Successful fantasy baseball owners know that many different factors come into play when evaluating players’ value. The way these factors are constantly fluctuating is what makes fantasy baseball both fun and infuriating.
As the season continues into its second month, many of those factors are changing making players value change. This week’s list of Waiver Wire pickups to check out has players returning from injury or suspension, moving to new positions in the lineup, getting full-time playing time, and getting called up from the minors. All those changes mean opportunities to produce for fantasy owners who are quick enough to grab them. If you want to keep your best lineup ready for the coming week, it’s important to check these players out and see if you need to upgrade from the waiver wire.
My goal is to have a new position pickups post highlighting position players each Monday and Thursday based on used feedback from last week’s post. For our sleeper central archive of past posts, click here.
All the players highlighted below are available in the majority of ESPN fantasy leagues and make nice additions if you’re looking to fine-tune your lineup for the coming week. You know your team needs and positional struggles, so take a look at these options and decide if they’re right for you:
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Carlos Ruiz-Philadelphia Phillies: (13.0% ownership) Ruiz is back from his suspension and went 1-4 with a double in his first start of the year for the Phillies on Sunday. Expect his ownership to rise since he’s a top-ten offensive catcher. If you’ve been struggling for production from the always-tricky catcher spot and are looking for a long-term solution, act fast and add Ruiz to your everyday lineup.
1B- Mitch Moreland-Texas Rangers: (1.7%) Moreland is playing his way into a full-time position at 1B for the Rangers. His batting average is still low, especially against lefties, bu the does have six doubles, three homers, and nine RBI on the year. He’s gone 9-25 in his last six games with four doubles during that span. Texas needs his power bat but he’ll need to continue to hit for more average. If you can afford a hit in batting average, he does offer RBI and extra base potential and hits in a good lineup. As the weather heats up, Moreland’s power numbers should rise as well. He’s definitely not an elite option at 1B, but if you need a fill-in he’s a viable option as long as he keeps hitting and driving in runs.
2B- Brian Dozier-Minnesota Twins: (0.4%) Dozier had moved to the top of the Twins lineup and has been producing pretty well from the top spot. In his last nine games he’s gone 12-35 with seven runs scored, a double, a triple, four RBI, and his only stolen base of the year. In a year when 2B has been a fantasy wasteland, that’s decent enough production to merit a pickup in many leagues for as long as he stays in that spot providing solid numbers.
3B- Nolan Arenado-Colorado Rockies: (0.8%) Arenado was crushing it at The Rockies Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs, and the Rockies made the move to bring him up for his MLB debut on Sunday while sending down the disappointing Chris Nelson. Arenado is expected to be their full-time 3B going forward and is widely considered the Rockies best prospect. He went 0-3 in his MLB debut and with any rookie there may be early struggles, but he has the makeup to be a solid contributor especially playing his home games at Coors Field.
SS- Ruben Tejada-New York Mets: (0.6%) Tejada is back atop the Mets lineup and has hit in five straight games picking his average up to .241 on the season. He’s scored three runs and hit three doubles in that time making him an option if you’re just looking for average and runs from your SS. He is what he is so don’t expect power or steals, but OBP, AVG, and runs scored he can help you in.
OF- Nate McLouth-Baltimore Orioles: (40.9%) McLouth is back over .300 after a big day weekend. He went 7-10 Saturday and Sunday with a homer and a double while scoring five runs and adding a stolen base. So far this year he has seven RBI, 21 runs scored, and eight stolen bases to go with his .351 average. He’s hit safely in his last seven starts and has four straight multi-hit starts. McLouth is a nice blend of power and speed and should continue to produce as long as he’s atop the O’s lineup.
OF- Nate Schierholtz-Chicago Cubs: (40.6%) Schierholtz is another solid Nate to add to your outfield if McLouth is already owned. He’s produced more power but fewer steals than McLouth and has become one of the few sure bats in the Chicago lineup. He’s hitting exactly .300 after an 0-3 Sunday, but 12 of his 21 hits have gone for extra bases. He has three home runs to go with his three steals and nine RBI and makes a solid pickup as he moves into more of an everyday role for the Cubbies.
OF- Oswaldo Arcia-Minnesota Twins: (0.3%) If both Nate’s are off the board, there’s still some nice deep league grabs including Twins prospect Oswaldo Arcia who has a pair of three-run homers while going 6-31 in his first MLB experience. Arcia is a power prospect who should get plenty of time at DH for the Twins and Ron Gardenhire has promised to get him regular at bats. His average may not be there at first, but he can help if you need power numbers in your deep-league OF.
OF- Delmon Young-Philadelphia Phillies: (1.1%) If you have the roster flexibility to grab and stash, check out Young who could return late this week or next from his ankle injury. He’s currently rehabbing the ankle and is expected to play RF everyday for Phily once he’s ready to return. He shouldn’t be in lineups for this week, but be ready for him to start producing when he’s back in the lineup.