Fantasy Baseball: Identifying the Week's Best Waiver Wire Pickup Options
With three weeks in the books, the 2011 fantasy baseball season is starting to take shape.
Surprise players are playing out of their minds, while several stars are off to very slow starts.
That being said, it’s crucial to keep an eye out on free agency. Not only is it a great place to find hot players and replacements for your slumping stars, but there are several good pitchers available who are making two starts this week as well.
Here are 10 players who are good waiver-wire pickup options this week.
10. Ryan Roberts
Ryan Roberts has caught fire for the Diamondbacks this season. He is batting .320 with 13 RBI.
The best thing about Roberts is that he has eligibility at both third base and outfield, which makes him an even better fantasy option.
Ride Roberts’ for as long as you can, because it won’t last forever.
9. Alex Avila
Alex Avila is off to a hot start this season, hitting .321 and belting three home runs.
Though it is highly unlikely he will keep up this pace, Avila will be a good fantasy option for a little while longer.
If you’re in need of a catcher, consider picking up Avila.
8. Wade Davis
Wade Davis has made four good starts in 2011 and has a 2.73 ERA to show for it.
The big thing Davis has going for him this week is that he will be making two starts, once at the Twins and once at home versus the Angels.
He’ll perform solidly against both teams, especially since his best start this year came against Minnesota, and he has a career 3.18 ERA against the Angels.
7. Gavin Floyd
Gavin Floyd’s 2011 season has been pretty good, minus his one start against the Angels when he gave up six earned runs in six innings.
He also will be making two starts this week, though they will be coming against the Yankees and the Orioles.
Though he’s facing two good offenses, Floyd should have two good games this week nonetheless.
He’s worth picking up this week.
6. Ryan Madson
Both Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras have hit the DL, which makes Ryan Madson the new Phillies closer.
Madson has saved games for Phillies before, so he should succeed in his newfound role for Philadelphia.
5. Casey Blake
Casey Blake has been on fire as of late, hitting at a .400 clip in the past week with two home runs.
As a third baseman, he plays a position which is at a premium, especially with Ryan Zimmerman on the DL and Pedro Alvarez slumping.
If you need help at third, look at Blake.
4. Madison Bumgarner
Although Madison Bumgarner has gotten off to a rough start in 2011, his struggles won’t continue the whole season.
Every second-year player hits some slumps, and one of Bumgarner’s was just at the beginning of the year.
His start this week is against the Pirates, so hopefully he’ll be able to right the ship in Pittsburgh.
3. Alcides Escobar
Alcides Escobar is getting dropped in a lot of leagues right now, and quite frankly, he shouldn’t be.
Kansas City leads the league in stolen bases with 28, and five of those have come from Escobar.
Though his average is a bit lower than most would like, he will be a good source for steals this season. Escobar also plays arguably the thinnest position in fantasy baseball, so there aren’t too many better options.
If Escobar is available in your league, snag him while you can.
2. Darren Oliver
With Neftali Feliz going on the DL, the Rangers now look to Darren Oliver as their ninth inning option.
Oliver converted his first save opportunity on Saturday, and even though Arthur Rhodes picked up the save on Sunday, Oliver should be the main closer while Feliz is out.
For at least the next two weeks, it appears Oliver will be the Texas closer, so all Feliz owners should be picking up Oliver.
1. Chris Young
Chris Young will be activated from the DL on Tuesday and he will start that night. He is also slated to start on Sunday as well, so he is another one of those two start pitchers for this week.
Young has been solid in his first year in New York, posting a 1.46 ERA in his first two starts.
His first start of the week is against Washington, so snag him immediately.