First, a programming note: This feature will now be published on Mondays, rather than Wednesday as it was last week. The content, of course, remains unchanged. In this space, we'll take a look at the best outfielders available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. Consider this column your recommendations for Week 2 outfields waiver wire pickups.
Any and all advice at this point in the year carries the implicit caveat of "It's April." Don't get carried away with making any major changes to your roster at this stage of the game. Tinkering on the edges, though? That's perfectly fine, and that's what this column is designed to help you do.
Let's get down to business.Editor's note: Get 50% off any MLB Premium Pass. Draft guide, cheat sheets, 200 days of DFS access, and over 20 premium tools. Dominate your leagues all year long! Sign Up Now!
Week 2 Outfield (OF) Waiver Wire Targets
Ender Inciarte, Atlanta Braves (48% owned)
While his Week 1 performance was lackluster, Inciarte remains a viable three-category contributor. He’s a career .290 hitter whose OBP has risen in each of his three major league seasons. The veteran scored 85 runs last year despite missing 30 games and plying his trade in a middling Braves lineup. He’s locked in as the leadoff man after bouncing around the order a year ago. Inciarte has also averaged 19 stolen bases per season as a regular, and has enough speed to dream on further upside there.
Manuel Margot, San Diego Padres (47% owned)
For what should be obvious reasons, I usually avoid spotlighting a player in this space in consecutive weeks. Sometimes, my hand is forced. Margot’s ownership rate has doubled since last week’s installment, and he may not dip below the 50 percent cutoff the rest of the season if he can maintain anything close to the pace he’s set in the early going. The rookie is hitting .286/.333/.607 with a pair of homers, a stolen base, and eight R+RBI through seven games. He’s hit first or second in every contest so far, and there’s no reason to think that will change anytime soon.
Brett Gardner, New York Yankees (43% owned)
Like Inciarte and Margot, Gardner has been penciled in at the top of his team’s batting order in every game to this point. Encouragingly – and surprisingly, given the fact that he’s in his age-34 season – Gardner has already swiped three bags. He’s also hitting .280 with a .379 OBP even after going hitless in six plate appearances on Sunday. Gardner only hit seven home runs after going deep a combined 33 times in the previous two seasons, so you probably shouldn’t expect much pop. But he’s averaged 88 runs scored since becoming a regular in 2010, and appears to be making a concerted effort to be a threat on the base paths again after five straight years of declining stolen base totals.
Chris Owings, Arizona Diamondbacks (27% owned)
Owins won the starting shortstop job with a strong showing this spring, and has kept it up through the season’s first week. He’s hit .360 with a homer (off of Corey Kluber, no less) and four stolen bases through six games. Spring stats don’t mean much, but Owings showed some mechanical tweaks to his swing – namely, the addition of a leg kick – that could help him tap into a bit more pop. He’s been penciled in to the leadoff or #2 spot in the order in the majority of games so far, and swiped 21 bags as a part-time player a year ago.
Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals (14% owned)
Werth is nearing the end of the line. He’ll be 38 next month, hasn’t played 150 games since 2011, and will be a free agent at year’s end. There is, however, still some life in his bat. Werth hit 21 homers last season and has already gone deep twice in the first week of 2017. He’s particularly worth a look in OBP leagues, given his career 12.0% walk rate. And if by some chance your league counts facial hair as a category…well, that beard is still first-round material.
More Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds
Check out RotoBaller's entire 2017 fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!