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Points League Hitters: Waiver Wire Pickups for Fantasy Baseball - Week 25

Oscar Gonzalez - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire pickups

Welcome to Week 25 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 26th - October 2nd, 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 23.

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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 25: 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: 27%, ESPN: 11%) - Vinnie P. has started every game but one since returning from the IL, slashing .317/.408/.415 over 49 PA, with a .364 wOBA and 137 wRC+. Which is a long way of saying that I don't understand why his Roster% is so low.

Next Choices

Albert Pujols, STL, 1B (Yahoo: 37%, ESPN: 19%) - Seven - Zero - Zero. And just like that, the Cardinals' devil magic remained undefeated. Unfortunately, St. Louis isn't currently scheduled to face a left-handed starter in Week 25, sapping some of A-Poo's upside.

Carlos Santana, SEA, 1B (Yahoo: 14%, ESPN: 46%) - Santana is on an absolute home run heater, starting Seattle's last 13 games and going deep seven times, including three (3!) multi-HR games. Huh?

Desperate Choices

Dan Vogelbach, NYM, 1B (Yahoo: 6%, ESPN: 5%) - Big Salad has done some big struggling lately but has been warming up, collecting at least one hit in five of his last six games, slashing .467/.619/.800 over 21 PA. The Mets are scheduled to face right-handers in four of their six games in Week 25.

On the IL

  • Eric Hosmer, BOS (back inflammation - no timetable for return)


Second Base Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Tony Kemp, OAK, 2B/OF (Yahoo: 21%, ESPN: 14%) - Tony Kemp SZN inexplicably continues, with the veteran still leading off almost every day and posting a 14 APR over the past two weeks.

Kyle Farmer, CIN, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 29%, ESPN: 27%) - Farmer has continued to be an excellent points asset by playing every day and running a sub-20% K% but the power has gotten turned up lately, with five of his 13 HR coming in September, including three in his past 10 games.

Brendan Donovan, STL, 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 32%, ESPN: 25%) - Donovan continues to get fit into almost every St. Louis lineup and has posted a 67 APR over the past two weeks.

Next Choices

Nick Gordon, MIN, 2B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 32%, ESPN: 10%) - Firmly entrenched as Minnesota's second baseman and batting in the middle of the order most nights, Gordon continues to have an excellent September, slashing .276/.329/.461 over 85 PA, with 3 HR, 7 Runs, and 12 RBI.

Oswaldo Cabrera, NYY, 2B/OF (Yahoo: 8%, ESPN: 3%) - Lost in the Aaron Judge home run mania, Cabrera has been quietly excellent in September and has now started New York's last 12 games. Over those 48 PA, Cabrera is slashing .293/.396/.585, with 3 HR, 10 Runs, 11 RBI, and 1 SB, with a .419 wOBA and 180 wRC+.

Rodolfo Castro, PIT, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 26%, ESPN: 27%) - Castro has been red-hot, running an 11 APR over the past two weeks, while collecting six home runs in September.

Desperate Choices

Jonathan Aranda, TB, 1B/2B/3B (Yahoo: 1%, ESPN: 0%) - Aranda has started seven games in a row for the Rays but Tampa also hasn't faced a left-handed starter in that stretch, against whom Aranda has yet to make a start against. But with the Rays only scheduled to face one lefty out of seven games in Week 25, expect Aranda to continue racking up PAs.

Ha-Seong Kim, SD, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 18%, ESPN: 13%) - Super boring with a low ceiling but if you need a spot-filler, Kim won't hurt you with his everyday role and elite plate discipline.

On the IL


Third Base Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Gio Urshela, NYY, 3B/SS (Yahoo: 38%, ESPN: 24%) - Nothing may jump off of the page but Urshela has gotten himself to a 107 APR for the season (and a 67 APR over the past two weeks) by playing every day in the middle of Minnesota's order and posting elite plate discipline. It might not be fancy but it works.

Next Choices

Yoan Moncada, CHW, 3B (Yahoo: 43%, ESPN: 46%) - Over his last seven games, Moncada is slashing .188/.212/.344 over 33 PA, with 1 HR, 2 RBI, and 3 Runs scored. So, typical Moncada stuff.

Desperate Choices

Josh Jung, TEX, 3B (Yahoo: 18%, ESPN: 7%) - Our latest example of how difficult it is to come up and handle major league pitching, regardless of your prospect pedigree. Jung has two home runs in his first 58 PA...with a 48.1% K%.

On the IL

  • none


Shortstop Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Kyle Farmer, CIN, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 29%, ESPN: 27%) - Covered at 2B

Brendan Donovan, STL, 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 32%, ESPN: 25%) - Covered at 2B

Next Choices

Nick Gordon, MIN, 2B/SS/OF (Yahoo: 32%, ESPN: 10%) - Covered at 2B

Rodolfo Castro, PIT, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 26%, ESPN: 27%) - Covered at 2B

Desperate Choices

Ha-Seong Kim, SD, 2B/3B/SS (Yahoo: 18%, ESPN: 13%) - Covered at 2B

Isiah Kiner-Falefa, NYY, SS (Yahoo: 27%, ESPN: 17%) - I refuse to believe that anyone currently playing for a championship needs some IKF to fill out their lineup.

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

Danny Jansen, TOR, C (Yahoo: 24%, ESPN: 11%) - Jansen's playing time has ticked up as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. going on the IL has shuffled Toronto's OF/DH situation around. And he hasn't disappointed, posting a 45 APR over the past two weeks, hitting two home runs, with a 16.7% K% and 11.9% BB%.

Next Choices

Cal Raleigh, SEA, C (Yahoo: 29%, ESPN: 12%) - Raleigh is one of the few catchers that play most every game but a 37.5% K% over the past two weeks has positively zapped a lot of his value away.

Carson Kelly, ARI, C (Yahoo: 14%, ESPN: 12%) - Kelly mostly has a full-time role but a 32.6% K% and 2.3% BB% over the past two weeks have made him mostly worthless in point leagues.

Desperate Choices*

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

Nick Fortes, MIA, C (Yahoo: 1%, ESPN: 1%) - You know things are getting desperate when having to go to the Marlins catcher portion of the waiver wire.

On the IL


Outfielder Waiver Wire Pickups

Best Choices

Oscar Gonzalez, CLE, OF (Yahoo: 47%, ESPN: 27%) - Over 103 PA in September, Gonzalez is now slashing .295/.340/.474, with 4 HR, 16 RBI, and 10 Runs, with a 13.6% K%. Why he's still so available in points, is beyond me.

TJ Friedl, CIN, OF (Yahoo: 18%, ESPN: 8%) - Friedl has only posted a 106 APR over the past two weeks but a lot of that is PA-related, as he's sat three of Cincinnati's last six games, as a left-handed starter was on the mound. But in September, Friedl has hit 4 HR in 78 PA, with 11 Runs, and a 121 wRC+. In Week 25, the Reds are only scheduled to face one LHP in six games.

Garrett Cooper, MIA, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 11%, ESPN: 7%) - Cooper is now on a six-game hitting streak and is slashing .297/.357/.531 over 70 PA in September, with 2 HR, a .382 wOBA, and 150 wRC+.

Next Choices

Seth Brown, OAK, 1B/OF (Yahoo: 28%, ESPN: 16%) - Seth Brown just won't stop being a top-100 hitter, even if it's not very splashy. Unfortunately, the A's are scheduled to face left-handers in three of their six games in Week 25, muting some of Brown's value.

Corbin Carroll, ARI, OF (Yahoo: 39%, ESPN: 16%) - Carroll is running elite per-PA scoring rates but you actually have to play to actualize them - but Arizona has apparently decided that playing one of their top prospects just a few times a week, is a good idea.

Lane Thomas, WSH, OF (Yahoo: 19%, ESPN: 10%) - Thomas has two home runs in his past 10 games but a .327 wOBA and 109 wRC+ over that period probably shouldn't get you too excited.

Harrison Bader, NYY, OF (Yahoo: 35%, ESPN: 25%) - The luscious locks are gone but Bader is back and has a strong scoring profile for most leagues IF he's playing every day. He's started three of his four games since returning.

Desperate Choices

Myles Straw, CLE, OF (Yahoo: 22%, ESPN: 26%) - What is fast may never die. Straw has started every game but two for Cleveland in September, slashing .313/.368/.388 over 87 PA, with 11 Runs and 3 SB.

Raimel Tapia, TOR, OF (Yahoo: 10%, ESPN: 3%) - As Toronto's injuries have piled up, Tapia's playing time has increased enough to start making him viable. Tapia is currently on a modest five-game hitting streak, over which he has slashed .350/.350/.600 over 20 PA, with a .402 wOBA and 168 wRC+.

On the IL

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