Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds: Week 2
So, how'd your Week 1 go? Whether it went well or not so well, there are 25 more weeks in the regular season. One way to get a jump on the rest of your league is through the waiver wire, which means that it is time to roll up our sleeves and take a peek at some players who are widely available and can help you out.
The four players below are all owned in fewer than 50% of ESPN leagues and could give your squad a shot in the arm as the season gets under way.
Keone Kela - Texas Rangers (RP)
ESPN Ownership: 48.1%
The quest to find saves often tends to be a never-ending one, and the benefit of being 10 days into the season is that some of the bullpen situations that were a bit murky at the beginning of the year have started to sort themselves out. The Texas Rangers seem to be one of those situations.
Keone Kela appears to own the closer's role in Texas, and he's been great so far. In his first three outings, Kela has recorded two saves without allowing a run, striking out three batters overall.
Grab Kela if you can and start racking up those saves.
Chris Owings - Arizona Diamondbacks (2B, SS, OF)
ESPN Ownership: 47.8%
Super-utility man Chris Owings never seems to get the credit that he is due, but starting off 2018, it's getting harder and harder to keep him out of the lineup.
Last season, over 386 plate appearances, Owings popped 12 homers with 12 steals. This comes on the heels of a 21-steal season in 2016, but Owings still seems to have trouble finding consistent playing time in the Arizona Diamondbacks' lineup. He still reached just 466 plate appearances in 2016 despite that stolen-base prowess.
In 2018, Owings has already racked up 29 plate appearances, and while his position may not be locked in, he has been really productive with one homer, one steal and eight runs. And Owings lack of true position may be a thing of beauty -- on Yahoo!, Owings is eligible at second, short, and outfield, and his positional flexibility gives him more ways to get into Arizona's lineup.
If you value lineup flexibility and want a dude ready to contribute across multiple categories, check out Owings.
Preston Tucker - Atlanta Braves (OF)
ESPN Ownership: 45.5%
Whatever your roster construction is, we are always hunting for home runs, right? Well, if you need a little pop, check out former Houston Astros outfielder Preston Tucker, who may be carving out a nice niche in the Atlanta Braves' offense.
The Braves lead the league in runs scored after our first fantasy week, and Tucker has been a large part of that surge. He's crushed two long balls and driven in nine runs so far. With Tucker, the problem has never been power -- he posted a .215 ISO in Triple-A last season -- but the issue has been a lack of playing time in a crowded Houston lineup.
With Atlanta, Tucker should be locked into a starting job -- especially against righties -- until Ronald Acuna is up, and if he keeps producing, it'll be hard to Atlanta to sit him even when Acuna is in the lineup. He's a good play right now, and if he gets consistent at-bats over the remainder of the year, Tucker may be able to showcase the slugging prowess that saw him jack 13 homers in 323 plate appearances in 2015.
Tyler Mahle - Cincinnati Reds (SP)
ESPN Ownership: 30.8%
In the never-ending chase to find reliable arms, counting on rookie hurlers can be a bit of a scary proposition. But one rookie who has been very solid so far is Tyler Mahle.
Mahle grabbed a quick cup of coffee in 2017, posting a 1-2 record with a 2.70 ERA over 20 innings, including a middling 15.2% strikeout rate and 12.0% walk rate. Labeled the 84th-best prospect by MLB.com, Mahle has been good over his first two turns in 2018, recording a 20.5% strikeout rate over 10 2/3 innings pitched.
While Mahle took the loss in Sunday's outing, it can't be ignored that he one-hit the Chicago Cubs' offense over six innings in his first turn, striking out seven. If you need some pitching help, check out the young right-handed arm as the rebuilding Cincinnati Reds should be willing to run out Mahle every fifth day as long as he's healthy.