The key to winning your fantasy baseball league is not how well you draft, but the players you add off waivers. This is extremely important because securing hidden talent and call-ups could replace those late-round selections, even mid-rounders, that aren’t having the best season. Here at NFS, we provide the best picks for players you should grab off waivers now before it is too late. As always, both opportunity and performance are taken into consideration for these players, and also all players listed are rostered below 40 percent on ESPN. Learn to think like a NERD!
Jazz Chisholm Jr, 2B, Miami Marlins
After a poor 2020 season, Jazz Chisholm Jr has makes significant improvements to his hitting and fielding. His improvements have been enough to make him forecasted to be a franchise piece for the Miami Marlins. His start to the full season has been very impressive. In 48 plate appearances, Chisholm has hit .326 with three homers, six RBIs, and eight runs scored. He has also been walked nine times already. Chisholm is an early National League rookie of the year front runner. This makes him a perfect pickup for fantasy. He is flying off the shelves fast so don’t miss out.
Jeimer Candelario, 1B/3B, Detroit Tigers
Jeimer Candelario was mentioned on the preseason waiver wire pickups as e potential breakout player for the rebuilding Detroit Tigers. While that breakout start hasn’t happened just yet, he has been a consistent hitter to start the season. In 65 plate appearances, Candelario has hit .293 with one home run and seven RBIs. His OPS is down compared to the shortened season last year. But his consistent hitting and on-base percentage make him a quality waiver wire pickup. It’s also too early to say that he won’t have a breakout campaign later in the season.
Colin Moran, 1B/DH, Pittsburgh Pirates
Colin Moran had a hot streak during the shortened season last year but was unable to keep it consistent for the entire season. This season, he is having a hot start and it will be curious if this is the year he keeps it consistent. In 60 plate appearances, Moran is hitting .288 with three homers and nine RBIs. Moran’s only knock is the strikeout to walk ratio, which is 19:8 on the season. Moran has the potential to be a key player for the Pirates. However, for now, he is a solid pickup on the waiver wire in deeper-formated leagues.
Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds
The 37-year-old, Joey Votto, has refused to let father time walk through the door. Despite a slow start to the season, Votto has had a very good recent stretch of games. In his last five games, which consisted of 21 plate appearances, Votto has hit .368 with three homers and five RBIs. While it doesn’t have fantasy implications in most leagues, Votto also converted a triple play against the Indians. Votto has struggled the past couple of seasons but it is good to see him show flashes from when he was an all-start for multiple seasons. For now, he is also a quality waiver wire pickup in deeper formatted leagues.
Dane Dunning, SP, Texas Rangers
Dane Dunning was one of two prospects that the Rangers got in return for Lance Lynn when they chose to trade him to the White Sox. Dunning pitched a decent rookie season in the shortened year. But now in his first full season in the majors, he is off to a great start. In three starts this year, Dunning is 1-0 with a .60 ERA and 16 strikeouts to only two walked batters. The University of Florida alum is a perfect waiver wire pickup with his high upside and effective production. He is likely a front-runner for American League rookie of the year for the time being.
Anthony DeSclafani, SP, San Francisco Giants
Anthony DeSclafani has been known to be inconsistent throughout his entire career, but since moving to the San Francisco Giants in the offseason, it looks like he may be a steal for the organization. In his first three starts of the new season, DeSclafani is 1-0 with a 1.06 ERA and 16 strikeouts to only four walked batters. It will be interesting to see if DeSclafani can continue this consistency for the rest of the season to elevate his game. But for now, he is a top priority waiver wire pickup while he is still on this hot start. He will round out a decent pitching trio with Johnny Cute and Kevin Gausman.
JT Brubaker, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
JT Brubaker had a decent rookie season last year and spring training but has quickly turned it around once the season began. In his first three starts of the season, Brubaker is 2-0 with a 1.76 ERA and 18 strikeouts to only five walked batters. However, he does lead the young season on hit by pitches with five, but that’s not enough of a concern to make him not a quality pickup. Brubaker is also in his second season, so the upside is there for him to improve and become a solid starting pitcher for the rebuilding Pirates.
Yimi Garcia, RP, Miami Marlins
New closer alert! Yimi Garcia has taken over the closer role for the Miami Marlins since Brandon Kintzler has moved on to being a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. His stellar play in the shortened season last year was what also led to the role change for Garcia. Garcia is off to a solid start to the season as well. In nine appearances, Garcia is 2-1 with a .96 ERA and three saves. The Marlins as a team have also improved their play. All of these factors make Garcia a solid waiver wire pickup if you are still in need of a closer.