Week 18 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 18 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 18 Corner Infield (CI) Waiver Wire Targets

Rafael Devers (3B, BOS) 41% owned

The Red Sox solved their third base dilemma in two interesting ways: they traded for Eduardo Nunez and called up top prospect Rafael Devers. The Nunez deal was made after Devers was brought up and it appears Nunez will fill a utility role. In fact, he has played DH and second base, not third, in his first two games with the club. Devers is a consensus top-20 overall prospect who recently played in the MLB Futures Game. His pedigree alone makes him worth adding, but he's justifying the promotion so far with a .300 average and two homers in his first 20 at-bats. He slashed .296/.354/.482 in the minors and has shown great plate discipline, especially considering his age. At 20 years old, he has a world of potential and is a top-flight keeper option. He is likely to have ups and downs this season, however, so if consistency is what you seek then proceed cautiously.

Yonder Alonso (1B, OAK) 49% owned

Every time his ownership dips under 50%, I will keep putting Alonso on this list. Despite all the positive changes Alonso has made this season in terms of training, approach, and even launch angle, fantasy owners just don't believe in his career year lasting. He had been in a bit of a funk lately, possibly related to trade rumors, but he did go 3-for-6 with two RBI and a walk-off homer on Sunday. As of this writing, he is still in Oakland, although that could change before the deadline. Regardless, Alonso doesn't seem destined to flop down the stretch. As always, check the transactions closely on Monday to see if he has a new address. More than likely, anywhere he would wind up will help his value.

Gerardo Parra (1B/OF) 44% owned

At risk of recommending him at the tail end of a hot streak, Parra is someone who can't be ignored any longer. He has driven in five runs in the last four games and is batting a blistering .491 for the month of July. A 1-for-8 performance in Sunday's double-header lowered his season average to .354. The only real issue with Parra has been consistent playing time. In head-to-head leagues, it might be hard to swallow starting a player who only starts four or five times a week. In most other formats, he should in there on a regular basis for his batting average. A word of warning: he almost never walks (nine times in 218 plate appearances), so if your league counts OBP he won't be as useful as you would think.

 

Hold For Now

Lucas Duda (1B, TB) 11% owned - He did get shipped after all, just to a different AL East team than we expected. Duda will now DH full-time for the Rays, sliding Corey Dickerson to the outfield. This doesn't necessarily help his value, however, as Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field ranks 25th in Home Run Park Factor for left-handed hitters. It hasn't stopped Logan Morrison or Steven Souza from putting up big power numbers, though. Duda should still be good for power only.

Cory Spangenberg (2B/3B/OF, SD) 10% owned - He's still hitting well and has scored six runs in his last five games. The only complication is Yangervis Solarte returning from the DL and Carlos Asuaje holding his own at second base, which means Spangenberg and/or Solarte will be moved around the diamond with the occasional day off. His value seems limited to rotisserie leagues with at least 14 teams and a multitude of roster spots.

Trey Mancini (1B/OF, BAL) 46% owned - Mancini keeps rewarding those who put faith in him, jacking two homers and driving in six over the past week. He's a surefire keeper and might just finish this season with better power numbers than teammate Mark Trumbo, if you can believe it. Oh, and he's hitting a hair below the .300 mark too.

Victor Martinez (1B, DET) 29% owned - This is a tough one, as V-Mart hasn't done anything to warrant cutting him, nor has he done much to excite fantasy owners. Age seems to have caught up with him after all, turning him into a marginal corner infield option. If you are in maintenance mode, he should be fine, but if you need to pad some stats in the power categories then you should look elsewhere for higher upside.

 

Cut Bait

 N/A

 

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