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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups by Category: Week 5 (2024)

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups by Category: Week 5 (2024)

I put more work into this article than almost any other I write because I genuinely love it. There’s something amazing about trying to find the pieces to fit this puzzle because there are perfect fits to fill all of these categories. That’s one of the beauties of fantasy baseball because there’s no other fantasy sport where you can win your league on the waiver wire. With that in mind, let’s dive into this week’s pickups.

This list comprises the 10 main categories in roto leagues. Under each category, you’ll find a player who can specifically help you with that individual stat. Most players will offer help in more ways than one but their primary contributions should come under the category in which they are listed.

I’ll be putting out a similar piece every week, so check back every Sunday, as I’ll have a new list of players not previously mentioned. Without further ado, here are this week’s category-based waiver additions.

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Assistant Analyze Moves Who To Pick Up

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups (Week 5)

Home Runs

Ryan O’Hearn (1B, OF – BAL): 41%

Ryan O’Hearn never lived up to expectations in Kansas City, but he’s found a home in Baltimore. He’s been hitting cleanup whenever Baltimore faces a righty, homering in three of his last five fixtures. We love that when you consider these matchups, facing the Angels and A’s. Oakland is 22nd in wOBA and 24th in WHIP, while Los Angeles is 23rd in ERA. He is matched up with three lefties, but he should get plenty of pinch-hit opportunities because of the way he’s swinging the lumber.


Richie Palacios (OF – TB): 1%

It’s rare to find a player this widely available in such a tasty situation. Richie Palacios has hit third five times over the last two weeks and looks like a lock for that spot as long as Tampa faces right-handers. That’s great news this week because the Rays are projected to face five righties in this six-game week. A three-hole hitter in one of the best lineups should get plenty of RBI chances against these pitchers, with the Chicago White Sox sitting 23rd in OBP and 28th in xwOBA.


Charlie Blackmon (OF – COL): 13%

What if I told you the leadoff hitter for this week’s highest-projected offense is on your waiver wire? That’s what we have with this former All-Star because Charlie Blackmon gets six games at Coors Field. That’s amazing when you see his home splits, generating a .331 AVG, .391 OBP, .554 SLG and .945 OPS at Coors Field throughout his career. He’s also projected to face all righties this week, which only adds to his value as a lefty masher.

Batting Average

Ryan Jeffers (C – MIN): 28%

We might not have another catcher in the batting average section for the remainder of the season. Ryan Jeffers has earned it with his recent form, totaling a .364 AVG and 1.067 OPS across his last nine outings. That has him batting cleanup in this lineup, but it’s less surprising since he had a .276 AVG, .369 OBP and .859 OPS last year. That’s amazing since he gets seven games against two putrid pitching staffs, facing Chris Flexen, Erick Fedde, Jonathan Cannon, Garrett Crochet, Patrick Sandoval, Jose Soriano and Reid Detmers.

We also love Alex Kirilloff in these matchups because the five righties are all horrible, with Kiriloff compiling a .859 OPS against righties since the start of last year.


Wilyer Abreu (OF – BOS): 2%

I don’t know much about Wilyer Abreau but he’s done nothing but produce since being called up last year. He had a .316 AVG and .388 OBP in the final month of last season. He has become an everyday player. That newfound role has allowed Abreu to showcase his speed, recording a steal in four of his last seven outings. He’s also been in the top half of this order recently with all the injuries and should have numerous stolen base opportunities this week.


Clarke Schmidt (SP – NYY): 25%

Clarke Schmidt’s WHIP is far from pretty, but this guy is amazing at limiting runs. He’s allowed three runs or fewer in all four starts this year, totaling a 3.15 ERA. We also saw him post a 3.12 ERA in 2022. He should continue that success against a team like Oakland. The A’s are either 29th or 30th in runs scored, OBP, OPS and xwOBA since the start of last season.


Lance Lynn (SP – STL): 36%

It was shocking to see Lance Lynn pick up just one strikeout across seven innings in his most recent start, but that’s a fluke. The veteran has a 24% career K rate, with that number being above 26% since 2019. That’s what we expect to see from here on out. It makes him an outstanding option for 10-15 Ks in a two-start week. Arizona and the New York Mets have been good at avoiding strikeouts this year, but neither of those offenses scares us.


Zack Littell (SP – TB): 42%

This is a tremendous two-start week for Zack Littell. The Rays righty faces Detroit and the Chicago White Sox this week, with both teams ranked 26th and 30th, respectively, in OBP. They’re simply two of the worst lineups in baseball. Littell should have no issues limiting them on the base paths. He had a 1.18 WHIP in a breakout 2023 campaign and has a 2.14 ERA and 1.33 WHIP this season. Look for that WHIP to regress positively in these magical matchups.


Reynaldo Lopez (SP – ATL): 57%

I’ve never been more confident about a pitcher picking up two wins than I am this week. Reynaldo Lopez gets two home matchups against the Marlins and Guardians. Miami is bottom-three in almost every offensive category, while Cleveland was 28th in wOBA last season. We’re searching for wins, though, and we expect Lopez to be a -200 favorite in both home matchups. We might not have another waiver wire guy with that sort of opportunity for the remainder of the season.


Joel Payamps (RP – MIL): 32%

This is always the toughest category because closers usually don’t sit on waiver wires. Kirby Yates and James McArthur have been picked up everywhere, so let’s go with Joel Payamps. Abner Uribe has lost his grip on this role, with Payamps getting the two most recent save opportunities. He did blow one of those, but that was a tough spot, and he didn’t get enough warm-up pitches. Payamps or Trevor Megill will fill the Devin Williams void, so keep an eye on this situation!

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Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.

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