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Top 5 Hitter Streamers For Week 11: Waiver Wire Targets


 

Week 11 Lineup Tools: Hitting Streamer Options

It's time for another installment of my weekly column on hitters to target in free agency for weekly leagues. For readers new to this series, these are hitters available in at least 50% of leagues who I think have the potential to make an impact for fantasy teams next week. As always I try and include a number of different positions on this list so that no matter whether you're lacking an outfielder or a catcher, you'll be able to find a useful name on this page to help you out for the coming week.

 

1) Josh Willingham (MIN, OF)

2014 Stats: .327 BA, 10 Runs, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 0 SB

Ownership: 49.3%

Schedule: (at) Jays, (at) Tigers

Games Scheduled: 6

By Keith Allison on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsJosh Willingham has certainly hit the ground running since coming off the DL. He's hitting an excellent .327 so far this season, with 4 home runs coming in the last 8 days. This shouldn't be completely surprising however since we've seen this level of production from Willingham before.

This is a player after all who slugged 29 home runs in 2011 and 35 in 2012, and while he's almost certainly hitting above his head in terms of batting average, I'd take a risk on the chance he keeps it up in the short term while he's locked in like he is right now. I don't like some of the pitchers he'll have to face next week, especially when he goes on the road against the Tigers, but given his recent production and track history of being a major contributor in homers and RBI, I think Willingham is definitely worth the risk. With the way he's hitting he won't be available for long, so I'd grab him now.

 

2) Juan Francisco (TOR, 1B/3B)

2014 Stats: .269 BA, 23 Runs, 9 HR, 24 RBI, 0 SB

Ownership: 49.4%

Schedule: Twins, (at) Orioles

Games Scheduled: 7

I don't know if you've noticed recently, but the Jays have been doing pretty okay at this whole hitting thing this season. They've scored 311 runs so far, the most of any major league team, and while a big part of this has been the amazing seasons Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion have been having, they haven't been doing it alone. Like many of the Jays hitters, Juan Francisco has provided excellent power and an above average batting average, positioning himself as a core cog in the Jays offense.

He'll enjoy an upcoming seven game week in two very nice hitter's parks, and with the way the Jays are pounding the ball he could be a big contributor in runs and RBI if he continues to hit well. Throw in the power numbers we've come to expect from Francisco this season and you have a very attractive play for next week.

 

3) Tommy La Stella (ATL, 2B)

2014 Stats: .409 BA, 2 Runs, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SB

Ownership: 3.4%

Schedule: (at) Rockies, Angels

Games Scheduled: 7

I'm thinking Dan Uggla's recent seasons in Atlanta must have traumatized the Braves a little bit, because they've replaced him with about as close as you're going to get to his polar opposite. I think ESPN's Tristan Cockcroft said it best when he compared La Stella to Marco Scutaro, and honestly that's the type of player I expect La Stella to develop into. He's never shown any real indications of having much power at all, but with an excellent swing and good approach at the plate, I think he could be a very nice contributor in batting average and RBI for an owner in need of second base help. His schedule next week, and the four games at Coors which it includes, is obviously a big boost in his value. In a weak second base market for free agents, he's the first name I'd look at.

 

4) B.J. Upton (ATL, OF)

2014 Stats: .217 BA, 24 Runs, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 9 SB

Ownership: 39.9%

Schedule: (at) Rockies, Angels

Games Scheduled: 7

Let me preface this by saying  B.J. Upton isn't a guy you want to add if the difference between you and the first place team is relatively small. Anyone who's looked at Upton's numbers over the past year and a half should full well realize just how risky a play adding him could be. That said if you're a player needing to make up big ground that can afford to take a risk or two in order to get there, Upton could be a sneaky smart play this week. It could very well just be the illusion of small samples, but over the past week Upton's showed some promise at the plate, having hit .292 with both a home run and a stolen base to his name.

For a player who's struggled incredibly with consistency at the plate ever since joining the Braves, seeing him put some good numbers together over the past week is a welcome sign. What really pushes me towards this former fantasy star however is how favorable Upton's schedule is this coming week. He'll play four games on the road at the hitter's paradise that is Coors Field, followed up by a three day homestretch against the Angels. A seven game week with three at home and four in the best possible location for a struggling hitter is about as good a schedule as you could hope for for Upton. There's also the fact that, for reasons I'll frankly never really understand, he's still batting in the number two hole in the Braves lineup. Given how high scoring some of these games could be, Upton could figure to be a major contributor in runs, and to a lesser extent RBI. Simply put he's worth taking a closer look at.

 

5) Wilson Ramos (WAS, C)

2014 Stats: .237 BA, 8 Runs, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 0 SB

Ownership: 45.0%

Schedule: (at) Giants, (at) Cardinals

Games Scheduled: 7

If you've read much of my stuff before you should know how much I love Wilson Ramos' power potential. His average fly ball distance numbers are just insane for a catcher, and he's begun to put together some good at bats over the last week as he continues to distance himself from the injury that derailed the beginning of his season. He's batted .286 over the last 7 days and has looked pretty good in doing so. With a seven day week coming his way, I like the opportunity Ramos could present for an owner looking to fill a spot 1t catcher.