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

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Points Leagues Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 4


It’s Week 4 of RotoBaller’s points league waiver wire extravaganza and we’re back after a one-week hiatus to discuss the thrills of fantasy free agency.

If your teams are scuffling in the cellar after the opening weeks, it’s turnover time. By now the bottom of any squad is subject to intense scrutiny and available players at equal or higher value are certainly eager for deployment.

Our points league waiver wire column will default to standard scoring and try to unearth three players under 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

Jorge Polanco (SS, MIN) – 39% Owned

A few surprises like Tim Anderson and Paul DeJong have found themselves in the top-15 shortstops this season. While Jorge Polanco hasn’t been as good, the ownership is well-below his upstart counterparts. Polanco’s gotten off to a sizzling .400/.464/.717 slash with three dingers and 16 runs-plus-RBI. Having sat just one game so far, Polanco is entrenched as the Twins number two hitter.

Polanco faded into anonymity after a PED suspension last season, but he’s still just 25 years old and has always demonstrated strong plate discipline. While his current pace isn’t sustainable, his barrel rates are up four times from his career average. An xwOBA of .424 will do just fine. Polanco is dependable for walks, minimal strikeouts and the uptick in launch angle and exit velocity should do wonders for his fantasy value if they prove durable.

Yonder Alonso (1B, CHW) – 16% Owned

While a different Alonso has taken the fantasy community by storm, Yonder Alonso has wallowed in obscurity. With just a .717 OPS to start the season, that’s deserved. But while Alonso has only 12 knocks this season, three have cleared the fence. Currently taking more walks (12) than strikeouts (11), a forthcoming power surge would make him a coveted points league asset.

As a predominant pull hitter, his low ground ball tendencies (70% fly ball and line drive rate) support his slugging abilities. Alonso has cranked over 20 homers in two straight years in limited duty and he’s currently mashing the ball at a career-high clip. The White Sox offense has been a positive development this season, and Alonso is positioned to benefit as a key run producer in the cleanup slot.

Shin-Soo Choo (OF, TEX) – 38% Owned

It’s taken four weeks, but the annual “Shin-soo Cho is underrated rant” has arrived. The 36-year-old has started his 15th major league campaign with 10 extra-base hits and a 1.046 OPS. Choo’s picked up the pace this past week, batting an even .500 since April 15.

Aside from two injury-plagued seasons, Choo has quietly recorded double-digit homers in every season since he became a full-time player in 2008. Over the past two seasons in Arlington, Choo has tallied 95 extra-base hits including 43 long balls. He’s also chipped in 18 steals at an efficient 82% success rate. Choo’s peripheral stats suggests his hot start will cool, but he should remain a dependable rotation outfielder who can get on base and has always pummeled right-handed pitching (.888 career OPS).

Dwight Smith (OF, BAL) – 16% Owned

With just 104 big league plate appearances to his credit prior to 2019, Dwight Smith has been a pleasant surprise for the Orioles, slashing .276/.317/.474 with three homers, three steals and 25 R+RBI in the early going. Consistently batting third, Smith holds intriguing run production potential along with some power-speed potential.

Buried in Toronto’s farm system, Smith’s trade to Baltimore in spring training paved his path to plate appearances. In seven minor league seasons, Smith smacked 59 homers and swiped 74 bags. Last season at Triple-A, he registered a serviceable .771 OPS and 0.83 BB/K. While the plate discipline hasn’t ported over to the majors and his .289 xwOBA suggests his current performance is a façade, Smith has demonstrated adequate hitting chops in the minors and cut down on strikeouts materially enough (36% to 15%) to merit some deep-league consideration.

Sonny Gray (SP, CIN) – 46% Owned

I thought I swore off Sonny Gray after touting him to disastrous repercussions last season, but we’re back to chasing that silver unicorn. Gray is off to a tremendous start, posting a 2.79 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 10.2 K/9 in four starts. Encouragingly, his 2.59 FIP tells us something could be finally going right for the 29-year-old hurler.

Gray’s success could be credited to a slider this season that’s transformed from average to excellent. His wSL/C of 4.36 has favorably impacted his arsenal and generated more ground balls and a 29% strikeout rate. While his xwOBA (.271) sits over 50 points higher than his current wOBA, it remains materially below the .321 mark from 2018. While his track record makes him difficult to trust, Gray is back in the fantasy discussion and approved for use on April 23 against the Atlanta Braves.

Luke Weaver (SP, ARI) – 25% Owned

After a couple years in flux, Luke Weaver appears to have settled into a secure starter role in Arizona. He’s rewarded the club with a 3.92 ERA (2.91 FIP), 1.21 WHIP and 10.5 K/9 in four starts. With an attractive matchup upcoming on April 23 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he’s firmly in the streamer conversation.

So far in 2019, Weaver has leaned on a cutter with a normalized pitch value of 4.04. Paired with a solid changeup, Weaver has upped his swinging strikes to 10%. On the Statcast side of the coin, his actual and expected numbers are currently inline, pointing towards season-long sustainability. Once a first-round pick and still only 25-years-old, Weaver might be making the case for a long-term home in Arizona and on fantasy rosters.

More Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Advice




More Recent Articles

 

2019 RotoBaller NFL Challenge - And The RT Sports Winner Is...

What a season, RotoBallers. Fantasy football is always a fun, interesting, and long season - filled with injuries, breakout players, and different strategies. It takes stamina and endurance to win the marathon, and we're here today to recognize those who pulled it off. With 156 teams competing to be crowned champ of the 2019 Fantasy Football RotoBaller... Read More


WR Target Share and Impact (AFC South & West): 2019 Review

With the season over and April's NFL draft ahead of us, it's time to look at how each team shared their targets among their available receivers last season. Not every team splits up the targets in the passing game in the same way, and that has a great impact on the fantasy points any given... Read More


Best Waiver Wire Pickups from 2019

Each and every year we see an incredible number of players step foot on the NFL gridiron. Just in 2019, using Pro-Football-Reference.com Play Index, a total of 2,025 players took part in at least one game while one (Emmanuel Sanders) did the impossible and played 17 (!) games in the regular season as he was... Read More


Tight End VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The 2019 fantasy football season is over. That is not something we like to say considering the empty path we have ahead of us until we reach draft season again in eight months. The good thing about it, though, is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few weeks... Read More


Biggest Surprises of 2019: Running Back

The 2019 NFL season was an interesting year for the running back position. Christian McCaffrey was the overall RB1, but some of the other top players fell below expectations. That led to some interesting final results when the final season standings came around. And while some of those -- Dalvin Cook as the RB3, Leonard... Read More


Quarterback VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The 2019 fantasy football season is over. That is not something we like to say considering the empty path we have ahead of us until we reach draft season again in eight months. The good thing about it, though, is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few weeks... Read More


2019 RotoBaller NFL Challenge - And The @Fleaflicker Winner Is...

What a season, RotoBallers. Fantasy football is always a fun, interesting, and long season - filled with injuries, breakout players, and different strategies. It takes stamina and endurance to win the marathon, and we're here today to recognize those who pulled it off. With 343 teams - across two divisions - competing to be crowned champ... Read More


Introducing the 2020 Rookie Tight End Class

Out of all the skill positions, tight end is the one where rookies have the most issue making an immediate impact. But there's still always some value at every position in every NFL Draft, and the 2020 one is no exception, even if people are very down on this year's crop of tight ends. Let's... Read More


Can a New Coach Fix Baker Mayfield in 2020?

Another season has passed and another disappointment by Browns fans has been realized. Baker Mayfield got the head coach he wanted in Freddie Kitchens in 2019. In 2020, hopefully he's got the one he needs in Kevin Stefanski. Last season, under Kitchens, Mayfield had a coach he could control and manipulate. He did just that... Read More


Wide Receiver VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The one (and only) good thing about fantasy football season ending is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few months and put performances into context to prepare for next season. As football is an ever-evolving game, though, it makes sense to assess how good players were in fantasy... Read More


The King's Keeper Corner: NFL Postseason Impacts on Player Outlooks

With a break in the postseason NFL action, it is time to reflect on what we have seen in the playoffs so far and how certain performances will affect fantasy football outlooks in keeper and dynasty formats. How players respond and what they deliver at the most intense and critical times of the season can... Read More


Introducing Value Over Starter Football Metrics

When it comes to fantasy sports, we're always looking for the highest possible Return On Investment or ROI. This concept is easy to understand: in both Daily Fantasy and re-draft/fantasy leagues, ROI would come down to how many points a player returns relative to his salary, or the price you paid (given his ADP on... Read More


Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Quarterback

2019 was a very interesting season of fantasy football, to say the least. It's safe to say no one was banking on the season that we saw from Lamar Jackson but he wasn't the only one to stand out. At the quarterback position, we saw some really exciting players start to shine and some older... Read More


Goodbye Runners, Hello Pass-Catching RBs: 2019 Season Trends

As the 2019 summer kept going we all had two things in our minds with regard to September's fantasy drafts and both of them were related to running backs: Where in the world are Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon and when will they be back? It made sense back then (and it still does now,... Read More


Where Does 2019 Rank Historically Among ADP Movers?

I have worked on a season-review series of articles in which I have analyzed the biggest winners and losers in terms of ADP entering draft season compared to the end of the year final results. It was plenty of fun looking back at the gambles most of us took which ultimately paid off, but also... Read More