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!
Bobby Dalbec, 1B, Boston Red Sox
Bobby Dalbec showed some serious potential his rookie year after hitting eight homers in only 23 games. But that power struggled to continue over into his second season as he even had to spend time in the minors to manage his game. Recently, he’s been crushing the ball and proving he could be the first baseman of the future. In his last 10 games, Dalbec has hit .440/.517/.960 with an insane 1.477 OPS. He’s also hit three homers, 12 RBIs, and five runs scored in those same games. Dalbec is currently the hottest hitter on the wire. He should be an immediate pickup.
Lewis Brinson, OF, Miami Marlins
After the Starling Marte trade, Lewis Brinson was the deserved candidate to fill the role. Brinson has shown clear improvement since his first season back in 2017 with the Brewers. But since moving into the everyday role, Brinson has taken his production to another level. In his last 10 games, Brinson has hit .361/.425/.750 and a great 1.175 OPS. He also hit three homers and 12 RBIs. Brinson is a player with a high ceiling part of a system known to develop talent. Brinson is worth adding now in all league formats.
Luis Arraez, 2B/3B/OF, Minnesota Twins
Luis Arraez is a young prospect with a high upside in the Twins system. Arraez is still looking for the breakout campaign but has shown solid flashes in stretches of games. In his last 10 games, Arraez has hit .469/.528/.656. Those numbers line up to be 15 hits along with five RBIs. Arraez’s next step would be to turn more of those hits into scoring, most likely RBIs with his lack of power. His position flexibility also makes him a quality pick-up on the waiver wire.
Frank Schwindel, 1B, Chicago Cubs
Since being moved to the Chicago Cubs off the waivers, Frank Schwindel has boomed in his short time with the club. In Oakland, he struggled to hit the ball and failed to stretch plate appearnces to earn walks. That has completely turned around in Chicago. In his 13 games with the Cubs, Schwindel has hit .381/.422/.714 with three homers and 12 RBIs. While it is very early to say, Schwindel is filling Anthony Rizzo’s shoes very nicely. While he obviously still has a lot more to prove, Schwindel is worthing keeping on the radar for the time being.
Josiah Gray, SP, Washington Nationals
After being a major trade piece in the Trea Turner and Max Scherzer trade, Josiah Gray has already started to make an impact for the Nationals. During his time with the Dodgers, Gray managed a 6.75 ERA and looked like he needed a ton of improvement. Since then, he’s maintained a 2.81 ERA over 16 innings pitched with 18 strikeouts as well. Still at 23 years old too, Gray has plenty of time to improve in an organization that is focusing on rebuilding. Gray is worth picking up now while he continues to pitch well.
Tyler Gilbert, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks
After only three relief appearnces, Tyler Gilbert was thrown into the rotation due to injuries and lack of talent. To the surprise of everyone, Gilbert was able to throw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres, finishing with five strikeouts as well. While it’s only one performance for Gilbert, it is certainly a great start to his first season in the majors. It’ll be extremely interesting to see his ceiling in future starts. For now, he’ll be a popular name on the waiver wire and is worth a pick-up with his potential.
Eric Lauer, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
After a horrendous 2020 season where he averaged a 13.50 ERA, Eric Lauer has made a lot of improvements to his game and is putting up career numbers. Especially as of late, Lauer has improved his management to have longer-lasting outings. In his last six starts, Lauer has earned a 1.44 ERA with a 3-1 record. He could improve on his strikeout numbers, only having 26 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched. Lauer is a solid pick-up on the waiver wire in deeper league formats until he can prove he can consistently pitch six innings minimum.
Luis Gil, SP, New York Yankees
With injuries spreading through the Yankees rotation, Luis Gil was a last resort callup for management. Gil was still developing his craft in the minors at the time but still expected to be a key pitcher in the future for the organization. He’s absolutely balled out in his two starts, not allowing a run and earning 14 strikeouts in only 11 innings pitched. His likelihood of pitching again this season in the majors is questionable. But it is great to see his spotlight in the majors. Gil is worth keeping on radars if he’s given another opportunity to pitch again.