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Week 7 Waiver Wire: H2H Category Streamers

I like to consider myself a pioneer of the streaming approach. I won a league about seven years ago completely ignoring saves and just stacking up the starts each week. While streaming is undoubtedly more directly associated with pitching, there's plenty of value in streaming for offense as well.

Maybe you have a stacked roster and you can't drop anyone. But for those of us with a couple of guys on the roster fringes, it's never too early to look into targeting a specific player or two to gain an edge in a particular category. This season, I will be making weekly recommendations for extreme short term category specialists every week in three offensive areas: speed, power, and average; and three pitching areas: strikeouts, wins, and ratios (ERA/WHIP).

Below are my Week 7 category streamers for fantasy baseball. All position eligibility and ownership percentages are based on Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

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Head-to-Head Category Streamers to Consider


Jonathan Villar (2B, OF, MIL) - 47% Owned

The crop of speedsters out there is not great, so, unfortunately, we're forced to go with a guy that many of you won't be able to acquire. But if you can, Jonathan Villar is a guy with a 60 stolen base season on his resume. He struggled mightily in 2017, but looks to be experiencing a bit of a resurgence in 2018. He has stolen six bases in his first 103 plate appearances this season.

Mallex Smith (OF, TB) - 28% Owned

I certainly want to give you different names each week, but it would be a dereliction of duty on my part if I left Mallex Smith off the list. His ownership percentage doesn't seem to be rising despite the fact that it's now the middle of May and he is still hitting well over .300 while tied for the seventh most stolen bases in the league. He's already swiped another two in the past week.



C.J. Cron (1B, TB) 32% Owned

If you extrapolate C.J. Cron's numbers over the rest of the season, he projects to hit about 30 home runs. Next week, the Rays tangle with the Royals and Angels, neither of whom possess particularly strong pitching staffs. MegaCron has mega power and his hard hit rate is the highest of his career, near 40%.

Ryon Healy (1B, 3B, SEA) - 33% Owned

A popular breakout candidate in 2017, Ryon Healy did not put it together and was mostly a bust. He spent part of 2018 on the DL, but he's healthy now and the 26 year old has five home runs in just 67 plate appearances. That extrapolates to over 40 home runs over a full season. Neither the Orioles nor the Cardinals are great at recording outs.



Yolmer Sanchez (2B, 3B, CWS) - 14% Owned

The young infielder is a career .248 hitter who has been really hot recently. There's reason to believe Yolmer Sanchez can continue his hot streak that has seen him hit over .320 the past 14 days. Sanchez's soft contact rate is down 6% from his career average while his hard contact rate is up 8%. His early week starts against the Pirates may not be the best, but the four game series against the Rangers is very enticing.

Alex Gordon (OF, KC) - 6% Owned

Remember Alex Gordon? He's back now and he's off to a scorching start in his return from injury. He hasn't hit over .300 in a season since 2011, but he's got mostly favorable matchups next week against the Rays and Yankees (just don't start him against Luis Severino) and is hitting .321 over his first 83 plate appearances.



Nick Kingham (SP, PIT) - 27% Owned

This one is sneaky. Nick Kingham is currently in the minor leagues. However, the Pirates will need a fifth starter next week and Kingham was reportedly only sent down because of scheduled days off. He has no scheduled start next week, but he should be called up to pitch either against the White Sox or Padres. The White Sox are middle of the road in offensive strikeouts while the Padres love to swing and miss (second in the league). Kingham's K/9 is 11.68 over his two major league starts.

Kyle Freeland (SP, COL) - 12% Owned

Kyle Freeland's next start will be in San Francisco. The Giants strike out the fifth most times in baseball. Freeland's K/9 is a respectable 8.34. He should make plenty of bats miss.



Ty Blach (SP, SF) - 11% Owned

The Giants are a .500 team. They're average. The Reds are far, far below average. They may have just taken two out of three from the Mets, but the Reds are a bad team. Ty Blach's next start will come against the Reds and he will enjoy the luxury of pitching at home. The Giants will be favored in this game. Hopefully they can get a lead before Blach exits.

German Marquez (SP, COL) - 7% Owned

The Rockies are in second place in the NL West. They've done so by starting the season 15-8 on the road. German Marquez's next start will be at PETCO Park against the Padres...the last place Padres. Marquez fired three scoreless innings in his last start against the Padres, but had to exit early. As long as Marquez doesn't suffer any mishaps, he is likely to win this game.



Ian Kennedy (SP, KC) - 33% Owned

Last week, he was in the strikeouts section. This week, he finds himself in the ratios section. Ian Kennedy had a sub 3.00 ERA as of the time of this writing. His next start will come against Tampa Bay, a team in the bottom third of the league in runs scored. Kennedy's BABIP also is due for a bit of a regression. The Rays will not give Kennedy much trouble.

Jeremy Jeffress (RP, MIL) - 25% Owned

The general consensus on middle relievers in leagues that don't care about holds is that they don't have value. As Josh Hader has proven, that's not always the case. While there are very few middle relievers with true value, especially since they can't really help with quality starts or wins, Hader's teammate, Jeremy Jeffress, can certainly do a starter's worth of work for your ratios. Jeffress has a 0.45 ERA and a 0.70 WHIP through his first 20 innings. From May 1 - May 8, he pitched six innings of scoreless baseball while allowing only two baserunners. If you can get even four innings from him in a week, he will be worth it.


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