Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Week 16
July 17, 2017 | Matt Terelle
Welcome to the Week 16 of the MLB season. Today we will take a look at the waiver wire in your fantasy baseball league and make recommendations based on MLB risers. For this series, I will be using ownership percentages from Yahoo! leagues. Generally speaking, I will be looking for players who are less than 50% owned, but there are times where I may target someone who is slightly over the ownership threshold if he is a must-own in leagues.
Please note, all statistics and ownership percentages are from Monday, July 17. Let’s get started!
Alex Claudio (TEX) – 16% owned
Claudio has picked up two saves in three games since the All-Star Break ended. The Rangers haven’t officially announced that Claudio is the team’s new closer instead of Matt Bush, but if your fantasy team is in need of saves, Claudio is worth a speculative add. There’s a chance the Rangers stick with Bush but you won’t want to miss out if Claudio is, in fact, named the new closer. Claudio has posted a solid 2.64 ERA in 47 2/3 innings of work.
Tyler Flowers (ATL) – 21% owned
He hasn’t been flashy, but Flowers has been a surprising source for fantasy production this season. The veteran backstop has mostly been buoyed by his strong .305 batting average but he’s also chipped in six homers, 30 runs, and 28 RBI. All of those numbers rank much better than the more well-known Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who is over 80% owned on name value alone at this point.
Yonder Alonso (OAK) – 56% owned
Alonso’s power outburst this season has been nothing short of spectacular. The veteran first baseman already has 21 home runs on the season. That is more than he had the previous three seasons combined and over one-third of his career total of 60. Alonso had an offseason swing overhaul which has been a game-changer for him thus far. Alonso’s ownership percentage is lower than expected because he did suffer through a bit of a home run slump in the last two weeks of June. He has, however, blasted four homers in 12 games in July.
Josh Harrison (PIT) – 48% owned
Harrison, fresh off his second All-Star Game, put together a solid first half of the season. The versatile second baseman is now batting .273 with 10 homers, 29 RBI, and 10 stolen bases. If he’s able to catch fire in the second half of the season, a 20-20 season is not out of the question. He also offers fantasy owners multi-position flexibility as he is eligible at third base and the outfield as well as at second.
Jose Reyes (NYM) – 15% owned
Reyes has been on fire at the plate over the past two weeks. In that span, the veteran infielder has batted .371 with three homers, seven runs, five RBI, and one stolen base. While he isn’t the dominant base stealer he was as a younger player, Reyes still has 11 steals this season, which makes him a useful fantasy asset. He may not be a season saver but Reyes is at least worth picking up and using while he’s swinging a hot bat.
Didi Gregorius (NYY) – 52% owned
Despite missing the first month of the season with a shoulder injury, Gregorius has been impressive, racking up 10 homers, 34 runs, and 39 RBI in just 65 games. The Yankees’ shortstop should continue to rack up the counting stats while hitting in the middle of what has become a fearsome lineup in 2017. He’s still surprisingly low-owned in fantasy leagues but can provide a spark if you need help at shortstop.
Tommy Pham (STL) – 42% owned
Pham has brought a nice blend of speed and power to the St. Louis lineup this season. The outfielder is slashing .311/.393/.524 on the year with 11 homers, 44 runs, 35 RBI, and 12 stolen bases. He has already set career highs across the board and he is well on his way to a breakout season if he’s able to remain healthy as the season wears on.
Odubel Herrera (PHI) – 48% owned
Herrera has been swinging a hot bat lately, blasting three homers over his past four games. While his season total of eight round-trippers isn’t all that impressive, he has shown excellent power, knocking 26 doubles and posting a .155 ISO mark which would be his career high if the season ended today. Look to add the red-hot Herrera in leagues where you need a reserve outfielder and hope some of his doubles start turning into home runs.
Thanks for reading, good luck this week!