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!
Lane Thomas, OF, Washington Nationals
After being mentioned a few weeks ago as a prospect who could thrive in a new environment, Lane Thomas has thrived since joining the Nationals. In the 31 games he’s played for the team, Thomas has hit .308 with five homers and 22 RBs. But his production as of late has been even better. In his last 10 games, Thomas has hit .324/.432/.622 with two homers, 11 RBIs, and nine runs scored. He’s also done a solid job at drawing walks, holding a 7:9 walk-to-strikeout ratio. With a full season, Thomas could be a future franchise player for the new-era Nationals. He’s a great pick-up for dynasty leagues.
Jarred Kelenic, OF, Seattle Mariners
At the beginning of the season, Jarred Kelenic was expected to be a game-changing prospect once his call-up happened. He’s been anything but that. Kelenic has only hit .170 and a .250 OBP this season. However, his last stretch of games has given him a more positive outlook. IN his last 10 games, Kelenic has hit .257/.333/.657 and a .990 OPS. With that, he’s hit four homers, nine RBIs, and eight runs scored. He still has a long way to go before he lives up to his expectations earlier in the season. But for now, he’s a great pick-up in dynasty and deeper formatted leagues.
Bryan De La Cruz, OF, Miami Marlins
After being traded at the deadline from the Houston Astros, Bryan De La Cruz has been quite productive since his call-up. In 44 games, De La Cruz has hit .327 with five homers and 17 RBIs. But in his last 10 games, he’s hit .316/.395/.553 with two homers, five RBIs, and six runs scored. Any prospect in the Marlins organization has the potential to break out. But with limited games left, that likely won’t happen until next season. He’s a solid pick-up to end the fantasy playoffs with above-average hitting.
Alcides Escobar, SS/2B, Washington Nationals
After being out of the league for three years, Alcides Escobar returned to the majors and has played his best season since 2015 when he was an all-star. In his last 10 games, Escobar has hit .261/.271/.326 with five RBIs. While those aren’t the best numbers, he’s had 12 hits in those same 10 games. His next goal is to start getting more hits with runners in scoring positions. For now, he’s a decent pick-up in deeper formatted leagues with his position flexibility and consistent hitting.
Jordan Lyles, SP, Texas Rangers
After a quality 2019 run with the Brewers, Jordan Lyles has failed to show any positive signs of productive pitching since then. However, as of late, he slowly put on more consistent and quality outings for the Rangers. In his last five starts, Lyles has managed a 3.73 ERA. This includes an outlier where he allowed eight runs in a start against the Indians. He could improve limiting walks as well. Lyles is set to be a free agent so a new team could affect his production going forward. But he’s a reliable pitcher for fantasy playoffs.
Dietrich Enns, SP/RP, Tampa Bay Rays
With injuries to the Rays rotation, Dietrich Enns has been a reliable starter to fill early innings while they still try to compete for a postseason spot. Enns has been out of the league for four years but seems to have improved from pitching in the minors. In his last two starts, Enns has 1.13 ERA with a 2-0 record. Even before moving into the rotation, Enns was utilized as a multi-inning reliever, giving him nice fantasy value even if he doesn’t stay in the rotation. Nonetheless, he’s a quality pickup for all leagues.
Joe Ryan, SP, Minnesota Twins
After being part of the trade that sent Nelson Cruz to the Tampa Bay Rays, Joe Ryan has had a solid start to his career in the majors. Through three starts, Ryan has managed a 2.12 ERA with a 1-1 record. He also has an excellent 7:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He could be a future ace with the Twins shuffling around their entire rotation. His upside not only makes him a good pick-up for the rest of the season but also a solid sleeper in drafts next season. He may be worth a dynasty spot as well.
Dylan Floro, RP, Miami Marlins
After pitching for the Dodgers last season, Dylan Floro has now worked his way up to becoming the new closer for the Marlins. He’s been the consistent closer since the middle of August and he’s managed a 1.74 ERA since the change. He’s earned seven saves since the new position as well. He doesn’t fit into the Marlins plans since he’s only on a one-year contract. But his outlook this season is high as the closer and could have another great season depending on where he signs next.