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Head-to-Head Points League Strategy: Waiver Wire Week 6

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Although he didn't hit 4 home runs and steal 3 bases in his MLB debut, Bryce Harper certainly impressed me. His bat speed looks cray cray fast and my jaw literally dropped to the floor when he almost threw out Jerry Hairston Jr. at home. If arm strength/accuracy is a category in your fantasy league, then, well ... you play in a weird league, but Harper is a must-own.

I don't think he will be sent back down to AAA this season and should hit somewhere around 15 home runs this year with another 15 stolen bases or so to boot. Not too shabby.

Mike Trout? He didn't do anything in his first two games, ergo, he is going to be terrible.

Week 6 Waiver Wire Advice After the Jump:

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).


Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Boston Red Sox – 20%

The Big Salty has been peppering balls all over the field the last 10 days, raising his BA from .103 to a zesty .240 while hitting 3 home runs. With 32 points scored, he is just outside of the Top 12 at catcher, but between you, me and that guy at your office who eats that horrible smelling canned soup for lunch every day, I’d rather own Saltalamacchia than Josh Thole or George Kottaras.

Others to consider:

Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia Phillies – 22%, AJ Ellis, Los Angeles Dodgers – 3%

First base:

Todd Helton, Colorado Rockies – 15%

I’m not sure which is crazier; the fact that Edwin Encarnacion is the current highest scoring first baseman or that Todd Helton is in the Top 10. Probably the Encarnacion stat, but he isn’t available. Todd Helton is.

Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles – 30%

Apparently in the world where E5 is the highest scoring first baseman, Chris Davis actually isn’t horrible. Somehow he is managing to hit .319 right now and has 11 RBI and 9 runs to go along with 4 long balls. Unlike most available players, Davis sees everyday ABs and hits right in the middle of what appears to be a very good lineup this year. Oh! Guess what. He also qualifies at third base.

Others to consider:

Luke Scott, Tampa Bay Rays – 36%, Mat Gamel, Milwaukee Brewers – 13%, Casey Kotchman, Cleveland Indians – 2%

Second base:

Marco Scutaro, Colorado Rockies – 14%
Mark Ellis, Los Angeles Dodgers – 5%

Both are at the top of high-scoring offenses in front of MVP caliber hitters. Both are also within the Top 12 scoring second basemen (Scutaro is also a Top 12 shortstop). If it feels like I’ve written about these two a lot, it’s because I have.

Others to consider:

Jamey Carroll, Minnesota Twins – 3%, Darwin Barney, Chicago Cubs – 9%, Maicer Izturis, Los Angeles Angels – 7%

Third base:

Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves – 38%

I would not recommend Chipper Jones in weekly leagues. However, in daily leagues with a big enough bench, he could be an asset. He has 41 points in only 45 ABs this season, which means he is averaging almost 1 point per AB. The only other third basemen that can make that claim are Encarnacion, Cabrera, Longoria and Wright.

Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals – 10%

Lance Berkman is scheduled to come off the DL sometime this week. However, is it just me or does it seem like every time a player is just about to come off the DL, there is some unexpected snag in their recovery that sidelines them for another 2-3 weeks? I think it happens a lot. If you also think so, grab Matt Carpenter ASAP.

Others to consider:

Ty Wigginton, Philadelphia Phillies – 14%, Jed Lowrie, Houston Astros – 10%, Wilson Betemit, Baltimore Orioles – 1%


Alex Gonzalez, Milwaukee Brewers – 14%

JJ Hardy is owned in 75% of leagues whereas Alex Gonzalez is owned in only 14%. Would you be shocked if Gonzalez hit more home runs than Hardy? I wouldn’t. Gonzalez currently has 4 to Hardy’s 3.

Ruben Tejada, New York Mets – 14%

The Irish Sandwich has been the better of the two shortstops between him and Reyes to this point. I don’t expect that to continue, but I also don’t expect Tejada to fall off the map as the Mets could continue to surprise this season.

Others to consider:

Robert Andino, Baltimore Orioles – 21%, Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners – 10%


Michael Saunders, Seattle Mariners – 5%

I see a lot of Jayson Werth in Michael Saunders. Your opinion on Werth probably determines whether that is a good or bad thing. Right now Werth has 52 points with 2 home runs and 3 stolen bases while Saunders has 51 points with 3 home runs and 3 stolen bases. Werth is owned in 89% of leagues.

Josh Reddick, Oakland A’s – 6%

I also see a lot of Jayson Werth in Josh Reddick. But that might just be the wicked beard Reddick is rocking right now.

Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians – 6%

Do you know which team is leading the AL Central? It’s the Cleveland Indians. Do you know that Michael Brantley leads off for them? He does.

Others to consider:

Gerardo Parra, Arizona Diamondbacks – 20%, Nate Schierholtz, San Francisco Giants – 12%, Brian Bogusevic, Houston Astros – 1%

Starting pitchers:

Joe Saunders, Arizona Diamondbacks – 38%

In the same world where Edwin Encarnacion is the leading first baseman, Jake Peavy is the leading starting pitcher. What the $#*! … am I the only person who has teams full of Top 100 players underperforming while I watch others with Encarnacion and Peavy dominate this year? It’s Bizarro World in baseball, I’m tellin’ ya! Oh, Joe Saunders is another scrub playing out of his mind right now so you should probably drop like CC Sabathia or Roy Halladay to pick him up.

Chris Capuano, Los Angeles Dodgers – 21%

It’s good to be a Dodger this year. Chris Capuano has a 3-0 record with 29 K to 13 BB right now and a 2.73 ERA. Considering the pitcher’s parks in the NL West and the ho-hum offenses he’ll face regularly, Capuano very well could keep this up, although I’d expect an ERA a little closer to 3.50 or so.

Wade Miley, Arizona Diamondbacks – 10%

In two starts, Wade Miley has a 13/3 KBB in 12.1 IP with 0 ER to this point. He is also 2-0 and could hold onto the rotation spot for as long as Daniel Hudson is on the DL and maybe longer depending how Patrick Corbin pitches. Similar to Capuano, Miley gets to feast on the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres throughout the year and while his home park is a little treacherous he should have enough run support to outweigh the risk.

James McDonald, Pittsburgh Pirates – 3%

Of course James McDonald has scored more points than Dan Haren. Of course he has!!! There’s not much to say about McDonald other than that he’s pitching well right now, so why not let him do it on your team? Huh? I’d just be ready to drop him faster than you can say, “How the $%@ has James McDonald scored more points than Dan Haren?!?”

Others to consider:

Kyle Drabek, Toronto Blue Jays – 29%, Derek Lowe, Cleveland Indians – 8%, RA Dickey, New York Mets – 21%

Relief pitchers:

Pedro Strop, Baltimore Orioles – 15%

Buck Showalter tipped his hand last week when Pedro Strop received all the save opportunities while Jim Johnson was out with the Ebola virus or something. If you own Johnson, I’d probably go ahead and grab Strop as well.

Scott Downs, Los Angeles Angels – 45%

LA LA Land was all abuzz with the call-up of Mike Trout this weekend, but the change of Jordan Walden to Scott Downs in the closer role will probably have the more immediate fantasy impact. Downs is downright dependable and a must-add for 55% of you out there.

Others to consider:

Tom Wilhelmsen, Seattle Mariners – 7%, Jon Rauch, New York Mets – 9%, Any one currently in consideration for save opportunities

Hit me up with questions or comments below. Or just vent your frustration over the fact that Jose Bautista, Albert Pujols and Robinson Cano are incapable of hitting home runs at the moment.