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Week 14 Waiver Wire: H2H Category Streamers


I like to consider myself a pioneer of the streaming approach. I won a league about seven years ago completely ignoring saves and just stacking up the starts each week. While streaming is undoubtedly more directly associated with pitching, there's plenty of value in streaming for offense as well.

Maybe you have a stacked roster and you can't drop anyone. But for those of us with a couple of guys on the roster fringes, it's never too early to look into targeting a specific player or two to gain an edge in a particular category. This season, I will be making weekly recommendations for extreme short term category specialists every week in three offensive areas: speed, power, and average; and three pitching areas: strikeouts, wins, and ratios (ERA/WHIP).

Below are my Week 14 category streamers for fantasy baseball. All position eligibility and ownership percentages are based on Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

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Head-to-Head Category Streamers to Consider

Speed

Rajai Davis (OF, CLE) - 2% Owned

Despite not being an everyday player, Rajai Davis has 16 stolen bases on the season, which is top five in the league. From June 19 - June 24, Davis played in five games and stole a base in four of them. He's still got blazing speed, but just know he's not good for anything else.

Jarrod Dyson (OF, ARI) - 2% Owned

I know you're seeing a lot of retreads out here, but stolen bases are down across the league. It's very difficult to find new names. Jarrod Dyson plays mostly every day and has 13 steals on the year despite spending a good chunk of the season as a bench player. If you can deal with the hit to average, Dyson will run when he gets on base.

 

Power

Kike Hernandez (2B, 3B, SS, OF, LAD) - 24% Owned

Simply put, the man is hot right now. Kike Hernandez hit three homers over a 24 hour span last week and is up to 13 on the season. The 13 he has this season are already a career high, but there's reason to think this can continue. His fly ball rate is over 50% so he's giving the ball a chance to leave the yard. With series against the Pirates and Angels next week, the opposing pitching should not be too imposing.

Yonder Alonso (1B, CLE) - 33% Owned

Yonder Alonso is fully capable of a 30-35 home run season if he was an every day player. Unfortunately, he is not. On the bright side, the Indians play the Royals next week and the Royals have given up the most home runs in all of baseball. While the latter three games are against the Red Sox, you should get enough production against the Royals to make Alonso worth it.

 

Average

Albert Almora (OF, CHC) - 10% Owned

Albert Almora is still hitting well over .300 and is proving that his hot start is no fluke - the man can hit. The Cubs face the Tigers and Reds next week, both in the bottom seven in batting average against. Almora should continue his .300 level hitting next week.

Gerardo Parra (OF, COL) - 22% Owned

Credit to fantasy owners as Gerardo Parra's ownership percentage has gone up 15% since his appearance here last week (not suggesting any correlation). Parra remains a strong streaming candidate for average as he is still batting over .300 and his two opponents next week, the Giants and Mariners, both rank in the bottom half of the league in batting average against.

 

Strikeouts

Mike Fiers (SP, DET) - 6% Owned

While he's not striking out as many batters as his career 8.35 K/9 would suggest he should, Mike Fiers will have the privilege of a late week start against the Rangers next week. No team strikes out more than the Rangers. Fiers is a near lock to improve upon his current season's 6.72 K/9.

John Gant (SP, STL) - 2% Owned

This is a pretty deep streamer, but potentially worth it in normal sized leagues as well. John Gant has multiple seasons in the minors with a K/9 over 9.00. Next week, he'll take on the Giants who strike out the sixth most times in the league. Gant has some control issues, but his wildness might work to his benefit next week.

 

Wins

Mike Montgomery (SP, CHC) - 26% Owned

While the Cubs aren't as good as most expected, they are still a lot better than the Reds, Mike Montgomery's opponent next week. Montgomery has a respectable mid 3s ERA and should receive enough run support to defeat one of the worst teams in baseball.

Shelby Miller (SP, ARI) - 12% Owned

I know what you're thinking - what year is it? Yes, Shelby Miller is back and while he's certainly not particularly good at pitching anymore, the Padres are in dead last in the NL West. That's who Miller faces next week. His club, the Diamondbacks, are atop the division. The game is in Arizona. Everything points to a home team victory. But it might be of the ugly five innings, four earned runs variety.

 

ERA/WHIP

Anthony DeSclafani (SP, CIN) - 8% Owned

Don't expect a win from anyone pitching for the Reds, but do expect Anthony Desclafani to give you a nice outing against the light-hitting White Sox. The lesser Chicago team ranks 27th in runs scored, while Desclafani comes in with a manageable low 4s ERA. He can perform well against weaker offenses and that's exactly what we have here.

Zach Eflin (SP, PHI) - 30% Owned

Zach Eflin is a solid pitcher. He strikes out a batter an inning and has a mid 3s ERA. Next week, he'll start against the Orioles, who rank second to last in runs scored. Eflin should come out of that game with a quality start and then some.

 

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