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Points League Hitters: Waiver Wire Pickups for Fantasy Baseball - Week 17

Jose Miranda - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Welcome to Week 17 and our fantasy baseball waiver wire hitters. 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 August 1 - August 7, 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 29.

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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 17: 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

First base is getting real thin, real fast. I'd consider the best choices to be the 1B-eligible players below that we'll cover at other positions.

Jose Miranda, MIN, 1B/2B/3B (Yahoo: 31%, ESPN: 9%) -

Alec Bohm, PHI, 1B/3B (Yahoo: 43%, ESPN: 23%) -

Next Choices

Luke Voit, SD (Yahoo: 32%, ESPN: 30%) - Voit has a 15 APR over the last two weeks, hitting enough to actually have a balanced score across the platforms, instead of his normal of being virtually unplayable in leagues with a strikeout penalty.

Darick Hall, PHI (Yahoo: 5%, ESPN: 4%) - His numbers (and per-PA scoring rates) are playable but Hall continues to be limited by his limited exposure to left-handed starters, getting just one start against them since getting called up. But this might be a good week to try him out, with Philadelphia only scheduled to face one LHP in their six games. Plus, that lefty is the human gas can known as Patrick Corbin, so perhaps he still might get a chance.

Desperate Choices

Jesus Aguilar, MIA (Yahoo: 23%, ESPN: 34%) - Aguilar continues to do Aguilar things, running a 182 APR over the past two weeks and a 126 APR for the season. But his production might get even worse as the Marlins continue to sell off parts from an offense that's already dire.

Carlos Santana, SEA (Yahoo: 8%, ESPN: 46%) - It looks like the dead-cat bounce is starting to stay down for the count - since going double-dong on July 10, Santana is slashing .089/.192/.244, with a .200 wOBA and 29 wRC+. And yet, he still has a top-150 APR over the past two weeks that isn't great but is also above higher-owned hitters like Jesus Aguilar and Frank Schwindel. That goes to show you how far a low-K/high-BB profile can get you if you're playing every day.

Vinnie Pasquantino, KC (Yahoo: 18%, ESPN: 8%) - You can pretty much run back what we talked with Nick Pratto - Pasquantino better start hitting some bombs on that Triple-A offense if he's going to be viable in points.

Nick Pratto, KC (Yahoo: 3%, ESPN: 1%) - Pratto has skills but on a deplorable offense like the Royals, you really need to do superlative things to be viable because Runs+RBI will generally be hard to come by. Plus, Pratto's near 30% K% isn't going to do him any favors.

On the IL

  • Edwin Rios, LAD (strained hamstring - on rehab assignment)

 

Second Base Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Jose Miranda, MIN, 1B/2B/3B (Yahoo: 31%, ESPN: 9%) - Even with the return of Miguel Sano, Miranda has continued to leave his platooning past behind, starting Minnesota's last six games, including two against left-handed starters. And the rookie has been on fire in the five games since the All-Star break, collecting three hits each in three of them and slashing .500/.524/.700 over 21 PA. Miranda has a low-K/high-hit profile and is starting every day for a Minnesota offense that is looking to contend, making him one of my favorites to bust out in the second half. Lightly owned, now is the time to snag him.

Next Choices

Bryson Stott, PHI, 2B/SS (Yahoo: 7%, ESPN: 3%) - Stott continues to come around and has posted a 59 APR over the past two weeks, with a 113 wRC+ since the All-Star break. More importantly, his profile is running really points-friendly, with a 5.7% K% and 11.4% BB% over the past two weeks, while starting Philadelphia's first seven games out of the break.

Santiago Espinal, TOR, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 36%, ESPN: 40%) - Espinal has a 100 APR for the year but has skidded over the past two weeks, posting a 146 APR backed by just a .257 wOBA.

Jorge Mateo, BAL, 2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 36%, ESPN: 16%) - Mateo is on one of his patented hot streaks, collecting multiple hits in three of the past 10 games, slashing .324/.324/.618, with 1 HR and 2 SB. But with Baltimore only scheduled to face one LHP in Week 17 (against whom Mateo slugs 60 points less), the inevitable slow down might come up quick.

Kyle Farmer, CIN, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 26%, ESPN: 30%) - Farmer has been really good (and with triple-eligibility, which is nice) but is in a rough patch right now, running just a 190 APR over the past two weeks, slashing just .143/.250/.250, with a .233 wOBA and 41 APR.

Nolan Gorman, STL, 2B/3B (Yahoo: 37%, ESPN: 15%) - Gorman's big whiff profile continues to limit his value but he could get a lot more interesting if the Cardinals deal him at the deadline in a big move. Not that trade would cure his strikeout problem but wherever he ends up would likely make him a full-time player, as opposed to sitting him vs LHP as St. Louis does.

Harold Castro, DET, 1B/2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 2%, ESPN: 1%) - Don't look now but Castro has now started every game but one for Detroit since the All-Star break (with his one benching coming as part of a doubleheader). Castro has a .375 wOBA and .405 xwOBA over the past two weeks and just an 18.4% K%. If he keeps playing every day, Castro could be a viable starter under many formats.

Adam Frazier, SEA, 2B/OF (Yahoo: 20%, ESPN: 39%) - Frazier's everyday role and minuscule strikeout rate keeps him viable but a 180 APR over the past two weeks isn't going to cut it.

Desperate Choices

Luis Rengifo, LAA, 2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 6%, ESPN: 1%) - We talk about it often - playing every day with a low K% is going to return more value than you might expect. Rengifo has 38 PA over the past two weeks, with a 7.9% K% and .428 wOBA.

Chad Pinder, OAK, 2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 4%, ESPN: 2%) - Pinder has been the swipe-right of old, lately, posting a 48 APR over the past two weeks, with a .591 wOBA on contact. And as Oakland sells parts, his playing time could increase even more. Or, maybe he gets sold off and is only used a few games a week for his new, contending team.

Cesar Hernandez, WSH, (Yahoo: 7%, ESPN: 9%) - If all else fails, there's always Cesar Hernandez, whose biggest value-add continues to be as a collector of PAs and thus compiler of average points.

On the IL

  • Jace Peterson, MIL (sprained elbow - no timetable for return)
  • Nick Madrigal, CHC (strained groin - currently on rehab assignment)
  • Brad Miller, TEX (strained neck - approaching rehab assignment)

 

Third Base Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Alec Bohm, PHI, 1B/3B (Yahoo: 43%, ESPN: 23%) - We've talked for a while about Bohm's expected stats outweighing his actual ones and that it was only a matter of time until that gap closed. But it's finally getting tighter, with 24 APR over the past two weeks being driven by a .455 wOBA (.445 xwOBA) and .522 wOBAcon (.511 xwOBAcon). Playing every day for Philadelphia, Bohm's points-friendly profile and rising per-PA scoring rates are turning him from waiver-wire fodder to a legitimate starter.

 

Next Choices

Jeimer Candelario, DET, 1B/3B (Yahoo: 12%, ESPN: 43%) - Candelario has finally (finally!) started to cash in on some of his pre-season promises, posting a 15 APR over the past two weeks, with a .548 wOBA (.462 xwOBA) and .661 wOBAcon (.554 xwOBAcon). With 4 HR and a 237 wRC+ over since the All-Star break, he's worth a ride to see if the second-half comeback continues.

Nolan Jones, CLE, 3B/OF (Yahoo: 24%, ESPN: 8%) - The per-PA scoring rates since getting called up have been elite but more importantly, his 25% K% isn't taking away from the potential that his pop brings.

Desperate Choices

Miguel Sano, MIN, 1B/3B (Yahoo: 9%, ESPN: 10%) - Sano is 0-for since returning from the IL but even the best version of Sano isn't a profile that is playable in most point leagues.

Bobby Dalbec, BOS, 1B/3B (Yahoo: 14%, ESPN: 8%) - Attention! Attention! We have a Bobby Dalbec sighting. I repeat, we have a Bobby Dalbec sighting. Dalbec went double-dong on July 27 and has 3 HR in the past two weeks but let's not get carried away - those homers came with a 43.3% K%.

 

On the IL

 

Shortstop Waiver Wire Pickups

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

Best Choices

Bryson Stott, PHI, 2B/SS (Yahoo: 7%, ESPN: 3%)

Santiago Espinal, TOR, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 36%, ESPN: 40%)

Next Choices

Jorge Mateo, BAL, 2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 36%, ESPN: 16%)

Kyle Farmer, CIN, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 26%, ESPN: 30%)

Harold Castro, DET, 1B/2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 2%, ESPN: 1%)

Desperate Choices

Luis Rengifo, LAA, 2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 6%, ESPN: 1%)

On the IL

 

Catcher Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Danny Jansen, TOR (Yahoo: 12%, ESPN: 5%) - Even in a part-time role, Jansen has provided plenty of production, running a top-100 APR over the past two weeks. His per-PA scoring rates are elite, everything comes down to his playing time.

Next Choices

Carson Kelly, ARI (Yahoo: 17%, ESPN: 14%) - Welcome back, Carson Kelly!

Kelly has a 22 APR over the past two weeks, backed by a .554 wOBA and .636 wOBA on contact. He's still only a part-timer but keep in mind that he's not splitting catcher duties with Daulton Varsho, his share buddy is Jose Herrera, he of the .216 wOBA and 33 wRC+.

MJ Melendez, KC, C/OF (Yahoo: 44%, ESPN: 13%) - The rookie has been sporadic but Melendez is rich in the rarest commodities for the position by playing virtually every game. And he's starting to heat up, running a .421 wOBA and .641 xwOBAcon over the past two weeks. But unfortunately for the playing time aspect, Salvador Perez is back and Melendez's everyday role is in jeopardy.

Cal Raleigh, SEA (Yahoo: 16%, ESPN: 5%) - Raleigh has continued to get a majority of the playing time in Seattle, even with the return of Luis Torrens from the IL. Probably because the pop has continued to develop, with Raleigh posting a .421 wOBA and .621 wOBAcon on contact. But that's only made him a top-100 hitter in leagues without a strikeout penalty because those numbers come with a strikeout rate over 30%.

Desperate Choices

All catcher adds are desperate adds. Now and forever.

Yan Gomes, CHC (Yahoo: 2%, ESPN: 1%) - Gomes becomes interesting if (when) Willson Contreras gets traded, likely handing him the job all to himself.

On the IL

  • Yadier Molina, STL (knee inflammation - currently on rehab assignment)
  • Francisco Mejia, TB (shoulder impingement - no timetable for return)
  • James McCann, NYM (strained oblique - currently on rehab assignment)
  • Ryan Jeffers, MIN (fractured thumb - out 6-8 weeks)

 

Outfielder Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Alex Kirilloff, MIN, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 33%, ESPN: 28%) - Kirilloff has cooled off since a humble 8-game hitting streak but it seems clear that the hitter (and the wrist) that's come back from the minors is better than the one who went down.

Seth Brown, OAK, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 7%, ESPN: 6%) - Now that's how you celebrate having a baby! Brown came off of the paternity list on Friday and promptly went double-dong in a win over the White Sox. He's hit his way into playing every day but be careful as he might get shipped out to be a bench bat for a contender at the trade deadline.

Next Choice

A.J. Pollock, CHW (Yahoo: 22%, ESPN: 18%) - Pollock has a 73 APR over the past two weeks but I don't want any part of anyone in that decrepit pit of despair disguised as a baseball team. Just the baddest of vibes.

Darin Ruf, SF, 1B/OF (Yahoo: %, ESPN: %) - Ruf has a 105 APR over the past two weeks but with per-PA scoring rates behind it that are elite. He's gotten lucky with playing time, as the Giants have faced left-handed starters in five of their past eight games but that luck will continue in Week 17, as they'll face four lefties in a row to start the week.

David Peralta, ARI (Yahoo: 5%, ESPN: 14%) - Peralta has a 75 APR over the past two weeks but still doesn't start vs LHP. Luckily for him (and maybe you), Arizona isn't scheduled to face a left-hander in their series against the Guardians and Rockies.

Trayce Thompson, LAD (Yahoo: 3%, ESPN: 2%) - Thompson has mostly taken over left field since the middle of July, starting 10 of the Dodgers' past 11 games either there or in center. And he's hitting, not just playing, running a 27 APR over the past two weeks, with a .447 wOBA and .728 wOBAcon. But also a 37.8% K%, so be careful.

Myles Straw, CLE (Yahoo: 25%, ESPN: 28%) - Straw is finally starting to get on base again, with it being the key to his overall compiler success. But batting at the bottom of Cleveland's lineup, he still has a long way to go.

Desperate Choices

Randal Grichuk, COL (Yahoo: 30%, ESPN: 45%) - With a week of road games (and a .295 xwOBA over the past two weeks), surely you can find someone better.

Raimel Tapia, TOR (Yahoo: 20%, ESPN: 8%) - Tapia's per-PA scoring rates are outrageous but he plays like two games a week. Using him will only (but can!) work if you're in a daily league and have a lot of roster flexibility.

On the IL

  • Harrison Bader, STL (plantar fascitis - currently on rehab assignment)
  • Harold Ramirez, TB (fractured thumb - no timetable for return)
  • Juan Yepez, STL (strained forearm - no timetable for return)
  • Garrett Cooper, MIA (wrist contusion - no timetable for return)
  • Manuel Margot, TB (strained knee - no timetable for return)
  • Wil Myers, SD (knee inflammation - no timetable for return)
  • Oscar Gonzalez, CLE (strained abdominal - no timetable for return)
  • Edward Olivares, KC (strained quad - no timetable for return)
  • Trevor Larnach, MIN (core muscle surgery - expected to miss six weeks)
  • Taylor Trammell, SEA (strained hamstring - currently on rehab assignment)
  • Jake Fraley, CIN (knee inflammation - currently on rehab assignment)
  • Dominic Smith, NYM (sprained ankle - no timetable for return)



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