StrategyJune 22, 2011

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Wide World of Waivers: Tiering the Available Players - 2 comments

By R.J. White

Last week’s feature pickup now has seven HRs and a .353 average over the last month, yet he’s still available in just over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues right now. Rather than re-implore you to pick J.J. Hardy up, let’s just assume he’s my top add again and move on to new players.

We’re going to do something a bit different this week — rather than break our suggested adds up by position, we’ll use Yahoo’s ownership numbers to tier the best pickups of the week. If you play in a shallow league or one that has plenty of talented hitters on the wire at one time, you’ll want to look higher on the list. As the article continues, we’ll look at the players available in deeper leagues and mono-leagues.

40-50% Owned

1. J.J. Hardy, SS, BAL
2. Mark Melancon, RP, HOU
3. Tim Stauffer, SP, SD
4. Justin Smoak, 1B, SEA
5. Vernon Wells, OF, LAA
6. Angel Pagan, OF, NYM
7. Jake Peavy, SP, CHW
8. Mitch Moreland, 1B/OF, TEX
9. Jason Bay, OF, NYM
10. Coco Crisp, OF, OAK

Hardy obviously still takes the cake, hitting three HRs in the past week alone while raising his average to .301 … Melancon is locked in as the Houston closer for the entire season, so it’s past time to pick him up … Stauffer has three straight starts with 0-1 runs allowed. Throw in a K:BB ratio above 3.0, a great home park, a 3.13 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP on the season, and he’s a must-own pitcher; what are you waiting for? … Smoak has the exact same number ABs in 2011 with Seattle that he had with Texas last season. 2010 Texas: .209 avg, eight HRs. 2011 Seattle: .260 avg, 12 HRs. He’s learning … Wells has hit .279 with three HRs since coming off the DL, finally bringing his average above .200 for the season. Turning the corner? … Pagan is one of the hottest available hitters in baseball, hitting .311 with a homer and four steals over the past two weeks … Peavy is expected to return to the rotation today … Moreland has collected HRs in back-to-back games, giving him five over the past month and 10 on the season … Bay is finally showing signs of life, hitting .324 with a HR over the past two weeks … Crisp remains an excellent speed option for those in need, with seven SBs over the past month.

30-39% Owned

1. Randy Wolf, SP, MIL
2. Mike Adams, RP, SD
3. Jon Rauch, RP, TOR
4. Travis Hafner, UT, CLE
5. Corey Patterson, OF, TOR
6. Austin Jackson, OF, DET
7. Jonathon Niese, SP, NYM
8. Dustin Ackley, OF, SEA
9. Edinson Volquez, SP, CIN
10. Scott Rolen, 3B, CIN

Wolf may not have a dominant strikeout rate, but it’s not bad either, and his ability to limit walks has given him a 3.15 ERA and 1.25 WHIP this season. He’s allowed two runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts … Adams is the closer-in-waiting in San Diego, but a 1.35 ERA, 0.63 WHIP and 36:4 K:BB ratio clearly show he should be used in fantasy leagues even in his current setup role … Rauch is the closer in Toronto at the moment, yet Frank Francisco is owned in more leagues. Don’t know why … Hafner is back from the DL, collecting a hit in each of his first four games, including one HR. He’s hitting .341 with six bombs on the season … Patterson is mired in a little slump over the last two weeks, but he’s still an excellent speed option that can contribute solid power numbers … Jackson had a nice run in the first half of June to bring his average up considerably … Niese suffered through a poor start on Father’s Day, but he entered that game allowing two runs or fewer in six straight starts. With a 72:30 K:BB ratio, Niese is still fantasy relevant … Ackley has a hit in each of his first four professional games, and he’s gaining second base eligibility … Volquez hasn’t been as bad lately, and he’s still striking out over a batter per inning … Rolen is in the midst of a six-game hitting streak, and third base isn’t that deep a position.

20-29% Owned

1. Seth Smith, OF, COL
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B/SS, MIN
3. Alcides Escobar, SS, KC
4. Carlos Carrasco, SP, CLE
5. Charlie Blackmon, OF, COL
6. Ty Wigginton, 1B/2B/3B/OF, COL
7. Carl Pavano, SP, MIN
8. Chase Headley, 3B, SD
9. Hong-Chih Kuo, RP, LAD
10. John Lackey, SP, BOS

Smith smacked a pair of homers last night, giving him eight bombs and a .316 average this season … Casilla has been the second best available hitter this month behind Hardy, going .351 with two HRs and seven RBIs over the last 30 days. Both dingers have come in his last two games … Escobar has been the fifth best player in Yahoo over the last two weeks by posting eight multi-hit games in his last 10 appearances as well as seven SBs in June … Carrasco has allowed one run over his last three starts combined while going 6-1 in his last seven starts overall … Blackmon has burst on the scene as a high-average, high-SB guy, hitting .327 with five swipes in his first 14 games … Wigginton has five HRs and a .286 average over the past month and is locked into his starting job … Pavano doesn’t get strikeouts, but he’s putting up great ratios … Headley has three four-hit games in his last seven appearances, elevating his average to .297 on the season … Kuo is back on the mound, and if he can keep a clear head, he’s the favorite for saves in Los Angeles in a week or two, at least until Jonathan Broxton returns … Lackey has won each of his three starts since returning to the mound in June, posting a 15:4 K:BB ratio along the way.

10-19% Owned

1. Jemile Weeks, 2B, OAK
2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, SD
3. Jeff Karstens, SP, PIT
4. Mike Leake, SP, CIN
5. Nick Blackburn, SP, MIN
6. Nyjer Morgan, OF, MIL
7. Jason Bourgeois, OF, HOU
8. Marco Scutaro, SS, BOS
9. Garrett Jones, 1B/OF, PIT
10. Dee Gordon, SS, LAD

Weeks has been on fire since joining the A’s, hitting .362 with four SBs, including three swipes in his last two games … Rizzo, on the other hand, has started off slowly, but with his talent, he should be fine … Karstens, Leake and Blackburn are all pitchers with modest strikeout numbers that are nonetheless dealing right now. All are decent options until the inevitable course correction … Morgan is playing every day and has a .336 average on the year to go with two HRs and three SBs in 100 at-bats … Bourgeois is back in Houston and continuing his torrid hitting, with a .306 average and four SBs over the past two weeks. He has 17 steals and a .359 average on the year and could eventually pick up 2B eligibility … Scutaro normally isn’t a stand-out fantasy option, but his average is up to .293 after a brilliant two weeks, and in that lineup, he could do damage … Jones is a ho-hum power bat always available to fantasy teams in a pinch … Gordon has outplayed Jason Bartlett for the final spot on our rankings and could help fantasy teams with steals.

5-9% Owned

1. Roger Bernadina, OF, WAS
2. Jon Jay, OF, STL
3. Mike Pelfrey, SP, NYM
4. Chris Capuano, SP, NYM
5. Doug Fister, SP, SEA
6. Hideki Matsui, OF, OAK
7. Jordan Schafer, OF, ATL
8. Paul Maholm, SP, PIT
9. Danny Valencia, 3B, MIN
10. Andrew Miller, SP, BOS

Bernadina has been sick over his seven game hitting streak, clubbing three homers in his last five games. He’s hitting .371 over the last two weeks … Jay is in line for the bulk of Albert Pujols’ playing time; he’s hitting .307 with four HRs and five SBs in 166 at-bats this year, so he has fantasy upside with the increase in playing time … Pelfrey has exhibited impeccable control this season, walking no batters in any of his last three starts. He has walked two or fewer batters in each of his last 12 games … Capuano has a solid K:BB ratio and has allowed only three runs in his last three starts combined … Fister is in the same mold but cannot catch a break on the Win scoreboard … Matsui has three HRs in June and a nice average over the past two weeks … Schafer was stealing bases in bunches earlier this month but has cooled off … Maholm has three shutouts in his last five starts, but he’s due for a fall … Valencia has homers in two of his last three and hits in five of his last six games … Miller is an intriguing AL-only option — I grabbed him myself before his first start.

1-4% Owned

1. Javy Guerra, RP, LAD
2. Juan Nicasio, SP, COL
3. Scott Sizemore, 2B/3B, OAK
4. Cory Luebke, SP/RP, SD
5. Justin Ruggiano, OF, TB
6. Emilio Bonifacio, 3B/SS/OF, FLA
7. Ben Revere, OF, MIN
8. Josh Outman, SP, OAK

Guerra is the guy in the ninth right now for the Dodgers, so if you need saves, pick up the barely-owned player … Nicasio is coming off a stinker, but you have to be impressed with his 24:7 K:BB ratio in 28.2 innings. When that BABIP comes down, he could be a quality guy even in mixed leagues. I picked him up in my 14-teamer … Sizemore has done well since joining the A’s, hitting .343 with five walks in 11 games. Mark Ellis’ return could cause a playing-time pinch in the infield … Luebke is joining the Padres rotation after excelling in the bullpen. He’s a must-add in NL-only leagues … Ruggiano was on fire earlier this month, but his bat has cooled and he’s lost playing time as a result. He’ll still provide solid depth in AL-only leagues … Bonifacio’s previously hot bat has also fallen off, but he’s still playing every day, for now. He can provide decent steal numbers … … Revere is playing every day, posting four steals in June thus far while hitting .282 during this month … Outman has used three straight quality starts to bring his ERA under 3.00. It won’t last, but he’s worth an AL-only flier.

R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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2 Responses to “Wide World of Waivers: Tiering the Available Players”

  1. User avatar wrveres says:

    “we’ll use Yahoo’s ownership numbers to tier the best pickups of the week.”

    like this format, a lot!

  2. User avatar daullaz says:



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