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. All players listed are rostered below 40 percent on ESPN. Learn to think like a NERD!
J.P. Crawford, SS, Seattle Mariners
J.P. Crawford was a former top prospect for the Philadelphia Phillies. But after being traded to the Seattle Mariners for Jean Segura. Since then, Crawford has done a great job of making improvements every season. He’s now hitting a career-high in batting average at .274. In his last 10 games, he’s been through the roof. He’s hit .421 with a homer, seven RBIs, and six runs scored. The Mariners are still building a core that can compete with the best of the best but if Crawford continues to make these excellent improvements, he’ll be a franchise cornerpiece. For now, he is a must-add in all league formats.
Miguel Andujar, OF, New York Yankees
After being the AL Rookie of the Year runner-up and hitting 92 RBIs in 2018, Miguel Andujar fell off the face of the earth with his production, and many thought he would never return to that form ever again. However in 2021, with a lot of injuries to the Yankees roster, Andujar has been allowed to re-earn his spot in the starting lineup. in his last 10 games, Andujar has hit .297 with four homers, five RBIs, and nine runs scored. Andujar’s next step is to work on earning walks. For now, Andujar is worth adding in most league formats, his role will be interesting once some players come back from injury.
James McCann, C, New York Mets
After being a big-time free agent signing for the New York Mets, James McCann is having one of the worst seasons since his 2019 All-star season that earned him the massive contract in the first place. he has done a bit to reclaim some of the hype coming into the season. In his last 10 games, McCann has hit .333 with three homers and 10 RBIs. McCann is the most in-demand player on this list because of his position and already being owned at a high rate. He should be picked up immediately if you are in need of a catcher.
Yandy Diaz, 3B/1B, Tampa Bay Rays
After an impressive 2020 season where he hit over .300, Yandy Diaz was a quality sleeper candidate for 2021 but has failed to live up to the expectations. Through 60 games, he’s only hit around .230 up until recently. In his last 10 games, Diaz has hit .289 with a homer and seven RBIs. He’s also done a good job managing his walk-to-strikeout ratio, currently maintaining a 1:1 ratio in those same games. Diaz will have to prove his run is sustainable in order to become a quality pickup. But for now, Diaz is worth keeping watch on radars for the time being.
Tucker Davidson, SP, Atlanta Braves
With the Braves dealing with injuries throughout their entire rotation, Tucker Davidson has been given an opportunity to show his production. He’s done a solid job in making a case to stay in the rotation. Through three starts, Davidson has maintained a 1.53 ERA through 17 innings of work. Davidson has also done a solid job at working with a 2:1 walk-to-strikeout ratio. Davidson’s role is still to be determined once the injured players return. But for now, he is a top-quality pitcher to pick up on the waiver wires for the time being.
Vladimir Gutierrez, SP, Cincinnati Reds
Vladimir Gutierrez is one of the many quality pitching prospects that the Reds have in their farm system. He was recently called up at the end of May and has produced some great starts already. In his first three starts, Gutierrez is 2-1 with an ERA of 2.65. He’s also struck out 13 batters over 17 innings of work. Gutierrez has the potential to fill a key role that the Reds need after Trevor Bauer left in free agency and with the struggles of Luis Castillo. Gutierrez is worth adding in all league formats. The next couple of starts will be key for his outlook for the rest of the season.
Zach Davies, SP, Chicago Cubs
After two excellent seasons in Milwaukee and San Diego, Zach Davies was traded to the Chicago Cubs as a key piece in the Yu Darvish trade. That same magic hasn’t transitioned over to Chicago for Davies, as his ERA was as high as 11.05, after having a 2.73 ERA with the Padres. However, his recent starts have started to look more typical for Davies in 2020. He’s thrown back-to-back shutout starts, bringing his ERA down to 4.01. Davies is worth adding in most league formats. His next few starts will be key if he can retain his consistency.
Erick Fedde, SP, Washington Nationals
After being a key call-up for the Washington Nationals in 2017, Erick Fedde has consistently brought down his major stats since his debut. Recently, he’s even performed better than his career-low 3.86 ERA he is pitching in 2021. He has also pitched back-to-back shutouts in his last two starts. The Nationals’ rotation has struggled this season outside of Max Scherzer. Fedde’s production and consistency will be key over the next month. For now, Fedde is worth watching on the radar, potentially worth taking a flier if none of the other pitchers are available.