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!
Josh Rojas, 2B/SS/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Despite the Arizona Diamondbacks going through a full rebuild, they’ve had plenty of bright spots including Josh Rojas. While Rojas is already in a breakout season of his own, he continues to elevate his game as the season progresses. In his last 10 games, Rojas has hit .515/.568/.788 and an insane 1.355 OPS. He’s delivered 17 hits turning into seven RBIs and a homer. His position flexibility also makes him a quality pick-up off the waiver wire while he continues to develop his game to become a key franchise player for the Diamondbacks.
Jake Meyers, OF, Houston Astros
After Myles Straw was traded to the Cleveland Indians, Jake Meyers was given the opportunity to earn centerfield reps in the majors. While only appearing in 14 games thus far, he’s been already filling in the shoes that Straw left behind. In his 14 games in the majors, Meyers has hit .308/.349/.590 with three homers and 13 RBIs. Meyers’s next thing to work on his ability to draw walks. He’s only earned two in the majors compared to 13 strikeouts. For now, he’s a quality prospect making amazing strides worth adding now in most league formats.
Carter Kieboom, 3B, Washington Nationals
A former top prospect in the organization, Carter Kieboom has had a slow start to proving his worth in the majors. This season has by far been his best for the Nationals, especially as of late. In his last 10 games, Kieboom has hit .265/.366/.382 with a homer and five RBIs. While those numbers aren’t jawdropping, he’s still showing off his progression and could be bound for more late-season improvement. For now, he’s with watching on radars to track that improvement.
Nicky Lopez, 2B/SS, Kansas City Royals
Nicky Lopez is another young prospect in the Royals organization who hops to fill out a new young core for the future. Lopez has shown some solid development through his years in the majors and has improved greatly on his contact hitting and getting on base. Over his last 10 games, Lopez has hit nearly .300 with 11 hits and scored five runs. While he only hit one home run during that stretch, he’s got more than enough room to make improvements. He’s proving to be a multitool player and is another player worth keeping on radars while he continues to make advances.
Elieser Hernandez, SP, Miami Marlins
After having a solid campaign in 2020, Elieser Hernandez was a solid sleeper candidate for drafts this season. Unfortunately because of injury, that breakout season was delayed. Now that he’s healthy, Hernandez has shown some solid flashes of his 2020 production. Hernandez currently has a 4.15 ERA with 17 innings of work. As he continues to get into a more consistent groove, the hope is for his command and strikeout rate to rise. For now, he’s a popular candidate off the pitching waiver wire.
Reynaldo Lopez, SP/RP, Chicago White Sox
Up until this point, Reynaldo Lopez has struggled to become the elite pitching prospect the White Sox had hoped for. In 2019, he hit rock bottom after allowing the most earned runs in the entire league. But after moving him to a reduced role in the bullpen, he’s been keen on his improvements. Currently this season, Lopez has a 1.08 ERA over 25 innings pitched. He only has three starts but he could be subject to more with more strong relief outings. He is also a popular target on the waiver wire.
J.A. Happ, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
After being traded from the Minnesota Twins, J.A. Happ hopes to bring more veteran experience to a team making a push for the postseason. He’s had a complete turnaround since coming to the team. In his four starts with St. Louis, Happ has managed a 1.99 ERA with 19 strikeouts over 22 innings pitched. This is a huge acquisition for the Cardinals to get some productive veteran pitching in their rotation. Happ is a quality pick-up on the waiver wire as he continues high-quality pitching.
Scott Barlow, RP, Kansas City Royals
After some shuffling in the bullpen, Scott Barlow has earned the closer job for the last handful of series. He’s earned it, posting a 2.55 season ERA. But since earning the position, he’s been lights out. In his last six appearances, Barlow has managed a 1.35 ERA with two saves and a win. He’s also struck out four batters over six and 2/3 innings pitched. He’s an underrated pick-up on the waiver wire and still has much more room for growth as he is only 28 years of age.