There’s no fun until the job’s done, so if your focus is still geared more towards RBIs than PPR, then this week’s crop of waiver wire choices offers a relatively fresh batch of talent who can help in a variety of ways.
Nicky Delmonico, 3B, White Sox: The former Orioles and Brewers farmhand is now third time lucky with his current organization and has become the cool kid in this week’s waiver class. Delmonico has seen his ownership in CBSSports.com leagues zoom from seven percent to 35 percent over the past week. A .174 average over the same span has tempered some of his push, but Delmonico is hitting .306 with six homers and 12 ribbies since being recalled on August 1. His 16.7 percent walk rate is a strong indication of his plate discipline and for a player whose power is the foundation of his game, Delmonico’s 15.4 percent strikeout rate is tolerable. That he has stolen a pair of bases only enhances his value. He’s going to be in the lineup on a daily basis, making Delmonico a good grab in deeper leagues and for owners in search of short-term pop in standard leagues.
Blake Snell, P, Rays: Winning cures all, doesn’t it? Snell was more like a snail when it came to getting into the win column this season; a laborious task finally achieved when he limped his way (four runs over six innings) into a W against the Blue Jays last Tuesday. Snell then followed up with seven innings of shutout ball, allowing just two hits and fanning eight in a home win over the Mariners last Sunday. Pitching-starved owners have paid notice, as Snell is now owned in 41 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. He’s put together a 3.09 ERA with 21 Ks over 23.1 innings this month and is beginning to look like the elite prospect most had envisioned he’d become when he debuted last season. If he can finish strong the rest of the way, here’s betting we’re speaking of Snell as a breakout performer come next August.
Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Rays: Despite missing time with a fractured hip, Kiermaier is starting to look like a potential late-season difference maker for Fantasy owners. Entering the weekend, Kiermaier has three homers, six runs scored, six RBIs and a stolen base since coming off the disabled list last weekend. Keep in mind that Kiermaier, now owned in 40 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, stole 21 bases last season and has 11 swipes with more than a month left to play. He’s still an adventure of sorts, sporting a K:BB rate of nearly 3:1, but players who can offer a solid power-speed combo and are available in deeper leagues are few and far in between.
Delino DeShields, OF, Rangers: He lacks Delmonico’s pop, yet is faster than Kiermaier. DeShields is batting just .244 since the All-Star break but has made up for it with an above-average OBP (.344) and six steals, making up for his .357 slugging percentage. The 24 percent of CBSSports.com owners who currently have DeShields on their roster know what you’re getting with him: speed, and lots of it. At this point in the season, Fantasy owners who can use the category of stolen bases as a way to win should kick the tires on DeShields, especially if you can withstand the lack of power he brings to the table. With the Rangers still having a say in who wins a wild card spot in the American League, DeShields, who has already equaled his career high with 25 steals, is going to run frequently the rest of the way.
Greg Bird, 1B, Yankees: Still owned in 32 percent of CBSSports,com leagues despite not playing since May 1, Bird had four straight games with multiple hits in his rehab assignment at Triple-A Scranton and could be up as early as Friday’s game against the Mariners. A healthy Bird certainly offers power and could thrive in a lineup that also returns Starlin Castro and Matt Holliday in the next 7-10 days, which will impact the Fantasy values of Tyler Austin, Todd Frazier and Chase Headley, who will each see their playing time gradually curbed. If Bird helps carry the Yankees into the postseason, it wouldn’t be the first time the Pinstripes benefited from a September slugger.
Curtis Granderson, OF, Dodgers: You can live with Granderson’s .227 August batting average when it comes with nine homers, 20 RBIs and a 1.030 OPS. He has just five hits over the past week, yet four of them jumped the fence while he also drew seven walks to boost his OBP to .400 in that span. The move from the Mets to the Dodgers has also helped his CBSSports.com ownership hike up from 28 percent to 40 percent. The days of Granderson giving Fantasy owners 20 homers and 20 steals have long gone, but he’s still good for the occasional swipe. The power might tail off, yet his batting average should perk up, making him a still-valuable asset.
Tyler Lyons, P, Cardinals: With Trevor Rosenthal on his way to becoming the newest beneficiary of Tommy John surgery, Lyons may work his way into more higher leverage situations down the stretch. He’s recorded 11 Holds this season and has a save in a pair of opportunities, as Lyons has seen his K/9 rate improve since being recalled earlier in the campaign. Lyons had an 8.66 K/9 at Triple-A Memphis but is now whiffing higher-paid batters at a 10.76 K/9 rate. He’s owned in just seven percent of CBSSports.com leagues, but Lyons is at least worth a clip ‘n save to see how the Redbirds use him in the late innings.
Clayton Richard, P, Padres: He’s not pretty to watch, but similar to last season, Richard is in the midst of a late run of success, having recorded a 2.36 ERA and 1.09 WHIP this month. He’s got just one win in August, but Richard has also helped his cause for being on this list by recording at least five strikeouts in each of his last five starts. Again, Richard isn’t going to awe you with his work, but going from 22 to 38 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues is a sign there are enough Fantasy owners buying into a performance that ranks just above watching paint dry. Either way, the results — at least as of late — are pretty good.
Adam Conley, P, Marlins: His stock shot up after his last start, in which he allowed one run while also fanning 11 Mets over seven innings of work last Sunday. Conley is now at 34 percent ownership in CBSSports.com, yet he’s more in the direction of a Clayton Richard than a Stephen Strasburg when it comes to making batters swing and miss (6.78 K/9). He’s won four of his last six decisions while slowly trimming his ERA from a high of 7.53 on May 8, to its current 4.93. If you’re in a league that sets lineups on a daily basis, Conley’s value comes from pitching on the road where he is 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA, compared to a 7.53 ERA and 2-3 mark when pitching at home.
Lucas Sims, P, Braves: The scuffles of his first three major league starts have been hushed by his last two outings, as Sims has allowed just two earned runs over the last 11 innings while also grabbing wins in both. What is encouraging about Sims is that his current K/9 rate of 4.76 is going to improve significantly. He fanned 10.3 batters per nine innings at Triple-A Gwinnett and will move closer to that rate as he continues to gain confidence in his highly-graded stuff. Sims is owned in just 15 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and is a strong bet to see his ownership grow between now and the end of the season. He’s worth a peek.