Week 9 Waiver Wire

Derek Norris

It is a Colorado party in the week 9 waiver wire, with no less than five Rockies featuring in my waiver wire article. The Rockies are 7-3 in the last 10 games so there is no surprise they have some hot guys right now, but a few of them are widely available and could be more than just a flash in the pan given the stadium they play in. In a more general update Catcher and Short Stop are still ugly positions but there are quite a few options available at the other middle infield position, so don’t feat if your middle infield position is looking bare.

Hitters

Derek Norris, C, SD: The number one catcher in fantasy right now. Why is he not owned in all leagues?!

Nick Hundley, C, COL: Hundley got the nod in Colorado for his defensive abilities and he has not let anyone down but he has also been putting up superb offensive numbers as well. For the season he is batting pretty much dead on 0.300 with five homers, 20 runs and 18 RBI. He is currently the seventh ranked catcher in fantasy, and should be owned in way more than 30% of leagues considering he gets to hit in Colorado regularly.

Chris Carter, 1B, HOU: Carter looks primed to get hot having hit 0.319 with three homers over the last 15 days including a two-homer game against Baltimore. His ownership has dropped to 50% as owners struggle to deal with his 0.205 average on the season. However, he is once again on pace for 35-40 homers and if he gets hot for a few weeks that could easily reach 50. He definitely needs to be owned in all roto leagues.

Chris Collabello, 1B/OF, TOR: Collabello has been superb since his call up to the majors just over three weeks ago, with 16 runs, 16 RBI, four homers and two steals whilst batting 0.352. Collabello is a natural regression candidate given that he has been nothing more than a replacement level player in the majority of his career, but while he is putting up an OPS of 1.000+ there is definitely a  place for him in all roto leagues.

Ben Paulsen, 1B, COL: This is a little bit of an out-of-nowhere call, but Paulsen is having an incredible couple of weeks, batting 0.320 with nine runs, nine RBI and four homers. Paulsen has earned himself the chance to compete for a starting job when Justin Morneau returns and could be a sneaky source of power given his home field making him a real deep league flyer in 16 team roto leagues.

DJ LeMahieu, 2B, COL: The Colorado party continues with LeMahieu who is having a hot couple of weeks to continue what has been a strong last month for the second baseman. In the last 15 days he is hitting 0.373 with two homers, two steals, 13 runs scored and nine driven in. He is now up to the sixth second baseman in fantasy, even if he doesn’t offer any real power upside.  He should be owned in all roto leagues, for sure.

Joe Panik, 2B, SF: Another man having a hot streak in a good season is Joe Panik, who has already surpassed his rookie total for homers while hitting at a more than respectable 0.307 average. Okay, so that is still only four homers but he is batting high in the order and scoring plenty of runs (26). But is also batting behind Aoki, so he is getting a fair few RBI as well (22). Another must own in all roto leagues.

Delino DeShields, 2B/OF, TEX: With the news Hamilton is going on the DL, DeShields value actually rises given that there are now absolutely no questions over his place in the line-up. Deshields has naturally slowed down from the amazing pace he was on a few weeks ago, but he is on pace for 35-ish steals and that is something that everyone needs. So, check your waiver wire, as he has been dropped in 13% of ESPN leagues.

Trevor Plouffe. 3B, MIN: Until Plouffe deservedly reaches 70% ownership I am going to keep pushing him because he is outperforming expectations so far. He is on pace for 30-ish homers with 80 runs and 90-ish RBI. And if he can keep hitting around the 0.262 mark then he doesn’t hurt you, either. He should be owned in all leagues.

David Freese, 3B, LAA: Freese has been sneakily an effective option at third base despite the awful batting average. He has nine homers on the year so far and if you can swallow his 0.237 batting average for the sake of some power, then he is definitely someone you should consider. Freese fits more into your team if you need a bit of power and the runs and RRBI that can come with that, but can afford to sacrifice a little average so there is no sweeping statement about where he should be owned.

Jung Ho Kang, 3B/SS, PIT: Kang has by no means been amazing in 2015 but the shortstop position is so ugly that he can still make it into this article, even without setting the world on fire. So far he has three homers and four steals with 11 runs and 19 RBI, whilst hitting 0.287. He was a power hitter in the Korean leagues but appears to be more of a power/speed guy in the majors. And given the slow start there is chance of 20/20 potential if he gets hot. He’s worth a pickup in all roto leagues just for the potential middle infield upside.

Steven Souza Jr., OF, TB: When I looked up Souza for this article I was stunned to see he is on pace for 40 homers in 2015. It shouldn’t surprise me given how hard he has crushed a couple of his homers but his value has been depressed by his 0.228 batting average. However, not only is he powering his way through his poor average, he can also run as he has shown with seven steals so far this season. He’s only owned in 40% of leagues and should be owned in all five-outfielder leagues given his 40/20 pace right now.

Cameron Maybin, OF, ATL: Maybin is another man who is offering an interesting power/speed combination in the outfield. While the power is to a lesser extreme, meaning his ceiling is 20/20 rather than 40/20, his batting average is hovering at 40 points higher at 0.268. Maybin took his time earning an everyday job but now he has it locked up and is batting second. He should be owned in all five-outfield 12 team leagues.

Billy Burns, OF, OAK: Billy Burns is tearing it up right now and has raised his season average to 0.328 with nine homers and 18 runs scored. He has hit two homers in the last two weeks but power is not his calling card. And, batting atop the Oakland line-up, he won’t offer you much in terms of RBI, but he does seem to be a decent, average hitter with speed, so if you need help there then go and get Burns to see where this hot streak leads.

Starting Pitchers

Lance McCullers, HOU: McCullers had a masterful outing on Wednesday as he threw a complete game against Baltimore. In the game he gave up just one run and struck out 11 batters on just four hits. He is currently working at a strikeout per inning for the season, but fact he has failed to go five innings in two of his four starts is a minor concern. A small sample size, but McCullers could be worth his weight in gold when he gets it right given his strikeout potential and lack of runs given up so far.

Chad Bettis, COL: I did not expect to be featuring a Colorado pitcher this early in the season and this was certainly not the one I expected to find here! Bettis has been superb in his last three starts, giving up just three runs whilst striking out 19 over 22.1 innings. Considering three of his last four starts have been at Coors field his ERA of 2.70 is fantastic. This is a guy who should be owned in all leagues of 14 teams or deeper.

Jesse Chavez, OAK: Chavez has now had two eight innings outings in a row with no runs given up bringing his season ERA down to 2.11 with a WHIP of 1.04. He is working with a 7.5 K/9 rate and has now had 6 quality starts. He’s nothing special for fantasy, but he is a solid depth guy for your rotation in 14 team leagues and deeper.

Relief Pitchers

Shawn Tolleson, TEX: Tolleson is rolling along since getting the closer job for Texas with 6 saves and 7 K’s in his last 8 innings (15 days). His 0.99 WHIP on the season shows his fantastic control and he has yet to give up an earned run since getting the closer job for a surging Texas team.

John Axford, COL: Axford has been lighting it up this year and is one of the only people in the majors with an ERA lower than his WHIP! He now has 10 saves on the season and considering he is not an elite strikeout guy his averaging strikeout per innings over his last five outings. If that continues then Axford could start sneaking up the closer rankings in 2015.

AJ Ramos, MIA: Now Ramos has that elite strikeout potential as shown by his six strikeouts in the last 4.1 innings with four saves. The issue for Ramos is the limited opportunities he is going to get for saves playing in  Miami but he should make up for that with his strikeout’s, ERA and WHIP.

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