With an abbreviated schedule, fantasy managers will need to get aggressive on the waiver wire this year. Whether needing power, speed, strikeouts, or saves, here is a wide array of options who are available in more than half of Yahoo leagues.
Jordan Romano, TOR (RP, 53 percent rostered)
Romano has been one of baseball’s best relievers this year, sporting a 0.86 ERA, a 0.64 WHIP and a 20:5 K:BB ratio. His dominant form has enabled the right-hander to surpass Anthony Bass on Toronto’s closer depth chart, and he could keep the ninth-inning gig when Ken Giles eventually returns. My guess is that Romano gets the majority but not all of the remaining Blue Jays save chances.
Daniel Bard, COL (RP, 13 percent)
Bard has been better than is indicated by his ratios (4.50 ERA, 1.29 WHIP), as his 17:3 K:BB ratio is a terrific mark. And in a Rockies bullpen that has been hampered by injuries and ineffectiveness, the right-hander stands out as possibly their only option for a reliable ninth-inning man. One of the best comeback stories in years, Bard has picked up saves in each of his past two appearances. Protecting narrow leads at Coors Field has proven to be a daunting task over the years, which is one of the reasons that I prefer Romano over Bard.
Richard Rodriguez, PIT (RP, 15 percent)
With Keone Kela on the IL, Rodriguez becomes the obvious fit as the Bucs closer. The right-hander has been the team’s most consistent bullpen arm (3.55 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 18:1 K:BB ratio) and has picked up saves in each of his past two outings. Although the 30th place Pirates likely won’t win enough of their upcoming games to place Rodriguez among the September saves leaders, he still warrants a roster spot in 12-team leagues.
Justus Sheffield, SEA (SP, 26 percent)
Sheffield has really found his form in his past three starts, logging a 1.00 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and a 16:2 K:BB ratio across 18 innings. The southpaw has logged a 48.7 percent groundball rate this season, and he should continue to have plenty of success in this homer-happy era by keeping batted balls on a low trajectory. I don’t see Sheffield having a high ceiling down the stretch, but reliable starters are quite valuable right now.
Kevin Gausman, SF (SP/RP, 30 percent)
For those who want to make up ground in the strikeouts category, Gausman is a great fit. The right-hander is sitting ninth in the Majors with 48 whiffs, making him the only player with at least 37 strikeouts who is available in more than half of leagues. Gausman’s ratios are manageable (4.54 ERA, 1.26 WHIP), and he could pick up more wins (he currently has one) if the Giants trade him to a contender by the end of this month.
Jon Berti, MIA (2B/3B/SS/OF, 30 percent)
Take a look at your roto standings and find out how many points you would gain by adding the eight steals Berti has produced thus far. The speedster is a part-time player with little power, and he isn’t a fit on every roster. But he is the perfect bench option for some fantasy managers, as his superior speed and multi-position eligibility could allow him to be part of the active lineup on most days.
Mitch Moreland, BOS (1B, 39 percent)
Moreland is the sixth-ranked first baseman on the Yahoo Player Rater, and he is the only 1B in the top-15 who is available in the majority of leagues. The slugger has enjoyed good fortune (.361 BABIP) en route to his .350 average, but he has earned his power numbers with elite rates of fly balls (46.3 percent) and hard contact (52.3 percent). Additionally, his 0.69 BB:K ratio is a vastly improved mark.
Brad Miller, STL (2B/3B/SS, 18 percent)
After bottoming out in 2017 and ’18, Miller rebounded by producing a career-best .894 OPS across 170 plate appearances last season. And the slugger has picked up where he left off, hitting .318 with a 1.015 OPS across 56 plate appearances as a member of the Cardinals. With St. Louis having so many games remaining on their schedule, Miller should have plenty of chances to rebuild his career and help fantasy managers at the same time.
Alec Bohm, PHI (3B, 23 percent)
A notable prospect who is off to a solid start (.880 OPS), Bohm should be rostered in a higher percentage of leagues. The 24-year-old was terrific in the Minors last year (.305 average, 21 homers, 80 RBIs), plays regularly in a productive lineup, and calls home to a power-inducing venue. He also has more walks (7) than whiffs (6), which bodes well for his immediate future.
Stephen Piscotty, OAK (OF, 25 percent)
Coming off an injury-impacted season in 2019, Piscotty remains the same player who hit .267 with 27 homers and 88 RBIs the year before. The outfielder has more RBIs (26) than anyone who is on waivers in more than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, and he should continue to have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs in one of baseball’s better lineups. Although not the type of player who will turn around your season, Piscotty (five homers, two steals) is someone who should provide reliable contributions.