We’re down to the final two weeks of the season. For those of you who stuck it out this long, you deserve a medal. At least a certificate? Fantasy baseball is arguably the hardest fantasy sport to participate in because of the sheer vastness of the ever-changing player pool and the absolute marathon of a season. Injuries and prospect call-ups are constantly clouding up the water, as are funky managerial decisions and trades. It’s a grind, to say the least, and if you’re lucky enough to be standing in the winner’s circle come October, it by no means should be called dumb luck.
While there is a bit of luck involved for success in life, here at FantasyPros, we like to make our own luck. We are constantly wading through players, analytics and stats, so you don’t have to.
For this week, once again, I’ve unearthed another 10 players who can help you in at least one of the major categories. Most of these players can aid you in multiple ways, but their primary contributions should come under the heading in which they’re listed. All players are rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues, so hopefully, many of them are available to you.
Here are this week’s top waiver wire add’s based on category.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Category Targets
Max Kepler’s been hitting cleanup in the Twins’ order and has nine RBIs over his last 10 games. He also scored eight runs over that span and currently has a six-game hitting streak going. The German-born outfielder has come up clutch all season for Twinkies, knocking in 60 runs in less than 400 at-bats. His .803 OPS and .481 SLG are the second-highest marks of his career, following the 2019 juiced-ball season. Kepler’s worth rostering for the remainder of the season.
Jack Suwinski went through a month-long slump in August but seems to have come back to life in September. Since the Spet. 4, the 25-year-old lefty has crushed three home runs and three doubles while collecting 10 RBIs. He also stole three bases this week. The three dingers upped his total to 25 for the year, and the three bags pushed him up to 12 steals.
Suwinski’s been a nice power source for the Buccos in his first two Major League campaigns, with 44 home runs over 724 at-bats. Now, with two weeks to go in the season, Suwinski can be a sneaky source for homers, RBIs and possibly a few steals.
Robbie Grossman had quite the series against the Blue Jays last week. On the road in Toronto, the switch-hitting outfielder registered seven hits, five runs, two homers and six RBI. He also stole a base and walked five times. Not bad for a journeyman corner outfielder who just turned 35.
With Adolis Garcia still nursing a knee injury, Grossman has picked up the slack either batting in the three or five-hole. He still walks at an impressive rate (12.9%), allowing him to reach base and score often. Plus, hitting behind the Rangers core puts him in a prime position to drive in runs. Garcia will likely be back in a week or so, but for now, it’s not a bad idea to add Grossman while he’s hot.
Wilyer Abreu started every game this last week, including two double-headers against the Yankees, and hit for a ridiculous .522 batting average. The Red Sox’s latest call-up is a 5-foot-10, 215-pound, lefty-swinging outfielder who can hit for both power and average. He’s taken over for the struggling Adam Duvall in the lineup as Boston looks more toward their future.
Abreu, who came over from Houston in last year’s deadline deal for Christian Vazquez, produced a .274/.391/.538 line in Triple-A this season with 65 RBIs and a 16.3 BB% over 299 at-bats. His .500 BABIP isn’t exactly sustainable, but with a 27% line drive rate and a little luck, the Sox rookie could easily hit over .300 the rest of the way.
Tommy Pham does it again! He made the list for the third time this season, except this time, it’s for stolen bases. The multifaceted outfielder can help you in several ways, yet he’s still rostered in less than half of Yahoo and nearly 85% of ESPN leagues.
Pham’s been on a stealing barrage lately, swiping three bags over the last six games. He also collected eight hits and four walks over that span. The speedy 35-year-old now has 20 stolen bases, 16 home runs and 62 RBIs on the season. The ageless wonder may rub a few people the wrong way, but Pham is a productive player who can help you in multiple ways.
I highlighted Mike Clevenger about a month ago, but he deserves mentioning once again. The slender right-hander has put together a string of quality starts stretching back to the beginning of last month. He’s lasted six innings or more in five of his last seven outings and is now boasting a 3.28 ERA for the second half of the season – and he’s actually better than that. If you remove his one blow-up start, where he allowed eight runs to Detroit, his ERA sits at a cool 1.96 since May 17.
Clevenger has a checkered past and hasn’t exactly been a model of health, but right now, he’s dealing and can help you secure a fantasy championship.
Keaton Winn didn’t have the best outing in Colorado, but he’s been more than serviceable for the Giants since joining the squad. He’s registered a 3.89 ERA with a 1.027 WHIP over 37 innings (four starts). The small-town kid from Iowa has jumped from long relief to starter but has allowed nearly the same ratio of baserunners in both roles (1.00 WHIP in relief, 1.05 WHIP as a starter).
Winn may be from a small town, but his presence on the mound is hardly meager. Measuring in at 6-foot-4, 238 pounds, Winn looks commanding on the bump. The rookie right-hander throws hard with a heater in the upper 90s and a splitter at 89. He also generates a sizable amount of ground balls – 2.24 GB/FB. He’s set to face the Dodgers this week, and while that’s not an ideal matchup, as long as he keeps preventing walks (1.64 BB/9) and limiting line drives (12.9%), Winn could produce a WHIP bordering on 1.00 the rest of the year.
Jameson Taillon has been all over the place this year. Still, if your ERA and WHIP are set, and K’s are what you’re after, then Taillon’s your man. When it comes down to the final weeks of the season, often, a few categories in the standings are already solidified. A four or five-run outing (after a full season of work) won’t make much of a difference, but the seven or eight strikeouts will. If you fit into that category, look to add Taillon before Wednesday. He’s set to face the Pirates (his former club), who strike out the 10th most in the league. The ex-Yankee has struck out 33 batters over his last five starts and could come close to double digits once again this week.
Cal Quantrill had an awful start to the season and then got hurt. Now, after spending nearly two months on the IL, he is once again throwing like the 15-game winner he was last year. In three starts since being activated, the 26-year-old righty has thrown 18 innings and allowed just three runs. Quantrill also held the opposition to just 10 hits and only one home run. The veteran right-hander often throws deep into ball games and is now lined up for a two-start week. He’s set to take on the last-place Royals on Monday, followed by an end-of-the-week clash with the Orioles.
From 2021-2022, Quantrill produced an ERA close to 3.00. He once again looks like that type of pitcher and is a great candidate to earn you a couple of wins down the stretch.
With Adbert Alzolay and Michael Fulmer both hitting the IL, Julian Merryweather should be the closer in Chicago. His fastball can reach triple digits, and he strikes out a ton of batters (12.46 K/9). He also limits home runs (0.97 HR/9) and holds batters to a .219 batting average. Merryweather picked up his first save of the season last week and should be in line for more, as the Cubs are in a dogfight to earn the final Wild Card. He won’t last, so add him ASAP.
Austin Lowell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Austin, check out his archive.