Week 1 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Smaller Leagues

Week 1 Wavier Wire Pickups

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 fantasy baseball season has officially started and that means it is time to start fixing the holes in your lineup. To help you sort through the heap, here are some of the top waiver wire pickups in eight or 10-man baseball leagues.

Catcher - Yan Gomes, Cleveland Indians

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Catcher - Yan Gomes, Cleveland Indians

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Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

It is astonishing that this guy is still out there in majority of fantasy formats. He finished with a .294 batting average last season and now has an everyday job with Carlos Santana moving over to first. The Brazilian should be owned in every fantasy format.

Ownership: 17.6 % (ESPN)

First Base - Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies

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First Base - Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Traditionally, I don’t like to feature a player that is owned in over 50% of fantasy formats on these lists. However, the fact that Howard has gone undrafted in so many leagues could turn him into a value pick to find on the wire. The veteran went 2-3 in his season debut and looked fairly healthy in the field. He may not play everyday, but he certainly derserves to be owned in 100% of leagues.

Ownership: 77.4% (ESPN)

Second Base - Dan Uggla, Atlanta Braves

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Second Base - Dan Uggla, Atlanta Braves

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After a rough 2013 season (.179 AVG/22 HRs), Uggla recorded a.269 batting average this spring with four home runs and 14 RBIs. He will have a bounce back season and once again merge as a top-10 fantasy 2B.

Ownership: 16.6% (ESPN)

Shortstop - Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

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Shortstop - Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

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After missing 145 games last season due to a nagging ankle injury, Jeter has completely fallen off the fantasy map. However, the shortstop still has a career .312 batting average. Jeter has looked a little rusty this spring (.137 AVG), but the veteran will pick it up at some point very soon. Don't count out Captain America during his farewell tour.

Ownership: 39.9% (ESPN)

Third Base - Chris Johnson, Atlanta Braves

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Third Base - Chris Johnson, Atlanta Braves

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson hit everything that crossed the plate last season. He recorded a .321 batting average in 142 contests to go along with a stellar .358 On Base Percentage. Johnson isn’t exactly an elite option and he won’t hit over 30 homers, but he can do enough to be a top-10 fantasy third baseman.

Ownership: 50.8% (ESPN)

Outfield - Melky Cabrera, Toronto Blue Jays

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Outfield - Melky Cabrera, Toronto Blue Jays

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Cabrera was red-hot this spring, as he finished with a .405 batting average and 13 RBIs in 22 games. He still has some PED stigma following his surprising suspension in 2012, but he is playing too well right now to not be owned. He can carry his weight as an OF4 in smaller leagues this season.

Ownership: 31.1% (ESPN)

Outfield - Marlon Byrd, Philadelphia Phillies

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Outfield - Marlon Byrd, Philadelphia Phillies

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Byrd finished with 24 home runs last season and for the first time in a while he displayed some serious pop. The outfielder hit a home run in Philadelphia’s opening game of the young season and Byrd seems to be a lock to hit another 25-plus dingers in 2014.

Ownership: 31.2% (ESPN)

Starting Pitcher - Michael Pineda, New York Yankees

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Starting Pitcher - Michael Pineda, New York Yankees

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Pineda locked down the fifth spot in the Yanks’ rotation by recording an 1.20 ERA this spring in 15 innings of work. He has looked much stronger this season, and while the 25-year-old won’t throw the heat he did before his labrum surgery, he can do enough to be a decent SP6 this season.

Ownership: 29.1% (ESPN)

Starting Pitcher - Ian Kennedy, San Diego Padres

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Starting Pitcher - Ian Kennedy, San Diego Padres

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Kennedy was abused during the 2013 season, as he posted a career-high 4.91 ERA. However, the fly-ball pitcher will greatly benefit from playing his home games at Petco Park and he should see a drastic reduction in ERA. He also has a career 7.89K/9 and will be a decent source of strikeouts. Kennedy will be a reliable SP6 to lean on week after week.

Ownership: 13.6% (ESPN)

Closer - Francisco Rodriguez, Milwaukee Brewers

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Closer - Francisco Rodriguez, Milwaukee Brewers

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Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Most pegged Jim Henderson to win the closer role in Milwaukee, as he recorded 28 saves down the stretch last season. Shockingly, though, manager Ron Roenickie named Rodriguez the closer to begin the season. K-Rod recorded the first save of the year for the Brewers and will be a reliable closer moving forward. Add him off the wire now before the rest of world wakes up.

Ownership: 8.7% (ESPN)

Closer - Matt Lindstrom, Chicago White Sox

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Closer - Matt Lindstrom, Chicago White Sox

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Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Lindstrom shockingly won the closer job over supposed frontrunner Nate Jones. Lindstrom will now be the hot closer to grab off the wire this week and will be worth a RP2 spot as long as he can hold onto the job.

Ownership: 42% (ESPN)

Closer - Sergio Santos, Toronto Blue Jays

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Closer - Sergio Santos, Toronto Blue Jays

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Santos is another former setup man that is inheriting the closer role due to injury, as he will briefly fill in for injured reliever Casey Janssen (abdominal). Santos saved 30 games with the White Sox back in 2011 and he can be very useful in the short-term while Janssen is on the mend.

Ownership: 6.4 % (ESPN)


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