Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Points Leagues Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 17

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!

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Draft Kit, premium rankings, projections, player outlooks, top prospects, dynasty rankings, 15 in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research. Sign Up Now!


Points League Pickups to Consider

Nathaniel Lowe (1B, TB)

31% Owned

It wasn’t long ago Nathaniel Lowe was a buzzy call-up, generating hype after smashing 17 homers in 335 minor league plate appearances in 2018. However, an underwhelming debut in his first 10 games, subsequent demotion and more successful prospect performances have led to Lowe becoming an afterthought.

Time to reset. Since returning on July 4, the 24-year-old is hitting .371 in 11 games with five bombs. His OPS has crept up from .625 to .975. Lowe possesses the traits we like in solid plate discipline, raw power and defense good enough to play every day. He’s thus handled lefty pitching (1.074 OPS) better than righties (.944). With expected stats superior to an impressive prevailing resume, it’s becoming apparent the best is yet to come.


Brandon Crawford (SS, SF)

8% Owned

In tune with Lowe’s resurgence, Brandon Crawford has risen from the Mendoza Line, recently snapping an eight-game hitting streak and hitting .368 since July 5 with seven extra-base hits. With the Giants surging and Crawford rounding into form, he’s earned his way back in the deeper league conversation.

At 32 years old, Crawford’s role is unquestioned. A lock for 145-plus games and a run at 140 runs-plus-RBI are within reach. He’s one homer away from his sixth consecutive double-digit dinger campaign and with 18 doubles is threatening his season high in two-baggers (34). A glance at his peripheral numbers confirm he’s doing what he’s always done, quietly plodding his way to another year of solid numbers.


Tyler O'Neill (OF, STL)

22% Owned

Tyler O’Neill made a semi-splash last year, posting an .805 OPS and was rewarded with a big league roster spot after spring training. After a month of subpar returns, he was optioned to Triple-A. Fast forward to June 29 and O’Neill has been mashing. Time to take notice.

O’Neill is riding a .365 average since his promotion including a 1.185 OPS and seven extra-base hits with 19 runs-plus-RBI in July. Allotted with a prime cleanup spot in a hot Cardinals lineup, O’Neill should have plenty of opportunities to post fantasy-friendly numbers. Unfortunately, O’Neill’s tear doesn’t seem sustainable as he holds a .490 BABIP and ugly 38 percent strikeout rate, but a 50 percent hard-hit rate should help bolster his stats, at least short term. At this juncture, the player du jour is always worth a look. Just make sure the eject button is nearby.


Manuel Margot (OF, SD)

12% Owned

In two years, Manuel Margot has gone from a fantasy sleeper in 2018 drafts to an anonymous one-category fantasy longshot. Without a clear path to at-bats entering the year and a mediocre 2018 (.675 OPS, 11-of-21 on steals), the fade was merited. But since he’s been awarded everyday playing time, Margot suddenly deserves reconsideration.

After a lackluster slugging profile to start the year, Margot has ripped three homers with a surprising 9/7 BB/K in July. For someone with a sub-seven percent walk rate, that is material. The 24-year-old has parlayed the newfound plate discipline into raising his OPS over 100 points to .726. Incorporate a perfect 12-for-12 on the basepaths and Margot has essentially morphed back to the same player the fantasy community fell for in 2017.


Homer Bailey (SP, OAK)

17% Owned

Ugh. This endorsement isn’t ringing with conviction, but Homer Bailey is *shudders* fantasy relevant. After a brutal start to the year, Bailey posted a 2.82 ERA in his last six starts with the Royals, earning a trade to a playoff-contenting Oakland A’s. In his new confines, Bailey fired six innings of two-run ball in his team debut on July 17.

Bailey’s improvement this year resides in his .337 xwOBA, a decline of 30 points year-over-year, and a strikeout rate of 21 percent, up six points from 2018. Mix-wise, Bailey has abandoned his slider, leaning on a curveball to supplement his fastball and splitter. Results have improved his pitch quality across the board. Now on the A’s, a rekindling the 2012-13 glory days doesn’t seem farfetched amidst a heated pennant race.


Chase Anderson (SP/RP, MIL)

16% Owned

Another blah starter deserving a second look is Chase Anderson. While he hasn’t gone deep into games, the crafty veteran has rattled off five solid starts and a 2.45 ERA in the process. Coupled with a favorable team situation, Anderson should put himself in regular win position if he just meets the minimum qualifications of a decent outing.

Anderson’s biggest improvement in 2019 has been the cutter. By using it 16 percent of pitches, he’s peeled back on an ordinary heater and upped his SwStr% to 12 percent. Correspondingly, he’s in the top-20th percentile for average exit velocity and hard-hit rate. While he’s been a streaming staple the past couple seasons, Anderson’s numbers in 2019 closely resemble his breakout 2017 campaign (2.74 ERA, 1.09 WHIP). Readily available on the waiver, he should be a steady backend option if he keeps up the run rate.

More Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Advice

More Recent Articles


Nine AL Rookies Ready to Leap Into Starting Lineups

Every year, there are those rookies who we expect to make a splash right away. Think Kris Bryant, Ronald Acuna, Cody Bellinger, Aaron Judge--those guys. Once we make it through all the service time manipulation shenanigans, there are always youngsters ready to snatch roster spots immediately, and 2020 is no exception. Below are nine of... Read More

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Spin Rate

Spin rate has become one of the most recognizable Statcast metrics, with supporters of a given pitcher highlighting his spin rates to make their case. Unfortunately, the baseball world has done a lousy job conveying what spin rate really means. The result has been a ton of owners who know that spin rate exists, but... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Khris Davis

The Oakland Athletics finished 2019 with a record of 97-65, which was good for a second-place finish in the AL West and a second-consecutive wildcard birth. They did this despite a statistically down season from their superstar, Khris Davis. Davis struggled mightily in 2019 by slashing .220/.293/.387 with 23 HR, 73 RBI, 61 R, and... Read More

ADP Cost Analysis: Trey Mancini vs. Christian Walker

One of the most important skills in a fantasy draft is the ability to identify a player with similar value at a lower ADP. When you're able to find similar production at a lower cost, this allows you to use an earlier pick to fill out other areas of your roster, resulting in a stronger... Read More

MLB Closers and Saves: Fantasy Baseball Depth Charts

Saves are an important component for many fantasy baseball leagues. Closers are one of the most volatile positions in fantasy baseball, and one of the highest turnover positions in MLB. Each year, closers drop like flies and many MLB teams make in-season changes due to injuries or poor performance. Stay on top of all closer depth... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Staff Rankings

Below you will find RotoBaller's 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, tiers and auction dollar values for the 2020 MLB season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Mixed, Head-to-Head, Points, AL/NL Only, Two-Catcher Top 2020 prospects, Dynasty leagues, Keeper values Export the rankings easily... Read More

Bases Loaded Podcast - Relief Pitchers Preview

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) is joined by Jorge Montanez, Zach Braff and Mike Simione as they jump into their relief pitcher preview! Subscribe to the Bases Loaded podcast, part of RotoBaller Radio's Podcast Network. Like and Subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well!... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Jose Urquidy

It's been a tumultuous winter for the Houston Astros. Not only were they embroiled in a sign-stealing scandal (which has, naturally, progressed apace to unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about ever more sophisticated methods of cheating), but they watched staff ace Gerrit Cole sign a mammoth free-agent deal with the Yankees. Plenty of virtual ink has been... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Mark Canha

Mark Canha had a solid 2019 campaign and is one player that probably deserves more attention heading into 2020 than he is currently receiving. He finished the season hitting .273/.396/.517 with 26 HR, 58 RBI, 80 R, and 67 BB in 410 at-bats. It was a very productive line for a guy that played in... Read More

Four Prospect Sleepers for 2020 Redraft Leagues

Recently, Rotoballer launched a list of the Top 50 MLB prospects for the coming year. The top of the list was populated by names such as Gavin Lux, Luis Robert, and Brendan McKay. These players, among others, feature a promising combination of talent and favorable playing time projections to suggest they’ll be the cream-of-the-crop among... Read More

ADP Cost Analysis – Robbie Ray vs Trevor Bauer

With fantasy baseball draft season in full swing, those of us who partake in this joyous game are now looking through as much draft data as possible in a bid to find players we love who have lower average draft positions (ADP) than we believe they should. All this to eke out as much draft... Read More

2020 Keeper Value Rankings - Second Base

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. These rankings are based on Keeper "Values". In the marketing world, Value can be defined as "the extent to which a good or service (player) is... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – C.J. Cron

As another fantasy baseball season approaches, we once again have the chance to discuss C.J. Cron as a fantasy sleeper. Cron will be playing for his third team in three seasons. It is tough to wrap one's head around the idea that a player of Cron's talent continues to be undervalued by professional and fantasy... Read More

2020 Starting Pitcher Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

Points leagues may seem like a slight variation from traditional 5x5 category scoring leagues but you must approach draft day with a very different strategy if you wish to truly compete. All preseason long, RotoBaller has you covered with the latest rankings for all fantasy baseball league types. Here we present our points league rankings... Read More

Second-Half Improvements: Buy Into These Starting Pitchers

The second half of the season is always put under a microscope for starting pitchers. Fantasy players have a love for the second half of the season, as the belief is that pitchers who take a step forward could carry over that success the next season and perhaps even build upon it. But, as we... Read More