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It’s already the third week of fantasy baseball. Hopefully you are 3-0, 30-0, in first place or close to it. It’s hard to think that over 15 percent of the season has passed us by already, but that means five more months of baseball is on the horizon. Keep your lineups set, and one eye on the waiver wire every day.
Whether it is a free agent pool, a budget-based system, or weekly waivers, playing the wire is a key element to winning your fantasy baseball leagues.
Each week, XN Sports will present an option at each position, and why you should add them.
Without further ado, let’s play the waiver wire:
Tyler Flowers, Chicago White Sox
This is not the first time Flowers has landed on this list, but he is only on rosters in just over six percent of fantasy baseball leagues. Why is he worth picking up? Only one catcher has more hits than Flowers so far this season. Only three catchers have scored more runs. No catcher with over 50 at-bats has a higher batting average. Tyler Flowers has been one of the better fantasy baseball catchers to date, and is still available on your waiver wire. If you need some help behind the dish, pick up Flowers and start him right away.
Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees
The Yankees’ first baseman is back from a short stint on the disabled list, yet some fantasy players still have not picked him back up after reacting to his original injury. Teixeira is only on about half of fantasy rosters across the industry, but that number will quickly rise. So far he is just 5-for-18, but he will finish the season as one of the better fantasy first basemen. Why? In his career, Teixeira averages hitting .278 with 28 home runs and 93 runs batted in while scoring close to 80 runs per season. But is he consistent? His “worst” season as far as production goes was 2012 when he hit 24 home runs and 84 runs batted in (he missed 2013 due to injury). Adding a player with power, average, and runs scored is not an easy thing to do in April, but Teixeira is there for the picking.
Danny Espinosa, Washington Nationals
Despite Espinosa making this list last week, there is no better option to pick up again this week. The Nationals second baseman is available in almost every single league and can add power and speed to your fantasy lineup. With Ryan Zimmerman out for an extended period of time, Espinosa will look to contribute in every category as a middle infielder, which is hard to come by.
Yangervis Solarte, New York Yankees
Say that five times fast. The Yankees third baseman also is eligible in the outfield, and depending what site your league is, that may be his exclusive position. But, Solarte has been on a tear of late, hitting .328 with nine runs batted in in just over 60 at-bats this season. It looks as if he will continue to get a lot of at-bats, so if you need help in a utility role or at the hot corner, consider adding Solarte.
Alcides Escobar, Kansas City Royals
The Royals’ shortstop has been on fire in the last two weeks. In Escobar’s last 43 at-bats, he is hitting .395 with seven runs batted in and seven runs scored. He has also stolen two bases this year. Escobar is available in almost every single league, and since he plays a position that is as scarce as they come, he will not be on the waiver wire much longer. Add him for your middle infield or shortstop slot if you need help.
Eric Young Jr., New York Mets
There comes a point where you pay a premium for stolen bases. Eric Young Jr.’s price? His .215 batting average. Young Jr. has 10 stolen bases so far this season which ranks among the league’s best. Does that average scare you? It should, but remember that he is hitting .273 in the last week and is a career .256 hitter. If Young Jr. can get his batting average to his career plateau, that is worth keeping on your team for the stolen bases and runs scored.
Mike Leake, Cincinnati Reds
It seems that any pitcher for the Reds earns a spot on a fantasy roster somewhere. Leake is one of the hottest adds in the last few days, but he is still available in over 75 percent of fantasy leagues. So far this season, Leake has a 2.95 ERA and an impressive 0.89 WHIP in just over 21 innings. Leake will get two starts this week, so add him before tonight and you will get a good starting option twice this week.
Luke Gregerson, Oakland Athletics
Another week, another player who will get you saves off the waiver wire. This week is Athletics’ “closer for a day” Luke Gregerson. He seems to be the go-to option right now for the A’s, so get him on your roster for some cheap saves while he lasts in the closer role. The Athletics will always be in close games as the pitching staff already has five saves this season. Gregerson is the guy right now, but keep an eye on the situation as three different players for the A’s have a save this season.
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