Week 13 Waiver Wire Watch List

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Welcome to Week 13 of The Watch List. We have had a few iterations already, but here’s a friendly reminder for those who forgot: Each week we’ll be updating this list full of players who you maybe aren’t quite ready to pick up (depending on league size, of course), but who need to be on your radar regardless. We’ll look at several players in-depth each week and keep tabs on players “graduating” into the waiver wire pickups category, as well as players demoted off the list entirely. (Reminder, these are Yahoo ownership and positions.)

With the season beginning to stabilize a bit, there are simply fewer players graduating and being demoted each week. With that in mind, we’ll no longer have a set number of eight players highlighted each week, but rather somewhere in the five to eight range. However many players graduate/are demoted will be replaced and the new players will be highlighted.

Once again, if there are any names who you’d like to see highlighted next week, or even just added to the list as a whole, feel free to at me on Twitter (@FantasyBaseTurv). Let’s get this show on the road.

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Players to Watch in 10-team Leagues

Mallex Smith (TB, OF): 33% owned

Smith saw his ownership drop a bit despite another week with multiple steals. Smith didn’t score as many runs this week, and he finally had his first post-promotion game without a hit (he still scored two runs that game), but there’s still a lot to like here, and he should be owned in more leagues.

Jarrod Dyson (Sea, OF): 19% owned

Dyson had his name in the headlines thanks to his breaking up of Justin Verlander’s no-hitter with a bunt, but he had another decent week, stealing a base and collecting seven hits. He’s still a great OBP option and solid BA option for teams in need of speed.

Mike Montgomery (ChC, SP/RP): 39% owned

Montgomery made his fourth start of the season on Sunday, and he didn’t allow an earned run for the second straight outing. Monty has back-to-back starts of six innings without an earned run allowed, and while his ERA isn’t going to stay in the low 2.00s forever, there’s reason to like what we’re seeing from him. Montgomery’s command has seemingly been better as a starter than it was as a reliever, as his K-BB rate is about three times better over his four starts than his 18 appearances out of the pen. He’s a perfect guy to keep an eye for a minute, although with the flashy team, you do run the risk of missing out on him entirely if you wait too long. His next start is against a decent Reds lineup in a tough pitcher’s park in Cincinnati - it will be a solid test for him.

Matt Davidson (CHW, 3B): 26% owned

Davidson’s power doesn’t seem to be slowing down, as he went yard twice again last week. His HR/FB rate is probably not sustainable at 26.6 percent, but he is still sporting the 40+ percent hard hit ball rate, and he has a great swing to leave the yard early and often. The plate discipline continues to be the long-term worry.

Archie Bradley (Ari, SP): 32% owned

Bradley had an excellent past week, extending his streak of scoreless appearances to 12 and scoreless innings to 12 and two thirds. Bradley is currently rocking a 1.04 ERA that is backed by a very solid 2.53 FIP and 2.60 xFIP. His 42 strikeouts to just seven walks are impeccable, and he is in a bullpen with a ticking timebomb in Fernando Rodney. That’s why his ownership is (deservedly) so high, and he will be a fast pick up any time Rodney struggles to close out a game in Arizona. That said, Bradley doesn’t have a single save all season and Rodney actually has a halfway decent 3.39 FIP this season. There’s certainly a lot to like with Bradley and his ERA and WHIP are enough to demand a spot in shallow leagues, but just be wary of being too hyped on him.

 

Players to Watch in 12-team Leagues

Bradley Zimmer (Cle, OF): 15% owned

Zimmer was in the lineup more regularly last week, only missing out on the start once over the past seven days. Zimmer is beginning to win Francona’s trust more and more, and if the 24-year-old with the .293/.369/.485 slash line is able to steal a full-time role, he’ll be an awesome value in a Cleveland lineup that is quite hot right now.

Jed Lowrie (Oak, 2B): 22% owned

That sound you hear is fantasy owner’s sphincters tightening, as Lowrie is currently day-to-day with a possible knee sprain during Friday’s game. The bad news is that the team said on Sunday that Lowrie might see a doctor; the good news is that later that day the team then used him as a pinch hitter and he got an RBI double. The situation is one to keep a close eye on.

Max Kepler (Min, OF): 22% owned

Kepler hit .294 last week, but his power seems to have abandoned him a bit, as he hasn’t hit a homer in the past 12 days. That said, that cold stretch may just be a bit of bad luck, as his hard hit ball rate is about two percentage points higher than last season, while his HR/FB rate is nearly five percentage points lower. He could have a big second half.

Sean Doolittle (Oak, RP): 25% owned

Doolittle picked up a save last week, but he still sits behind Santiago Casilla when it comes to closing out games in Oakland. Now Casilla isn’t the most secure pitcher - he now has a 4.75 xFIP after giving up a run in a save against the White Sox on Sunday - so being the second in line for the A’s might be a decent spot to be in.

Zack Wheeler (NYM, SP): 17% owned

Wheeler went on the DL after a second straight blowup start, and most owners are (deservedly) running for the hills. However, I’m almost relieved to see the DL stint, the injury might be able to explain a few of the 15 runs he has given up in three and two thirds innings over the past two starts. Wheeler might be able to return for July 1 to face the Phillies which is the type of start he needs to impress in or he will be off this list and maybe for good.

Tommy Joseph (Phi, 1B): 19% owned

Joseph hit a pair of homers, but with a .254 BA and .313 OBP, he has to be one of the more boring power sources in the league. For owners in need of home runs, Joseph is a pretty safe bet to hit a couple every few weeks, but he doesn’t do a ton more, especially in a poor Phillies lineup.

 

Players to Watch in 14+ team Leagues

Lucas Duda (NYM, 1B): 11% owned

Duda is similar to Joseph. He is better than Joseph in OBP leagues, but in BA (which are obviously far more common), Joseph holds the edge thanks to a better track record in terms of health, as well as slightly better RuBIn totals.

Robert Gsellman (NYM, SP): 8% owned

Gsellman is coming off back-to-back starts in which he allowed seven runs each, but this week he gets to face the Marlins and Phillies after having to deal with the Nationals and Cubs - he’s back to being recommended this week.

Michael Taylor (Was, OF): 5% owned

Taylor is one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now, with three homers and five hits over the past two games alone. He has five homers and three steals over the past two weeks, and his season-long numbers are beginning to look pretty strong. Taylor already has 10 homers and seven steals despite not being in the lineup full-time throughout the season, and his .273 BA isn’t bad either. His 4.5 walk rate and 33.2 percent strikeout rate are enough to hold him back from being a must-add, but he running hot right now and has shown flashes at times throughout his career. His BABIP of .365 is going to come down a bit, and his HR/FB rate of 20.8 percent is a career high, but he is indeed hitting the ball hard and has a pretty nice batted ball profile in general. He’s certainly worthy of deeper league consideration and might even start to get some shallow league interest before too long.

Alex Meyer (LAA, SP): 12% owned

Meyer struggled in his first of two testing starts he has had to deal with. The Red Sox got to him for five runs in just 3 ⅓ innings, and now he has to deal with the Dodgers on Wednesday. Meyer has a bit of paper tiger to him, so the L.A. start should be telling.

Tommy Pham (StL, OF): 6% owned

Pham went deep three times last week, and he is slashing .277/.360/.490 on the season. It is quite surprising to me that his ownership isn’t higher. It speaks to the depth of position players this season.

Danny Valencia (Sea, 1B/3B/OF): 20% owned

Valencia moves up thanks to a week in which he had a four-hit game and hit .364, but he doesn’t move up too far as the news wasn’t great over the weekend when he missed a pair of games due to a sore wrist. For a hitter who relies on power for value, a wrist injury is scary.

Joe Biagini (Tor, SP): 12% owned

Biagini bounced back a bit with a win this week, but he still gave up four runs and a pair of home runs. I still like his long-term outlook and think he’s worth hanging on to.

 

Players to Watch in AL or NL-Only Leagues

Nick Pivetta (Phi, SP): 5% owned

With 19 strikeouts in his past two starts, Pivetta jumps onto our Watch List for the first time this season. Pivetta is a 24-year-old rookie pitcher for the Phillies, which I feel I must say since he may not be on everyone’s radar. He has been a bit of a helium prospects the past few years, coming from off the radar to dominating Triple-A the past two seasons. He is now sporting a 4.46 ERA and 9.78 K/9 rate that looks excellent in deeper leagues. Pitching for Philly will mean not too many wins, and an early-week outing against the Diamondbacks is a non-starter, but he gets to face the Mets later in the week in what should be a nice chance to put up another strong outing.

Delino DeShields (Tex, OF): 8% owned

DeShields got only 11 at bats in the past week, but he stole three bases and is a great bench SB guy for teams in need of steals that have some daily flexibility so that he can be benched when he’s not in the Texas starting lineup.

Joakim Soria (KC, RP): 6% owned

Another closer in the wings, Soria isn’t waiting behind a shaky closer, but rather one who might be dealt. Kelvin Herrera has settled down, getting shutout saves his last five times on the mound, but he is a frequently-mentioned trade target for the (slowly) approaching trade deadline. If Herrera is dealt, Soria will almost certainly be the man to take over the ninth (unless he is also dealt, which is a possibility), as he has pitched very well in 2017. His 3.77 ERA may seem more pedestrian than excellent, but his 1.69 FIP and 12.19 K/9 rate are outstanding. He has closing bona fides as well, with over 200 career saves.

Keone Kela (Tex, RP): 8% owned

Kela threw another 3 ⅓ scoreless last week, striking out week and allowing only four base runners. With Matt Bush blowing two saves during the week it’s not surprising that Kela saw his ownership double in the past seven days.

 

Graduated - Ownership Too High

Jordan Montgomery (NYY, SP): 43% owned

 

Demoted

Tyson Ross (Tex, SP): 31% owned

Seth Lugo (NYM, SP): 21% owned

Jorge Bonifacio (KC, OF): 2% owned

Colby Rasmus (TB, OF): 2% owned

 

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