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It's ugly out there on the catcher landscape. The drop-off of player ownership goes from Jonathan Lucroy at 70%... which is still well above the 50% Yahoo! ownership cutoff that we use for these waiver wire columns... to Austin Barnes at 38%. That is one heck of a drop-off. It's like going into a neighborhood where you can either eat from a decent pizzeria or having to get food at a hot-dog stand whose working condition is suspect - and did you just see the guy sneeze into the same hand he used to get the food for you?

Still, there are some decent choices out there. Travis d'Arnaud is a possibility to start hit-- wait... an aide is whispering something in my ear. WHAT? POSSIBLE TOMMY JOHN SURGERY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Sigh. Never mind. I think d'Arnaud must have done something BAD in a previous life with all the injuries he's had in this one. One less in the catching pool. This is basically me now, except I'm more handsome (kidding):

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10-12 Team League Catcher Pickups

OK, I'm going to dig in, analyze some transaction trends and come up with the best catchers that you can snag off the waiver wire. At the last resort, I may just ask my cat. I mean, what else do I have to lose? Here are some catcher waiver wire pickups for Week 2, to consider adding to your teams. We'll show you three players to snag in 10-12 player leagues, and also three to look out for in two-catcher leagues. All of these players are just at or below 50% ownership in Yahoo! fantasy leagues:

 

Martin Maldonado (LAA) 10% owned

Los Angeles Angels catcher Martin Maldonado has been the flavor du jour for catchers on the waiver wires. Nearly 7,000 Yahoo! owners had scooped him up. People are drawn to the fact that Maldonado is driving in runs, with five RBI in the past three starts. That's a nice bit of offense for a position that's always hurt for backstops who can get people across the plate. This may wind up being an illusion borne from an early hot streak and pitchers not figuring out his weakness yet, but fantasy owners are not a picky lot at the moment. He's worth taking a chance on and if he falters, then just scour the waiver wires and transaction trends to see who the next hot catcher is that's worthy of a chance.

Matt Wieters (WAS) 7% owned

This is a good news/bad news kind of thing for Washington catcher Matt Wieters. He's been getting picked up by a decent amount of Yahoo! owners since he's just coming off the disabled list. The bad news is that he's still WAY under-owned. Whatever. I don't think he loses sleep over his fantasy numbers. Still, the only reason that he's on the 10-12 team list is that he's got a lot of catching experience and could rebound somewhat from his putrid 2017 season. Keep him on a short leash.

Francisco Cervelli (PIT) 12% owned

Like Wieters above, Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli is a known Major League commodity. Aside from desperation from the recent injuries, interest in Cervelli was piqued from a three-RBI game on April 10. He'd driven in another run on April 11, so get him while he's hot.

 

Two-Catcher League Pickups

Tucker Barnhart (CIN) 13% owned

Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart isn't doing TOO badly. He's got a .269 average with a homer. That's not enough to recommend him for a 10-12 team league. If he keeps up the good hitting with some pop, then that may change. Otherwise, keep him in the two-catcher format for now.

Austin Hedges (SD) 20% owned

In true Austin Hedges form, the Padres catcher already has two homers. He's also hitting below .200. It's all or nothing and this approach is going to keep him out of the larger catcher formats until he can show that he can hit for a halfway decent average. It's not worth it to have him be your main catcher and get a whole bunch of 0-fers in exchange for the occasional long ball.

Pedro Severino (WAS) 3% owned

Washington Nationals catcher Pedro Severino did more than just keep the seat warm for Wieters - he actually hit, with a .368 average. Now that he's likely going to fall back into the No. 2 catcher role, he's better in a two-catcher league. He could get more playing time if Wieters gets hurt, though. Keep an eye on him.

 

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