 45% Owned

He's hitting .273 with five deposits over the wall in the last 14 days. I'm sure we've held out long enough and can get him above the measly 50% line.

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers

Check out RotoBaller's entire fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!