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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups: Parker Meadows, Mitch Haniger, Nick Martini

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups: Parker Meadows, Mitch Haniger, Nick Martini

Baseball is finally back which means the in-season fantasy baseball content grind begins. For those unfamiliar, I wrote the weekly fantasy baseball waiver wire column here last year. We had our highs and lows but throughout the season we pinpointed plenty of players who helped you win your leagues.

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Assistant Analyze Moves Who To Pick Up

It’s fun to see guys you were screaming from a mountaintop about last year go from waiver wire darlings to must-draft players. Guys like JP Crawford, Maikel Garcia and Parker Meadows proved last year they had value and have already come out hot to start 2024.

I’m planning to highlight as many players every week as possible in this waiver wire column. The difference between this article and others is I don’t plan to highlight every name I can think of and put a positive spin on why they should be rostered. If you see someone named in this article it’s because I wholeheartedly believe they carry enough fantasy value to keep your team competitive. They are players worthy of you finding a spot on your roster.

With that in mind, let’s get into the list of guys for the first week of your fantasy season.

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Targets

Parker Meadows (OF – DET)

CBS: 59%, Yahoo: 24%, ESPN: 7%

If you’ve been following my work for a while you know I speak very highly of Parker Meadows. He’s a great mix of power (62 XBH in 2023) and speed (27 stolen bases, 90th percentile sprint speed). He’s also the Tigers’ new leadoff man against right-handers this season. Detroit has what figures to be a fairly high-scoring lineup this season. With Meadows hitting ahead of guys like Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene, he will put up plenty of counting stats. He’s worth an add in all leagues of 12 teams or more.

Mitch Haniger (OF – SEA)

CBS: 33%, Yahoo: 23%, ESPN: 8%

The prodigal son has returned to the Seattle Mariners lineup and quickly reminded everyone why he was so beloved. The injury risk will always be there for someone like Mitch Haniger. So too will the power. There is potential for him to be platooned this year. However, through three games, he’s already hit a dinger, driven in three and has a 100% sweet spot rate. We’re only a few seasons removed from 39 home runs. While he may not quite have that much power anymore, there’s no reason to think a healthy Haniger can’t hit 25 and drive in 85. He’s well worth an addition in many leagues, especially those where you start five outfielders.

Nick Martini (OF – CIN)

CBS: 8%, Yahoo: 7%, ESPN: 2%

You’re probably tired of hearing “Cincinnati hitters are so great to roster because Great American Ball Park is such a hitters’ park.” I’m here to warn you that you’re about to hear it again. With TJ Friedl, Noelvi Marte and Matt McLain missing a considerable amount of time, playing time opened and Nick Martini took advantage. Keep in mind he doesn’t have the otherworldly power his two-home run game may suggest. What he does have is a combination of great contact skills (career 89.7% zone contact rate) and enough power to make things interesting. He’s not going to have an Aristides Aquino-type power run but he will manage to keep himself fantasy relevant for much longer. 12-team and deeper leagues should roster him.

J.D. Davis (3B – OAK)

CBS: 14%, Yahoo: 3%, ESPN: 1%

The former San Francisco Giant has found a new home in Oakland where he has nobody to fight him for at-bats. While that may have more to do with the fact the Athletics do not have a very good lineup, it still means J.D. Davis is going to hit in the heart of a lineup and get meaningful at-bats all season long. He proved last season he can be a good all-around contributor in everything but stolen bases and he’s started 2024 the same way. With a two-home run game to his name already and three of his batted ball events registering as “hard-hit” (95+ MPH), he’s just one “pulled flyball hitter” tweak away from becoming a 20+ home run contributor. He’s not going to be flashy but sometimes boring wins championships.

Connor Joe (1B, OF – PIT)

CBS: 2%, Yahoo: 1%, ESPN: 1%

There’s something to be said about someone who proved they can be a 40+ XBH contributor and now is the leadoff hitter. Not many players can do that. He doesn’t steal many bases but Connor Joe has found a way to contribute in plenty of other categories. So far this season he’s done a great job getting himself in scoring position with his three doubles. The Pirates lineup is scary enough that Joe can flirt with 80+ runs while limiting strikeouts. In the baseball world, hitting leadoff means maximized value on at-bats. The more times you hit, the more counting stats you accumulate. The more counting stats you accumulate, the more fantasy value you bring.

Kyle Farmer (2B, SS, 3B – MIN)

CBS: 2%, Yahoo: 1%, ESPN: 1%

Kyle Farmer’s addition to this list has less to do with him tearing the cover off the ball and more to do with the fact Royce Lewis can’t stay healthy. It’s a bummer he can’t seem to stay healthy. With Lewis out for at least a month this opened up a valuable spot for Farmer. He’s not flashy but Farmer has the position versatility and skillset to be a viable short-term fantasy asset. The lineup scores enough runs to have him always be in the hunt for counting stats and he’s coming off a career high in barrel rate which should lead to a few more XBH. He’s worth an add in leagues deeper than the standard 12 home run limit.

Jared Jones (SP – PIT)

CBS: 57%, Yahoo: 23%, ESPN: 8%

Initially, we all thought the Pirates would give Paul Skenes the roster spot coming out of spring training. After seeing him re-assigned back to minor league camp, all eyes fell on Jared Jones. The overshadowed rookie was some people’s draft-day darling. He’s shown just how good he can be. Against Miami on Saturday, he struck out 10 in five innings with an impressive 22 whiffs. He’s a slider-first guy with a dominant fastball to lean on when needed. I wish he threw his curveball and changeup a bit more but Jones has the type of dominant fastball/slider combo that will keep hitters guessing. He’s going to implode here and there, but all in all, he’ll go down as one of the biggest surprises at the pitching position this season.

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