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Points League Hitters: Waiver Wire Pickups for Fantasy Baseball for Week 9 (2024)

Tyler Freeman - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Prospects, Draft Sleepers

Welcome RotoBallers to the Week 9 edition of our fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups for hitters. These fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups are for the week of May 20 - May 26, looking at players below ~50% rostered on ESPN or Yahoo.

We'll be doing this points league roundup every week here at RotoBaller because we know points players get neglected and we're here to help. Player values can vary wildly from platform to platform, so we'll make sure to highlight where players are the best and worst fits, with waiver wire targets being evaluated in terms of the different scoring systems on ESPN, Yahoo, CBS, Fantrax, and NFBC.

Position eligibility is taken from Fantrax and players are grouped by their most valuable fantasy position, using a hierarchy of C > 2B > OF > 3B > 1B > SS. Stats and rankings for charts are calculated using games through Saturday, May 18.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Early Season Waiver Wire Caveats

Roster% Thresholds

We use a combination of Roster% to assess who is in our target pool, relying mostly on Yahoo and ESPN. For some players, you'll notice a wide discrepancy between the two. This is because ESPN's Roster% is heavily weighted by points players, with guys who don't do well in their system (often because of an inflated K% but also sometimes, who really knows?) lagging behind the Yahoo Roster%.

For this reason, you'll sometimes see players (especially early) who might make you question my sanity in including them in a waiver wire article. For example, Anthony Rizzo has a 98% Roster% on NFBC and is at 73% on Yahoo, but on ESPN, he's only at 36% -- hence, we'll include him (and others like him).

 

First Base Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Nathaniel Lowe, TEX, 1B (Yahoo: 78%, ESPN: 29%) - Sigh...We're still doing it - Lowe has been very consistent since returning from the IL but is still available on the platform he absolutely shouldn't be, with a ranking that's about 20 spots higher on ESPN (and their -1 per K) than on the others. With a 23% K% and 16% BB%, I expect Lowe to continue to excel under such scoring.

Ty France, SEA, 1B (Yahoo: 10%, ESPN: 8%) - France has woken back up in Week 8 after two ho-hum weeks and will head into Week 9 with three LHP on schedule out of seven games.

Jeimer Candelario, CIN, 1B/3B (Yahoo: 44%, ESPN: 14%) - After a disastrous start to his season, Candelario is finally coming around, posting a top-100 APR in each of the past three weeks, slashing .313/.323/.500 over 65 PA, with a 14% K% and .358 wOBA.

Next Choices

Josh Bell, MIA, 1B (Yahoo: 22%, ESPN: 28%) - Super unexciting in roto but Bell and his points-friendly profile are up to a 33 APR in Week 8 after lackluster scoring in Weeks 5-7. But outside of a 328 APR in Week 5 and a 206 APR in Week 7, Bell has been a top-150 scorer in every other period and has an 88 APR for the season.

Ryan O'Hearn, BAL, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 25%, ESPN: 18%) - O'Hearn has done a whole lot of nothing in the last two scoring periods but his playing time has also been down with Baltimore facing a slew of LHP in Week 7. But the Orioles have a very favorable road trip in Week 9 (3 vs STL, 4 vs CHW) and are only scheduled to face one left-hander.

Anthony Rizzo, NYY, 1B (Yahoo: 73%, ESPN: 36%) - Only available on ESPN but that's the platform Rizzo excels at most, with a 17% K% buoying his value in leagues with a full-point strikeout penalty.

Desperate Choices

Andrew Vaughn, CHW, 1B (Yahoo: 23%, ESPN: 6%) - Vaughn is finally rounding into his points-friendly shape, running a top-150 APR in each of the last four weeks but a top-75 APR in the last two. But do be aware that he and the hapless White Sox have some tough pitching coming their way in Week 9, facing Toronto on the road and Baltimore at home.

Luke Raley, SEA, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 21%, ESPN: 3%) - Raley has blown up with a 14 APR in Week 8 heading into Sunday's action but the Mariners will face four LHP in Week 9, likely limiting his usage.

On the IL

 

Second Base Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Abraham Toro, OAK, 2B/3B (Yahoo: 58%, ESPN: 31%) - Toro was one of our best choices last time out and will remain one this week, currently running a 79 APR in Week 8. Now slashing .298/.351/.447 for the season with an elite 17% K%, Toro should continue to compile points with a 174 PA that puts him in the upper tiers of playing time.

Thairo Estrada, SF, 2B/SS (Yahoo: 72%, ESPN: 32%) - Estrada is apparently available in a third of ESPN leagues but he absolutely shouldn't be considering his #56 ranking on the platform. If your league is one of those included, please do your part to correct this egregious error

Richie Palacios, TB, 2B/OF (Yahoo: 4%, ESPN: 1%) - Palacios is in the middle of another top-100 week (his fourth time doing so in the last five weeks) but more importantly has finally started getting regular playing time, having started seven of the last eight. But that also has a large amount to do with the Rays not facing any LHP over that period. Luckily, they are again scheduled to face a whole week of righties, so Palacios could again see five or six starts. Or, two - because Kevin Cash hates your fantasy team and wants to see you fail.

Brendan Donovan, STL, 2B/OF (Yahoo: 31%, ESPN: 17%) - I don't know why Donovan is still hanging around so many wires because the Cardinal is now up to a 92 APR for the season, led by a 13% K% that is pure points sexiness. But the leftie will also have tough matchups in Week 9 against the Cubs and Orioles, with two of those six games coming vs LHP.

Davis Schneider, TOR, 2B/OF (Yahoo: 22%, ESPN: 5%) - Schneider has done a whole lot of nothing for most of the season but has picked things up recently, running an 82 APR over the past two weeks, while slashing .258/.368/.548 over 38 PA, with a .392 wOBA and 158 wRC+. But more important to his long-term value is the recent move to the top of the Blue Jays order, having batted leadoff in five of the last eight games, with George Springer dropping to sixth in their last two games vs right-handed starters. Schneider actually has really good per-PA scoring rates across the board so if he's now piling up more PAs, expect his value to continue rising.

Next Choices

Joey Ortiz, MIL, 2B/3B (Yahoo: 33%, ESPN: 6%) - Ortiz has been on fire, currently running a 7 APR in Week 8, and with two other top-100 APRs in the previous three scoring periods. The rookie has now started seven games straight and 11 of the last 13, with elite plate discipline (17% K%, 13% BB%) and some previously untapped power. With defense that will keep him on the field, Ortiz makes for a strong upside play.

Michael Massey, KC, 2B (Yahoo: 4%, ESPN: 2%) - Massey followed up his 8 APR in Week 6 with a stinker in Week 7 (181 APR) but keep in mind that a lot of that stink came from the Royals facing a whole mess of lefties that week, against whom Massey is far different player than against RHP. He's been back on the good foot so far in Week 8 (57 APR) and the Royals are only scheduled to face one LHP in their six games this week.

Desperate Choices

Nolan Gorman, STL, 2B (Yahoo: 47%, ESPN: 11%) - Gorman may have a 40 APR in Week 8 but will see limited playing time in Week 9 with the Cardinals scheduled to face LHP in two of their six games. And if your league has a strikeout penalty, don't bother - Gorman is still rocking a 36% K% for the season.

Brendan Rodgers, COL, 2B (Yahoo: 4%, ESPN: 2%) - There's always Brendan Rodgers, who will occasionally turn in a top-75 performance for a week and gets a series at home in Week 9.

On the IL

  • Brandon Drury, LAA, 1B/2B (strained hamstring - no timetable)
  • Brandon Lowe, TB, 2B (strained oblique - rehab assignment)
  • Tommy Edman, STL, 2B/SS/OF (wrist surgery - no timetable)
  • Geraldo Perdomo, ARI, 2B/SS (torn meniscus - 2 to 4 weeks)
  • Justin Foscue, TEX, 2B/OF (strained oblique - no timetable)

 

Third Base Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Abraham Toro, OAK, 2B/3B (Yahoo: 58%, ESPN: 31%) - Toro was one of our best choices last time out and will remain one this week, currently running a 79 APR in Week 8. Now slashing .298/.351/.447 for the season with an elite 17% K%, Toro should continue to compile points with a 174 PA that puts him in the upper tiers of playing time.

Tyler Freeman, CLE, 3B/OF (Yahoo: 11%, ESPN: 5%) - Freeman refuses to give up his hold on Cleveland's center field job and does enough at the plate to serve as a solid fill-in but also occasionally blow up - like in Week 8, where he's currently running a 12 APR headed into Sunday. With Cleveland scheduled to face LHP in three of their six games, Freeman is a strong option to ride again.

Next Choices

Matt Chapman, SF, 3B (Yahoo: 52%, ESPN: 32%) - Chapman has dipped back below our Roster% threshold just in time for his best week of the season, posting a 13 APR after going 8-for-18 in Week 8, with no home runs but with five doubles and eight runs scored. He has big upside but you'll also have to ride the waves - Chapman has five top-100 scoring periods (and two top-15's) but also three weeks with worse than a 200 APR.

Joey Ortiz, MIL, 2B/3B (Yahoo: 33%, ESPN: 6%) - Ortiz has been on fire, currently running a 7 APR in Week 8, and with two other top-100 APRs in the previous three scoring periods. The rookie has now started seven games straight and 11 of the last 13, with elite plate discipline (17% K%, 13% BB%) and some previously untapped power. With defense that will keep him on the field, Ortiz makes for a strong upside play.

Desperate Choices

Josh Smith, TEX, 3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 38%, ESPN: 22%) - Smith has hit the skids lately but has a very friendly points profile (20% K%, 9% BB%) and will still continue to pile up PAs with an everyday job that doesn't currently have much competition. But things won't get any easier in Week 9, considering some tough pitching matchups in their two series against the Phillies and Twins.

On the IL

 

Shortstop Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Thairo Estrada, SF, 2B/SS (Yahoo: 72%, ESPN: 32%) - Estrada is apparently available in a third of ESPN leagues but he absolutely shouldn't be considering his #56 ranking on the platform. If your league is one of those included, please do your part to correct this egregious error

Zach Neto, LAA, SS (Yahoo: 17%, ESPN: 15%) - I don't know what Neto has to do to see his Roster% rise but apparently it's not "be a top-50 player for the past month. Since May 22nd (the start of Week 5), Neto is slashing .326/.348/.581 over 89 PA, with a .402 wOBA and 162 wRC+.

Wenceel Perez, DET, SS/OF (Yahoo: 7%, ESPN: 3%) - Considering Perez has a top 30 APR in two of the last three weeks, I'd expect his <10% Roster% to change soon. Having only sat in one game of the last twenty that he was available (he was sick for two others), Perez is quickly picking up a lot of steam on the fantasy scene.

Next Choices

Jackson Merrill, SD, SS/OF (Yahoo: 63%, ESPN: 30%) - Merrill was mostly junk in Weeks 5-7 but in Week 8 has returned to being the same top-100 hitter that he was for the first month of the season. And with a 17% K% carrying his value, he should definitely be picked up if dropped in leagues with a strikeout penalty. However, don't get your hopes too high for Week 9, as the Padres will face LHP in four of their eight games, against whom Merrill has posted just a .267 wOBA and 76 wRC+ this season.

Desperate Choices

Josh Smith, TEX, 3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 38%, ESPN: 22%) - Smith has hit the skids lately but has a very friendly points profile (20% K%, 9% BB%) and will still continue to pile up PAs with an everyday job that doesn't currently have much competition. But things won't get any easier in Week 9, considering some tough pitching matchups in their two series against the Phillies and Twins.

Orlando Arcia, ATL, SS (Yahoo: 19%, ESPN: 17%) - Arcia has been a disaster in Week 8 but Atlanta is fully stuffed with eight games in Week 9. Unfortunately, three of those eight will come vs LHP, against whom Arcia is slashing .189/.224/.243, with a .210 wOBA and 31 wRC+.

On the IL

 

Outfielder Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Jo Adell, LAA, OF (Yahoo: 54%, ESPN: 13%) - Adell's Roster% continues to rise but remains criminally under-owned, currently in the middle of yet another top-75 week (#20 in Week 5, #141 in Week 6, #19 in Week 7) in Week 8. And with his new and improved plate discipline (24% K%) erasing any memories of the points-killing +30% days, Adell certainly shouldn't still be ignored in ESPN leagues, or any others with a strikeout penalty.

Tyler Freeman, CLE, 3B/OF (Yahoo: 11%, ESPN: 5%) - Freeman refuses to give up his hold on Cleveland's center field job and does enough at the plate to serve as a solid fill-in but also occasionally blow up - like in Week 8, where he's currently running a 12 APR headed into Sunday. With Cleveland scheduled to face LHP in three of their six games in Week 9, Freeman is a strong option to ride again.

Richie Palacios, TB, 2B/OF (Yahoo: 4%, ESPN: 1%) - Palacios is in the middle of another top-100 week (his fourth time doing so in the last five weeks) but more importantly has finally started getting regular playing time, having started seven of the last eight. But that also has a large amount to do with the Rays not facing any LHP over that period. Luckily, they are again scheduled to face a whole week of righties, so Palacios could again see five or six starts. Or, two - because Kevin Cash hates your fantasy team and wants to see you fail.

Brendan Donovan, STL, 2B/OF (Yahoo: 31%, ESPN: 17%) - I don't know why Donovan is still hanging around so many wires because the Cardinal is now up to a 92 APR for the season, led by a 13% K% that is pure points sexiness. But the leftie will also have tough matchups in Week 9 against the Cubs and Orioles, with two of those six games coming vs LHP.

Luis Matos, SF, OF (Yahoo: 16%, ESPN: 2%) - Boy, oh boy, it's been Luis Matos SZN so far in Week 8, y'all, with the second-year top prospect blowing out his first full week of 2024. In his 25 PA since Monday, Matos has two home runs, three doubles, and an absurd 17 RBI. That's right - a 17 RBI week after collecting 11 in his last two games. The center field job is his with the season-ending injury to Jung Hoo Lee and while this hotness will inevitably cool, Matos was a top prospect for a reason(s) and can be picked up now as a high-upside play. And if (when) he does fall off, back to the wire he may have to go; no harm, no foul.

Lars Nootbaar, STL, OF (Yahoo: 33%, ESPN: 17%) - Nootbaar is finally starting to heat up, posting a top-40 APR in Weeks 7 and 8. And while a .217 AVG and .328 OBP still look brutal, his .275 xBA and .378 xOBP point to better times continuing to come.

Next Choices

Davis Schneider, TOR, 2B/OF (Yahoo: 22%, ESPN: 5%) - Schneider has done a whole lot of nothing for most of the season but has picked things up recently, running an 82 APR over the past two weeks, while slashing .258/.368/.548 over 38 PA, with a .392 wOBA and 158 wRC+. But more important to his long-term value is the recent move to the top of the Blue Jays order, having batted leadoff in five of the last eight games, with George Springer dropping to sixth in their last two games vs right-handed starters. Schneider actually has really good per-PA scoring rates across the board so if he's now piling up more PAs, expect his value to continue rising.

Wenceel Perez, DET, SS/OF (Yahoo: 7%, ESPN: 3%) - Considering Perez has a top 30 APR in two of the last three weeks, I'd expect his <10% Roster% to change soon. Having only sat in one game of the last twenty that he was available (he was sick for two others), Perez is quickly picking up a lot of steam on the fantasy scene.

Will Benson, CIN, OF (Yahoo: 16%, ESPN: 3%) - Benson might have a top-100 APR in Week 8 but you just can't underestimate the drag a 39% K% puts on your value in point leagues, regardless of whether there is a strikeout penalty, or not.

Desperate Choices

Mitch Haniger, SEA, OF (Yahoo: 12%, ESPN: 6%) - Haniger has turned in back-to-back top-100 weeks but don't count on much in the two games Seattle has scheduled vs LHP - facing left-handers this season, Haniger has posted an absolutely brutal .185 wOBA and 19 wRC+.

Josh Smith, TEX, 3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 38%, ESPN: 22%) - Smith has hit the skids lately but has a very friendly points profile (20% K%, 9% BB%) and will still continue to pile up PAs with an everyday job that doesn't currently have much competition. But things won't get any easier in Week 9, considering some tough pitching matchups in their two series against the Phillies and Twins.

Mark Canha, DET, OF (Yahoo: 31%, ESPN: 16%) - There's always Mark Canha, the everboring outfielder who generally won't hurt you but generally has a top-150 ceiling. But sometimes beggars can't be choosers.

Sal Frelick, MIL, OF (Yahoo: 14%, ESPN: 6%) - Frelick woke back up in Week 8 with a 14 APR but will likely go back to sleep in Week 9 considering the left-hander is looking at lefties starting in three of Milwaukee's six games.

Leody Taveras, TEX, OF (Yahoo: 23%, ESPN: 9%) - After claiming the #1 spot in Week 8 (yes, I said, #1), Taveras turned back into the pumpkin we all know he usually is, running a 234 APR headed into Sunday. I mean, I guess there are worse options to bet on (see: Baez, Javier) but I'd try to look elsewhere.

  • Chas McCormick, HOU, OF (strained hamstring - rehab assignment)
  • T.J. Friedl, CIN, OF (fractured thumb - no timetable)
  • Kris Bryant, COL, OF (lower back - rehab assignment)
  • Tommy Edman, STL, 2B/SS/OF (wrist surgery - no timetable)
  • Garrett Mitchell, MIL, OF (fractured finger - likely mid-June return)
  • Alek Thomas, ARI, OF (strained hamstring - no timetable)
  • Justin Foscue, TEX, 2B/OF (strained oblique - no timetable)
  • Joey Wiemer, MIL, OF (strained knee - rehab assignment)

 

Catcher Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Mitch Garver, SEA, C (Yahoo: 36%, ESPN: 12%) - Garver remains frustratingly inconsistent after turning in a 359 APR in Week 8 but also only has 12 PA heading into Sunday's action after missing Tuesday and Wednesday with a balky back. With seven games and three LHP on the schedule (against whom he is slashing .265/.324/.559, with a .381 wOBA), Garver is a high-upside option in Week 9.

Shea Langeliers, OAK, C (Yahoo: 43%, ESPN: 17%) - Langeliers has led our catcher coverage for a few weeks now and hasn't done anything to dissuade me from leading him again, currently running a 90 APR so far in Week 8. With his newfound plate discipline continuing to stick around, Langeliers is now up to a 78 APR for the season but that also includes a really rough start in the first two weeks of action. Taking those early hiccups out, Langeliers is slashing .234/.293/.577 since April 8, with 9 HR, 17 R, and 23 RBI, with a .362 wOBA and 141 wRC+.

Next Choices

Tyler Stephenson, CIN, C (Yahoo: 13%, ESPN: 5%) - My old flame, Stephenson, continues to quietly produce, putting up a 25 APR heading into Sunday's action and has only had one bad scoring period over the past six weeks (341 APR in Week 6). Like Langeliers, Stephenson was really bad over the first two weeks but has been sneaky good besides - since April 8, Stephenson is slashing a very points-friendly .278/.353/.511, with a 17% K% and 10% BB%, along with 5 HR, 16 R, 13 RBI, and a .375 wOBA/139 wRC+. Tyler, I'm trusting you with my heart again - please don't go out and promptly get injured...Please?

Elias Diaz, COL, C (Yahoo: 41%, ESPN: 14%) - Diaz has been junky on the road in Week 8 but comes back home in Week 9 after a series in Oakland to start the period. At Coors in 2024, Diaz is slashing .342/.375/.493, with a .377 wOBA and 115 wRC+. And while he has been much worse away from home, he'll face some less than intimidating pitching from Oakland in Aaron Brooks, Joey Estes, and Kyle Muller.

Danny Jansen, TOR, C (Yahoo: 16%, ESPN: 8%) - Just when you start to trust Jansen he turned in a stinker 223 APR but be aware that part of that is only having three games in the books after missing Sunday and Monday with a tweaked back. With full-time PAs continuing to come his way via the descension of Alejandro Kirk, Jansen remains a solid option.

Desperate Choices

David Fry, CLE, C (Yahoo: 12%, ESPN: 4%) - Fry is still a part-timer but has started three of the last four games (DH once, LF twice) and has posted a top-150 APR in each of the last three weeks and is at a 57 APR so far in Week 8. With three LHP on the schedule in Week 9 (Fry has started every game vs a left-handed starter in 2024), the uptick in playing time could continue.

On the IL



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Brady Hiestand3 days ago

Gets Third-Round Submission Win
Jose Johnson3 days ago

Drops Decision At UFC Vegas 93
MMA3 days ago

Asu Almbayev Extends Win Streak
NBA3 days ago

Monty Williams Set To Remain With Pistons
Collin Sexton3 days ago

Could Be On The Move Again
Pittsburgh Steelers4 days ago

Cameron Heyward Wants To Retire A Pittsburgh Steeler
Josh Quinlan4 days ago

Losing Streak Hits Three At UFC Vegas 93
Adam Fugitt4 days ago

Edges Out Split Decision At UFC Vegas 93
Timmy Cuamba4 days ago

Still Winless In The UFC
Lucas Almeida4 days ago

Pulls Off Upset At UFC Vegas 93
Douglas Silva de Andrade4 days ago

Falls Short At UFC Vegas 93
Miles Johns4 days ago

Picks Up Decision Win At UFC Vegas 93
Daniel Suarez4 days ago

Why You Should Fade Daniel Suarez In DFS This Weekend At Iowa
Corey Lajoie4 days ago

Should You Roster Corey Lajoie In DFS This Weekend?
Carson Hocevar4 days ago

Will Start 20th At Iowa Speedway
NASCAR4 days ago

Bubba Wallace Will Start 16th At Iowa Speedway
Michael McDowell4 days ago

Might Have A Positive Result At Iowa
Joey Logano4 days ago

Could Joey Logano Be A Sneaky Tournament Play At Iowa?
Justin Haley4 days ago

Consider Justin Haley A Great Value Pick For Iowa?
Dak Prescott5 days ago

May Command More In Contract Talks
NFL5 days ago

Stephon Gilmore Not In A Rush To Sign A Deal
Tee Higgins5 days ago

Signs His Franchise Tender
Jarrett Stidham6 days ago

Has The Advantage Over Bo Nix
Tim Patrick6 days ago

Looking Healthy This Offseason
Jayden Daniels6 days ago

Commanders Sign Jayden Daniels To Rookie Deal
RANKINGS
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1B
2B
3B
SS
OF
SP
RP

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RB
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TE
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DEF

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