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Every Monday we’ll be checking in on some names to keep an eye on and add to your watch list. Some may require quick action while others are simply options to keep in mind down the road.

We're still in the very early stages of the season but every bit of additional data helps.

Here's who you should be watching this week on the fantasy baseball waiver wire, for week three of the 2018 season:

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Players to watch in 10-team leagues

Trevor Williams (SP/RP, PIT): 26% owned

Williams has been an intriguing back end arm for a while now, and his start to 2018 has done nothing to dispute that. He doesn’t strike out many batters - he’s fanned just 10 in 17.1 innings - but his career strikeout rate is a few ticks higher, giving him some room to regress positively. It might be just enough to offset a very high strand rate (91.8%) and BABIP (.255) that are likely due to normalize soon and drive that nice 1.56 ERA north.

Francisco Cervelli (C, PIT): 34% owned

Williams’ battery mate Cervelli has been a big part of the resurgent Pirates offense, slashing .279/.380/.535 with 2 HR and 11 RBI. He’s started all but two games, and while that pace is unsustainable, it shows the Pirates are committed to playing him as much as possible. Catchers tend to break out later than other position players, and at 32 Cervelli certainly still has a bit of time left.

Orlando Arcia (SS, MIL): 44% owned

Arcia was a highly ranked prospect a few seasons ago but has gone under the radar since making his MLB debut in 2016. Arcia narrowly missed the 15-15 club in 2017 (he registered 14 steals) and while he’s off to a slow start in 2018, his walk and strikeout rates remains largely intact. He’ll need to reverse his early ground ball trend (61.1 GB%) and make more hard contact (25.0%) to be an asset, so keep an eye for now but be ready to add.

Logan Morrison (1B, MIN): 25% owned

Morrison's start to the season has been utterly abysmal: he’s 3-for-34 with no home runs and just a pair of RBI, which is exactly why he needs to be on watch lists. He’s still hitting plenty of fly balls (50.0%) but his hard contact has fallen off a cliff, from 37.4% in 2017 to 23.1% currently. Once that starts to rise, so should his .115 BABIP and the homers are likely to follow. Remember, he hit 38 bombs a year ago.

Miles Mikolas (SP, STL): 36% owned

Mikolas was a big question mark heading into the season, and after three starts that hasn’t changed. His two wins sandwiched a very rough outing and his 4.26 ERA is nothing special, but his 3.10 xFIP and 1.11 WHIP paint a different picture. He’s not going to be a strikeout machine, but he looks capable of helping in the ratio categories.

 

Players to watch in 12-team leagues

Joe Mauer (1B, MIN): 19% owned

Mauer’s hit tool has always been his calling card, but after his power breakout in 2009 (28 HR, .587 SLG) many believed he had added that skill to his arsenal. Boy, were they wrong. That said, Mauer can still hit, and in 10 games this season he’s hitting .412 and getting on base a TON (22.7 BB%). He’s likely a one category contributor at this point, but he could be a huge help there as an injury replacement. Keep him firmly entrenched on your watch list.

Ben Zobrist (2B/OF, CHC): 13% owned

Versatility is the name of the game for Zobrist, and although he doesn’t quite play all over the field anymore, he still maintains multi-position eligibility. He’s filled in admirably for the injured Anthony Rizzo at 1B, including a 3-for-3 performance on Saturday with two walks, a triple, three runs and two RBI. He’ll get his chances to hit throughout the season.

Ketel Marte (SS, ARI): 8% owned

Marte has a power-speed profile that bears watching after hitting six homers and stealing seven bags in 70 games at Triple-A last season and swatting another five dingers with three steals in 73 games at the big league level. He’s got none of either this season in 14 games, but he’s playing every day in the two-hole for Arizona.

Robert Gsellman (SP/RP, NYM): 8% owned

Gsellman has added velocity since his move to the pen and has put up some impressive numbers as a result: a 1.23 ERA (1.02 xFIP) and 14.73 K/9. That’ll do. He’s also picked up three holds and is establishing himself as a trusted weapon in the mid-to-late innings. He’s a solid option for those seeking help with their ratios, and a potential source of saves should injuries occur.

Stephen Piscotty (OF): 17% owned

His struggles last season have been well documented and he hasn’t exactly set the world ablaze through 14 games, but Piscotty still has promise and the A’s seem confident in him as their everyday right-fielder. He hit his first homer on Saturday, which could be a sign of things to come.

 

Players to watch in deeper leagues (14-team or AL/NL only)

Chris Stratton (SP, SF): 4% owned

Stratton falls into the Trevor Williams camp but with fewer career innings to his name. He won’t strike out many and he doesn’t really keep the ball on the ground, but he pitches out of a pitcher’s park and has consistently beaten his xFIP throughout his major and minor league career.

Luis Valbuena (1B/3B, LAA): 5% owned

Hitting below the Mendoza Line in 2017 was a bit surprising given his career .263 average, but Valbuena’s paltry .210 BABIP was largely to blame. Valbuena has started strong in 2018 with three home runs, eight RBI and 10 runs in 16 games for the high-flying Angels, and he’s even hitting a robust .291. A solid power option to keep tabs on.

Leonys Martin (OF, DET): 2% owned

The Tigers’ signing of Martin wasn’t big news this offseason but Martin has had a decent start to the season (.271 AVG, 8 R) while walking in 11.1% of his at-bats. He hasn’t been hitting the ball particularly hard but if he starts dialing up the exit velocity while maintaing his fly ball rate (a healthy 55.3%), he could be an ok power source in deep leagues.

Steve Pearce (1B/OF, TOR): 8% owned

Admittedly, Pearce is not a great option in weekly leagues as he often doesn’t start again right-handed pitching. His numbers against lefties, however, are off the charts. He’s slugging .733 in 15 ABs with a 195 wRC+ and he owns a lifetime .843 OPS against lefthanders. Someone to monitor.

Brian Goodwin (OF, WAS): 3% owned

The Nationals seem to have trouble keeping outfielders healthy, which could be golden for Goodwin. The 27-year-old suffered a minor wrist injury himself, but appears likely to avoid a DL stint. With Adam Eaton out for the short term and top prospect Victor Robles injured with a hyperextended elbow, Goodwin will get every chance to prove his worth. He has an intriguing power-speed combo that could prove useful in deeper leagues.

 

Other players to watch:

Homer Bailey (SP, CIN): 6% owned
Jose Pirela (2B/OF, SD): 11% owned
Matt Boyd (SP, DET): 5% owned
Vince Velasquez (SP, PHI): 13% owned
Anibal Sanchez (SP, ATL): 1% owned

 

Notable updates from last week's list:

Nick Pivetta (SP, PHI) - Now up to 25% ownership from 9% after a second straight solid performance (7 IP, 1 ER, 7 K, 0 BB; 19:2 K:BB ratio in 16.2 IP). The buying window is closing and he has a two-start week coming up.

Christian Villanueva (3B, SD) - His ownership has dropped slightly despite cranking out another homer. He now has 4 HR, 8 RBI and 6 R in 13 games.

Jarlin Garcia (RP, MIA) - Garcia made his first big league start Wednesday and promptly threw six no-hit innings before being removed after throwing just 77 pitches. Yes, you read that correctly. He's still just 4% owned and worth a close eye as long as he remains in the rotation.

 

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