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!
Adam Duvall, OF, Miami Marlins
By the surprise of most, Adam Duvall is currently leading the National League in RBIs. That has mainly come from a recent explosion in hitting that has earned him as a top priority spot on the waiver wire. In his last 10 games, Duvall has hit .316/.357/.868 with seven homers and 19 RBIs. Four of those home runs and 10 RBIs have come in the last two games, but that should push out his consistent hitting in these last ten games. He’s also held onto an impressive 1.226 OPS in those same games. Duvall obviously won’t be hitting a homer every game but his power and consistency make him a top-tier pickup.
Luis Urias, 3B/2B/SS, Milwaukee Brewers
Luis Urias has been having a mini breakout season of his own in 2021. Despite not many of the surface stats surpassing previous averages, Urias has had major improvements in slugging and OPS that make him a much more offensive threat. In his last 20 games, Urias has had 20 hits along with .294/.407/.529 splits and 10 RBIs. Urias is a perfect utility player with his position flexibility. He’s also only 24 years old and still has plenty of room for improvement. He has all the tools currently to make him another quality pick-up on the waiver wire.
Brandon Belt, 1B, San Fransisco Giants
With the Giants surprising most with their incredible start to the season, many of their players have turned back the clock to their prime days. The latest of those players being Brandon Belt, a former all-star in 2016. In his last 10 games, Belt has hit .314/.415/.771 with three home runs and six RBIs. He’s also managed a solid 1.186 OPS in those same games. Belt’s potential isn’t nearly what it once was considering he is 33 but that shouldn’t stop his addition to fantasy rosters. He’s a solid power-hitting first baseman that’s showing he still has plenty left in the tank. Belt should be added in most league formats.
Taylor Ward, OF, Los Angeles Angels
After a solid 2020 season, Taylor Ward’s expectations risen to play a key role in the ascension of the Angels. He’s improved in some underlying stats especially his slugging and OPS. But recently he’s been hitting great, enough to make him a quality waiver wire sleeper candidate. In his last 10 games, Ward has hit .333/.435/.538 with one home run, nine RBIs, and eight runs scored. Ward’s improvements will be worth tracking if he can finally break the threshold and become another key hitter for the Angels. For now, he is just worth watching on radars.
Patrick Sandoval, SP, Los Angeles Angels
After a below-average 2020 season where he finished 1-5 and an ERA above five, Patrick Sandoval has been pitching the lights out and looks like a legitimate number two pitcher alongside Shohei Ohtani. In his last four starts, Sandoval has managed a 2.78 ERA with a 2-2 record. He’s also recorded 27 strikeouts to only seven walks over 22 innings pitched. Sandoval still has a lot to improve upon but what he’s producing now are very good signs he has what it takes to maintain big league production. Sandoval should be added in all league formats.
Lucas Sims, RP, Cincinnati Reds
New closer alert! With Amir Garrett and Sean Doolittle struggling to convert save opportunities, David Bell has now made the change to make Lucas Sims the new closer and he’s been great since then. Sims had a great 2020 season where he finished with a 2.45 ERA but zero saves. In his eight last appearances, Sims has maintained a 0.93 ERA with four saves. Sims is quickly being picked up off the water wire so grab him quickly as this will likely be a permanent change as long as he continues this high production.
Chris Flexen, SP/RP, Seattle Mariners
After some rough seasons with the New York Mets, Chris Flexen took his talents to Korea in order to fix his pitching, especially his curveball. In the offseason, he signed with the Seattle Mariners in hopes to make his name an establishment in the league. His numbers have made dramatic improvements since his days in New York. In his last two starts, Flexen has earned a 1.93 ERA with a 2-0 record. He’s also done an excellent job maintaining an 11:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Flexen’s biggest concern is consistency, as he typically has a bad outing following a great one. But it’s good to see he is making improvements. Flexen is a quality candidate on the waivers to add right now.
Bailey Ober, SP, Minnesota Twins
A rookie making his first stint in the big leagues, Bailey Ober has had some quality and underrated numbers in his first few starts. While he has yet to win or lose a decision, Ober has managed a 3.71 ERA with 21 strikeouts over 17 innings of work through four starts. In his last two starts, however, Ober has merited a 2.00 ERA with 13 strikeouts over nine innings pitched. Ober’s role will be huge for a Minnesota rotation that continues to struggle and deal with injuries after a much more productive 2020 season. For now, Ober is worth taking a flier on in deeper formatted leagues. But it won’t be long he will become a popular pickup if he maintains these numbers.