Whether you’re in a head-to-head league facing a playoff matchup or in a roto league facing all comers, this is the time where fantasy baseball owners have to make their stand. We’ve spent too many hours drafting, adding, dropping, and tweaking to let all our hard work fall to the waste side in the most important yet unpredictable time of the season.
At this point in the year, you’re not going to find a great all-around player on the waiver wire. Five months into your season, you should know where your weaknesses are and look to the waiver wire for one or two specific categories, not a five-tool player. I’ve struggled to get enough power on my team all season. I’m guessing most people have since there’s only six players with 30+ HR. I’ve also struggled to find consistent production out of my middle infield. Those are the two things I’m looking for on the waiver wire this week. If you need help with power or middle infield, or with pitching or steals, let’s take a look at some great late-season grabs to bring your week together.
Yusmeiro Petit (Owned in 30% of Yahoo Leagues): Some people were turned off by Petit after he gave up three runs over 5.2 IP in his last start in Colorado. Look, it was in Coors Field and he was one out short of a perfect game in his previous start. He had not given up more than two runs in any of his previous starts and owns an impressive 2.53 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 37 K/6 BB over 32 IP and is absolutely worth the pickup if you need an ERA or strikeout boost.
Jeff Locke (35%): After putting up a 7.94 ERA in August, Locke has allowed just three earned runs over 12 IP in September while striking out nine. His one-run, seven-inning effort against the Cubs last Thursday was impressive and the schedule is promising. The Bucs only have four more series left and none against a good offense. They face the Padres next, ranked 24th in offense in September, followed by the Reds (19th), the Cubs again, and the Reds again.
Dillon Gee (39%): While the other two pitchers have some questions around them, Gee has been very reliable, putting up a 2.15 ERA and 43 K/10 BB over his last nine starts. He was impressive against the Marlins on Sunday, pitching 7.1 scoreless innings and striking out eight. Since he pitched last night, he’ll miss the next series against the surging Giants offense and the remaining three series the Mets have are promising. They’ll face the Phils, ranked 25th in offense in September, followed by the Reds (19th), and Brewers (18th).
Matt Adams (14%): If you need a power boost, look no further than the streaking Cards’ first baseman. Allen Craig isn’t coming back before the playoffs, he’s still in a walking boot. Meanwhile, Adams has embraced his new starting role, putting up a .282/.317/.667 line with five home runs, eight runs driven in, and eight runs scored over his last 11 games. His 5.2 HR% on the season is better than fellow first basemen Paul Goldschmidt, Prince Fielder, and Freddie Freeman. Get him and thank me later.
Wilson Ramos (34%): Ramos has quietly had a very good season at catcher for the Nats, putting up a .286/.317/.500 line with 15 HR, 55 RBI, and 28 R in just 68 games. He’s been unbelievable this month, batting .340 with six homers, 21 RBI, and eight runs over his last 12 games. No one is hotter than Ramos right now and he’s definitely worth the grab if you need to boost those power and RBI numbers.
Chris Iannetta (5%): Ianneta hasn’t quite had the quality year that Ramos has had but he’s on fire right now and worth a look for all fantasy owners in search of power. He’s batting .405 with five homers, eight runs batted in, and 10 R over his last 11 games, no reason not to ride this out.
Mark Reynolds (30%): Reynolds has been very solid since coming to the Yanks and has put up three home runs and 12 RBI over his last 15 games. He hasn’t been hitting homers at the pace you’d like but he has the ability to and has been driving in runs so he could be a steal for the final games of the year.
Jonathan Villar (28%): In my search for formidable middle infield help, Villar is all I can find on the shallow waiver wire. Villar isn’t a great fantasy producer but he’s shown promise with a .289/.358/.384 line and 17 steals and 24 runs over 45 games. He’s been hot this month, batting .358 with six swipes, five runs batted in, and 10 runs scored over 13 games. If you need a middle infielder or steals, Villar might be your only play but he’s a solid one.