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!
Carson Kelly, C, Arizona Diamondbacks
For the last six years, Carson Kelly has been seen as a decent at best catcher in the MLB. His start to the 2021 season could be the season where he could be considered a top 15 or even top 10 if he keeps this start consistently as the season progresses. Through 58 plate appearances, Kelly has hit .341 with five home runs and 12 RBIs. What might be most impressive for this start is that Kelly has more walks than strikeouts so far, 13 to 10. Kelly still isn’t an everyday catcher yet but his hitting can only earn him more appearances as a DH or PH. Kelly is worth adding in all league formats.
Adolis Garcia, OF, Texas Rangers
After discussing Dane Dunning being an early front runner for AL rookie of the year on last week’s article, it is looking like his own teammate will challenge him for that award. Adolis Garcia has also been picking up the production for the Texas Rangers. In his last five games, Garcia has been hitting .350 with four home runs and eight RBIs. The upside is a bit hard to see for Garcia since he’s 28 years old but he’s been showing significant improvement regardless. Garcia is also worth adding in all league formats.
Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Miami Marlins
Jesus Aguilar hasn’t been the same hitter since his 35 homers season for the Milwaukee Brewers back in 2018. However, he has made some progress season by season to return to that form. Recently he’s been picking it up. He has homers in his last three games, totaling his RBI total to 15. On top of that, he is hitting .281 and also has more walks than strikeouts. Aguilar is a quality pickup in deeper formatted leagues. His consistency throughout the rest of the season will be key for his outlook and if he is a legitimate hitter.
Sam Haggerty, OF, Seattle Mariners
Sam Haggerty is definitely a sleeper pick for waiver wire selections but his recent stretch of games makes him a great pickup as long as he can keep it consistent. In his last five games, Haggerty has hit .556 with one home run, three RBIs, and three stolen bases. Haggerty has helped the Mariners become a surprise contender in the AL West. He also is a solid frontrunner for AL rookie of the year. The biggest question is if he can keep his numbers above average for the remainder of the season. Haggerty is worth keeping on the radar in deeper formatted leagues.
Ryan Weathers, SP, San Diego Padres
How deep is the Padres rotation? Well, it just got deeper, as Ryan Weathers is looking like a solid quality pitcher after his last two starts. The top 10 selection in 2018 has thrown 9.1 innings and has only allowed two hits and no earned runs. Not to mention that he has held hitters to a .067 batting average. But what might be most impressive is that both of these starts have come against the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the best lineups in the entire league. Weathers is worth adding in all league formats. His next start against the Diamondbacks will be key for his outlook the rest of the season.
Alex Wood, RP, San Fransisco Giants
Since being an all-star back in 2016, Alex Wood has fallen off, to say it nicely. Before coming into this season, he had a 4.23 ERA since 2017, including a 6.39 ERA in the shortened season. Now with the San Fransisco Giants, Wood is looking to turn back time. In two starts, he looks like he is on the right track, not allowing a run with 11 strikeouts and only allowing four hits. Wood still qualifies as a relief pitcher so he’s a great pickup with more teams starting to have closers by committee. Wood is a great addition in deeper formatted leagues for the time being.
Brady Singer, SP, Kansas City Royals
Brady Singer had a shaky 2020 shortened season after coming into the season as a talented young prospect. But in 2021, he is looking to improve his consistency to help the Royals return to the postseason for the first time since 2015 when they won the World Series. After also having a shaky 2021 start, Singer in his last two starts has maintained a 0.69 ERA including 13 strikeouts to only five hits. Singer is worth adding in deeper formatted leagues. Consistency will be key whether he is worth adding in all formats.
Ryan Yarbrough, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
Ryan Yarbrough has been a solid backend rotation pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays in seasons prior. But now with Blake Snell and Charlie Morton playing for other franchises, Yarbrough’s play is more impactful this season if the Rays would like to make a postseason run again. He also had a shaky start to the 2021 season but in his last two starts, Yarbrough has held a 0.84 ERA with 10 strikeouts to only five hits. Yarbrough is worth adding now in almost all leagues due to league experience and already shown previous signs to be a consistent pitcher.