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Head-to-Head Points League Strategy: Waiver Wire Week 3

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 27:  Jeff Samardzija #29 of the Chicago Cubs poses during spring training photo day on February 27, 2012 in Mesa, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 27: Jeff Samardzija #29 of the Chicago Cubs poses during spring training photo day on February 27, 2012 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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After 19 different Opening Days, the unveiling of a new stadium in Miami that’s covered in Nickelodeon slime, countless closers either imploding or hitting the DL, a 49-year old pitcher starting a game, a partridge in a pear tree and other such whacky nonsense, the 2012 MLB season is officially underway in all its glorious glory. Break out the popcorn.

You know how "they" say you don’t appreciate something until it’s gone? For me, when it comes to baseball, I’d say it’s the opposite as I immediately realized on Opening Day just how flipping fantastic it is.

How did your Week 1 matchups go? Smashingly? Way to go! Less than smashingly? Not too worry. This post is chalked full of more waiver wire advice than even Clint Eastwood could shake a stick at and enough to get your squad on the road to success.

Week 3 Waiver Wire Advice Below:

All players in this post and pre/proceeding waiver wire posts are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! leagues (I’ll do my best to call out some players owned in less than 10-20% of leagues as well, for you deep leaguers out there in Fake Teams land).


AJ Ellis, Los Angeles Dodgers – 2%

Not Pierzynski. Ellis. The Dodgers catcher scored the third most points amongst backstops to start the season with a HR, 2 R, 2 RBI and 4 BB to go along with only 2 K. Don’t expect the power to become a trend, but the OBP should stick. If Mattingly really wanted to go all Maddon on the lineup, he could consider inserting Ellis into the second spot in the order sometime in the nearish future.

Josh Thole, New York Mets – 3%

Thole camoly! Like the Mets, Josh is off to a hot start in the 2012 season. Well, hottish. Thole went 4/7 vs. Atlanta in the opening weekend series with 5 TB and a RBI. Even better, he didn’t strike out once. I know. I know. That is an extremely boring stat line on the surface, but when you consider it was good for the 12th most points at the catcher position to start the year, it becomes ever-so-slightly noteworthy.

Others to consider:

John Buck, Miami Marlins – 9%, Chris Iannetta, LAA Angels – 15% (-1), Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies – 18% (+7), AJ Pierzynski, Chicago White Sox – 10%, Wilin Rosario, Colorado Rockies – 2%

First base:

Jesus Guzman, San Diego Padres – 4%
Not Montero. Guzman. Entering Spring Training, Guzman’s playing time was in question, but with the injury to Carlos Quentin, he should see everyday ABs in RF for the next month or so and qualifies at 1B from last season. Thus far, Guzman has 4 hits in 16 AB with 2 doubles and 3 RBI. He only has 1 BB, but he also has only 1 K.

Aubrey Huff, San Francisco Giants – 6%

Everyone is huffing about (pun intended) Brandon Belt’s playing time, but thus far, Aubrey Huff has had the better start of the season and should continue to see ABs at either RF or 1B for the foreseeable future, not to mention him batting cleanup or 5th in what seems to be an improving Giants lineup.

Others to consider:

Todd Helton, Colorado Rockies – 13%, Juan Rivera, Los Angeles Dodgers - 10%, Luke Scott, Tampa Bay Rays – 3%

Second base:

Omar Infante, Miami Marlins – 14%

As I was writing this post, Omar Infante went out and hit two more HR vs. the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday. Prior to that, he was the second highest scoring second baseman thus far this season and already had 1 HR under his belt. I imagine as you are reading this that he is currently the highest scoring second baseman. Considering the fact his home stadium is the size of George Clooney’s ego and that he has never hit more than 8 HR in a season, I wouldn’t expect the HR to continue for Infante. That being said, he doesn’t strike out much, hits for a very solid AVG and should see plenty of R and RBI opportunities in a stacked Marlins lineup.

Mark Ellis, Los Angeles Dodgers – 2%

Not AJ. Mark. Hitting in front of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, Mark Ellis has scored at least 1-2 R in each of the Dodgers first four games. Also, he has 2 BB and only 1 K. Get him while the gettin’s good.

Others to consider:

Jeff Keppinger, Tampa Bay Rays – 1%

Third base:

Chris Johnson, Houston Astros – 2%

To this point, Chris Johnson hasn’t struck out over the course of his 11 ABs and is amongst the Top 12 scoring third basemen right now. If he doesn’t strike out once over the course of 500 ABs, he could have a very nice year.

Others to consider:

Chone Figgins, Seattle Mariners – 29%, Chase Headley, San Diego Padres – 29%


Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds – 42%

If you are a member of the 58%, go grab yourself some Zack Cozart ASAP. He is hitting after Brandon Phillips and before Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, and I don’t just mean that’s where he is in the lineup. I mean the guy is actually hitting … a lot.

Ruben Tejada, New York Mets – 6%

He might not be Jose Reyes, but Ruben Tejada, the Mets current shortstop, is outscoring his former teammate and is slated to bat leadoff for the team during Andres Torres absence, otherwise known as April through September. Tejada also qualifies at second base.

Willie Bloomquist, Arizona Diamondbacks – 2%

The D’Backs pretty much had their way with the Giants trio of aces over the weekend with Willie B. playing a nice little role in that. A Tribe Called Quist should see ABs atop the lineup for the duration of Stephen Drew's DL stint, otherwise known as April through September.

Others to consider:

Marco Scutaro, Colorado Rockies – 19%


Raul Ibanez, New York Yankees - 18%

Right now it looks as if Raul Ibanez will ride the pine when the Yankees face LHP. But, should a week come along where the Bronx Bombers face RHP in 5-6 games, it's hard to ignore the potential Ibanez has in that lineup.

Juan Rivera, Los Angeles Dodgers - 11%

He's healthy. He has playing time. He hits behind Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. What can I say, not many outfielders have really stepped out to this point besides Juan Rivera. This past weekend vs. San Diego, he went 5/14 with 4 R, 1 BB and O K. Because his playing time looks better than most available OF, Rivera gets the nod.

Others to consider:

David Murphy, Texas Rangers - 10%, Ryan Sweeney, Boston Red Sox - 3%

Starting pitchers:

Jeff Samardzija, Chicago Cubs - 25%

Only Jered Weaver and Chad Billingsley have scored more points among pitchers than Jeff Samardzija. In his first start of the season, he pitched 8.2 innings of 8 K, 0 BB baseball for a W vs. the Washington Nationals. For leagues that separate RP and SP, Samardzija is worth a roster spot at the moment as he qualifies at RP and could potentially score far more points from that spot in your lineup than a closer, especially in a two-start week.

Clayton Richard, San Diego Padres - 9%

You'd be crazy to start him anywhere besides Petco, but if you play the matchups right, you can get a great start from Clayton Richard like the 9% who own him did this weekend vs. the Dodgers - 7 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 4 K, W

Lance Lynn, St. Louis Cardinals - 20%

As a Brewers fan I can tell you that Milwaukee could forfeit every game in which they face a first-time starter and the results would be the same, so take Lynn's Sunday dominance with a grain of salt. That being said, like Samardzija, Lynn also qualifies at RP, he showed great K potential vs. the Brewers and secured a spot in the rotation until Chris Carpenter returns (no time soon) and possibly beyond. Oh, yeah ... and he should also be good for a W most nights out considering the lackluster NL Central and the Cardinals stacked lineup.

Derek Lowe, Cleveland Indians - 3%

Derek Lowe has made a career of keeping the ball on the ground, which he did Sunday vs. Joey Bats and the Blue Birds. Lynn and Samardzija are both more exciting, but considering the weak AL Central Lowe pitches in, he could be a smart play most weeks depending on matchups.

Others to consider:

Luke Hochevar, Kansas City Royals - 16%, Juan Nicasio, Colorado Rockies - 10%, RA Dickey, New York Mets - 22%, Bruce Chen, Kansas City Royals - 5%

Relief pitchers:

Fernando Rodney, Tampa Bay Rays - 41%

In the Rays three games vs. the Yankees, Fernando Rodney earned a W and 2 SV in 1.2 IP. Talk about bang for your buck. Until Kyle Farnsworth returns, Rodney seems a safe bet to remain part of Maddon's Crazy Closer Carousel featuring Rodney, Jake McGee and Joel Peralta.

Hector Santiago, Chicago White Sox - 47%

In a move not even Miss Cleo saw coming, Ventura named Hector "Who?" Santiago the closer this past weekend. Saves are saves and saves are points. Giddy up!

Henry Rodriguez/Brad Lidge, Washington Nationals - 28/39%

Just to infuriate fantasy baseball players everywhere, Davey Johnson has decided to alternate save opportunities between H-Rod and B-Lidge until Drew Storen returns (no time soon). Grab 'em both. If both aren't available, grab H-Rod.