StrategyApril 7, 2010

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Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers: Swinging for the Fences

By Tom Huffman

Welcome back to Wednesday’s Wide World of Waivers, Year 2. If you aren’t familiar with the series, I’ll be here every week with four selections to snag off the waiver wire before your competition can get their grubby little mitts on them. First I’ll present you with two mixed league picks (12 team, Yahoo standard leagues), then one NL pick and one AL pick. As always, the cutoffs are 50% Yahoo ownership in mixed leagues and 20% Yahoo ownership in for NL/AL only leagues. This week I’ll be swinging for the fences with four hitters ready to make their mark.

Standard Mixed Leagues

Kyle Blanks, OF, SD

Owned % Yahoo 38 ESPN 58 CBS 83

You want power, I’ve got your power right here. Worried about Petco? I wouldn’t be. Blanks hit a HR every 14.8 AB last year. His FB/HR ratio was 21.3% with an ISO of .264. Those are elite power numbers from the 23 year old. Yahoo seems to be lagging behind the Blanks believers elsewhere, as he is over 50% owned in ESPN and over 80% owned on CBS. For right now, look to pick up Blanks and think of him as a mini Adam Dunn with the potential to break out and be a huge fantasy hitter.

Nick Johnson, 1B, NYY

Owned % Yahoo 24 ESPN 55 CBS 76

Nick Johnson must be dreaming because he landed in just about the best possible spot. Hitting in Yankee Stadium will boost his HR and hitting second in the Yankees lineup will give him the opportunity to score tons of runs. Johnson has a .402 career OBP. While you might not care if your league doesn’t have OBP as a category, you will care when Johnson is on base 40% of the time in front of Teixeira and A-Rod. Being the DH should help Johnson avoid injuries, and if he is able to stay off the DL, he is poised to be a big time fantasy contributor.

AL Only Leagues

Travis Snider, OF, TOR

Owned % Yahoo 10 ESPN 12 CBS 39

Snider’s 2009 season was less than impressive, but keep in mind he was only 21. Snider’s BABIP was .316 last year so he was slightly unlucky. He also destroyed AAA pitching in 48 games last year, hitting 14 HR with a .413 OBP, giving us a glimpse of what could be once he adjusts to the major leagues. Snider is a K machine and very young player, so the road ahead might be bumpy, but the potential for stardom is still there

NL Only Leagues

Conor Jackson, OF, ARI

Owned % Yahoo 10 ESNP 51 CBS 58

Jackson was sidelined most of last year with Valley Fever. The missed year left Jackson off of many players’ cheat sheets, and he dropped late or wasn’t even drafted in many leagues. Well, he’s back and hitting leadoff this season. I’d expect 15 HR, 10 SB, 100 R and a BA around .280.

That’s it for Week One. Sing my praises or curse my name but please leave a note if you have an opinion on any of the selections. I’ll be back next week with four more adds, so keep watching that waiver wire!

Tom Huffman is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Tom in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Pogotheostrich.
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