Waiver Wire Targets: Week 4

The pool of desirable starting pitchers has dried up as the breakouts (e.g. Steven Matz and Carlos Rodon) have been permanently rostered. Try to grabbed anyone left to fill your rotation to cycle through for the rest of the season. Bullpens have stabilized and for now, few options are available and desirable.

In the following article, I’m going to at least cover the players in demand using CBS’s (40% or less initial roster rate) and Yahoo’s ADD/DROP rates. Both hosting sites have the option for daily and weekly waiver wire adds. CBS uses a weekly change while Yahoo looks at the last 24 hours. Yahoo is a great snapshot of right now while CBS ensures hot targets from early in the week aren’t missed. The players are ordered for redraft leagues by my rest-of-season preference grouped by starters, relievers, and hitters.


Joey Wendle: Playing every day with a .343 AVG and three homers

Bryan Reynolds: A Joey Wendle Clone, a good AVG and some power, but in the outfield.

Alex Kirilloff (rule breaker): Kirilloff’s roster rate is above my threshold to rank (46%), but with him being called up, I just wanted to call attention to him.

Adam Frazier: Batting average (.311) with some steals (2) with infield-outfield eligibility. He at least needs to be rostered as a bench bat in all formats.

Enrique Hernández: He’s hitting at the top of a good lineup. In Roto leagues, his 13 Runs rank 21st overall.

David Peralta: A 5-6 night with a home run will get him noticed. He’s a decent outfielder who is playing all the time. They are a surprisingly rare commodity.

Avisaíl García: He playing every day with Yelich and Cain on the IL while showing power and speed. There may even be some upside if his BABIP (.256) regresses to his career average (.329). The downside is diminished playing time once/if everyone gets healthy.

Jurickson Profar: Has started 20 of 22 of San Diego’s games with no power (.075 ISO) but three stolen bases.

Josh Harrison: A new grip has him producing at never-seen levels (.343/.425/.486). The improvement isn’t just BABIP (.355) driven but by improvements in his walk (7% to 10%) and strikeout (13% to 8%) rates.

Maikel Franco: Batting cleanup with some nice pop.

Travis Shaw: Decent power but lack of a plate discipline will make him a drag on a team’s AVG or OBP.

Adolis Garcia: Tough rank. He’s a power-speed threat already with five home runs in 10 games. He still thinks he’s fast but has been unsuccessful in two stolen base attempts so far. He has some plate discipline issues (33% K%, 5% BB%) that could drive down his AVG or OBP.

Nico Hoerner: With the Cubs dealing with several injuries, he got promoted. The prospect has some speed with a good batting average bat. It’s tough to get a read on his profile. Add for now, but be ready to cut him if he struggles.

Marwin Gonzalez: Plays everywhere but is not hitting right now (.692 OPS). More valuable in an OBP (.358) versus an AVG (.222) league.

Brandon Crawford: He’s showing some power (3 HR) and speed (2 SB), but his .200 BABIP (.304 BABIP for his career) has his AVG at .185.

Guillermo Heredia: He’s looked good enough so far in 27 PA (1.111 OPS) that he’s allowed Atlanta to send Cristian Pache (.361 OPS) back to the minors. Heredia has started six of seven with major improvements in his walks (8% BB% to 19% BB%) and strikeouts (25% K% to 22%).

Pavin Smith: He’s playing. He’s hitting at the top of the Diamondbacks lineup. A near .700 OPS. Qualified at first and outfield. The combination has value.

Austin Slater: After struggling a bit to start the season (33% K%), he’s now got two homers and stolen bases. One issue is that he just doesn’t start each game (seven of the last 10 games).

Billy McKinney: With Cain and Yelich on the IL, McKinney has started eight straight games with three homers and a .275 AVG.

Nicky Lopez: He has progressed into being a replacement-level middle infielder providing some speed (two steals).

Freddy Galvis: Just a replacement-level shortstop who isn’t doing anything right or wrong.

Erik González: He’s cut his strikeout rate (26% K% to 17% K%) boosting up his AVG (.227 to .281).

Adam Duvall: He’s batting cleanup with four homers. And his plate discipline is the worst of his career (35% K%, 5% BB%) leading to a .203 AVG.

Tucker Barnhart: He’s been great so far fueled by a .542 BABIP and some power (.244 ISO). The results might not be pretty once the BABIP drops with his strikeout rate going up for the fourth straight season (16% to 18% to 23% to 26% to 32%).

Kyle Higashioka: I know the Yankees want Gary Sánchez (.663 OPS) to thrive, but it’s getting tough to ignore Higashioka’s line of .353/.476/1.000 with just a .273 BABIP in 21 PA. He’s started in four of the last 10 games.

Seth Brown: Brown is on the strong side of a platoon with Stephen Piscotty facing lefties. Brown has been acceptable with a .265 AVG and 3 HR.

Willie Calhoun: Currently in the strong side of a platoon with no extra-base hits in 19 PA.
Francisco Mejía: He has cut his strikeout rate by a third (21% to 8%) by raising his contact rate (78% to 88%). The end result is a .286 AVG. It’s tough to get that kind of AVG from anyone. The one issue is that at best, he’s only getting half-time at-bats.

Jordan Luplow: He’s back to crushing left-handed pitching (.943 OPS, 3 HR), but he’s also been hitting righties (1.364 OPS, 2 HR). The Cleveland Baseball Team might be leading him off against all pitchers, but it’s tough to tell.

Dom Nuñez: A power-only (4 HR, .395 ISO) option at catcher.

Jarren Duran: An exciting dual-threat prospect but it’s tough to know for certain when he’ll get the call.

Justin Williams: He’s started in 10 straight games with an evil .642 OPS at the end of the Cardinals lineup.

Jacob Stallings: Only rosterable in an OBP league right now (18% BB%). He’s showing no other skills.

Christian Arroyo: He was playing all the time but with everyone healthy, he’s only started in two of the last six games.

Ehire Adrianza: He was playing when Ozzie Albies was on the IL. Now that Albies is back, he’s not playing.

CBS Roster Rate Change for Hitters
Name Prev % Curr % Jump%
Joey Wendle 3B TB 40% 76% 36%
Bryan Reynolds LF PIT 38% 61% 23%
David Peralta LF ARI 38% 46% 8%
Travis Shaw 3B MIL 30% 33% 3%
Jurickson Profar LF SD 29% 39% 10%
Maikel Franco 3B BAL 29% 35% 6%
Adam Frazier 2B PIT 28% 52% 24%
Enrique Hernandez CF BOS 28% 44% 16%
Willie Calhoun DH TEX 27% 32% 5%
Tucker Barnhart C CIN 26% 33% 7%
Adam Duvall RF MIA 24% 35% 11%
Avisail Garcia RF MIL 22% 37% 15%
Francisco Mejia C TB 17% 21% 4%
Nico Hoerner 2B CHC 14% 20% 6%
Freddy Galvis SS BAL 11% 17% 6%
Dom Nunez C COL 11% 15% 4%
Brandon Crawford SS SF 11% 13% 2%
Marwin Gonzalez 1B BOS 11% 13% 2%
Jacob Stallings C PIT 9% 11% 2%
Jarren Duran RF BOS 9% 11% 2%
Austin Slater CF SF 7% 13% 6%
Josh Harrison 2B WAS 6% 12% 6%
Pavin Smith RF ARI 6% 9% 3%
Kyle Higashioka C NYY 6% 8% 2%
Nicky Lopez SS KC 3% 6% 3%
Adolis Garcia CF TEX 2% 16% 14%
Jordan Luplow CF CLE 2% 13% 11%
Christian Arroyo 2B BOS 2% 5% 3%
Erik Gonzalez 3B PIT 2% 4% 2%
Billy McKinney LF MIL 1% 3% 2%
Seth Brown RF OAK 1% 3% 2%
Justin Williams RF STL 1% 3% 2%
Ehire Adrianza RF ATL 0% 3% 3%
Guillermo Heredia CF ATL 0% 3% 3%


Alex Wood: I’m not 100% sold on the top mark, but he’s been lights out so far. He’ll need to stay near the 63% GB% to continue to have a 0.8 HR/9.

JT Brubaker: A combination of good ERA estimators (3.21 SIERA) and results (2.01 ERA, 0.94 WHIP). Add if available.

Alex Cobb: He keeps getting BABIP’ed (.426) to death with his 54% GB% leading to a high WHIP (1.60) and ERA (6.28). Getting Anthony Rendon’s glove back will help him a ton.

Anthony DeSclafani: As of right now, he’s a must-add in all formats with a 9.0 K/9, 1.19 WHIP, and 57% GB%. He’s reworked his fastball (fewer mph, more rpm) to improve its swinging-strike rate from 8% to 15%.

Michael Fulmer: I recommended him last week and my opinion hasn’t changed. Home runs (1.7 HR/9, 4.00 FIP) have hidden a transformation. Fastball up over 2 mph. Fastball usage down 19% points. A career-high 50% GB%.

Ryan Weathers: Just one of several 9 K/9, 3 BB/9 starters. The key is picking who’ll be the best at the season’s end. My only worry is how far Weathers be allowed to go into games. His last start was 89 pitches. Also, since he’s only a two-pitcher guy, fastball-slider.

Michael Wacha: The walks (3.5 BB/9) are a little high, but he’s 4.00 ERA which should be useful in half his starts.

Spencer Turnbull: It’s only five innings thrown so far for him. The results were good with six strikeouts and one run allowed. His fastball velocity was down over 1 mph but he compensated by throwing his slider 13% points more. Roster and monitor.

Kohei Arihara: Low strikeouts (5.8 K/9) and walks (1.3 BB/9) so far puts his talent near a 4.00 ERA pitcher. He might be able to keep batters off guard with his seven-pitch mix and outperform his ERA estimators.

Josh Fleming: Low strikeout (4.4 K/9), high groundball (68% GB%) pitcher. He’s made it work so far (0.77 WHIP, 0.87 ERA), but don’t be surprised if there is a blowup at some point.

Jakob Junis: While some home run (0.5 HR/9) regression is expected with his cutter pushing his K/9 up from 6.8 to 9.5.

Tyler Anderson: He’s been surprisingly fine since joining the Pirates. An ERA and estimators in the high-3.00’s. It seems like other starters will be in demand so he might be added on the cheap.

Jeff Hoffman: He’s been OK, but his 7.1 K/9 and flyball nature (38% GB%) limited his upside compared to the other starters.

• Kyle Gibson: He’s been able to limit all homers (0 HR/9) with just a 50% GB%. His only “gains” are from dropping his walk rate from 4.0 BB/9 to 2.5 BB/9.

Cole Irvin: He’s been fine in a 7.5 K/9, 1.5 BB/9 sort of way. He just needs to keep the home runs in check.

Taylor Widener: There is a BABIP (.234) magic act going with his ERA at 2.82 and his ERA estimators at 4.50+. I think he can be a streaming option, but not a core piece of a rotation.

Erick Fedde: The 9.9 K/9 is interesting, the 4.4 BB/9 offsets any of the gains. He is throwing a new pitch mix. More cutters and changeups, fewer sinkers and split-fingers. It’s all new and it’s just tough to know if he has gotten better.

Brett Anderson: A Josh Fleming clone but on the IL.

Austin Gomber: Yes it’s two starts against the Giants and D’Backs, but it’s Austin Gomber being considered. The pitcher with a league-leading 6.3 BB/9. How could this two-step go wrong?

Bryse Wilson: He has never thrown at an MLB-replacement level. I don’t expect him to start now.

CBS Roster Rate Change for Starters
Name Prev % Curr % Jump%
Anthony DeSclafani SP SF 35% 54% 19%
Taylor Widener SP ARI 28% 38% 10%
Alex Cobb SP LAA 25% 30% 5%
Kyle Gibson SP TEX 24% 43% 19%
Josh Fleming SP TB 24% 35% 11%
Jake Junis SP KC 22% 30% 8%
Michael Fulmer RP DET 20% 31% 11%
J.T. Brubaker SP PIT 17% 57% 40%
Michael Wacha SP TB 17% 31% 14%
Brett Anderson SP MIL 15% 18% 3%
Ryan Weathers RP SD 12% 34% 22%
Kohei Arihara SP TEX 12% 29% 17%
Spencer Turnbull SP DET 10% 15% 5%
Alex Wood SP SF 7% 21% 14%
Austin Gomber SP COL 7% 19% 12%
Alex Wood SP SF 7% 21% 14%
Austin Gomber SP COL 7% 19% 12%
Jeff Hoffman SP CIN 6% 10% 4%
Bryse Wilson SP ATL 6% 9% 3%
Cole Irvin SP OAK 4% 10% 6%
J.B. Bukauskas RP ARI 4% 9% 5%
Tyler Anderson SP PIT 4% 8% 4%
Erick Fedde SP WAS 1% 3% 2%

Closers: Save based

Kendall Graveman: Good closer.

Stefan Crichton: OK closer.

Lucas Sims: OK reliever who may have the closer’s role.

Rafael Dolis: OK reliever who is likely the closer for a bit longer.

Scott Barlow: A good closer who will get some Saves.

Tyler Rogers: OK reliever next in line for the closer’s role.

Tejay Antone: Great reliever not in line for Saves.

Garrett Whitlock: Great reliever so far.

J.B. Bukauskas: An OK reliever not in line for Saves.

CBS Roster Rate Change for Closers
Name Prev % Curr % Jump%
Tejay Antone RP CIN 27% 30% 3%
Kendall Graveman RP SEA 25% 40% 15%
Lucas Sims RP CIN 25% 28% 3%
Rafael Dolis RP TOR 19% 22% 3%
Stefan Crichton RP ARI 10% 14% 4%
Tyler Rogers RP SF 9% 18% 9%
Garrett Whitlock RP BOS 5% 7% 2%
Scott Barlow RP KC 6% 8% 2%

Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR once, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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Urban Shocker
Urban Shocker

How do you have these 3 WW targets?
Votto, Escobar, Harrison?


votto and escobar are not WW targets, they have already been rostered in basically every league. Harrison was a waiver target last week but Jeff is assuming people already rostered him

Urban Shocker
Urban Shocker

eh I was hoping Jeff would see it, my leagues FAAB runs on Sat night. Votto is at 70 btw