Waiver Wire Points Leagues - Week 18

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After Monday's trade deadline, MLB teams aren't the only ones who have to deal with the consequences, fantasy baseball teams do too. With the amount of movement on July 31, some guys have new homes and new ballparks to play at, some have sunnier outlooks on places they play already, and some players might even be out of a job. Not all of the waiver wire pickups this week were affected by the trade deadline, but there are a few highlighted below.

This week we're back to our shallow and deep points leagues waiver targets, looking at anyone and everyone between 1% and 55%. So here are a few guys who can contribute in points leagues, one at each position to consider for the next week, and possibly beyond. These are your H2H points leagues waiver wire pickups for Week 18. Let's get to it.

Note: All ownership percentages are courtesy of Yahoo! Fantasy Sports.

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Week 18 Waiver Wire - Points Leagues

C - Welington Castillo, Baltimore Orioles - 48% owned 

While he scuffled along in June, July has been a totally different story for Welington Castillo, as he finds himself tied for 10th among catchers in points leagues since the all-star break. Hitting at the bottom of the order won't help the 30-year-old, but his walk rate is up and his strikeout rate is down since June, meaning he's doing something right over the past month. Clearly there are results, with nearly a third of his RBI coming in the second half of the season. Castillo is a decent add at a position with not a lot of depth, especially if you can ride his bat while it's hot.

1B - Trey Mancini, Baltimore Orioles - 48% owned 

A popular waiver wire pickup early this year, Mancini has done nothing to stop owners from owning him. He's hit consistently for average all year, and he's done well in the power department too. So why the low ownership? First base is a position chock-full of quality players. There was also a dip in average this month, but nothing extreme enough to suggest that he's losing it in his first full season. The good news is that his strikeout rate is down in July, his walk rate is pretty similar and his line drive rate is up, although his hard contact is down. I'm thinking that Mancini is just getting a bit unlucky despite not hitting the ball as hard as earlier this year. If he got dropped in your league during his "slump", grab him now.

2B - Steve Pearce, Toronto Blue Jays - 6% owned

No, this recommendation isn't coming after two walk-off grand slams from the 34-year-old. Well, maybe part of it is. But the reality is, is that Steve Pearce has been putting it together over the last month or so. He was injured a large part of May and June, but even with a bigger sample size this month, the numbers don't look too bad. With the Blue Jays kind of heating up, Pearce isn't a bad play behind a few guys who get on base at a decent clip. He's obviously shown power, and hitting at the Rogers Centre is always nice too. He'll probably slow down and the strikeouts will pick back up, but these homers could come in groups and it's worth jumping on it for a bit.

3B - Maikel Franco, Philadelphia Phillies - 45% owned  

He's been a pretty big disappointment since his rookie year, where he slashed .280/.343/.497, to this point, where's slashing .225/.285/.395, but with each month, the 24-year-old looks like he's slowly building upon where he left off in 2015. The strikeouts do come fast and furious with Franco, in fact, he's got 13 in his last 10 games, but in July he's walking more, and hitting the ball harder, leading to a few doubles, and two homers in his last five. Obviously be prepared to be disappointed, and if you expect the kind of production you should get from someone of Franco's ADP, keep dreaming, but he's slowly gaining some traction. Don't bank on it, and be prepared to drop him if the trend of climbing with each calendar month doesn't continue with August.

SS - Orlando Arcia, Milwaukee Brewers - 26% owned

Orlando Arcia may be a more valuable player to his real team than his fake team but that doesn't mean we won't take his contributions for a while. The Brewers have been a nice surprise this year, and while a few of their players have been unpleasant surprises (Jonathan Villar), Arcia has been enjoyable for the most part. He's got some speed, has shown flashes of power and most importantly has some consistency. Arcia won't light the world on fire, but if you've struggled at shortstop like I have all year, Arcia is a welcome add where you'll see some points most nights, and the cold streaks aren't as bad as some others I've seen this year.

OF - Aaron Altherr, Philadelphia Phillies - 37% owned

Altherr hasn't gotten much love from the experts this year, as his mini-slump in June was predicted by many. And while he did bounce back in July, he did spend 10 days on the disabled list, which had me fearing that it would lead to another mini-slump. It's actually been everything but that, as he's picked up four RBI in his five games since his DL trip, and he's deposited two balls into the stands for homers against Atlanta. His strikeout rate is about the same from June to July, but his walk rate is up almost eight percent. He's got a much smaller sample size in July obviously, but it's still good news to see that he's willing to be more selective and potentially swipe a few bags and score a few runs as he's hitting near the top of the order. Without a doubt, Altherr has been one of the bright spots in Philly this year, and I'll gladly hold him for his solid output.

SP - Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers - 24% owned 

With a stellar start on Sunday night against the San Francisco Giants, where he went head-to-head with ace Madison Bumgarner, Hyun-Jin Ryu is making a good case for him to stick in the Dodgers rotation. Of course right now, it's easy for him to be a lock with Clayton Kershaw, Brandon McCarthy and Scott Kazmir injured. Plus, Rich Hill is always a question mark. Ryu missed time with a bruised foot, and was limited in his first start, but threw seven scoreless on Sunday, striking out 7. The K/9 numbers are decent, and he's usually got the walks under control so he's not getting in his own way. With the Dodgers putting together an unreal season, even if the aforementioned pitchers make it back to push Ryu out of the rotation, they'll get more than enough rest, meaning Ryu will get opportunities to start.

RP - Shane Greene, Detroit Tigers - 33% owned 

While he's not the best option, we have to chase the save opportunities, and Greene will be able to provide some in Detroit. He's got some issues with his control, but the 1.22 WHIP is not atrocious, and his 2.74 ERA shows he's been able to escape some of the situations he's put himself into. Justin Wilson was still the best option but with his move to the NL's Chicago Cubs, Greene will have to do for now. There's not too many other guys who will really get the chance to take this job, so here's a free closer who should take the job for the rest of the season.

 

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