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Waiver Wire Week 12: Deep league targets

Heath discusses the latest waiver wire run in Fake Teams and Friends.

Milwaukee Brewers v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Last week worked out well for yours truly. I snagged Framber Valdez in TGFBI and was rewarded with the quality start and the win. Unfortunately it will take a lot more of those turns to bring my gimpy Champions League squad into relevance. So I’ve got to keep digging!

This year we instituted the first ever Fake Teams and Friends fantasy baseball league. It is TGFBI-styled, except the second catcher is a second UTIL spot. Each week the adds we make are a solid launching point for my study of available deep league free agents. Our waivers run on Saturdays, so it’s nice to have a practice round the day before TGFBI. And it is two days before plenty of leagues set their lineups for the week. This week I’m checking in much later, but such is life when you are working, selling one house, buying another, and raising kiddos!

Anyway, the FTF standings are unchanged inside the top three, with Punk is Dead (@13atkins13) and Bases Loaded (@Mike_Kurland) slugging it out at the top, separated by only two points. Brian Entrekin (@bdentrek) is still in third place, while a trio of squads keep flip-flopping in the next few spots. The big movers in Week 11 were Joe’s All-Sleeper Team (@JoeGentileFT) dropping eight points into eighth place, and OG Two-Tone (@shauncapps) up to ninth place after a strong week.

Now lets see how everyone fared on waivers. The adds for Week 12:

  • $6 Christin Stewart (Det - OF) to OG Two-Tone
  • $5 Bo Bichette (Tor - SS) to Bases Loaded
  • $4 Eric Thames (Mil - 1B, OF) to OG Two-Tone
  • $3 Ronny Rodriguez (Det - 1B, 2B, 3B, SS) to OG Two-Tone
  • $3 Jordan Yamamoto (Mia - P) to Ghoji
  • $3 Ian Kennedy (KC - P) to Punk is Dead
  • $1 Dwight Smith Jr. (Bal - OF) to Punk is Dead
  • $1 Bobby Bradley (Cle - 1B) to Hackensack Bulls

I snagged Stewart a week ago in TGFBI. The .228/.319/.394 slash is pretty pedestrian, but everyday at-bats at this juncture of the season is underrated. Only five homers so far for Stewart, but since 2016 he has socked 30, 28, and 27 between the minors and majors for the Tigers (mostly the minors) over the last three seasons. Point is, the promise of power is there, and Stewart’s 22.9% strikeout rate and 11.4% walk rate are really tolerable numbers. He’s also got a healthy Z-Swing% (73.6% is about five ticks above average) and a healthy Z-Contact% (84.2% is right at the MLB average of 84.8%). It seems like the only piece missing is for Stewart to hit the ball with a little more authority. I’ll take a shot on that given his floor of at-bats. Just don’t go crazy here—the expected statistics for him are pretty much league average.

Bo Bichette is still a stash play in a deep league for me. He just returned from a broken hand suffered in April, and he wasn’t lighting the world on fire at Triple-A before the injury. I do think the Blue Jays should test the market for guys like Freddy Galvis and Eric Sogard, which would theoretically open up some time for Bichette. Just don’t add him thinking it’s a call that is coming soon, in my opinion.

Jordan Yamamoto was the coverboy for today’s Roto Report. Seven innings, zero earned, only two hits, and seven strikeouts will do that for you. Especially when you pitch your home games in Marlins Park. In case you forgot, Yamamoto was acquired in the trade that sent Christian Yelich to Milwaukee. He’s shut the Cardinals offense out twice in his first two turns. Heck of a start by the rookie. Nice add by Ghoji.

I chatted up Ian Kennedy a bit in last week’s buy/sell column. The move to the bullpen has given him two more ticks on his velocity, and his ground ball rate is up—as his his swinging strike rate. His walks are down, and his 30.4% strikeout rate is the best of his career. I think he’s showing enough right now to stick as the closer for the Royals.

Bobby Bradley is an Indians Triple-A bat who has a lot of power and a lot of strikeouts. This too is a stash play, though one that I could see paying dividends a little sooner than Bichette given the state of the Indians offense. With Mike Clevinger slated to return this Saturday and the Indians still treading water at four games above .500 despite the poor offense, this is a team that needs some sort of offensive infusion. Nice stash by Mark here.

Here are the guys we added for nothing this week:

  • Nick Ahmed (Ari - SS) to Bases Loaded
  • Kevin Newman (Pit - 2B, SS) to yours truly (I’m excited about this one)
  • Sandy Alcantara (Mia - P) to No Cigar
  • Joe Biagini (Tor - P) to The Last of Us
  • Tim Locastro (Ari - OF) to The Last of Us
  • Adam Plutko (Cle - P) to The Last of Us
  • A.J. Puk (Oak - P) to The Last of Us
  • Brandon Dixon (Det - 1B, OF) to The Last of Us

The Last of Us had a busy week. And he’s sitting in fourth place right now, despite the hindrance that is having $0 of FAAB left. I feel your pain, buddy. Anyway, I’m not sure why Kevin Newman isn’t getting more love. Maybe people are still too burned after the Cole Tucker experience? I don’t really know. Newman is mostly batting leadoff and can offer some speed and a little pop. Over the past 14 days he’s hitting a cool .340 with a homer and three steals. I’ll take that for zero dollars!

Who are you guys adding this week? And who thinks my seventh place squad has a chance to claim victory this year? I’m trying to win this one for Fake Teams, though “Punk is Dead” and Zack are doing just fine representing ahead of me in the standings!