As we get into the thick of things this April, the injuries are starting to pile up. Fortunately, some of the lesser-owned players are starting to heat up and show that fantasy value can always be found if you look hard enough.
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 Week 3 waiver wire targets for first base and third base 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.
From here on out 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.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 3 Corner Infield (CI) Waiver Wire Targets
Chase Headley (3B, NYY) - 33% owned
On a team filled with exciting young players, it has been boring veteran Chase Headley who is the fantasy darling of April. Headley is hitting .378 with a pair of homers and, more shockingly, three stolen bases. Headley did steal as many as 17 bases twice when he was with the Padres, but has just 15 over the last three seasons combined. Plus, he's at the ripe age of 33 now. Headley won't keep this up, as his .462 BABIP suggests, but he could be useful for a week or so if you are looking for a replacement third baseman.
Mitch Moreland (1B, BOS) - 12% owned
Dropping into the heart of Boston's lineup has done wonders for the left-handed slugger. Moreland only has one home run this year, but has been a doubles machine with a league-leading nine. He is slashing a cool .333/.417/.619 over 42 at-bats. The short fence in right field could eventually play to his advantage, but for now Moreland looks like a better player for points leagues than roto. We know what his ceiling is - around 25 HR, 85 RBI and a .280 average if everything breaks right. Buy into him if you want a relatively safe option in 14+ team leagues.
Lucas Duda (1B, NYM) - 16% owned
Duda has been one of the hottest sluggers at first base this week, jacking three homers. Granted, they were all solo shots and accounted for all his runs and RBI on the week, but it's a good sign at least. The question with Duda hasn't been ability so much as health. The big man missed 115 games last season and was brought along slowly this spring. So far so good, as he's also slashing a healthy .286/.390/.686.
Joey Gallo (3B, TEX) - 15% owned
Gallo's stay was expected to be a short one, but Adrian Beltre's return has been delayed to the end of April now that he's experienced a setback. It's not often I recommend a three-true-outcome player like Gallo if he isn't guaranteed a full-time job and shown a track record of 30-40 HR seasons like, say Chris Davis. In this case, Gallo could be useful in a corner spot as a streamer. He actually put together a four-game hitting streak that didn't include a homer; he even threw in a stolen base. Gallo could swing either way, leaving you vulnerable to cold streaks as well, so he isn't recommended for the risk-averse fantasy player.
Trey Mancini (UTIL, BAL) - 9% owned
To be honest, I had someone else listed here before Sunday's games, but Mancini can't be ignored any more. He put up his second two-HR, four-RBI game in the last five days. This is all the more impressive considering he isn't playing every day. Mancini has a total of 35 Major League at-bats, so temper your expectations before we call him the next Gary Sanchez. Still, with a 5.0 AB/HR pace right now and 20+ HR in each of his last two minor league seasons, he is certainly worth a flier if you have the roster space.
Mark Reynolds (1B/3B, COL) - 63% owned
He's cooling off a bit, but that could be said for the entire Rockies lineup. Reynolds has just a .276 OBP in the last seven games, but he has at least registered a hit in each of the last four. Reynolds is a hold in 12+ team leagues until Ian Desmond returns.
Yangervis Solarte (2B/3B, SD) - 64% owned
Solarte has slowed down to a .213 average over the last week, but he still has a sweet spot in the lineup behind Wil Myers and has shown that he has the power to back it up. It's also encouraging that the Padres' young outfielders, Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe, are contributing offensively. He should remain a steady source of RBI and average throughout the season.
Hold For Now
Ryan Zimmerman (1B, WAS) - 46% owned
Zimmerman got a day of rest Sunday, but hasn't shown signs of slowing down lately. He's batting .341 on the season so far. The downside for this week is that the Nats will be leaving home and travelling to face the Braves and Mets, which will be less hitter-friendly venues.
Logan Morrison (1B, TB) - 11% owned
Hopefully you had LoMo in your lineups on Friday, when he hit a grand slam against reigning Cy Young winner Rick Porcello. Morrison is traditionally a slow starter, hitting .236 in the month of April for his career. Ride his hot streak while it lasts.
Howie Kendrick (1B/2B/3B/OF, PHI) - 43% owned
Kendrick's performance hasn't dipped, but he was out of Sunday's game after trying to make a diving catch the previous day. It appears to be general soreness and nothing serious, but if you added him last week, check your daily lineups. The jack-of-all trades should be useful in deep leagues.
Yulieski Gurriel (1B/3B, HOU) - 28% owned
Gurriel simply hasn't gotten going with the bat this year. He put together a nice series in Seattle, going 6-for-12, but he has zero home runs and one run batted in so far. You can't afford to keep waiting for him to get it together and the Astros may not either. Keep him on your watch list just in case, but feel free to move on.