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The 2018 season is finally upon us, which means it's time to start overreacting to insanely small samples!

Well, no – don't actually do that. As a rule, you shouldn't be making any drastic decisions at a time when Matt Davidson is tied for the league lead in home runs. But that doesn't mean you can't make improvements on the margins. Besides, injuries happen, and some already have. Whatever the reason for your need, RotoBaller has you covered on the top waiver wire targets.

Today, and every Monday from here until the end of the season, we'll look at the best middle infielders available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Editor's Note: Stay on top of our MLB off-season news and fantasy analysis all year round. Read our daily fantasy columns about MLB prospects, dynasty outlooks, player outlooks and much more. It's always fantasy baseball season here. Let's Go!


Week 1 Middle Infield (MI) Waiver Wire Targets

Andrelton Simmons, SS, Los Angeles Angels (49 percent owned)

Simmons enjoyed the best offensive season of his career in 2017, hitting .278 with 14 home runs, 19 stolen bases, and 146 R+RBI in 158 games. Judging by his ownership rate, fantasy owners weren’t overly impressed with the breakout. Those who drafted him have thus far enjoyed Simmons collecting seven hits in four games. An infinitesimal sample, certainly, but perhaps an early indication that we can expect him to continue doing positive things at the plate this year.

Cesar Hernandez, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies (48 percent)

Everybody’s excited about Scott Kingery, but Hernandez is among the more underrated players in baseball. He’s barely outside the top five at second base by fWAR over the last two seasons! Admittedly, his fantasy value is more modest, but he’s an asset in batting average (.294 in each of the last two seasons) and runs (85 last season, despite the Phillies lineup being lousy in the first half). Hernandez has also averaged 17 stolen bases per year since 2015, but he has the speed to swipe 20+ bags. He’s hit leadoff in all three games so far this season; Kingery’s easiest path to playing time runs through Maikel Franco, not Hernandez.

Marcus Semien, SS, Oakland Athletics (42 percent)

Semien probably won’t hit any better than .250, but he’s a sneaky 20/20 candidate. The A’s shortstop hit 27 home runs in 2016, and last season he banked 10 homers and 12 steals despite missing nearly half the season with a broken wrist. Semien is also batting at the top of the order for Oakland this year, which puts him in position to score plenty of runs. He’s a viable primary SS and excellent MI option for your roster in 2018.

Yangervis Solarte, 2B/3B/SS, Toronto Blue Jays (35 percent)

Josh Donaldson’s dead arm will keep him from being able to field his usual position indefinitely, and Solarte has been given the reigns at third base. Not only that, he’s hit either cleanup or fifth in all three of his games so far. The veteran was quietly useful for stretches of his three seasons as a starter in San Diego, batting .270 with respectable run production and averaging 19 HR per 600 plate appearances. Solarte’s eligibility at three infield positions makes him a useful piece in standard and deeper leagues for as long as he’s getting everyday at-bats.

Joe Panik, 2B, San Francisco Giants (23 percent)

Panik has already homered off both Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen this season, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he ends up the only player who can claim that feat in 2018. That fact isn’t particularly relevant to his fantasy value; it does, however, fly in the face of Panik’s reputation as a decidedly unsexy asset. Nobody is ever excited to own him, but he does offer a boost in batting average while providing just enough in other categories to avoid being a drag in them. That’s sufficient to make Panik a serviceable MI option.


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