Fantasy Baseball: Week 1 Waiver Wire

Bartolo Colon

If you are scrambling around on the week 1 waiver wire then either you have been decimated by injuries, you have realised someone slipped through the cracks in your draft or chances are you are massively over reacting to a good performance by a free agent and/or a bad performance by one of your guys. My advice is do not go digging on the waiver wire this week for hitters because there is a lot of potential fools gold out there right now. I would be using my waiver claim/FAAB budget to speculate on one of the closers in waiting that appear to be queuing up to get their shot.
Of course there are a couple of hitters who’s role we weren’t sure about entering the year that we now have a little clarification over and those names are worth considering as waivers cycle round this week but don’t go crazy for a couple of good games and risk ruining all that hard work you did preparing for your drafts.

Hitters

Jake Lamb, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks: Jake Lamb has been one of the hottest names on the lips of fantasy owners and analysts this week given the hot start in his first two games. However, when you look deeper than the 7 RBI you will see that he has only had two hits so far; a bases clearing double and a grandslam which have accounted for all 7 RBI. This is a definite case of fools gold especially when you consider some see him in a platoon with Aaron Hill at third base. If you made a mess of third base in your draft and want a high upside guy then a cheap acquisition of Hill in FAAB leagues is something I would consider but I wouldn’t pay more than a couple of dollars for a guy who could be in a platoon all year.

Mike Napoli, 1B, Boston Red Sox: You will look at Napoli’s stats from these first few days and wonder what the hell I am talking about but he has only started one of the three games against the Phillies and pinch hit in another. When Boston returns to AL play Napoli is the everyday first baseman in a powerful line up. First baseman with home run potential are always welcome on my bench and they should be on yours.

Stephen Vogt, C, Oakland Athletics: Vogt will have slipped through the cracks even in two catcher leagues more than likely because well he isn’t really catcher eligible right now but give it another week and he may well be and then his price shoots up. Off to a hot start in 2015 Vogt could easily be a low end #1 catcher come the end of the season so if you can spare the space for a week it is worth moving now to get him cheap.

Jose Iglesias, SS, Detroit Tigers: Ok so there is no way he keeps hitting at his current rate but what Iglesias has shown this first week is that he could be a real sleeper at SS. Given the limited options at the position chances are you haven’t got a great everyday option and in this line-up there is every opportunity that he could be in the reckoning for a top 10 SS. However, his glove is his main calling card so do not be surprised if he goes through some rough stretches.

Angel Pagan, OF, San Francisco Giants: Pagan’s current value is extremely heavily tied to Pence. Whilst Pence is out Pagan will definitely bat 3rd in the line-up with two decent guys in front of him. I would be shocked if Pagan slides down the order but a move up would hurt his RB chances and his value a little. In addition, he has faced some measly pitching in a hitter friendly ball park but with the three doubles there is point’s league value. For roto the lack of power and steals he will offer damages that value somewhat.

Alex Avila, C, Detroit Tigers: Avila has threatened to break out at catcher before and with the impressive home run he hit this week and the fact he has walked three times has peaked my interest in a guy that I have been high on in years past. It is hard for me not to get carried away given how poor the catcher position is in general and given Avila’s surrounding cast. A speculative add in one catcher leagues if you have a low end guy holding the post currently and a must own in two catcher leagues

Travis Snider, OF, Baltimore Orioles: A personal favourite of mine going into the season off to a hot start away from home when his real value lies at home is something I am ecstatic to see. When Snider returns to hitter friendly Baltimore we should see some power coming through and that can only serve to make him more valuable. The danger in picking up Snider is he is currently slated to sit against lefties so in leagues with small benches you are going to be taking a zero unless he can show he has the ability to deal with the southpaws. Even so he is still my favourite waiver wire option this week (outside of Napoli who should be owned in nearly every league in my opinion)

The SP’s

Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox: He had a masterful start on opening day striking out 9 in seven shout out innings that had fantasy owners thrusting out their chests and talking trash all over leagues. Then they woke up the next morning and remembered it was against ….. the PHILLIES who project to be one of the worst teams in the whole of the majors in 2015. On start doesn’t change a lot for me and Buchholz is still a streaming guy until he strings a few good starts together. There are much more exciting options listed here but he is a popular name in waiver discussions and therefore deserved a mention here.

Bartolo Colon, New York Mets: Colon is another guy that you have to try not to get too excited over. At age 40 + it is amazing he shut down the Nationals offence the way he did but right now Washington are running at reduced capacity due to injuries and that should be taken note of. Colon has now become a streaming consideration going forward which is more than I would have said last week but don’t rush to add him right now.

Drew Hutchison, Toronto Blue Jays: Now we reach a name that really excites me after his performance this week. Yes it is only one game but he dominated a left handed line-up and made it look like a knife carving through butter. The significance of this is that he is traditionally poor against lefties and if he has sorted that out from last year he could be primed to be a top 30 SP at least. This is one SP I want to react to but is still not someone I am over paying for.

Archie Bradley, Arizona Diamondbacks: I am including this guy before I have even seen him pitch in the regular season. Bradley has been a top pitching prospect since he was drafted and came from nowhere to win a rotation spot that it looked like he had blown. Now rookie pitchers are always risky but when there is the upside that Bradley offers he is a guy I want to roster just for the potential. Again don’t be extravagant going after him because there are probably plenty of solid guys you can get for much cheaper and then you save your waiver priority/FAAB budget to get someone who gets hot later in the year.

The RP’s

Jason Grilli, Atlanta Braves: The trading of Kimbrel to the Padres had a massive effect on Grilli’s value as he suddenly went from a below average set up man to a below average closer. The difference between those two titles is MASSIVE. The Braves hitting isn’t good but there is life there and Atlanta are not in a high scoring division so Grilli could see plenty of opportunities in low scoring games. The long term worry is that he may get traded if he has a good couple of months but right now the prospect of 10 saves is a bonus.

Jeurys Familia, New York Mets: With the news of Mejia’s injury Familia has found himself in the key role for at least a month. The Mets SP’s will always keep games close and that means Familia could have plenty of opportunities to impress in April and prevent Bobby Parnell getting the job when he returns. Familia has a shorter shelf life than Grilli right now but he has a higher ceiling also.

Andrew Miller, New York Yankees: Miller was already in the shout for the closer job but no one really thought he would beat out Betances did they? Well Betances came in for the 8th innings on Wednesday and frankly stunk up the joint taking 32 pitches to get through an innings with a worryingly low velocity and Miller is looking a wonderful option right now. If he is locked in as the Yankee’s closer he will be a hot commodity when waivers process this week.

Miguel Castro, Toronto Blue Jays: Even though I have a ton of Brett Cecil shares I cannot help but be excited about this because Castro looks very impressive so far. In last night’s game against the Yankees he struck out all three batters to record the first save of his career. If he can perform well and be even close to as dominant as he was last night then he could lock this job down for the foreseeable future. Sleeper Closer Candidate: Roberto Osuna Don’t pick him up but stick him on your watch list.

Jim Johnson, Atlanta Braves: A deep league only option in a league where saves are at a premium. Grilli doesn’t have a great history when it comes to injuries and then you add in the chance of a trade and Johnson could have the job for the whole of the second half of the year. If Grilli gets injured next week his price will rocket up given that he has a proven track record of getting saves so this is a deep league stash only.

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