Week 17 Waiver Wire - First Base (1B) and Third Base (3B)

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The roster changes continue and fantasy values will keep fluctuating. Now is the time to focus on speculative adds for players who may see increased roles or move to a better situation.

The corner infield positions traditionally offer power with the potential for high averages, so you may want to target players that can offer an advantage in those categories to bolster your team. In this piece, I'll identify waiver wire targets for first base and third base in week 17 who should be able to contribute in multiple categories, either as replacements or bench depth. These players are owned in 50% or less of Yahoo! leagues.

We'll also look at the names mentioned in last week’s post, noting which players have graduated off of the waiver wire (ownership higher than 50%), which are still recommended pickups, and which we are dropping off the list entirely.

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Week 17 Corner Infield (CI) Waiver Wire Targets

Cory Spangenberg (2B/3B/OF, SD) 10% owned

We always like the players who slot at multiple positions, but Spangenberg is naturally a second baseman who was moved to third base this year. He seems destined to keep the starting job there as long as he keeps hitting the way he has since the break. Spangenberg is riding an eight-game hitting streak with five multi-hit games, three home runs, and 10 RBI since the second half officially kicked off. The track record and name recognition may not be there, but Spangenberg was injured nearly all of last year and is a former first-round pick who the front office believes in. This could be the time for him to live up to expectations and deliver offensively for a franchise in need of stability at the hot corner. He's got a slight frame and isn't really a slugger, but he could finish with 15 HR and an average close to .300.

Victor Martinez (1B, DET) 29% owned

V-Mart has to turn things around eventually, right? Maybe the break did this aging vet some good, as Martinez is 10-for-29 (.345) with nine RBI in the past week. You already know what he brings to the plate, so you just have to believe that he'll get enough opportunities to drive in runs on a team that could become a seller. Martinez is far off last year's pace for power numbers, but nothing has changed for the worse in terms of plate discipline. In fact, he's striking out less while making more hard contact. The main difference is fewer fly balls and a lower HR/FB rate of 9.4%. If he makes an adjustment to start lifting the ball more, he could be in store for a power surge down the stretch.

Lucas Duda (1B, NYM) 9% owned

The Mets' first baseman has gone deep three times in 10 games since the break, although each was a solo shot. That's not the real reason to be interested in him as a waiver wire add this week. There have been rumors that Duda is drawing interest from the Yankees to fill their hole at first. If you can imagine the boost he'll get from going across town to the power haven of Yankee Stadium, that should be enough to draw your interest in many a mixed league. Duda has 17 homers on the year, but only 37 RBI to show for it. Those run-producing opportunities would also jump up dramatically on a far better offensive team. If you've got the space and are power-hungry at the corner position, he's worth a speculative add.

Trey Mancini (1B/OF, BAL) 46% owned

While Mancini has been snatched up in nearly all keeper leagues, he is still under the half-owned mark across all public leagues in Yahoo. This is probably because he's only swatted one homer in the past month. It might seem a curious time to recommend the rookie, during an extended slump, but what goes down must come up. Mancini's recent woes may obscure the fact he slashed .312/.354/.538 with 14 HR, 44 RBI in the first half. He's bound to get on track soon, especially with a slew of games against losing teams on the slate for Baltimore. This may be a good time to pounce on him if he was dropped in your league.

 

Hold For Now

Maikel Franco (3B, PHI) 46% owned - He isn't quite on a tear yet, but Franco is hitting .296 in the past week. He may finally be delivering on some of his preseason promise. Although I'd still prioritize Josh Bell over him at the CI position, if you strictly need a third baseman, Franco is top of the waiver list.

Jose Reyes (3B/SS, NYM) 16% owned - Reyes' walk-up music this year should be "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John (yes I'm old). Reyes hasn't registered any homers or steals, with just two runs scored this week. He has driven in five and holds a decent average so you may as well hold on until Amed Rosario finally gets the call, or Reyes is traded to become bench depth to a contender.

Matt Chapman (3B, OAK) 1% owned - Despite a two-homer night off Corey Kluber a week ago, Chapman was looking drop-worthy until a couple days ago. He went deep in back-to-back games, bringing his total to four HR, eight RBI in 65 at-bats. The power is there, although the .205 average isn't reassuring. If you're in a super-deep league, he is a power bat with upside, but not much else.

 

Cut Bait

Chase Headley (3B, NYY) 10% owned - Headley's time as the Yankees third baseman is all but over. He tried to up the ante by hitting .370 this past week, but it doesn't really matter. The acquisition of Todd Frazier was just step one. Headley is seeing time at first base, but that will change as soon as they swing a deal elsewhere.

 

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