Waiver Wire Targets: Week 8

After a few weeks with just a few decent new starters, the list has expanded quite a bit this week. One note on the starters. Several of them are around a 9 K/9 and 3 BB/9. To differentiate them, I’m using their groundball rate. I’m not 100% sure this is the right approach in this environment, but I’ll investigate his idea later this week.

In the article, I cover the players 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.


Robbie Grossman: He’s a top-100 player so far this year and not universally owned. The 4 HR and 7 SB are great for roto leagues. The .383 OBP helps in on-base and points leagues. I guess some fantasy managers just like to lose.

Harrison Bader: Again, a must add with the power (4 HR) and speed (3 HR) combo to go with a drop in strikeout rate (32% to 14%) that might stick.

Brandon Crawford: On fire. 11 HR. 3 SB. .254 AVG. A career-high .883 OPS. Ride this hot hand.

Danny Santana: Add in all formats for at least a week to see how the talent and playing time work themselves out. In his first game in the majors, he led off and homered. He was destroying minor league pitching (1.164 OPS in A+, 1.376 in AAA). He could completely bomb, but the chance exists for the 20/20 upside from 2019.

Odúbel Herrera: He’s an outfielder not in a platoon who is hitting decent (.267, 2 HR, 2 SB).

Cesar Hernandez: After a dreadful April (.527 OPS), he back to normal in May (.278/.333/.486) and still leading off for the Cleveland Team. The only issue is that he hasn’t attempted a stolen base since going to Cleveland.

Enrique Hernández: Hernandez just came off the IL and started three games in center. Alex Verdugo gave Hernandez a day off but got hurt. For now, it seems like Hernandez has center field all to himself. With the addition of Danny Santana, he might move off the leadoff spot.

Niko Goodrum: Similar to Grossman’s power speed profile, but a 38% K% is a major drag on his batting average (.221).

Brendan Rodgers: Injury-prone Rodgers gets another shot in the majors (.188/.226/.218 in MLB career). I think he could be interesting if he lives up to his projections (about 20 HR, 10 SB in 600 PA). Keep an eye on Rockies lineups for the next few days to see how the playing time for everyone works out (e.g. Josh Fuentes sat last night).

Darin Ruf 러프: An excellent play in on-base or points leagues with his 6 HR and .385 OBP. Close to getting first base eligibility (8 games).

Pavin Smith: He’s cooled down some (.765 OPS in Apr, .613 OPS in May), but he is still leading off. The dual position eligibility makes him an ideal bench sub.

Jonathan India: With the Reds dealing with several injuries, he’s playing every day. He’s qualified at second and third. He has shown some power and speed in the past. He’s not a drag (.320 OPB) in on-base leagues. In leagues where every starter is rostered, he needs to be added.

Josh Naylor: A similar profile to Pavin even down to the dual position eligibility, but not leading off.

Freddy Galvis: Historically a replacement-level bat, but is showing a little more power (6 HR) this season.

Austin Hays: He’s a fine (.244 AVG, 5 HR) fifth outfielder or bench replacement. It’s a little disappointing to see no stolen bases this season.

Adam Duvall: Power only play (8 HR) who is a drag in batting average (.225) and on-base (.265).

Hunter Renfroe: He’s like a bad version of Adam Duvall, all the faults with less power.

Willy Adames: With the trade to the Brewers, Adames solidifies his playing time.

Yandy Díaz: He’s just a body who doesn’t steal bases or hit home runs (0 SB, 55% GB%). He is qualified at both corner positions making him and bench option.

Ji-Man Choi: Expect Choi to get all the starts against righties with five of the six projected starters projected to be right-handed.

Jonathan Villar: He has been a decent replacement (4 HR, 4 SB, .216 AVG) for J.D. Davis (1.089 OPS) but Davis should get his job back once healthy. He’s tough to rank since he’s just a stolen base rental.

Taylor Ward: He’s still playing all the time, but his results (.200 AVG, 3 HR) have been disappointing.

Albert Pujols: Has started four of the last five games as the Dodgers first baseman.

Matt Duffy: Looks to be on the short side of a third base platoon with David Bote. The reason isn’t obvious, but what is obvious is that he’s sat for three straight games.

Josh Fuentes: First, see Brendan Rodgers for playing time issues. Next, the Rockies are on the road, so Fuentes’s value is diminished. Finally, Fuentes hasn’t really been that good (.674 OPS). He’s only rosterable if at home and starting.

Nick Maton: He’s been productive when playing (2 HR, 2 SB, .295 AVG). Right now he’s on the strong side of a shortstop platoon with Ronald Torreyes while Didi Gregorious is on the IL.

Bobby Dalbec: Dalbec (.218 AVG, 5 HR) was an acceptable corner infield option until yesterday when the Red Sox promoted Danny Santana. Santana started at first and hit leadoff. Dalbec was batting eighth or ninth, so it’s obvious who the Red Sox value more.

Kyle Farmer: He’s taken over the Reds shortstop job. He’s struggled this season (.618 OPS) but has been better (.674 OPS) over the past two weeks. A warm body in an NL-only league.

Yonathan Daza: With the team getting healthy, he looks to be the team’s fourth outfielder or in a platoon with Tapia. While he’s hit OK (.761 OPS), he hasn’t started in the last two games.

Matt Beaty: The on-base machine (.403 OBP) has only started in five of the last 11 games.

Luis Barrera: Oaklands 33rd ranked prospect has barely played (1 PA) since being promoted on the 18th. A nonfactor for now.


William Contreras: A little more power (4 HR, .319 ISO) than he’s previously shown in the minors.

Mike Zunino: He hits dongs (10 HR) and nothing else.

Jacob Stallings: A fine season (4 HR, .257 AVG) for a catcher. Should be rostered in all two-catcher formats.

Yan Gomes: A fine season (4 HR, .255 AVG) for a catcher. Should be rostered in all two-catcher formats.

Eric Haase: With Wilson Ramos as the Tigers’ primary DH, Haase is now the primary catcher (start seven of last eight). He’s been swinging a hot bat with a .987 OPS. The big worry here is that Ramos will take back over as the primary catcher.

Victor Caratini: His value is way down with Austin Nola starting (12 of 18 games) since he’s come off the IL.

Hitting Prospects

Vidal Bruján: He’s just dominating AAA at .333/.429/.650 with 6 HR and 7 SB. I expect him up once the Super 2 deadline has safely passed around June 10th.

Jesus Sanchez: After dealing with groundball rates at over 50%, he’s hitting the ball with more air (43% GB%). His results so far have been unworldly (.500/.533/1.000) in 60 plate appearances.

Taylor Walls: He was dominating AAA (.327/.468/.490, 2 HR, 2 SB). It’ll be interesting to how he performs after being called up.

Jarren Duran: He’s cooled down some (.242/.347/.532, 5 HR, 4 SB) but should be stashed where possible.

Brandon Marsh: He’s struggling a bit in AAA (.194/.359/.387, 1 HR, 1 SB) with a 65% GB%. Yandy Diaz 2.0.

Estevan Florial: Why is the Yankees’ 31st ranked prospect with a .677 OPS getting added? What a waste of time.

Trevor Hauver: The Yankees 29th ranked prospect who is in Single-A.

CBS Ownership Rates for Hitters
Name Previous Own% Current Own% Change%
Bobby Dalbec 1B BOS 40% 49% 9%
Austin Hays LF BAL 40% 44% 4%
Pavin Smith 1B ARI 37% 39% 2%
Enrique Hernandez CF BOS 34% 36% 2%
Brandon Crawford SS SF 33% 71% 38%
Robbie Grossman LF DET 33% 65% 32%
Jonathan India 2B CIN 33% 36% 3%
Mike Zunino C TB 31% 43% 12%
Yan Gomes C WAS 30% 43% 13%
Cesar Hernandez 2B CLE 30% 33% 3%
William Contreras C ATL 27% 40% 13%
Brendan Rodgers 2B COL 27% 30% 3%
Vidal Brujan 2B TB 24% 33% 9%
Adam Duvall RF MIA 23% 35% 12%
Hunter Renfroe RF BOS 22% 27% 5%
Jonathan Villar 3B NYM 21% 31% 10%
Freddy Galvis SS BAL 21% 24% 3%
Harrison Bader CF STL 20% 26% 6%
Jarren Duran RF BOS 20% 24% 4%
Willy Adames SS MIL 20% 22% 2%
Jacob Stallings C PIT 18% 24% 6%
Josh Naylor RF CLE 17% 22% 5%
Niko Goodrum SS DET 17% 21% 4%
Josh Fuentes 3B COL 12% 35% 23%
Yandy Diaz 1B TB 12% 19% 7%
Brandon Marsh CF LAA 12% 15% 3%
Victor Caratini C SD 9% 12% 3%
Jesus Sanchez RF MIA 8% 14% 6%
Matt Beaty LF LAD 7% 15% 8%
Estevan Florial CF NYY 7% 9% 2%
Odubel Herrera CF PHI 6% 11% 5%
Albert Pujols 1B LAD 5% 7% 2%
Yonathan Daza CF COL 4% 11% 7%
Ji-Man Choi 1B TB 4% 10% 6%
Taylor Ward RF LAA 4% 10% 6%
Matt Duffy 3B CHC 4% 7% 3%
Nick Maton 2B PHI 2% 9% 7%
Danny Santana 1B BOS 2% 4% 2%
Taylor Walls SS TB 1% 4% 3%
Kyle Farmer SS CIN 1% 4% 3%
Darin Ruf LF SF 1% 3% 2%
Luis Barrera CF OAK 0% 2% 2%
Trevor Hauver 2B NYY 0% 2% 2%
Eric Haase C DET 0% 2% 2%


Luis Garcia: He’s been a nice surprise who hasn’t let the long ball (1.8 HR/9) wreck his ERA (3.38). Just keep an eye on his rotation spot as the rest of the pitching staff get healthy.

Rich Hill: After getting destroyed (8.82 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 2.2 HR/9) in his first four starts, he has gone six innings in four of five starts with a 0.98 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 0.7 HR/9.

David Peterson: He should be performing better with a 10.9 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, and 53% GB%, but he’s not (4.97 ERA with OK 1.26 WHIP). He needs to get away from the four-seamer that has allowed a 1.002 OPS. His two-seamer has allowed half of that at .559 OPS.

Garrett Richards: He has made several adjustments and improved his K%-BB% (8% to 12%) and GB% from 44% to 52% from April to May. The high walk rate (11% BB%) and WHIP (1.47) mask these changes. Add away.

Spencer Turnbull: Now Turnbull’s seeing his rostership jump since he threw a no-hitter. The two improvements this season are his walk (2.1 BB/9) and groundball (54%) rates are career bests.

Tyler Anderson: His last two starts (13 ER in 10 IP) has pushed his 4.71 ERA about a half run higher than his ERA estimators. During his two bad starts, he struck out 14 batters while only walking four. Buy low while others lament on the 4.73 ERA.

Mike Minor: His ERA struggles are all from his 38% GB% aided 1.5 HR/9. Of his non-fastballs, his slider has performed the worst (12% SwStr%, vs .873 OPS). He’s moved away from it (31% to 21%) and his results have improved some (15% K-BB% in Apr. 19% in May).

Josh Fleming: He continues to limit hard contact (.204 BABIP, 0.8 HR/9) with his 60% GB%. While his groundball nature hasn’t generated a ton of missed bats (5.5 K/9), the ratios (2.34 ERA, 0.98 WHIP) have been outstanding. Not all his “starts” are listed since he’s followed an opener three times.

Martín Pérez: I’ll keep recommending him as long as he keeps his fastball velocity up and his K-BB% remain at a career-high 14%.

Miles Mikolas: I think he’s a decent gamble in deeper formats, but his upside is that of the pitchers ranked ahead of him. And they aren’t coming off shoulder surgery.

Logan Webb: He was throwing decent (4.09 ERA, 9.6 K/9) but he is on the IL with a shoulder injury.

Cody Poteet: He finishes a stealth two-start week with his season coming up heads so far (8.1 K/9, 1.80 ERA, 0.90 WHIP). And he might get demoted no matter how he performs on Sunday. If I have the roster space, I think he’s a great stash to see if he sticks and is productive.

Kris Bubic: His results have been outstanding (0.96 ERA and WHIP). I’m surprised his WHIP is so low with a 4.3 BB/9 but a .191 BABIP helps. Even the low BABIP is a surprise since he’s a groundball pitcher (60%). In other words. I have no clue who he is right now. Maybe we’ll find out more tomorrow.

Austin Gomber: Fantasy managers are back to rostering Gomber for his two-step at the Mets and Pirates. Gomber still has a walk rate over 11%, but it has been 3% in May. In May he’s throwing his change (15% SwStr% for his career) more (11% to 14%). I went to find any other “major” change but it was all small changes like his Zone% going up from 53% to 54%. For a team desperate for a pitching boost, he might provide it. Or he could implode again.

Vince Velasquez: He was showing signs of progress (three straight starts of one run allowed), but was scratched from his last start with a numb finger. While he was fine in one relief inning, I’d wait to roster him until he has another full start.

Tucker Davidson: He had a nice little debut allowing three runs in six innings of work. I’d like him as a speculative add, but he was immediately demoted back to the minors. I’d be interested in rostering him if he ever sticks in the rotation.

Chris Flexen 플렉센: He’s been unrosterable in May with his identical 1.98 K/9 and BB/9. It’s tough to find a cause (e.g. velocity or pitch mix change) for this change, so it might be something like him tipping pitches. Ignore until he can at least string a couple decent starts together.

Drew Smyly: I’m dumbfounded on the increased ownership. His velocity is down over 1 mph from last season and the home runs came surging back (2.7 HR/9). His 5.00+ ERA matches his ERA estimators. Release until he improves.

Jon Lester: Don’t drink and add players. Lester’s 3.80 ERA looks acceptable but the rest of the profile is godawful (1.41 WHIP, 5.9 K/9, 5.02 SIERA).

Corbin Martin: Right now, he’s a hard pass for me. He’s coming back from Tommy John surgery and has no control (7.2 BB/9, 46% Zone%, 44% FirstStrike%). The strikeout and groundball rate seem to be in the right place. Roster immediately once he shows signs of any control.

Tyler Ivey: Promoted for one start, got lit up (4 ER in 4 IP), and immediately demoted.

John Gant: He’s got a decent 52% GB% that has kept his home run rate down (0.2 HR/9). That little bit of goodness is wiped out by a 6.4 BB/9 leading to a 1.56 WHIP.

Ross Stripling: He’s been extremely hittable (2.5 HR/9, 3.92) and has an ERA is over 7.00 with ERA estimators closer to 4.00. To show part of his struggles, here are the swinging strike and usage rates from his three non-fastballs

Pitch: Usage, SwStr%
Curve: 23%, 6%
Slider: 20%, 8%
Change: 11%, 25%

He’s throwing his best the least amount.

While the slider usage is down, he’s throwing his fastball more and staying away from the changeup. It’s like he’s trying to be the worst possible pitcher. Maybe he’s setting the stage for a Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Sam Hentges: He walks a ton of batters (5.3 BB/9) and gives up a ton of homers (2.9 HR/9) and now owns a 6.46 ERA. While the home runs might quickly regress, the walks are the issue to focus on since they have always been a problem with him. And unlike Gomber, they have gotten worse as the season has gone on.

Pitching Prospects

Alek Manoah: If possible, roster him now. While he’s only thrown 35 professional innings, he’s just shoved (13.5 K/9, 0.56 WHIP, 0.50 ERA). He might be the only starting pitching prospect who is a sure bet this season.

Hunter Greene: He’s been lighting up the scoreboard with a 100+ mph fastball with the results to match (14.1 K/9, 0.69 WHIP, and 1.69 ERA). I’m not sure how much he’ll throw in the majors this year, but the talent is obvious.

CBS Ownership Rates for Starters
Name Previous Own% Current Own% Change%
Tyler Anderson SP PIT 38% 41% 3%
Mike Minor SP KC 36% 41% 5%
Luis Garcia SP HOU 36% 38% 2%
Josh Fleming SP TB 33% 36% 3%
David Peterson SP NYM 31% 42% 11%
Jon Lester SP WAS 31% 37% 6%
Garrett Richards SP BOS 28% 38% 10%
Alek Manoah SP TOR 26% 46% 20%
Drew Smyly SP ATL 26% 28% 2%
Rich Hill SP TB 25% 59% 34%
Logan Webb SP SF 23% 28% 5%
Chris Flexen RP SEA 22% 25% 3%
Miles Mikolas SP STL 20% 26% 6%
John Gant SP STL 18% 24% 6%
Martin Perez SP BOS 15% 17% 2%
Hunter Greene RP CIN 15% 17% 2%
Spencer Turnbull SP DET 13% 43% 30%
Austin Gomber SP COL 13% 22% 9%
Sam Hentges RP CLE 12% 15% 3%
Vince Velasquez SP PHI 7% 14% 7%
Kris Bubic RP KC 5% 13% 8%
Corbin Martin SP ARI 4% 7% 3%
Ross Stripling SP TOR 4% 6% 2%
Tucker Davidson SP ATL 2% 7% 5%
Tyler Ivey SP HOU 1% 5% 4%
Cody Poteet P MIA 1% 4% 3%

Closers – Saves-based rankings.

Michael Fulmer: Great reliever who is the closer.

James Kaprielian: Great reliever who may be the closer.

Hansel Robles: Good reliever who may be the closer.

Tejay Antone: Great reliever who is sharing the closer’s role.

Tyler Rogers: Good reliever who is sharing the closer’s role.

Andrew Chafin: Good closer backup for a non-struggling closer.

Tyler Chatwood: Possible closer in waiting for a struggling closer.

Andrew Kittredge: An OK reliever in a bullpen with no roles.

Craig Stammen: Someone(s) lost a bet and were forced to add him.

CBS Ownership Rates for Relievers
Name Previous Own% Current Own% Change%
Tejay Antone RP CIN 34% 36% 2%
Tyler Rogers RP SF 27% 43% 16%
Michael Fulmer RP DET 13% 31% 18%
James Kaprielian SP OAK 10% 15% 5%
Tyler Chatwood RP TOR 5% 9% 4%
Andrew Kittredge RP TB 5% 7% 2%
Hansel Robles RP MIN 4% 15% 11%
Craig Stammen RP SD 4% 6% 2%
Andrew Chafin RP CHC 2% 4% 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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1 year ago

Kaprielian’s in the rotation, no?

1 year ago
Reply to  ceasar

Ah, maybe he meant Karinchak.

1 year ago
Reply to  wobatus

Yeah, Kaprelian might be a sneaky good SP add tho.

1 year ago
Reply to  wobatus

Karinchak is not on the waiver wire.

1 year ago
Reply to  ceasar

For now, but I think once Fiers and one other SP come back, he could be sent to the bullpen.

1 year ago
Reply to  ceasar

Next two starts are against Seattle 😀