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Deep League Waiver Wire Targets for Week 5

One of the most fun aspects of playing in deep fantasy baseball leagues is the continuous prospecting for gold on the waiver wire. Sometimes it takes quick action to be the first to stash a player and other times it requires paying close attention to new skill progression. That’s why we’re helping expedite the research process for fantasy baseball managers competing in 15-team mixed, 12-team AL- or NL-only, or even deeper leagues than that, by providing several compelling options to pursue on the waiver wire in week 5.

Deep League Waiver Wire Targets for Week 5

15-Team Mixed League Targets

1. Patrick Bailey, C, Giants

For several years it seemed that the Giants had found their next great hitting prospect in Joey Bart. With the retirement of Buster Posey, it seemed a sure thing that Bart would step in to fill those big shoes. Yet, that plan never materialized and Bart was eventually released this spring. Now an unexpected young catcher is emerging, Patrick Bailey, who is providing steady contributions at and behind the plate. Over the first few weeks of the season, he has held a near .300 batting average, drawn a good volume of walks, and even shown a little power with two home runs. As a result, he is quickly becoming a must-roster player in two catcher leagues.

2. Gabriel Arias, 1B/SS, Guardians

Often prospects that are simply average in all areas of hitting skills get grossly overlooked in fantasy baseball since they offer little promise of breakout potential. Gabriel Arias is a prime example of that player profile, with original hit tool grades of 45 hit, 50 power, and 50 runs. Yet, a lower potential ceiling for talent growth usually means a higher floor for players of this type. That high floor is often what helps earn playing time and provide steady contributions. So far in 2024 that’s been exactly the case for Arias, as he’s earning consistent at-bats with his .298 batting average to date. While the counting stats won’t spike with Arias in your lineup, he can help stabilize key ratios and chip in toward run and RBI categories with minimal risk.

3. Michael Massey, 2B, Royals

Contrary to the low ceiling and high floor player profile of Gabriel Arias shared above, Michael Massey presents a higher risk and reward waiver option. In fact, Massey was a draft-season sleeper until a back injury sidelined him in spring training and into the season. Now off the IL, Massey returns to the Royals lineup with hopes of building on his 15 home run and six stolen base partial season stat line last season. While those key counting stats may continue to increase in their per-game pace, the key to Massey’s breakout potential resides with his batting average, which dropped to .226 last season. If he can increase the average to .250 this year, he’ll provide a strong middle infield option for most deep-league fantasy teams.

AL-Only League Targets

1. Albert Suarez, SP, Orioles

One of the most inspiring storylines so far this season is with Albert Suarez and his return to the major leagues after a six-year absence. Prior to pitching abroad in Korea and Japan over the last year several years, Suarez had multiple stints with major league teams where he had moderate success. Now, back in the big leagues, Suarez is impressing early on in his outings for the Orioles. In fact, he has been outright dominant in his first two starts, with only seven hits and no earned runs given up. While he likely will regress to be an average pitcher, he has a high win potential given the consistent run support from the Orioles offense.

2. Cody Poteet, SP, Yankees

If there’s been one certainty with the Yankees pitching rotation the last few years it’s been the volatility of player health. Injuries last year gave opportunity for Michael King to enter the rotation where he broke out in the second half. This year’s looming replacement is Cody Poteet who has been on the cusp of cracking the rotation for the last couple of years. Already this season Poteet made a start for the Yankees where he threw six innings of one-run ball. Since then he has continued to dominate in AAA, proving his readiness case for a full-time move to the rotation. Now might be the best time to stash him in your lineups as he’ll be a popular waiver target once he gets the call back to the Yankees rotation.

NL-Only League Targets

1. Keaton Winn, SP, Giants

For many fantasy baseball analysts, Keaton Winn was a deep sleeper pick going into the season. This belief seemingly mirrored the faith that the Giants expressed by putting him in the rotation to start the season. So far he has delivered on those expectations with a decent 3.54 ERA and impressive 1.04 WHIP. Over his last three outings, in particular, he has really impressed by allowing just four earned runs in 17 innings with 16 strikeouts. If Winn hasn’t already been added in your NL-only league he should be a priority target this week.

2. Hayden Wesneski, SP, Cubs

Another pitcher that could soon be a hot waiver wire target is Hayden Wesneski of the Cubs. The recent roster move to put Kyle Hendricks on the IL has paved the way for Wesneski to re-enter the rotation. And starting in the big leagues is familiar territory for him as he logged 126 innings last year, where he had success with a 3.85 ERA. So far this season Wesneski has made one major league appearance where he tossed four innings of one-hit ball. It’s not a stretch by any means to see Wesneski return to his respectable stat lines from last year, making him a viable waiver target in NL-only and even perhaps mixed leagues.

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