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Deep League Waiver Wire Targets for Week 3

Now just two weeks into the 2024 fantasy baseball season it seems there’s an unprecedented urgency to fill open roster spots on the waiver wire. This is especially true for starting pitching, where top-end players are going on the IL on a near daily basis. Don’t despair, we’re here to help fantasy managers in 15-team mixed, 12-team AL or NL only, or even deeper leagues find key roster additions to get their team back on track.

Deep League Waiver Targets for Week 3

15-Team Mixed League Targets

1. Blaze Alexander, SS, Diamondbacks

Not only is Blaze a fun and unique name, but it’s a fairly accurate descriptor for the impact he has made in a short time span already this season. A beneficiary of the Geraldo Perdomo and Jordan Lawlar injuries, Blaze Alexander has made the most of the consistent playing time he’s seen over the last 10 days. So far he’s batting .345 over his first 29 at-bats with two home runs and a steal. Most importantly, the underlying BABIP and contact metrics reflect the performance, so Blaze should continue to provide stability as an injury fill-in for your fantasy roster for the foreseeable future.

2. Edward Olivares, OF, Pirates

Sometimes it just takes a chance of scenery to unlock a player’s true potential. For Edward Olivares, it’s starting to seem as if his fresh start in Pittsburgh is aiding his progression into a viable fantasy contributor. And while Olivares has had several previous periods of fantasy relevance in the past, those were all seemingly short-lived as injuries or platoon roles limited the longevity. Recently Olivares has played his way into a near everyday role for the Pirates, sporting a .321 batting average in 28 at-bats with three home runs. Playing time will remain a concern but the Pirates seem eager to give him a shot to finally become an everyday player.

3. Martin Perez, SP, Pirates

Just two seasons ago Martin Perez emerged seemingly out of nowhere to toss a sub-3.00 ERA for the Texas Rangers. He also accounted for twelve of their 68 total team wins alone. However, he followed up his excellent 2022 season with a disastrous 2023 that caused him to lose his rotation spots multiple times. Now, Perez has a new home in Pittsburgh and is once again flourishing like his 2022 season. After his first three starts, he has a shiny 1.89 ERA, even pitching eight innings of one-run ball in his most recent start. The high WHIP and low strikeout totals remain limiting factors to his upside, but for desperate managers, he can provide much-needed stability to open rotation spots.

AL-Only League Targets

1. David Hamilton, SP, Red Sox

The tragic season-ending injury to Trevor Story has cleared the way for David Hamilton to get increased playing time for the Red Sox. While this may only last until Vaughn Grissom’s eventual return. Truth to be told, Hamilton historically has done very little at the plate to generate appeal, with a career .251 batting average over four seasons in the minors. Yet, his high-end speed creates an intriguing AL-only waiver addition opportunity. In 2023 Hamilton stole 57 bases in AAA and in 2022 he stole 70 in AA. Whether that speed carries over into his opportunities in the majors this season is hard to predict, but worth a speculative add.

2. Reese McGuire, C, Red Sox

Staying with the Red Sox we focus on another player who has gained an increased role early into the season. For Reese McGuire, his hot bat has quickly allowed him to go from being the backup catcher to now in a true split with Connor Wong. In fact, McGuire actually has more at-bats on the season by about a game. So far he is batting .320 with two home runs and eight RBI, proving a priority waiver addition in two-catcher mixed leagues or single-catcher AL-only leagues.

NL-Only League Targets

1. Spencer Turnbull, SP, Phillies

Probably the most impressive start to the season for a starting pitcher is 13 scoreless innings that Spencer Turnbull has put together in his first three starts. Why this dominant start isn’t generating higher fantasy baseball buzz in mixed leagues is due to Turnbull’s lack of consistency in his career. With a career 4.39 ERA, we’ve seen similar periods of peak effectiveness in the past completely unravel. However, his new sweeper pitch addition is proving to be a game-changer for him so far, which creates new hope for sustained success over the season.

2. Miguel Vargas, 2B/3B, Dodgers

This final recommendation, specific to NL-only leagues at this point, falls in the ‘playing the long game’ category. With the putrid starts to the season by Dodger infielders Gavin Lux, Chris Taylor, and Miguel Rojas, it seems inevitable that a change is on the horizon. If so, hot-hitting post-hype prospect, Miguel Vargas would get the call to the big leagues. Despite his struggles in the major league last year in his debut stint, Vargas is dominating AAA with a .297 batting average and .413 on-base percentage. For Gavin Lux owners grabbing Miguel Vargas for cheap now can prove valuable long-term if he gets the call and his minor league success carries into the majors.

Injuries are the most frustrating part of fantasy baseball, but fortunately, emerging talent on the waiver wire can create now excitement and hope. It’s doubtful any of these players can fill the shoes of key starters lost to injuries, but they can likely help offset key categories until new options emerge from prospect promotions or trades. In the deepest of fantasy baseball leagues, the ability to win the waiver wire often proves the critical success factor toward contention.

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