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Week 16 Waiver Wire - Catcher

Entering Week 16 of the Fantasy Baseball season, injuries have played a huge factor on various catchers on the waiver wire. Whether it's players recently being activated off the disabled list, or others benefiting from teammates being placed on the DL, the catcher position has been livelier than usual on the waiver wire.

If you're looking for help at the catcher position, this article is for you. With only so many top-flight catchers in Fantasy Baseball, the waiver wire is commonly used for help at the backstop position. The players below are all owned under 50% and could be a massive help to your team as you enter Week 16.

With the All-Star break and Trade Deadline rapidly approaching, the Fantasy Baseball landscape is almost due for a massive change. For now, here are the six catchers you should be targeting if you're scouring the waiver wire.

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Tier One

The following players enter Week 16 with the most potential. They've found themselves in a position where they will earn more playing time and have a higher opportunity to produce runs. If you're looking for the "hot hand" at catcher, these options are your best bet.

Sandy Leon (C, BOS) 2% owned

Boston Red Sox starting catcher Christian Vazquez was recently placed on the disabled list with a broken finger and is expected to miss six to eight weeks. During his absence, it's expected that Sandy Leon will get most of the starts behind the plate. With Leon now in a starting role, he makes for one of, if not the best catcher pickup in Week 16.

On the season, Leon is hitting .252 with four home runs, 18 RBI and 16 runs scored. Over his last nine games, he has hit .276 with one home run, four RBI and three runs scored.

The Red Sox offense currently ranks first in the MLB with 502 runs scored. He'll regularly be in the same lineup as guys like Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez and Andrew Benintendi.

Leon isn't the most offensively gifted catcher in the league, but he has looked solid in his limited playing time. Now working as a starter, Leon will have an opportunity to produce in the best offensive lineup in the league. If you're in need of a catcher, Leon should be your guy in Week 16.

Matt Wieters (C, WSH) 3% owned 

While Leon is benefiting from a teammate hitting the disabled, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters is just coming off the DL himself. After missing almost two months with a hamstring injury, Wieters is healthy and back in the potent Nats lineup.

Wieters has appeared in just 24 game during the 2018 season, hitting .232 with three home runs and seven RBI. He is, however, coming off of back-to-back double digit home run seasons and is just two years removed from an All-Star appearance in 2016. He's not the player he was during the early 2010, but there's still a bit of pop and potential in Wieter's bat.

Washington's offense has been sputtering recently, but still sits 16th in the MLB with 400 runs scored. Wieters is going to hit at the bottom of the lineup but still gets an opportunity to drive in guys like Bryce Harper and Trea Turner.

He isn't entering the same situation as Leon, but Wieters has proven to be a solid hitter in the MLB. You can't expect greatness, but a double-digit home run season is entirely possible. Getting that for free this late in the fantasy calendar seems like a bargain.


Tier Two

These players have found their way into more playing time recently, but aren't as consistent as the tier one options. If neither is available you could look to either of these players. Both of these catchers are more streamable than they are season-long options, however, they both potentially have high ceilings in Week 16.

Austin Hedges (C, SD) 6% owned

San Diego Padres catcher is in a very similar situation to Matt Wieters. After spending a large chunk of the season on the disabled list, he has returned to action and is poised to see the majority of his team's starts behind the plate. Since returning, Hedges has made his mark and been one of the more productive catchers in the game.

Over 36 games in 2018, Hedges has hit just .221 with four home runs and 16 RBI. However, in his seven games in the month of July, Hedges is hitting .368 with two home runs, five RBI and two runs scored. Hedges currently has the third highest July batting average among catchers who have appeared in at least seven games. He's also one of just 12 catchers with double digit home runs thus far this month.

Hedges slips into the tier two category due to the lack of Padres' offense as well as his spot in the batting order. Hedges usually bats eighth and unlikely Wieters, doesn't have a power offensive attack to back him up. Despite his shortcomings, Hedges has proved in his small sample size in July that he could still make his mark on offense.

Hedges is undoubtedly a risk addition, there's no word on how long his streak will keep up. However, Hedges has been on a tear lately and has arguably been one of the best offensive catchers in the game. It might be worth taking a shot on the Padres' catcher to see if you can ride his momentum to a couple of fantasy wins.

Jacob Nottingham (C, MIL) 0% owned

Of all the catchers on the list, Jacob Nottingham is the most risky. He has appeared in just four games at the MLB level in his career, all in 2018, and is just a .222 hitter. However, he had a prolific minor league career and was once a top prospect. He could find his way to regular playing time, and is the best low-low/high-ceiling dice roll heading into Week 16.

Over six seasons in the minors, Nottingham hit .259 with 53 home runs, 251 RBI and 27 stolen bases. He was ranked as the 17th best prospect in the Brewers organization by MLB Pipeline in 2017. The site complimented his raw power while also questioning his consistency.

Brewers' starting catcher Manny Pina recently went on the disabled list with a bicep injury. It's not known exactly how long he'll be out for. In the meantime, Nottingham has been spitting starts with Erik Kratz. Kratz is much more known for his defense whereas Nottingham is known for his offense. If the Brewers give Nottingham more opportunities to prove himself at the major league level, he could potentially be a difference maker.

Nottingham could end up being sent down just as quickly as he was called up. However, he has shown obvious potential and if the Brewers give him a chance to start regularly perhaps he could end up being rosterable in deeper mixed leagues and two-catcher leagues overall. For now, he's certainly a player to keep an eye on.


Other Options

These players don't have very high ceilings, but they have high floors. While the other players on this list have more potential, these are likely the safest players you can add. Claiming one gives you a catcher who is going to start regularly and while he won't win you any leagues, he'll do just enough to keep you afloat at the catcher position.

John Hicks (C/1B, DET) 49% owned

John Hicks is a player who has been on this list before. With Miguel Cabrera going down with injury, he has become the Detroit Tigers full-time first baseman. As he earns regular starts, he is certainly a player worth rostering. With Hicks nearing 50% ownership, this is the last time he'll be on this list.

On the season, Hicks is hitting .279 with eight home runs and 30 RBI. He usually hits right in the middle of the order, with most of his at-bats in 2018 coming at fifth or sixth in the lineup. Despite playing on a bad Tigers team, Hicks will have ample opportunities to score runs. He isn't the flashiest player, but he has one of the highest floors among players owned below 50%, making him worth a pickup in most leagues.

Yan Gomes (C, CLE) 36% owned

Yan Gomes is another player who has been featured on this list multiple times. However, his ownership remains low. There's only so many good things to say about Gomes. He is in the middle of his best offensive season as a pro and has run away with the starting job. He remains a safe play the rest of the season, and like Hicks will be making his last appearance on this list.

Gomes is hitting .251 with 10 home runs, 28 RBI and 31 runs scored on the season. He hits right in the middle of one of the highest scoring offenses in the league and will have numerous opportunities to both score and produce runs. Like Hicks, Gomes isn't the most flashy backstop but he's a safe pickup if you're looking to add a catcher off the waiver wire.


Waiver Order

This is the order by which the players in this article should be picked up. If the top option is already owned in your league, follow this list to see who you should be targeting.

1.) Sandy Leon

2.) Matt Wieters

3.) Yan Gomes

4.) John Hicks

5.) Austin Hedges

6.) Jacob Nottingham


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