Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 8
First, we owe you a major apology -- it's clearly our fault.
Each week, we have been talking about the number of injuries occurring around baseball. Quite honestly, it has to slow down at some point, right? Yet again, when it didn't seem like it could get worse, it did. Freddie Freeman will be out quite some time, and as the owner of many Freeman shares, it just got even worse. How that's possible, I am not sure, but the injuries continue to pile up.
However, every team has injuries, and there has to be a way to overcome all of them, even if this starts to border on the ridiculous. It really does have to stop soon, doesn't it? I may be begging at this point.
If you're lucky to have escaped the injury bug, consider it a huge win. But if not, here are some players that can help spell your rosters if there are some holes in need of filling.
Corey Knebel - Milwaukee Brewers (RP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 50.4%
The closer carousel never seems to stop spinning, and in the case of the Milwaukee Brewers, it's spun and changed to a new face.
Neftali Feliz has been struggling in recent weeks, and as the Brewers surprisingly are atop the NL Central, they felt the need to make a change. Owning a 5.11 SIERA so far this season, it probably wasn't the wrong move to make.
Enter Corey Knebel -- and remember, saves are a counting stat and a hot commodity even with poor peripherals. But in his own right, Knebel has been fantastic, posting a 2.38 SIERA and a strong 43.7% strikeout rate. Whether he keeps the job or not remains to be seen, but he's been really good in the short term.
Dominating save for Knebel, and the Brewers battle back for a hard-fought 3-1 victory. They own first place in the NL Central as well.
— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) May 18, 2017
Jimmy Nelson - Milwaukee Brewers (SP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 13.7%
We will stay on the same team, but this time, let's highlight a starter that's been pretty darn good for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Nelson was an early second-round pick in the 2010 draft. With a pick that early comes a lot of hype. It hasn't exactly been smooth sailing for Nelson during his major league career, and there wasn't a whole lot expected out of him coming into the 2017 season after a 4.92 SIERA in 2016 over 179 1/3 innings pitched.
However, he has shown major improvement by striking out more hitters and exhibiting better command. He's on pace for a career-best 21.7% strikeout rate, and at the same token, has cut down on his walk rate from recent seasons to 7.9% (career-worst 10.7% last season). Those improvements have led to a respectable 4.12 SIERA in 2017.
It remains to be seen if Nelson can keep this up over a full season, but so far, the numbers bear out that he deserves a spot on fantasy rosters.
Justin Smoak - Toronto Blue Jays (1B)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 46.4%
The power has always been legit with Smoak, so why should we believe in him? He's always struck out a ton in his career, but has significantly cut down on that so far this season -- his current strikeout rate is just 19.5%, which is a stark contrast from the 32.8% rate he posted last year.
Smoak may not be able to keep up that .278 batting average, but a significant decrease in whiff rate should continue to yield strong results for both him and the Jays. He's also sporting a career-best 44.7% hard-hit rate.
Justin Bour - Miami Marlins (1B)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 23.6%
If you'd rather not trust your first base spot with Smoak, that's fair -- especially given some of his past struggles. With that in mind, there's another viable option to fill that place on your roster.
Justin Bour has been a man on fire in the month of May. Check out these numbers, which may seem like a typo at first glance: 179 wRC+, 1.085 OPS, .313 batting average, and a .449 wOBA. It's blasts like these that have lifted Bour to fantasy relevance.
Bour struggled to start the season -- prior to May, he logged just a .305 wOBA. However, a switch flipped once the April finished and he's been one of the best performers in baseball.
If you need help at first base, corner, or utility, go find Bour and see if he is available.
Chris Taylor - Los Angeles Dodgers (3B)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 18.9%
Even prior to that, Chris Taylor has been earning himself additional playing time by absolutely raking. Through 101 plate appearances this season, he's posted a strong .439 wOBA. Starting the year primarily on the bench, Taylor has continued to hit, and with Turner out, he will be plugged into an even more prominent role.
If Taylor can continue to produce at this level, he will have some kind of role even when Turner is healthy and gets activated off the disabled list.