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Points Leagues Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 16


Welcome to the RotoBaller waiver wire column that skews towards points league. Yes, there is positive correlation to standard 5x5 scoring but in our format, specific categories matter less and the accumulation of total stats is the ultimate objective.

We’ve hurdled the Midsummer Classic and turning towards home for fantasy baseball season. While some league counterparts may be multi-tasking with pigskin prep, it’s time for savvy owners to stay juiced on the diamond! By now, team turnover should be commonplace and most managers have waved goodbye to busted high-round assets. During the dog days, keenness on the waiver could result in celebratory pay days in October.

Our points league waiver wire column will default to standard scoring and try to unearth three players under at least 50% ownership and three players under 25% ownership. For each group, we’ll identify an infielder, outfielder and pitcher. Let’s get hunting!

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Points League Pickups to Consider

Miguel Sano (1B/3B, MIN)

32% Owned

Miguel Sano has experienced wild swings in performance this season with a batting average bouncing between .260 and .195. He’s hit a hot stretch lately, riding a nine-game hitting streak (.400 average) with four homers. The husky slugger has even legged out a triple, so everything must be going right.

Owning Sano has been a nightmare over his career, with the prodigious power completely offset by miserable plate discipline and an inability to stay healthy. Owners with an objective lens can capitalize on the plethora of other desensitized owners and scoop up a player who quietly owns a sturdy .896 OPS. Sano is barreling 18 percent of batted-balls with a 55 percent hard-hit rate. Ride the wave while it lasts and exit promptly if the tide turns.

 

Adam Frazier (2B/OF, PIT)

20% Owned

Adam Frazier is a classic points league hero that likely wallows in anonymity in standard leagues. His strongest contributions reside in doubles (20) and minimal strikeouts (12 percent). As a leadoff staple in Pittsburgh, he certainly deserves deeper league consideration at the keystone.

Frazier is a typical slap hitter with a minuscule barrel rate (two percent) and just four homers. While he doesn’t walk much, his elite contact skills allot him plenty of run-scoring opportunities. Amidst an 18-for-30 tear (.600 average) Frazier has a legitimate shot to surpass 100 runs and 40 two-baggers by year end. Throw in a realistic chance at 20 triples-plus-homers and we have a fantasy player whose marginal contributions could be huge down the stretch.

 

Jason Heyward (OF, CHC)

31% Owned

The Jason Heyward revival movement was in full effect earlier this season as he posted a .932 OPS through April. He then hit an icy skid in May (.618 OPS), only to follow up with another rock star month in June (.968). Is the perennial fantasy bummer fantasy-relevant or just tugging our heart strings?

While lackluster compared to the gaudy power numbers elsewhere, Heyward has already matched his highest dinger tally since 2012 (14). He’s seemingly made a concerted effort towards slugging, on pace for his best ISO (.190) and slugging percentage (.457) since that breakout 2012 campaign. While the strikeouts have spiked, he’s moderated that detraction by raising walks from nine to 12 percent. On pace for his best offensive production in seven seasons, Heyward’s all-around category contribution could certainly bolster a roster lacking outfield depth.

 

Alex Dickerson (OF, SF)

4% Owned

Once a promising left-handed bat in the Padres farm system, Alex Dickerson became an afterthought by missing two full seasons to injury. After being shipped to San Francisco in June, the 29-year-old has captured extended playing time with an eye-popping .362/.444/.787 slash in the Bay.

Before his myriad injuries, Dickerson posted a promising 10-homer, 16-double and five-steal campaign in 2016 with the Friars. He was viewed as a potential regular before the extended setback. Now with a likely infinite leash on the rebuilding Giants, Dickerson has an opportunity to showcase what could have been. With 10 extra-base hits in just 54 plate appearances since joining his new club and a supportive .390 xwOBA overall, Dickerson could be a quiet fantasy grab that’ll ultimately pay dividends.

 

Michael Pineda (SP, MIN)

37% Owned

Michael Pineda, we get it. Look away if you must. After May, Pineda sat with an unsightly 5.34 ERA but since then he’s registered a 3.21 ERA in six starts. In four of those outings, he’s surrendered just one earned run. Considering Pineda made his debut in 2011 and has long been considered damaged goods, it’s incredible that he’s still just 30 years old.

The Twins have succeeded this season refraining from letting starters go deep into games. Pineda appears best served in limited doses, having lasted past six innings just once. The big righty’s stayed around the strike zone, utilizing a strong changeup to post a solid 22 percent strikeout rate and 5.3 K/BB. In a vanilla division, the veteran is surely scheduled for favorable matchups. Pineda, pinata. Let’s hope not.

 

Daniel Poncedeleon (SP, STL)

2% Owned

For deep leaguers with innings caps, Daniel Poncedeleon could be a perfect fit. With upside. Utilized as both a spot starter and reliever, Poncedeleon has recorded a 2.16 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and excellent 33 percent strikeout rate.

A quick scouting report shows Poncedelon with a mid-90s active fastball with three passable supplemental pitches. He’s induced grounders on 46 percent of batted balls and kept the long balls to a minimum, fantastic trends in today’s game. The game-changer this season has been his curveball, which he’s revamped from subpar to a 1.48 wCB/C. With some starters on the Red Birds struggling, the chirps for Poncedelon as a full-time rotation installation are growing. Unlike his Spanish ancestor, the risk on this Poncedelon is minimal. Go, explore!

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