Everyone loves a good bargain. If you can get a deal for something you would have paid more for elsewhere, you’ll feel a sense of empowerment and victory. The same principles apply for fantasy baseball and picking up players off of the waiver wire. While you expect your high round draft picks to succeed, playing the waiver game and assembling players to compliment your core pieces is an essential quality of a winning fantasy baseball manager.
If you’re looking for some insurance to fill out your roster needs, look no further than these players following you around like a wad of googly-eyed cash.
Percentage of players available taken from Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues
Dexter Fowler (COL-OF): 11% owned
Fowler was tabbed early in the season as a sleeper to grab a plethora of bags but soon became a distant memory after being demoted after posted a deathly .216 AVG through the first two months of the season. After spending a month at Triple-A, Fowler has returned and made his presence felt by compiling a huge return party in Colorado. In July, Fowler has gone extraterrestrial, going 11 for 21, stealing two bags and showing off his speed with four triples during the stretch. Fowler’s real value lies in his ability to get on base and use his exceptional speed to tally a few stolen bases for outfields starved for some speed. At less than 15% owned, owners scratching for stolen bases could capitalize on Fowler’s current hot streak.
Last Week: 11/25 10 R, 11 H, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB, .440 AVG
Russell Branyan (SEA-1B): 12% owned
Ownership. The question concerning Branyan is whether or not he will duplicate the 32 homers where home runs go to die, Safeco Field. Can he do it? Well, it’s a matter of opinion of course and I believe that Branyan has a real shot at cracking 30 homers again this year. Not all of his games are home games and while the average won’t wow you, the power at this price can be valuable for owners looking to boost home run production from the corner infield slot. Over the last week, Branyan has cracked three homers while driving in nine runs for Seattle.
Last Week: 7/24 5 R, 7 H, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 0 SB, .292 AVG
Brian Matusz (BAL-SP): 15% owned
Brian Matusz is a prime example of a post-hype sleeper. The ultra-talented lefty was perceived to be one of the finer up and coming arms in the game and fantasy owners were clamoring for his services during drafts, taking Matusz for a spin before the sky fell on the youngster. Matusz had a terrible May, going 0-4 with a disgusting 7.50 ERA and an unsightly 2.00 WHIP, evidence of poor control and polish.
After the rough month, Matusz was dropped faster than a bill at Governor Patterson’s office. Despite a useful June (3.69 ERA, 25K:11BB), Matusz remained under the radar due to an unflattering 0-4 record. Over the last two months, Matusz has gone 0-8 and it’s very hard to sell someone on the notion of picking up a winless pitcher but here enters the post-hype tag after a marvelous last turn against the Red Sox. The lefty picked up his 1st win in his last 13 tries by tossing seven innings of shutout baseball while striking out 8. If you’re going to pick up Matusz, realize that spot starting him and applying him when needed might be the best strategy considering the Orioles are currently the worst team in baseball.
Last Week: 7.0 innings 1 W, 0 L, 8 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.71 WHIP