We are one third of the way through the Major League Baseball season. By now, Fantasy Baseball managers should be well aware of what their teams strengths and weaknesses are. Every week, there are opportunities on the waiver wire to improve your team. Whether you are looking to add some depth to a position you already have, or are filling a hole. But there is little doubt that in-season management for fantasy baseball managers is crucial to a team’s success.
Our column revealing some key waiver wire targets can help fantasy baseball managers of all types though. Even if you are just playing in daily leagues, some of the players that we discuss at length are in the column not for season-long leagues, but because they are worth a look right now. This week particularly there are a couple guys that fit this mold.
So, let’s get into it. Here are the four fantasy baseball waiver wire targets to look at heading into Week 9.
Top 4 Waiver Wire Targets for Week 9 of the Fantasy Baseball season
1. Evan Longoria – SF Giants 3B
The first player is a name you will certainly recognize, but might surprise you that he is on the list. San Francisco Giants third baseman Evan Longoria has fallen off of the fantasy baseball map the last few years. The former Rays standout is clearly a shell of his former self. But he deserves some attention right now.
Longoria missed much of the season with injuries. However, over the last two weeks, Longoria is hitting a robust .314 with a .385 on-base percentage. He has five home runs and 11 RBI over that same span. He has not played in the field since returning, but with the DH now existing in the National League, that’s a good thing for players like Longoria.
Evan Longoria is healthy pic.twitter.com/tGglP9LEVs
— Jon Anderson (@JonPgh) May 31, 2022
Generally, you figure any player that relies solely on some pop and a decent batting average at Oracle Park in San Francisco cannot be worthy of fantasy baseball managers’ attention. But somehow, the Giants always seem to find a way make players fantasy worthy.
Longoria is owned in just 11 percent of Yahoo leagues. If you are in need of some cheap power without sacrificing batting average, the Giants veteran isn’t a bad option. It won’t last forever, so now is the time to ride the hot hand.
2. Garrett Cooper – Miami Marlins 1B/OF
Speaking of riding a hot hand, not many players are as hot in all of baseball as Garrett Cooper. The Marlins righty has been seeing the ball exceptionally well lately.
Since May 27th, Cooper has picked up 16 hits over 36 at-bats (a .444 batting average) with two home runs and 11 RBI. This is not just an isolated incident. The Marlins outfielder has proven in the past that he can help out fantasy baseball managers from time to time.
Last season, in just 215 at-bats, Cooper hit nine home runs and 10 doubles, driving in 33 runs. He’s a career .285 hitter with an above average .357 OBP. He is easily overlooked because he plays for the Marlins. But Cooper has been a consistently good hitter throughout his career. He also offers a little added positional flexibility, qualifying at outfield and first base.
3. Daniel Hudson – LA Dodgers RP
No, I am not including Daniel Hudson on this list because I expect him to take Craig Kimbrel’s job as the Dodgers’ closer. But you cannot argue that Kimbrel has really struggled this year. Even ESPN LA writer Blake Harris has shown concern.
Craig Kimbrel has been the worst pitcher in the Dodgers bullpen.
He's been one of the worst closers in all of baseball.
The 9th inning is scarier than it's ever been. https://t.co/hAJUdLUMIB
— Blake Harris (@BlakeHHarris) May 31, 2022
The Dodgers closer has a 4.50 ERA and an even worse 1.31 WHIP. For a run-of-the-mill reliever, those numbers aren’t atrocious. But for a hard-throwing closer, they are far from ideal.
Meanwhile, Hudson has pitched very well as the Dodgers set up man. He has a 2.12 ERA and a shiny 0.76 WHIP with a very solid 10.6 K/9 rate. He’s already earned a few wins and saves as Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts has openly talked about not overworking Kimbrel.
So, even if Hudson does not take the closer job, he still has value. But knowing that Kimbrel has struggled and is injury-prone, Hudson could fall into a spot as the closer for one of the best teams in baseball. That potential value should make him a target for many fantasy baseball teams.
4. Gary Sanchez – Minnesota Twins C
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but Gary Sanchez is still available in almost 50 percent of leagues. Much of that can be attributed to his awful start to the season. Everyone knew that if he struggled out of the gate with a new team, he could end up losing playing time.
Thankfully, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli stuck by Sanchez. The hefty catcher has rewarded him lately. Sanchez hit his seventh home run on the season Sunday. Sanchez also leads all major league catchers with 27 RBI. It’s not like he is hitting above his head either.
Sanchez is batting just .229 with a .289 OBP. Obviously, those are awful numbers. But at the catcher position, you generally only have a few that don’t hurt you in those categories. But Sanchez consistently hits cleanup for a solid Twins lineup. The run production and power should continue to be there. He likely will finish with 20+ home runs and 70+ RBI. Not many other catches can boast those stats.