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Two weeks down, an eternity to go. At least that is how it seems for those fantasy players who have been bitten by the injury bug so far. Not to worry though, as the waiver wire can be your panic relief.
Whether it is a free agent pool, a budget-budget based system, or weekly waivers, playing the wire is a key element to winning your fantasy baseball leagues.
Each week, XN Sports will present an option at each position, and why to add them.
Without further ado, let’s play the waiver wire:
Hank Conger, Los Angeles Angels
Keep an eye on the Angels’ catching situation. Currently, Chris Iannetta is the starter but he is batting a humbling .125 this season. Conger has five hits in 14 at-bats, including two hits in two of his three starts. Conger has scored two runs and driven in three in less than half of Iannetta’s at-bats. Will manager Mike Scioscia make the move? If so, Conger becomes a great catching option in fantasy baseball.
Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox
This is not the first time Dunn has appeared on this list, but he is still only owned in around 10 percent of leagues across the fantasy industry. The issue with Dunn has always been his batting average but never his power and production. Currently, Dunn is hitting .273 with 17 total bases in just 33 at-bats. Is this the year that Dunn has a good batting average to go along with his productive power numbers? If so, he is a must-own in fantasy baseball. He would be a solid option at 1B/3B or in the utility slot in your leagues.
Danny Espinosa, Washington Nationals
Ryan Zimmerman is out for at least a month with a broken thumb, which means Espinosa will get another shot to prove himself to the Nationals’ brass. So far this season, Espinosa is 7-for-22 with a stolen base and he will be able to give you some speed/power numbers during Zimmerman’s absence. In two full seasons as a starter, Espinosa had 38 home runs and 37 stolen bases, so he has 20/20 potential and will give you a boost off the waiver wire for the next month. He will play second base with Anthony Rendon moving to third.
Mike Aviles, Cleveland Indians
Aviles is eligible at shortstop as well as the hot corner, so that flexibility adds to his value. So far this season, he is hitting .273 with a home run and stolen base. In his career (per 162 game average) he is averaging 13 home runs and 16 stolen bases per season, so he has the ability to contribute in a few categories. Hitting in that Cleveland lineup gives him additional value as he will score more runs than the average waiver wire add.
Dayan Viciedo, Chicago White Sox
With the unfortunate season-ending injury to Avisail Garcia, the White Sox will need another outfielder to step up. Dayan Viciedo can do that for the ChiSox, as he is hitting a smooth .310 so far this season. Viciedo was a good starter in the last two years when given a chance, with 39 home runs and 144 runs batted in since 2012. He will be given the opportunity to play every day, and prove himself, once again. If you need some production, or a replacement for an injured outfielder, take a look at Viciedo.
Edinson Volquez, Pittsburgh Pirates
Volquez has seemingly played everywhere in the National League, but he looks to be comfortable in Pittsburgh so far this season. The 30-year-old Dominican product has a 1.29 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP so far this season and has has shut down the Brewers and the Cardinals (two good lineups) so far. His next start comes against the Brewers on April 17.
Jesse Chavez, Oakland Athletics
The fact that Chavez is on a waiver wire post in the first place proves that everyone was sleeping on him. So far this season he has 13 strikeouts in 13 innings and has been one of the Athletics’ best starting pitchers. Chavez is only eligible at relief pitcher for now, so if you do not carry many closers, add him and reap the benefits every fifth day. Chavez was good in the bullpen for the A’s last season, and this could be his breakout year after six years in the Major Leagues. The Athletics always get the best out of their pitchers, don’t they?
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