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Week 5 Outfield Waiver Wire Targets

The first month of the 2018 season is, functionally at least, in the books. It doesn't get easier from here Rotoballers. Even the April juggernaut is starting to show some cracks in their once seemingly impenetrable armor. Injuries have taken down some of baseball's best recently, and the hunt is on for players who will fill those holes.

As always, Rotoballer is looking for adds for both shallow and deep leagues, but this week is a little deeper. This week, just one player has an ownership percentage over 13%, meaning these are players that don't show up on the first page of your waiver adds. But who cares about how many other players own a guy. All that matters is if they can produce. The guys below, they can produce.

Ballers don't wait. Ballers make moves. Money moves in fact, credit to Cardi B. Ballers don't care about the name on the back of the jersey. Ballers only care about the numbers next to the name. Let your competition go out of their way to acquire last year's studs. You're a baller, and you're too busy getting W's with guys your leaguemates have never heard of. Here are your week 5 outfield waiver wire targets.

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Week 5 Outfield Waiver Wire Targets

David Dahl (OF, COL) - 31% owned

Don't look now, but Dahl is hitting again. Since being promoted last week, Dahl has hit .316/.409/.526, and the pop is rebounding a bit with a .211 ISO. That said, the stats and metrics barely matter at this point as he's only taken 22 plate appearances. What matters for Dahl is that he looks relaxed at the plate, seems to be moving without restriction, and, most importantly, is smacking the ball when he connects. The power is real with Dahl, although expecting a .316 average going forward would be folly. This is likely the last week owners will be able to scoop him up off the wire.

Franchy Cordero (OF, SD) - 13% owned

Last week, Franchy Cordero had the most Franchy Cordero-esque batting line possible. Three home runs, six runs batted in, a .227/.261/.636 line, a single walk, and a whopping nine strikeouts, good for a 39.1% K rate. If you're a Franchy owner, this is what you're in for. Lots of power, a low average and OBP, and a metric ton of strikeouts. At this point, he's Joey Gallo-lite with some stolen bases thrown in for good measure.

But that has a lot of value in today's game. More importantly perhaps, the exciting youngster with the fun name who is hitting moonshots has a lot of perceived value  If you're in a league that penalizes for strikeouts, Cordero might actually be a really good trade chip as the season progresses. Consider if the possibility that the 23-year-old is invited to the home run derby, which is realistic since tied for 22nd in baseball with 6 homers on the season despite having logged nearly half of the at-bats as his contemporaries. There's no reason a guy like that wouldn't command a hefty trade package, especially in dynasty or keeper leagues. Regardless of your strategy or long-term plans, Cordero should be owned in all leagues.

Mac Williamson (OF, SF) - 10% owned

From last Sunday to Wednesday, San Francisco Giants' outfielder Mac Williamson broke out, hitting .364 with two home runs and four runs batted in before crashing into the outfield wall and going onto the 7-day concussion list. When he returns, it'll be to little fanfare, as the 27-year-old hasn't had enough time to really establish himself from a statistical perspective. But Williamson has nailed three bombs in 19 major league at-bats, with six more in just fifty at-bats this season at Triple-A. That's nine home runs across 69 plate appearances! Williamson is absolutely destroying the ball, and he's doing so courtesy of a shiny new swing developed over the winter.

The power for Big Mac has always been there, but he's generally struggled to get to it. With his back against the wall, he sought a private hitting coach and completely remodeled how he approaches at-bats. If you're interested in reading more, Fangraphs.com has an in-depth profile, but the Cliff's Notes include A) he has a new swing, B) he's smacking the noise out of the ball, and C) his new approach has been compared favorably to Justin Turner, by very smart baseball people to boot. That's enough for me to go in. Jump on him now before the rest of your league catches on.

Derek Fisher (OF, HOU) - 2% owned

Before this season, many baseball fans hadn't heard of prospect Derek Fisher. Then, the Astros refused to include him in talks for new frontline starter Gerrit Cole, preferring to deal top prospect third baseman Colin Moran instead. While 'Stros fans knew about Fisher, this line in the sand drew the attention of fantasy players in even the shallowest of leagues. After making the team out of spring training, the 24-year-old received reserve at-bats and has largely done little with them. This past week, however, that wasn't the case.

Over the last week, Fisher produced a .333/.385/.833 line with his first two home runs of 2018 over 13 plate appearances. The huge line is partially due to good production over a short period of time, and there's a lot of swing-and-miss to his game, but Fisher is a supremely talented athlete with tools necessary to be an elite combo threat. Over the last three seasons, Fisher has collected 58 home runs and 62 steals while showing "good enough" plate discipline. On a team with one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball, that kind of power and speed could translate to top 30 outfielder counting stats.

The downside is there's currently no reason to expect him to receive more than about that many at-bats per week. He's currently splitting time in the outfield with super-utilityman Marwin Gonzalez and Josh Reddick. That said, he has the physical tools to play any outfield position, including center. This means he's one injury away from getting regular at-bats for an extended period of time. Fisher is a stash that could be much, much more if he clicks, and could be useful enough on the days that he does play to merit match-up use in shallow leagues. To this Rotoballer, that's far more interesting with offers far more opportunity for profit than holding onto, say, Jose Bautista or Matt Joyce.

Johnny Field (OF, TB) - 0% owned

Here's a real deep cut for you Rotoballers. With ownership levels not even reaching enough to round up to one percent, here is a player that is universally available. Shallow leaguers might scoff and move on, as they may with some other guys on this list, but championships are won by stats, not names. The question for Field isn't "is he valuable". With a name like a generic create-a-player, it's clear that he's not. The question is this: "can he help your team".

Field has been moderately productive during his minor league career, which is all we have to go on at this point. The 26-year-old was drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 draft and has taken all 24 of his professional plate appearances over the last week. His numbers are, well, fine. Field produced a line of .227/.292/.409 with a pair of walks, five runs, three runs batted in, six strikeouts, a home run. His numbers this week don't make him interesting. What makes him interesting is the opportunity he has in Tampa's outfield.

You may not have noticed, but Tampa is running out pleasant surprise Mallex Smith on a daily basis, and flanking him with ageless wonder Denard Span and a very aged Carlos Gomez. The Rays' brain trust knows they're not competing this year, especially with Kevin Kiermaier on the mend. They're throwing guys at the wall and looking for something to stick. Where other teams tank, the Rays use a wasted season like a sort of trial by fire incubator, hoping a guy or two rises to the occasion to become the next diamond in the rough ala Ben Zobrist or personal favorite Johnny Gomes.

Regarding Field himself, he brings an all-around skill set, not unlike KK himself. He hits for about league average pop, so double digit home runs over a season is certainly in play. Field can run pretty well, so double digit steals is on the table as well. He's taken walks in about 7.5% of his at-bats, and struck out in around 20% on average over his minor league career. A .260 average with 15 homers and 15 stolen bases with enough run is the best case scenario, but that's a guy that has value. You probably don't need to pick up Field yet, to be honest, but you should know the name.

 

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