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Waiver Wire Strategy - Recycling Post-Hype Draft Sleepers


Fantasy baseball is very much a “what have you done for me lately” environment. If players are playing poorly, fantasy managers will give up on them. All too often players are getting dropped that have no business being on the waiver wire. Some guys are just down on their luck and end up tossed into the dumpster. There is always the opposite spectrum where players are on a roster that should have been discarded long ago. However, we are thankful to those managers for keeping our waiver wire a little cleaner.

Most people look to the latest "adds" to see who everyone is adding to educate themselves on players they should add to their roster. Don't forget that the "drops" list is also a valuable resource for you to improve your team. When players are dropped, that doesn't mean that their value has been exhausted. Also, do not assume that because a player was dropped in many other leagues, he isn't worth anything. With that mindset, you're assuming that all the other fantasy managers in the world are smarter than you. That definitely is not accurate so don't trust their actions to be gospel.

Well-known financial icon Warren Buffett once stated, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” Many years ago, I adopted this as my financial investment strategy and subsequently use the same mindset in fantasy baseball. Fantasy managers get fearful quickly with their underperforming players and subsequently make rash decisions. That is an opportunity for you to add to your championship team’s collection. Let’s look at some of the players who have been discarded in recent days.

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Recently Jettisoned Players Worth Monitoring

Garrett Hampson (2B/SS, COL)

8% dropped (28% owned)

This one makes no sense. Hampson lost the battle for second base to start the year. As such he became a super-utility guy. However, injuries have led Ryan McMahon and David Dahl to the Injured List. This has opened up consistent playing time for Hampson, which has been part of the problem thus far this season.

He hasn’t played consistently enough to get into a rhythm, which has resulted in a 0.77 average in 26 at-bats. If there is one thing that he can provide, it is speed. That is definitely worth the add, as speed is scarce these days. Of course, if he doesn't take advantage of this clear opportunity, he could find himself watching Brendan Rodgers take over the position.

 

Rougned Odor (2B, TEX)

7% dropped (77% owned)

Odor was on many preseason breakout/bounce-back lists. Statistically, his performance thus far has been bad. There is no way to be kind about a .171 average with four runs, zero homers, a whopping one RBI. Thus far, he's made less contact than he did in 2018. It is too early to say he cannot make adjustments. With an ADP of 120, it is tough to imagine people giving up on a 10th-round pick so soon.

While the batting average might be in the .250 range, anyone should accept that in exchange for a second baseman that hit at least 30 homers in 2016 and 2017. A pick-up off the waiver wire is a dirt-cheap cost for such potential and also a player that calls Globe Life Park home.

 

Brandon Nimmo (OF, NYM)

9% dropped (50% owned)

Nimmo is lost at the plate right now, clearly indicated by his .107 batting average. Even the homer he hit Tuesday does not demonstrate he is past his struggles. Nimmo is chasing pitches nearly a third of the time (28%), and he is only making contact half the time (53%). Both of these numbers are well below his norms.

Once he can get his act right, he stands to benefit more than he did in 2018 when he had 77 runs with 17 homers. He could easily outproduce his 13th-round draft value hitting in front of the explosive bats of rookie Peter Alonso, Robinson Cano, and Michael Conforto.

 

Jesse Winker (OF, CIN)

12% dropped (37% owned)

People are losing faith way too soon. The blame is being put on one player when he is dropped, however, the entire Reds offense has been struggling. Winker has always been a high-average guy that gets on base frequently. Once the offense gets rolling, he will generate tons of counting stats and has the ability to participate in his own success with long-distance taters.

Speaking of, he hit his first homer of the year on Tuesday. The day hasn't helped his batting average (.103) too much for the masses to jump back aboard which is beneficial for you. Grab him before the crowd returns.

Update: he homered Wednesday night again.

 

Julio Urias (SP/RP, LAD)

11% dropped (60% owned)

The young phenom pitcher is getting bounced back and forth in the bullpen as well as on and off fantasy rosters. He shouldn't be though. He pitches for a team that has a historical problem keeping the starting rotation healthy. Case in point, Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw, and now Hyun-Jin Ryu are all on or returning from the Injured List. That does not mean they won't have setbacks or will not make a return trip to the IL in the future.

Urias had a tremendous start against the Giants (seven strikeouts in five scoreless innings) — I know, its the Giants — followed by a poor start in Colorado. No pitcher can figure out Coors so he should be given a pass. His next two starts will be against the Brewers which definitely isn't favorable. However, Urias should be on someone's roster. At worst, he should be on your immediate-reaction scout team. Do not wait until there is a spot in the rotation and favorable matchups. By then he will not be available.

 

Jonathan Schoop (2B/SS, MIN)

6% dropped (64% owned)

Schoop is very underrated, but he has some of the biggest power at the keystone. In 2017, he hit 32 bombs with 105 RBI while he was in Baltimore. Schoop didn't fare as well playing for two teams in 2018, with 21 homers and a more accurate batting average of .250. He started the year poorly and has been dropped in too many leagues. It has only been one week, and people seem to know how the story will end.

Too bad they cut bait too early as Schoop hit two homers Tuesday and raised his average to .250. He also has the advantage of playing back in the American League in a terrible division. While Milwaukee had a great supporting cast, the Twins are very underrated themselves. Schoop is in the bottom third of the lineup, but even there, he will prove wrong all the fantasy owners who dropped him.

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