DL spots and patience are wearing thin for some owners, forcing them to scout for free-agent finds. Here are the Fantasy Baseball Week 4 waiver-wire targets consisting of under-the-radar names.
The injury bug stung a bevy of impact players this week. Here are some suggested pickups to fill the void while your starters are on the mend:
Ketel Marte, 2B/SS, Arizona Diamondbacks
- (Yahoo: 8 percent owned/ESPN: 7.5 percent owned)
If you aren’t familiar with Marte’s backstory, here is a brief summary.
In November 2016, the switch-hitting middle infielder was sent over from Seattle with Taijuan Walker as part of a five-player deal. Last year, the Diamondback’s crowded infield kept Marte Triple-A Reno until the end of June.
Despite only appearing in 73 games at the big league level last season, the front office saw Marte as part of their long-term future. The 24-year-old inked a five-year $24 million extension with Arizona just days before the start of the regular season.
Through 15 games, Marte is batting .271 with zero homers and six RBI. More importantly, he is situated in the two-hole, right in front of Arizona’s mashers. Marte carries a nine-game hitting streak back to the desert following a nine-game road trip.
Sean Newcomb, SP, Atlanta Braves
- (Yahoo: 26 percent owned/ ESPN: 17.9 percent owned)
Expect Atlanta’s days of being cellar dwellers to be over. The nucleus of veteran Freddie Freeman, 21-year old Ozzie Albies and a drastically improved Dansby Swanson has the offense on a tear. Oh yeah, and highly touted prospect Ronald Acuna Jr. is waiting in the wings.
When it comes to Braves starting rotation, Julio Teheran is the name that first comes to mind. Sean Newcomb is also a guy to keep your eye on. Yes, he got clobbered by the Washington Nationals in his first start. The former Angels prospect walked five and allowed six runs over 4 1/3 innings.
Newcomb responded by firing six shutout frames and tallying nine strikeouts at Coors field. He also didn’t allow any free passes.
In his last start, 24-year-old lefty faced another daunting task on the road at Wrigley. He performed admirably against a stellar Cubs lineup. Newcomb struck out seven, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits and four walks over 5.1 innings.
Newcomb’s success is predicated on lowering his walk-rate and fine-tuning his control issues. Based on his last two performances it’s worth the risk.
Joey Lucchesi, SP, San Diego Padres
- (Yahoo: 52 percent owned/ ESPN: 30 percent owned)
Mark my words, Lucchesi will be the hottest waiver wire commodity this week.
The must-own Padre (that sounds weird) delivered another masterful performance against the Giants on Sunday. The southpaw fanned nine and allowed one run over six frames.
In his two prior outings, both against the Colorado Rockies, Lucchesi combined for 15 punch outs without allowing an earned run.
Mallex Smith, Outfielder, Tampa Bay Rays
- (Yahoo: 18 percent owned/ESPN: 8.7 percent owned)
We expected a gloomy forecast for baseball in the sunshine state. Smith, however, is one of the few bright spots thus far.
On Saturday, Ray’s manager Kevin Cash decided to tinker with his lineup, moving him to the leadoff position.
The speedster responded with back to back multi-hit efforts and two runs scored.
Cash’s decision to insert Smith at the top of the lineup is an encouraging sign. The third-year outfielder is now batting a hearty .343 after a strong weekend. Not to mention, he has the wheels to terrorize pitchers on the base path.