2011 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Nyjer Morgan, Dee Gordon & More
The waiver wire it is a changing my friends. The wealth of available talent that was there a few weeks ago has been gobbled up for the most part, and thus there are fewer and fewer players to put your trust into these days.
We are still at a point though where blue chip prospects such as Brett Lawrie, Dustin Ackley, Domonic Brown, Anthony Rizzo and Jordan Lyles should be chosen if they are indeed still available.
But the transition is starting now to where we will have to start focusing in on who the hottest hitting and pitching players are right now and recommend those players for pickup instead of the longer term players that should have been the focus up until this point.
Once the top prospects are called up we should all have a general idea of who fits and doesn't fit on our fantasy team. From there it will be all about filling in the cracks and building depth which is always a signature of championship teams.
1) Allen Craig -- Outfield -- St. Louis Cardinals (Owned in 22 percent of leagues)
Craig is one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now while filling in for the injured Matt Holliday in the Cardinals lineup. Craig has a good power stroke that results in piles of extra-base hits and plenty of run production.
He has been once of the Cardinals best minor league power hitters for the past three seasons and is now finally in a position to receive plenty of playing time for the big league club. Craig has been a much needed producer for the Cardinals over the past couple weeks, and he should be given the opportunity to do the same for you fantasy team right now.
2) Greg Dobbs -- Third Base -- Florida Marlins (Owned in 8 percent of leagues)
I am strongly encouraging everybody to go out and pick up Greg Dobbs right now. The guy has been off the hook while holding off the youngster Matt Dominguez all while hitting a robust .338/.377/.458 for AAA Tacoma.
Although I expect this production to cool down tremendously over the coming weeks, he cannot be ignored at this stage of the season. There simply aren't very many high batting average players and premium positions left for us on the waiver wire.
There are so many third baseman who have gone down with injuries leaving Dobbs, and his tremendous upside available in 92 percent of fantasy baseball leagues.
3) Dee Gordon -- Shortstop -- Los Angeles Dodgers (Owned in 11 percent of leagues)
Gordon has be tapped to replace the injured Rafael Furcal and presumably will be the Dodgers starting shortstop for at least the next month. While Gordon doesn't have any power to speak of he runs like the wind and will wind up with plenty of extra base hits as a result of taking the extra base.
Best of all is that Gordon will steal a lot of bases for the boys in blue, and if he can get on base with any regularity could post starting shortstop type numbers. Anybody in need of middle infield help must take notice of Gordon right away and at the very least keep him away from other owners in your league that might need him.
Worth A Look
4) Brad Hawpe -- 1B/OF -- San Diego Padres (Owned in 5 percent of leagues)
I have been against Hawpe since we started talking about the draft back in February. But I would not be doing my job or any fantasy owner in need of some power a service if I didn't recommend Hawpe during his current hot streak.
While a few weeks ago he might have been given his outright release from San Diego, Hawpe has played his way into simply moving back to the outfield in order to make room for hot shot prospect Anthony Rizzo at first base.
As the Padres lineup gets healthy and the likes of Rizzo get called up, there will be more runs scored and thus more opportunities for guys like Hawpe to drive in runs. To win in fantasy baseball you are going to have to know when to ride out a hot streak and when to cut bait, so here is your chance to get some production from a widely available player while the rest of your team gets healthy or works out of slumps.
5) Nyjer Morgan -- Outfield -- Milwaukee Brewers (Owned in 11 percent of leagues)
If Morgan could stay healthy he would have already been the Brewers starting center fielder. But injuries have cost him most of the season so far and has allowed Carlos Gomez to rack up stolen bases even while struggling to get on base.
Morgan is much better at getting on base and will too steal plenty of bags in the process. Hitting atop the Brewers lineup will provide for a bounty of runs scored also, yet another reason to take a shot on the now healthy Nyjer Morgan right now.
6) Brian Matusz -- Starter -- Baltimore Orioles (Owned in 42 percent of leagues)
I am happy to see Matusz owned in so many leagues still despite having yet to make his 2011 debut. Matusz is the best overall pitcher on the Orioles staff, and that is saying something because Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton bring an awful lot to the table.
Still, Matusz is a smart pitcher with three plus pitches who can locate them to both sides of the plate. As long as he stays healthy he will be a strong fantasy performer and a guy who should be picked up and immediately inserted into your starting rotation right now.
Two For The Road
7) Yonder Alonso -- Outfield -- Cincinnati Reds (Owned in 1 percent of leagues)
At one point, Alonso was considered a better hitting prospect than Joey Votto. Of course that perception has changed a bit but not because Alonso has done anything wrong or stopped hitting because he hasn't.
He is a rough outfielder for sure but his bat cannot be questioned and there is little doubt that he is ready for the major leagues right now. I see him as the Reds answer in left field and a part of a downright nasty starting lineup with Votto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips and Drew Stubbs. Wow.
8) Lonnie Chisenhall -- Third Base -- Cleveland Indians (Owned in 0 percent of leagues)
While I do not think Chisenhall will ever be a star player, he is much better than Jack Hanahan and with the Indians leading the AL Central they will certainly look to make upgrades to their offense in the coming weeks.
Chisenhall will be a nice upgrade at the hot corner for the Tribe and someone who should be on your fantasy radar right now. Third base has been a mess in terms of fantasy production this year and thus when a potential star takes the field at this position, he deserves your attention.
Jeff Mans is a co-host of The Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, the Senior Writer at Fantasy Alarm and a contributor to Bleacher Report.
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