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Points League Hitters: Waiver Wire Pickups for Fantasy Baseball - Week 23

kyle farmer fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers MLB injury news

Welcome to Week 23 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 September 12th - September 18th, 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, September 9.

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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 23: 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

Vinnie Pasquantino, KC, 1B (Yahoo: 35%, ESPN: 15%) - Pasquantino just returned from the IL but should go back to any everyday role. With above-average scoring rates, he should continue to provide starter values.

Next Choices

Seth Brown, OAK, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 22%, ESPN: 11%) - covered at OF

Brendan Donovan, STL, 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 30%, ESPN: 20%) - covered at 2B

Spencer Torkelson, DET, 1B/3B (Yahoo: 15%, ESPN: 42%) - covered at 3B

Luke Voit, WSH, 1B (Yahoo: 31%, ESPN: 29%) - Voit's on a mini-heater but the plate discipline will continue to make him a boom-0r-bust proposition in most point leagues. But mostly bust.

Desperate Choices

Michael Toglia, COL, 1B (Yahoo: 3%, ESPN: 2%) - Toglia has been fine since getting called up and has heated up in his last two games at Coors, going 4-for-9, with a home run and two doubles. But like with many Colorado hitters, he'll lose a lot of his usefulness in a Week 23 that sees the Rockies going on the road.

Albert Pujols, STL, 1B (Yahoo: %, ESPN: %) - Gets seven games this week, even with an off day on Monday, but is only scheduled to face two left-handed starters.

On the IL

 

Second Base Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Kyle Farmer, CIN, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 24%, ESPN: 24%) - Farmer is on fire right now, going 8-for-17 over his past four games, with two home runs and a .620 wOBA. This is a great time to be hot if you're a Cincinnati hitter as the Reds will play nine games in Week 23, with four coming against the lowly Pirates.

Luis Rengifo, LAA, 2B/3B/SS/OF(Yahoo: 38%, ESPN: 14%) - Rengifo has collected a hit in 15 of his last 16 games, slashing .299/.309/.448 over 68 PA.

Next Choices

Brendan Donovan, STL, 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 30%, ESPN: 20%) - Playing time is the biggest key to Donovan's value in points and he's now started the past four games after sitting two of three.

Luis Garcia, WSH, 2B/SS (Yahoo: 8%, ESPN: 4%) - Garcia got a 69 APR over the past two weeks but being a high-PA compiler, collecting 2 HR, 5 R, and 8 RBI over 55 PA. Since returning from the IL, Garcia is slashing .293/.305/.466 over 59 PA.

Desperate Choices

Nick Gordan, MIN, 2B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 23%, ESPN: 7%) - Gordon has now started 15 games in a row for the Twins, slashing .273/.310/.436 over 59 PA. But a lot of strikeouts and few walks aren't going to endear him to most scoring systems.

Romy Gonzalez, CHW, 2B/3B (Yahoo: 1%, ESPN: 0%) - Gonzales has started nine of Chicago's last 10 games, slashing a ridiculous .400/.400/.600 over 35 PA, with 2 HR and a .432 wOBA. All hot streaks must be considered but so too must the 34.3% K% that came with his streak.

Cesar Hernandez, WSH, 2B (Yahoo: 7%, ESPN: 8%) - You know what we always say...There's always Cesar Hernandez.

On the IL

 

Third Base Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Josh Jung, TEX, 3B (Yahoo: 17%, ESPN: 14%) - The last big hitter call-up is likely upon us, as Jung will probably empty the last of the FAAB wallets on Sunday after he hit a home run and stole a base in his first start on Friday. If you have any money left to spend, this is where to do it.

Kyle Farmer, CIN, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 24%, ESPN: 24%) - covered at 2B

Luis Rengifo, LAA, 2B/3B/SS/OF(Yahoo: 38%, ESPN: 14%) - covered at 2B

Next Choices

Spencer Torkelson, DET, 1B/3B (Yahoo: 15%, ESPN: 42%) - The rookie phenom that wasn't, has returned from his minor league exile and raking like he never wants to go back. Torkelson started o-for-8 in his first two games back but now has a hit in four consecutive games (including a home run) and went 3-for-5 in his last start.

Jeimer Candelario, DET, 3B (Yahoo: 8%, ESPN: 42%) - Candelario has warmed up in August but has been hot over his last 10 games, slashing .316/.381/.658 over 42 Pa, with 3 HR. Unfortunately, it's a rough week, schedule-wise, as Detroit is at home all week and with a series against tough Houston pitching.

Desperate Choices

Gio Urshela, MIN, 3B/SS (Yahoo: 31%, ESPN: 21%) - Real hoopers know that Urshela is kind of like the new Cesar Hernandez. Limited production but lots of PAs.

Yoan Moncada, CHW, 3B (Yahoo: 37%, ESPN: 43%) - Moncada is back from his latest stint on the IL and went totally off in a blowout win over Oakland, going 5-for-6, with 2 HR and 5 RBI. Unfortunately, he is likely still Yoan Moncada and will either be a point-league albatross or return to the IL. This is known.

Romy Gonzalez, CHW, 2B/3B (Yahoo: 1%, ESPN: 0%) - covered at 2B

On the IL

  • none

 

Shortstop Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Elvis Andrus, CHW, SS (Yahoo: 21%, ESPN: 12%) - Ain't no party like Elvis Andrus party cause an Elvis Andrus party don't stop. We've talked before about how Andrus will still spend a couple of streaks a year being super hot but this is getting ridiculous. Since coming over from Oakland, Andrus is slashing .298/.330/.500 over 88 PA, with 4 HR, 12 R, and 17 RBI. I mean, our guy is now up to a 103 APR for the season and has a 4(!) APR over the past two weeks.

Kyle Farmer, CIN, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 24%, ESPN: 24%) - covered at 2B

Luis Rengifo, LAA, 2B/3B/SS/OF(Yahoo: 38%, ESPN: 14%) - covered at 2B

Next Choices

Brendan Donovan, STL, 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 30%, ESPN: 20%) - covered at 2B

Luis Garcia, WSH, 2B/SS (Yahoo: 8%, ESPN: 4%) - covered at 2B

Desperate Choices

Nick Gordan, MIN, 2B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 23%, ESPN: 7%) - covered at 2B

Spencer Steer, CIN, SS (Yahoo: 3%, ESPN: 1%) - Steer has been quiet since getting off to a dramatic start by hitting a home run (narrated by Joey Votto) in his first game, going 2-for-20 in his five games since. But he has started every game but one since getting called up, which is a good sign.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa, NYY, SS (Yahoo: %, ESPN: %) - He has a 56 APR over the past two weeks but the .383 wOBA is backed by a .265 xwOBA. AKA nothing to see here.

On the IL

  • None

 

Catcher Waiver Wire Pickups

It's dumpster season. I hope you don't need a catcher from the waiver wire.

Best Choices

Cal Raleigh, SEA, C (Yahoo: 33%, ESPN: 14%) - Over the past two weeks, Raleigh has hit five home runs, with eight runs, and 11 RBI. But more importantly for his point league value, a strikout rate that has stayed around 30%, has been at around 12%.

Carson Kelly, ARI, C (Yahoo: 15%, ESPN: 12%) - Kelly is racking up PAs and is getting on base even if he's not doing much damage. But the PAs combined with a low K% and above-average BB% make for a solid floor at such a garbage position.

Next Choices

Eric Haase, DET, C/OF (Yahoo: 7%, ESPN: 2%) - Haase is on fire, hitting three home runs in his past two games and slashing .429/.447/.886 over 38 PA in his last 10 starts. The problem is that he's only going to play four games a week but that might be enough considering the other catcher options likely on your wavier wire.

Desperate Choices*

*All catcher adds are desperate adds. Now and forever. But also:

Yadier Molina, STL, C (Yahoo: 7%, ESPN: 9%) - The final Molina is having himself a little late-season, dead-cat bounce, hitting two home runs on Thursday and going 10-for-24 over a six-game hitting streak while slashing .435/.458/.826.

On the IL

 

Outfielder Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Riley Greene, DET, OF (Yahoo: 38%, ESPN: 17%) - The rookie has hits in 14 of his last 15 starts, slashing .371/.435/.581 over 69 PA, with 2 HR and 11 runs scored. The high strikeout rate will suck some value in leagues with a K-penalty but Greene is hitting enough to make it nearly moot.

Corbin Carroll, ARI, OF (Yahoo: 44%, ESPN: 17%) - Carrol has been as advertised, slashing .286/.342/.543 over his first 38 PA, with two home runs. Unless you're stacked, he shouldn't be on your wire.

TJ Friedl, CN, OF (Yahoo: 14%, ESPN: 6%) - Friedl remains scorching hot, hitting a home run on Friday in another two-hit game, the seventh such in his last 11 games. He does sit vs LHP but who cares in Week 23! The Reds have nine games on the books and are currently only scheduled to face two left-handers. Regardless of format, this is one of the better waiver wire spots you're going to find.

Next Choices

AJ Pollock, LAD, OF (Yahoo: 27%, ESPN: 22%) - Pollock has hit six home runs in his last 25 games after hitting just five in his previous 92 games.

Seth Brown, OAK, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 22%, ESPN: 11%) - Brown has four home runs in his las five games and is slashing .313/.333/.719 over 33 PA in September, with a .444 wOBA and 203 wRC+. While much better vs RHP, Brown has been managing to stay in the lineup vs LHP. But that shouldn't matter much in Week 23, as the A's are only scheduled to face one left-hander out of their six games.

Corey Dickerson, STL, OF (Yahoo: 7%, ESPN: 3%) - The Cardinals haven't been facing lefties so Dickerson has now started six games in a row, slashing .318/.318/.455 over 22 PA. He should get plenty of starts again in Week 23, with the Cardinals only scheduled to face one left-hander in six games.

Oscar Gonzalez, CLE, OF (Yahoo: 5%, ESPN: 3%) - Let the awakening, commence! O-Gon went double-dong on Friday night, going 4-for-5 with 5 RBI and 2 R. Gonzales is currently burning up on a modest five-game hitting streak, slashing .500/.565/1.000 over 23 PA.

Lane Thomas, WSH, OF (Yahoo: 11%, ESPN: 6%) - Thomas has been on fire but is staring at a tough pitching lineup in Week 23, getting two lefties (and Sandy Alcantara/Pablo Lopez) to end the week against Miami.

Desperate Choices

Manuel Margot, TB, OF (Yahoo: 20%, ESPN: 17%) - Margot has been fine since returning from the IL (knee surgery) but the power appears to be completely gone. Without it, his value is ho-hum, at-best.

Gavin Sheets, CHW, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 12%, ESPN: 8%) - Sheets has been good lately but has also sat three of the last four times that Chicago has faced a left-handed starter. In Week 23, they're scheduled to face lefties in three of six contests.

Nick Pratto, KC, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 8%, ESPN: 3%) - Pratto has been hitting great but it remains to be seen what his playing time will be now that Vinnie Pasquantino is back. In Pasquantino's return on Friday, Pratto grabbed pine.

Michael A. Taylor, KC, OF (Yahoo: 10%, ESPN: 5%) - All hot streaks must be paid attention to in September, even if it's Michal Taylor. The veteran outfielder has posted a .487 wOBA and .572 wOBAcon over the past two weeks. Yes, that Michael Taylor.

Aristides Aquino, CIN, OF (Yahoo: 1%, ESPN: 1%) - Aquino has collected three hits in three of his last seven games (and two of his last three), including one with two home runs. he's gotten the start for four straight and has gone 7-for-17. Perhaps you've forgotten the legend of Aquino, who hit 19 HR in 225 PA at the end of 2019? Let's keep our fingers crossed.

 

On the IL



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