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Points League Hitters: Waiver Wire Pickups for Fantasy Baseball - Week 16

We'll be doing this roundup of points leagues every week here at RotoBaller, with waiver wire targets and streaming pitchers being evaluated in terms of the different scoring systems of ESPN, Yahoo!, CBS, and Fantrax.

Player values can vary wildly from platform to platform, so we'll make sure to highlight where players are the best and worst fits. We know points league players get neglected and we're here to help.

These fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups are for the week of July 25 - July 31, looking at players below ~50% rostered for ESPN, Yahoo!, or Fantrax. 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 Friday, July 22.

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

 

Know Your Scoring System

You know what I'm going to say, right?  You must account for, as precisely as possible, how a player performs under your particular scoring system. Don't be fooled into believing you can just make rough adjustments in your head, bumping up guys with high on-base percentages and low strikeout rates. Every point, in every category, counts.

For example, ESPN and Fantrax are virtually identical in their scoring for hitters and roster size. The only difference is that stolen bases are worth one more point on Fantrax and ESPN subtracts one point per strikeout. That's the difference between Trea Turner being a top-five hitter versus a top-25 hitter.

If your league uses standard settings, then great! Turn to page 94 and you can skip ahead to the leaderboards. If you play with custom settings, it'll still be fine. Go back to page 43 and look below at the scoring systems of the four major platforms. I bet there's a chance that you'll find that your league's scoring is very similar to one of the four (well, not Yahoo!'s), even if it's not the platform you actually play on.

You'll likely find a suitable mirror to your own system if you look above. While every point counts, as long as they aren't seismic changes you can get away with some "close enough" calls. IE. You're probably fine if everything is the same except for HBP (or something similar).

 

Week 16: Waiver Wire Leaderboards

All charts are updated prior to Saturday's games, on stats and ownerships, and clicking on a chart will open a new page with a magnified version. Players on overall leaderboards are ordered according to their current Roster% on Yahoo.

*APR = Average Platform Ranking - the average platform ranking between ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, and Fantrax (standard point settings)

The 14-Day Leaderboard, Presented by Hansel

These players are so hot right now. Here are the players on the wire who are running inside the top-100 of APR over the past two weeks:

Overall Leaderboards

 

First Base Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Carlos Santana, SEA (Yahoo: 9%, ESPN: 47%) - Santana is still batting cleanup and still raking points, combining elite plate discipline (15.1% K%, 16.9% BB%) with increased contact. He's now at a 31 APR over the past two weeks and probably shouldn't be on most waiver wires but especially if your league has a strikeout penalty.

Next Choices

Vinnie Pasquantino, KC (Yahoo: 21%, ESPN: 8%) - Pasquantino's expected stats outstrip his actual ones and it's only a matter of time until the skills that got him to the show start showing up on the stat sheet. He has a .411 xwOBA (.284 wOBA) and a .475 xwOBAcon (.257 wOBAcon), running a 74 APR over the past two weeks. With the return of Kansas City's restricted players, he's dropped to fifth in the order but that is still plenty high enough to rack up enough PAs to shoot him up the point rankings with continued success.

Jesus Aguilar, MIA (Yahoo: 24%, ESPN: 34%) - We know what we're getting here - below-average per-PA scoring rates but an everyday role batting third in the middle of a bad Marlins offense. If you need anything more than a band-aid, you'll likely be disappointed.

Desperate Choices

Brandon Belt, SF (Yahoo: 30%, ESPN: 35%) - Belt's value will greatly depend on whether the Giants let him face LHP. But after failing to start against a leftie since returning from the IL, Belt finally snagged on Friday night, batting fifth and going 0-for-3. He's an easy pickup if starting every day but is only a streamer for daily leagues if in a strong-side platoon.

Daniel Vogelbach, PIT (Yahoo: 4%, ESPN: 3%) - Our guy just got traded to the Mets but it remains to be seen whether he'll still just be an option vs RHP. Even if so, Vogelbach is an excellent streaming option, with all 12 of his home runs in 2022 coming against right-handers.

Darick Hall, PHI (Yahoo: 6%, ESPN: 4%) - His per-PA scoring rates have been excellent since getting called up but it doesn't appear the Phillies have any intention of starting him vs LHP, making him yet another platoon first baseman that is only useful in daily-move leagues.

On the IL

  • Edwin Rios, LAD (strained hamstring - no timetable for return)

 

Second Base Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Nico Hoerner, CHC, 2B/SS (Yahoo: 40%, ESPN: 27%) - Hoerner continues to do what he's done most of the season, with his compiler profile and 10.4% K% driving him to above-average per-PA scoring rates while playing every day. He's a solid add in most formats but has a top-100 hitter floor in leagues with a full-point strikeout penalty.

Jose Miranda, MIN, 1B/2B/3B (Yahoo: 16%, ESPN: 5%) - Miranda has a .535 wOBAcon over the past two weeks but continues to be randomly sat by the Twins while shuffling between first base, third base, and DH. And with Miguel Sano set to return soon, the Twins will have some decisions to make, possibly limiting his playing time even further.

Ramon Urias, BAL (Yahoo: 33%, ESPN: 9%) - Urias has been on an absolute heater since returning from the IL on July 4, slashing .372/.413/.628, with 3 HR, 8 R, and 14 RBI. He doesn't walk much but has a below-average strikeout rate (22.6%) and is starting every day. I've recently added him in multiple roto leagues but he's worth it in point leagues too until he cools off.

Next Choices

Nolan Gorman, STL, 2B/3B (Yahoo: 45%, ESPN: 19%) - Gorman can crush the ball, posting a .476 xwOBAcon over the past two weeks, and a .509 xwOBAcon for the season. But he continues to struggle with making consistent contact, particularly in the zone - Gorman has a 73.8% Zone Contact% which is eight points below league average. Combine that with not starting against a left-hander since June 22 and you're left with a very limited points profile.

Santiago Espinal, TOR, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 35%, ESPN: 39%) - Sometimes compilers will hit you with brutal slumps and Espinal has been doing exactly that, as of late, posting just a 203 APR over the past two weeks. But George Springer continues to fight through an elbow injury, missing Toronto's previous two games (and their final one prior to the ASB), and Espinal should continue to see time at the top of the order (vs LHP) while he's out.

Jorge Mateo, BAL 2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 27%, ESPN: 13%) - Mateo is eligible at four positions and has a 75 APR over the past two weeks but also has a 10.7% K% over that time (30.8% K% for the season). The strikeouts will return, though, and Mateo's value will only remain high whenever he's swiping piles of bags.

Kyle Farmer, CIN, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 27%, ESPN: 30%) - Farmer keeps trucking along, running a 109 APR for the year and a 106 APR over the past two weeks, driven by an everyday role and above-average per-PA scoring rates. Farmer's profile deserves a better Roster% fate than he currently has.

Adam Frazier, SEA, 2B/OF (Yahoo: 19%, ESPN: 40%) - After hitting the skids in June (.144/.225/.156, .381 OPA), Frazier has picked it back up in July, slashing .309/.316/.400 over 57 PA, with just a 12.3% K%. The better versions of Frazier have a great scoring profile in point leagues and he's currently on an eight-game hitting streak, over which he's slashing .400/.406/.533, with a .402 wOBA.

Jose Iglesias, COL, 2B/SS (Yahoo: 12%, ESPN: 8%) - Still now power but Iglesias keeps playing every day and with excellent per-PA scoring rates. He's actually been better on the road this year but I'll still take the six games he'll get at Coors this week.

Bryson Stott, PHI, 2B/SS (Yahoo: 4%, ESPN: 3%) - One of Philadelphia's top prospects, Stott's bat has finally started to wake up after starting the season with a thud. He has three multi-hit games in his past seven starts, slashing .280/.308/.600 over 26 PA, with 2 HR. And even with Jean Segura likely to return sooner than anticipated, I expect it'll be Didi Gregorius who gets the ax, instead of Stott.

Nicky Lopez, KC, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 5%, ESPN: 6%) - With Kansas City getting their restricted players back, Lopez is back to batting ninth, albeit in an everyday role.

Aledmys Diaz, HOU, 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 12%, ESPN: 7%) - He has a 77 APR over the past two weeks but is only in a rotation for playing time.

Desperate Choices

Josh H. Smith, TEX, 2B/3B (Yahoo: 1%, ESPN: 1%) - Smith doesn't start vs LHP (and Texas has faced lefties in three of their last six) but seems to be locked into leadoff when facing RHP, starting there for 12 consecutive games. Out of seven games this week, Texas will face LHP in three of them.

On the IL

 

Third Base Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Yandy Diaz, TB, 1B/3B (Yahoo: 35%, ESPN: 49%) - Continuing to bat leadoff for the Rays with a 10.5% K% and 14.8% BB%, Diaz has turned into a point-league monster, running an 81 APR for the year and a 31 APR over the past two weeks. Those are numbers comparable with Matt Chapman, Ke'Bryan Hayes, and a host of other third basemen that you won't find on the wire.

Next Choices

Alec Bohm, PHI, 1B/3B (Yahoo: 28%, ESPN: 17%) - Bohm only has a 186 APR over the past two weeks but that has more to do with the 22 PA, more so than his performance, as he's posted elite per-PA scoring rates over that period.

Desperate Choices

Nolan Jones, CLE, 3B/OF (Yahoo: 36%, ESPN: 11%) - Jones has started every game but one since getting called up but Cleveland hasn't faced a left-handed starter over that period, so it remains to be seen how he'll be handled when they do. And since Jones started off with a bang in his first four games, he's been in the dumps, going 2-for-20 over his past seven starts, with a 35% K%.

On the IL

  • Miguel Sano, MIN (knee surgery - currently on rehab assignment)
  • Jake Burger, CHW (bone bruise - no timetable for return)

 

Shortstop Waiver Wire Pickups

Shortstop continues to be a dumpster among players with it as their MVP position and I'd much rather use the players below that were covered earlier.

Best Choices

Ramon Urias, BAL (Yahoo: 33%, ESPN: 9%)

Nico Hoerner, CHC, 2B/SS (Yahoo: 40%, ESPN: 27%)

Next Choices

Kyle Farmer, CIN, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 27%, ESPN: 30%)

Santiago Espinal, TOR, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 37%, ESPN: 41%)

Desperate Choices

Nicky Lopez, KC, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 5%, ESPN: 6%)

On the IL

 

Catcher Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Danny Jansen, TOR (Yahoo: 12%, ESPN: 5%) - Alejandro Kirk gets the hype but it seems to clear that Toronto wants Jansen to be the catcher that gets the majority of the starts behind the plate. My dude keeps mashing and has the exit velocities to back it up - among batters with at least 50 balls put in play, Jansen's 21.3% trails only Kyle Schwarber and Aaron Judge, while his 15.9% Brl per PA is tied with Judge for the league lead.

MJ Melendez, KC, C/OF (Yahoo: 44%, ESPN: 13%) - He's been slumping but continues to bat leadoff, a rare trait for a catcher.

Next Choices

Elias Diaz, COL (Yahoo: 9%, ESPN: 5%) - He's still splitting time but has been raking lately, collecting multiple hits in his last five starts. He's worth a flyer if you need a stream, with Colorado playing six of their seven games at home.

William Contreras, ATL (Yahoo: 30%, ESPN: 66%) - His per-PA rates are ridiculous but Contreras is still only going to play 2-3 times a week as long as Travis d'Arnaud is healthy.

Carson Kelly, ARI (Yahoo: 8%, ESPN: 10%) - Another part-timer but which catcher on the wire isn't (Melendez, MJ)? But Kelly has been making the most of it, posting a .479 wOBA and .547 wOBAcon over the past two weeks.

Desperate Choices

All catcher adds are desperate adds. Now and forever.

On the IL

 

Outfielder Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Alex Kirilloff, MIN, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 38%, ESPN: 30%) - Kirilloff is healthy and hitting, currently on a seven-game hitting streak, over which he's slashing .348/.444/.391, with .381 wOBA. The only question has been his wrist and now that it appears to be functioning, Kirilloff shouldn't be on the wire.

Andrew McCutchen, MIL (Yahoo: 35%, ESPN: 45%) - McCutchen continues his renaissance tour, slashing .295/.373/.474 over 177 PA since the start of June, with 7 HR, 24 R, 26 RBI, and 3 SB. With a 95 APR on the year and a 26 APR over the past two weeks, there are zero reasons he should remain on your waiver wire.

Steven Kwan, CLE (Yahoo: 19%, ESPN: 39%) - Kwan has been a points monster for a while now, posting a 36 APR over the past two weeks. Since the start of June, Kwan is slashing .316/.377/.373 over 176 PA, with 20 runs and 4 SB.

Josh Naylor, CLE, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 35%, ESPN: 42%) - Naylor keeps batting cleanup and keeps mashing, posting a 70 APR over the past two weeks and has just a 16.1% K% - a rarity among players with as much pop as he has (13 HR in 252 PA).

Next Choice

Riley Greene, DET (Yahoo: 49%, ESPN: 27%) - Greene has faltered lately but continues to absolutely hit the ball on the screws, posting a .444 xwOBAcon that far outstrips his .368 wOBAcon. But that gap has closed over the past two weeks, running a .451 wOBAcon that's backed by a .467 xwOBAcon.

Seth Brown, OAK, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 5%, ESPN: 5%) - He's been a never vs LHP guy but Brown has actually started Oakland's past two games against them and has a 51 APR over the past two weeks. But we don't even have to worry about lefties this week, as Oakland isn't scheduled to face one.

Myles Straw, CLE (Yahoo: 25%, ESPN: 28%) - He's still only batting ninth but Straw has been giving some good points value, running an 80 APR over the past two weeks, with a 12.1% BB% and 0.0% K%.

Trent Grisham, SD (Yahoo: 34%, ESPN: 47%) - He's still not anything like what the fantasy public expected but Grisham has at least started being playable, now running a 133 APR for the season. Solid add but batting ninth will continue to hold his value down.

Desperate Choices

Randal Grichuk, COL (Yahoo: 30%, ESPN: 45%) - Even though Grichuk has an 80 APR over the past two weeks, his playing time has suffered since Sam Hilliard was called up on July 10. But he'll get six games at home this week, and will start at least twice in two scheduled matchups with LHP.

Josh Lowe, TB (Yahoo: 6%, ESPN: 3%) - Lowe has been much better since being recalled but his extreme strikeout rate (34.3% K%) will continue to limit his value in point leagues.

On the IL



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Backup Quarterbacks To Stash in Superflex Leagues - 2024 Fantasy Football Analysis

Backup quarterback: The best job in all of sports. The fans love their unseen potential as they relax on the sideline and collect checks, free from menacing pass rushers and downhill middle linebackers. When the starter struggles, fans clamor for QB2. It's also a position not often given a second thought in fantasy football, at... Read More


Bucky Irving - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Fantasy Football Rookie Spotlight: Bucky Irving

There were questions about where Oregon running back Bucky Irving would go in the 2024 NFL Draft. He was a smaller back -- sitting 5-foot-10, 190 pounds -- but he was a player who put up big numbers in his final two seasons with the Ducks. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers eventually took a chance on Irving in the fourth... Read More


Fantasy Football Rookie Tight Ends You Must Have in 2024

With the draft and schedule release behind us, it’s time to try and pick out some potential sleepers and stashes we may be looking to add to our fantasy rosters this year. One position that historically underwhelms from a fantasy perspective during rookie campaigns is tight end. But, we saw Detroit rookie Sam LaPorta make... Read More


Kyren Williams - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Early Fantasy Football ADP Analysis For FFPC Leagues: Running Backs

It is never too early to check on fantasy football Average Draft Position reports. High-stakes competitors have already started drafting in seasonal formats on the Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC) platform. In this feature, I focus specifically on early ADP trends at running back. I have highlighted 10 notable RBs to consider from completed early... Read More


Kendre Miller - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Fantasy Football Dynasty Price Check - Kendre Miller (2024)

The New Orleans Saints offense was supposed to take a step forward in 2023 with Derek Carr under center...until it didn't. Carr was essentially the same quarterback he's always been. It was the running game that held everybody back. The Saints averaged the second-fewest yards per carry (3.6) across the league, tallied just four carries... Read More


Fantasy Football Rookie Spotlight: Audric Estimé

We've heard the phrase running backs don't matter before. That's evident in the real-life NFL Draft, with only 12 running backs going in the first round since 2014. That list includes Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Josh Jacobs, Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, Sony Michel, Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott, Najee Harris, Bijan Robinson, and Jahmyr... Read More


Jaylen Waddle - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL DFS Picks

Fantasy Football Dynasty Buys and Sells - Post NFL Draft Edition

When it comes to dynasty fantasy football leagues, one of the most intriguing aspects is the fluctuations in player value in the aftermath of the NFL Draft. Players once thought of as placeholders quickly rise draft boards, while stars who seemed secure become losers in an instant. Dynasty rankings were turned upside down following the... Read More


Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers: ADP Analysis for 2024

Fantasy football never sleeps at RotoBaller! With early 2024 best ball drafts already taking place, we're digging into the ADP of fantasy football's most impactful players. NFL Network contributor and RotoBaller analyst LaQuan dives into the early ADP of some popular fantasy options. Find out which notable fantasy football contributors are rising up 2024 draft... Read More