Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 24
While the 2017 NFL regular season technically kicked off on Thursday, most of the action took place yesterday, meaning that a large percentage of the fantasy baseball community has turned the page to football.
If you don't play fantasy football or are still focused on coming down the stretch strong with your baseball leagues, now is not the time to give up. Here are four players to target on the waiver wire that are owned in under 50.0% of ESPN leagues.
Lucas Giolito - Chicago White Sox (SP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 44.9%
If your fantasy rotations need a shot in the arm, look no further than Lucas Giolito, who has been fantastic in the major leagues this season.
The former first-round pick of the Washington Nationals made his way over to the American League as part of an offseason trade for Adam Eaton, and he's made a good first impression thus far with his new club.
Through 128 2/3 innings at Triple-A this year, he struck out 24.3% of hitters, and has carried that momentum over to The Show. He's fired 25 1/3 innings over four starts, recording a 2.84 ERA, 23.0% strikeout rate, and a 16.4% soft-contact rate.
Giolito may not have the most big league experience, but he's certainly shown the capability of being productive, both in real life and fantasy.
Doug Fister - Boston Red Sox (SP)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 36.0%
It certainly wasn't all puppy dogs and rainbows for Doug Fister at the start of his tenure with the Boston Red Sox. He compiled just a 6.23 ERA with a 33.8 hard-hit rate, and 39.7% fly-ball rate through his first 21 2/3 innings of work (five outings), but then he started absolutely dominating.
If we look at his last four starts in particular, he's looked like a completely different pitcher. This period has spanned 30 innings and he's recorded a 1.50 ERA, .191 wOBA, and 24.1% strikeout, all while allowing a 23.7% soft-hit rate with a 61.3% ground-ball rate.
Fister has been so effective, he's more than likely sewed up a playoff rotation spot -- and if he's available, could also be a major weapon in fantasy playoff rotations.
Jose Reyes - New York Mets (SS/3B)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 33.8%
If you are surprised to see any New York Mets players on this list, it's a fair point -- the ones that haven't been traded away all seem to be hurt, including Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Amed Rosario. And that doesn't even begin to mention the pitching staff.
But one dude that has been straight ballin' since the All-Star break is Jose Reyes. The veteran infielder has recorded a 116 wRC+, 26.1% hard-hit rate, and 42.0% fly-ball rate in the second half. He's also collected 3 of his 12 homers this year over his most recent 36 plate appearances.
For a solid bat that can also provide some speed on the base paths (Reyes has 19 steals this season), he's worth a look.
Matt Olson - Oakland Athletics (OF)
ESPN Percentage Owned: 28.6%
After getting off to a bit of a slow start, Matt Olson wasn't likely to be on anyone's waiver-wire radar in the first half. After all, he had hit just .184 with a 36.2% strikeout rate over his first 58 plate appearances, basically looking like a black hole at the plate.
But whatever Olson did over the All-Star break, it's definitely working.
Matt Olson to the second deck! Another two-run bomb makes it 10-2 in the eighth. #RootedInOakland pic.twitter.com/jaTPr3ts7A
â€” Oakland A's ðŸŒ³ðŸ˜âš¾ï¸ (@Athletics) September 10, 2017
Olson has been on a mission these last two months, boasting a 176 wRC+, 1.053 OPS, 43.1% hard-hit rate, and 44.3% fly-ball rate. And he's staying hot into September, evidenced by the five homers he's hit in his last 39 plate appearances.