The 2017 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 general rule, you shouldn't be making any drastic decisions at a time when Madison Bumgarner 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 Wednesday from here until the end of the season, we'll take a look at the best outfielders available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Let's hit it.Editor's note: Get 50% off any MLB Premium Pass. Draft guide, cheat sheets, 200 days of DFS access, and over 20 premium tools. Dominate your leagues all year long! Sign Up Now!
Week 1 Outfield (OF) Waiver Wire Targets
David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks (43% owned)
Longtime readers will recall that I spilled more virtual ink on Peralta than any other player in the lead-up to last season. Naturally, this jinx torpedoed his season before it ever had a chance to get going, and he played just 48 games due to multiple wrist injuries. Now healthy, Peralta will have a chance to build on his breakout 2015 (.312, 17 homers, nine steals in just 517 plate appearances). With a fantastic home park and a plum spot in the lineup between A.J. Pollock, Paul Goldschmidt, and Jake Lamb, the veteran is a potential five-category contributor.
Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay Rays (37%)
Injuries limited Kiermaier to 414 plate appearances in 2016. Bad news for him and the Rays, good news for fantasy owners on the hunt for a bargain this year. While primarily known for his stellar defense in center field, Kiermaier hit 12 homers and stole 21 bases last year despite that missed time, and nearly doubled his walk rate for good measure. He’s likely to spend the year hitting at or near the top of the Rays’ order, giving him plenty of opportunities to score runs and swipe bags.
Domingo Santana, Milwaukee Brewers (33%)
While he’s yet another player whose 2016 was interrupted by health problems, Santana may also still be available in your league due to well-documented contact issues. Last season was his best showing in that area, and he still whiffed 91 times in only 281 trips to the plate. When he does get wood on the ball, though, Santana ranks among the league leaders in exit velocity. He also boasts a career 27.1 HR/FB% and plays half of his games in one of the most homer-friendly parks in the major leagues. Santana may never hit for average, but he gets on base at a solid clip thanks to a double-digit walk rate and should regularly hit in the middle of an underrated Brewers lineup.
Corey Dickerson, Tampa Bay Rays (32%)
Dickerson’s move from the thin air of Coors Field to the cavernous Tropicana Field made him an obvious bust candidate last season, and he didn’t (did?) disappoint. While he managed 24 home runs, his average dropped 70 points, and his run production was mediocre. Dickerson did appear to have begun adjusting to his new league before a thumb injury stalled that momentum, which could mean profit potential in this new season. Rays manager Kevin Cash penciled Dickerson into the leadoff spot on Opening Day, and reportedly intends to continue doing so against right handed pitchers. That would obviously be a boon to his run-scoring.
Manuel Margot, San Diego Padres (23%)
The Padres’ rookie has batted first and second in the first two games of the season, and they frankly don’t have many alternatives. San Diego also loves to run, as we saw last season. Expectations for his offensive production should be tempered, as Margot is just 22 years old. Still, he’s got the speed to steal 30 bags or more with an outside shot at double-digit homers. That combination has plenty of value in today’s game.