Fantasy Baseball 2014: Waiver Wire Options; Edition Four

By Adam Pfeifer
Devin Mesoraco
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports


My home fantasy league has a rule. Once you go over 20 waiver claims, you have to add a dollar to the pot. For every 20 moves you make, another dollar comes out of your pocket. If you are in a league like mine and want to win, you are going to be adding some money to the pot.

Using the waiver wire to your advantage is the best strategy to win a championship. Streaming pitchers, playing the matchups, you name it. Don’t ever think your team is “good enough” because chances are it’s not. You can always add depth to a fantasy roster.

Make 100 moves, if you dare.

Note: Ownership percentages are based off Yahoo! leagues.

Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds (44%) – Mesoraco is, what we like to call, “on a tear.” The Reds catcher is currently riding a 10-game hitting streak, bumping his average up to an unheard of .515 through his first 10 outings. That’s right, folks. He’s recorded a hit in every game he’s played this season, not to mention blasted three home runs and 11 RBI. Of course, regression is on it’s way, but this is a guy in a hitter-friendly park, batting in a viable lineup that is starting to heat up. There was fantasy relevance surrounding him before the season started, so there definitely should be more now that he is raking. The guy has pop, sporting a fly-ball rate of around 30 percent for his career, and signs of a potential uptick in power are evident, seeing as his career HR/FB ratio is currently sitting at less than 12 percent.

Justin Morneau, Colorado Rockies (51%) – Perhaps we are seeing a career rejuvenation in Colorado, as the former elite fantasy first baseman is heating up, recording at least one hit in seven of his last eight games. And after going yard on Sunday, he’s now launched a home run in two straight games, boosting his HR total to four and RBI total to 15, 4th-most in the National League. Batting in the middle of a powerful lineup in Coors field is obviously appealing, as Colorado’s venue has seen top-10 home run numbers in every seasons since 2001, but it is also worth noting that half of his dingers have come on the road, too. At 32-years old, Morneau still has some pop, sporting a career fly ball percentage of 40. He hasn’t hit more than 20 home runs since 2009, but if he can stay healthy, that should change, making him quite fantasy relevant.

Gregory Polanco, Pittsburgh Pirates (12%) – In case you missed it, I wrote in depth about the time being now to stash Polanco, if possible. Ranked as baseball’s tenth-best prospect, Polanco is absolutely putting up video game numbers in Triple-A, batting .406 with 11 runs, two homers and 16 RBI in just 16 games with Indianapolis. The George Springer call-up had fantasy owners panicking to grab him, so get ahead of the pack and snatch the next big thing. At 6’4″, Polanco has a rare combination of power and speed, but also has tremendous plate discipline, which is something you want out of a 30-steal guy.

Wily Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers (31%) – I’m bold enough to say that Peralta is a borderline must-own pitcher in fantasy right now. The guy is off to a strong start, winning two games, posting an ERA under two. He’s added a slider to his arsenal of pitches, throwing it about 27 percent of the time, keeping hitters honest. And with this good start, he may have even been getting unlucky, sporting an outlier of a HR/FB of 1.47, easily the highest of his career. As Garion Thorne states, the guy is basically surrendering a home run every five fifth fly ball, which is insanely unsustainable and will certainly go down. The guy is one of the better lower tier two-start pitchers for Week 4, drawing starts against two of the worst offenses in baseball. The Cubs rank 29th in home runs, while the Padres rank 26th. The two also rank 28th and 30th, respectively, in runs per game. Milwaukee is swinging the bat well to back up Peralta, so consider him a top streaming option, for sure.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.


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