Fantasy Baseball

2018 Waiver Wire Report: Week 22 – Playoff Prep

At this point in the season names do not matter, only production. You can no longer afford to sit and wait for that struggling star or promising rookie you’ve been sitting on all year that have given little to no return. Those solid players that carried you to the first half that have since gone cold – off you go. And if you have more DL players than you do DL slots, it’s time to decide which ones are worth holding because the others are sitting on valuable real-estate.

The same goes for those hot pickups from a few weeks ago. If they have cooled off considerably they need to go. Remember it’s not about what they did for you, it’s about what have they done lately and what they can do for you going forward. Now there are exceptions to the rule. You are not going to toss aside a slumping top star/stud player with a proven track record. But, everyone else is fair game if there is something of more value on waivers.

With playoffs looming in H2H and five weeks left for point and roto leagues every spare spot on your roster. The best part is with half of your league out of contention and attention most likely turned to football (or maybe basketball or hockey) the competition vying for those free agents is half of what it was last month – probably less than that in point and roto leagues. Take a few minutes – assess your roster – identify the dead weight – then look on the waiver wire and take advantage of those hot bats and arms. And don’t turn your nose up at a player because they have done nothing all year. Remember, it only maters what they are doing now.

This has been a public service announcement. We now return you to your waiver wire article already in progress.

* ownership rates under 50% on Yahoo and ESPN – CBS & Fantrax may be higher due to more keeper leagues.

  • Kendrys Morales

His season totals are acceptable which explains his higher ownership levels. However, thanks to a slow start, not everyone has notices that Morales continues to improve as the season draws on. After a disappointing start to the season Morales hit .277 in June with 4 home runs. In July he hit another 4 home runs but with a .338 average. He started August off slow, but has turned up the heat in the past week batting .571 with 5 home runs, 9 RBI and a 1,857 OPS.

He’s only one week into a hot streak which could go one of two ways. He can carry it on for another week or two or quickly fizzle. Given his power numbers and level of production the past two years I’m banking on this lasting a little longer.

  • Melky Cabrera

I’ve always had a soft spot for Cabrera. He isn’t a flashy and he isn’t a youthful pick with upside. What Cabrera brings to the table is consistency – solid batting average, a little power, and acceptable run and RBI totals. He makes a great OF4 and now gets to play for a team with some great protection –  protection that can only elevate his game. After accepting a minor league offer, a slow start, and basically having to fight for an opportunity to play every day, he now has that and is responding in kind. Over the last two weeks he is batting .341 with 5 home runs and 14 RBI.

With the unfortunate news of Leonys Martin missing the rest of the season we should see the “Melk Man” in there on a regular basis. And just like every week so far this season, my recommendation crosses paths with this weeks Stock Watch, with Hunter Denson supporting Melky as a solid addition. Batting 6th he will not get many scoring opportunities, but you’ll get average, RBI, and some home runs thrown in.

  • Greg Allen

Melky may not score many runs, but his teammate Allen could help you there along with giving you a boost in the stolen base department. He has 12 steals for the season but 8 over his last 91 at bats. Allen is a legitimate 30+ stolen base threat and displayed solid plate discipline in the minors – good enough to be a major league regular. He hasn’t seen a day off in the past two weeks so like Melky the playing time and at bats will be there. Over the past two weeks he has really heated up batting .349 with 5 steals and 7 runs scored.

You will get no power here, and batting 9th the RBI opportunities will be limited. But runs, steals and average are all in play if you have in need in those categories.

  • Willy Adames

Adames has forced his way into the regular lineup thanks in part to a .348 average in August, .375 over the past two weeks. He has 4 home runs and 4 steals this month along with 11 each in runs RBI. He has been batting 6th, but has also seen a few games batting 5th so the Rays apparently are running with his good fortune. At first glance there doesn’t appear to be anything special about his minor league profile, that is until you see he is only 22 years old so maybe we can expect a little more power than we’ve seen in years past. While his minor league average seems solid enough, there are some strikeout issues to keep an eye on.

The jury is out on what to think of Adames. I’m usually all over players on a streak, and I love that he qualifies for both 2B and SS. That being said, I might only roll the dice in 14 team leagues or larger that use a MI slot. I think there should be better in 12-team leagues, but if there isn’t and you need MI help he isn’t a bad quick option.

  • Dansby Swanson

The former first round draft pick hasn’t made a major league impact yet, although he has improved overall compared to last year. That’s really not saying much, so it’s hard to get excited when I see a .286 average with 4 home runs, 12 RBI and 8 runs scored over the last two weeks. It’s even harder when I see a .238, .233 and .230 average in June, July and August combined with his lowest major league walk and highest strikeout percentage. Still, those are some pretty nice numbers coming out of the eight-hole.

Like Adames above, I see Swanson as more of a deep league add, but depending on what’s on waivers he might make a decent stopgap while he’s hot and you’re waiting for something better to come along.

  • Tyler White

It has been two weeks since I last recommended Tyler White. What has he done during that time? Well, not much really, except hit .353 with 3 home runs and 8 RBI. And that rising strikeout total I was concerned about; he has just 6 strikeouts over his last 30 at bats. He is hitting lefties and righties equally well so there is no worries about a platoon. Best of all is the Astros have been batting him 4th or 5th which shows they believe in his bat, and that translates to some solid counting stats.

If you just lost Jose Abreu, have been shuffling a replacement for Joey Votto, or are tired of waiting for Eric Hosmer, Carlos Santana or Wil Myers to come around, this is one pick I highly recommend for the remainder of the season.

  • Jeff McNeil

I balked on listing McNeil last week, but maybe I was too quick to judge. He did hit .296 or higher at every level, holds a minor league .311 batting average (1,613 AB), and was batting .368 in Triple-A prior to his promotion. What made me pass was the fact that before this season he had yet to hit more than 4 home runs in a season and did not reach double-digits in stolen bases the past two years after doing so the three years prior. However, this year he had 19 home runs and 6 steals – in the PCL – another reason I passed.

I’ve since come around given he is 97 at bats into his major league career and batting .330, and while he has just 2 homers and one steal he is scoring (14) and driving in runs (10). The Mets are batting him second so I expect the counting stats to continue. Combined with the batting average he’s a three category contributor that will chip in the occasional home run and steal. Depending on your needs McNeil might be just what you’re looking for.

Prospect Watch

If you have no immediate needs in your lineup and have the bench room you should consider stashing a prospect or two. With the minor league season soon coming to a close and rosters expanding next weekend there will be a host of new faces to consider. While I cannot predict who will get the call there are a few that could make an immediate impact, both in real life and fantasy.

  • Eloy Jimenez: 21 HR, 71 RBI, 15.16 K%, .337 average between AA & AAA. Unless the White Sox want a riot on their hands they will have little choice but to give Jimenez a September audition.
  • Peter Alonso: 32 HR, 109 RBI, 14.09 BB%, .278 average between AA & AAA. He hit .286 or higher up through AA , but a .242 average and 28.23 K% shows he could struggle at first. The power is real, though, and that’s what you want him for.
  • Vladimir Guerrero: 18 HR, 70 RBI, .449 OBP, 10.23 K%, .390 average between AA & AAA. By all rights his name should be first, but will the Blue Jays start his service time clock early to appease the fans?
  • Austin Meadows: He is hitting .316 with 6 home runs over 76 at bats since being traded to Tampa Bay. Unlike Pittsburgh there is nobody standing in his way now, and it appears the change of scenery has given a new spark to the former first rounder.
  • Kevin Cron: 22 HR, 91 RBI, .313 average in AAA. Four straight 20+ HR, 88+ RBI seasons with improving K% & BB% the past two seasons. He moved from first to third base this year to clear a path and newly acquired Eduardo Escobar can shift to 2B or SS.

Previous Recommendations


This is the last week Mike Fiers will appear here. His ownership rate is over 50% and he should be owned in all competitive leagues. If he is still available in your league – Last Call!

Continue to ADD

  • Nick Williams, Hunter Renfroe, Joey Wendle, Todd Frazier, Jackie Bradley Jr., Logan Forsythe, Joe Musgrove, Nick Pivetta, Trevor Williams and Derek Holland should all be owned right now.
  • A solid week has C.J. Cron back in the add column. Normally I would wait another week to move a player up, but his numbers to date justifies my choice.
  • I still like Harrison Bader, but keep a close eye on his production as it looks like he could be slowing down. The same goes for Michael Conforto who has been up and down all year.
  • Johan Camargo has shown some inconsistencies over the last three weeks. Like Bader and Conforto, monitor him closely as the last thing you want is a blackout during your playoff run.

HOLD (not good enough to add but maybe too good to drop)

  • Trevor Hildenberger now appears to have competition in the name of Taylor Rogers. If there truly is a committee Rogers looks to be the front-runner, but being a lefty they could both close depending on who’s at bat.
  • The Austin Jackson train is starting to derail. I’d bail out now just to be safe, maybe hold one more week in leagues with 15 or more teams (unless he O’fers this weekend).
  • Kyle Gibson has three good, three bad and one middle of the road starts over his last seven. After three solid months with an ERA in the mid-3s it appears the luck is turning the other way.
  • Trevor Richards had a strong July, but he has yet to complete six innings in August. I would drop him outright if not for the strikeouts and potential to turn things around.
  • I was really hoping Manuel Margot had turned the corner, but with two consecutive bad weeks – this just may not be his year.
  • Aledmys Diaz is also in a funk with no track record to justify holding out hope much longer.


  • Eduardo Nunez is not getting enough playing time to matter in standard leagues.
  • Steven Souza is starting to see more than the occasional day off and is just 7 for 32 (.219) with one run scored over the past 14 days.
  • Randal Grichuk should start seeing more bench time in September and is 7 for 43 over the past two weeks. The same goes for Nick Ahmed who is 7 for 34 with 3 combined runs+RBI during the same span.
  • I have not seen anything official, but if Mark Trumbo is considering knee surgery he isn’t even worth a DL stash.


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By Jim Finch

The self proclaimed Grand High Exhausted Mystic Ruler of Fantasy Baseball. While I am not related to Jennie or Sidd Finch, I will attempt to uphold the integrity of the Finch family name as it relates to baseball.