Fantasy Baseball 2021: Hidden Gems to Stream for Injured MLB Players for Week 5

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

Fantasy Baseball 2021: Hidden Gems to Stream for Injured MLB Players for Week 5

0 of 3

    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    The injury bug continues being the least popular entity in fantasy baseball.

    Its latest ugly head-rearings cut down several top MLB stars, including Milwaukee Brewers breakout pitcher Corbin Burnes (unspecified reason), Miami Marlins electric second baseman Jazz Chisholm (hamstring) and San Francisco Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski (oblique).

    With fantasy managers still awaiting the returns of players like Cody Bellinger, Luke Voit and Juan Soto, the fantasy forecast calls for yet another chaotic dash to the waiver wire for temporary replacements or, if everything breaks right, long-term additions to the team.

    We're out ahead of the race here by identifying top streamers—available in 50-plus percent of Yahoo leagues, per FantasyPros—to plug in for Week 5.

Anthony DeSclafani, SP, San Francisco Giants

1 of 3

    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Never underestimate the power of a veteran castoff pitcher picked up by the San Francisco Giants.

    After reviving the likes of Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly last season, San Francisco is once again working its starting-pitcher magic on both Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood. Both should be considered primary targets on the waiver wire, but since DeSclafani appears in fewer rosters—51 percent to Wood's 56—he gets the nod for the extra availability.

    He won't go unnoticed for much longer.

    He's five starts into his San Francisco career and owns minuscule numbers in ERA (1.50) and WHIP (0.97). He has 30 strikeouts against just seven walks in 30 innings and went the distance his last time out, punching out nine Colorado Rockies in a shutout.

    He is in line to face the San Diego Padres in each of his next two starts (Saturday and next Friday), and while that isn't an inviting matchup, he handled them just fine in his first outing of the season, allowing just four hits and one run across five innings.

Adolis Garcia, OF, Texas Rangers

2 of 3

    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    The more risk-averse members of your fantasy league won't bother giving Adolis Garcia strong consideration.

    Let them make that mistake.

    We can't promise you the 28-year-old can sustain his hot start, but even a short-term lift from the waiver wire can be a huge help for your season. No, he doesn't have a track record (24 career big league appearances before this year) or much plate discipline (three walks against 21 strikeouts entering Thursday), but his bat has been electric.

    He already has five home runs and 13 RBI, and those numbers grow more impressive when considering he didn't debut until the Rangers' 11th game of the season. And while he's been caught stealing on three of his four attempts, his willingness to run is nevertheless encouraging in an era when few players even bother trying to swipe a base.

Kolten Wong, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers

3 of 3

    Paul Beaty/Associated Press

    Longtime fantasy managers know there are ups and downs with Kolten Wong. But if you can time his addition just right, you can stumble into significant power-speed contributions.

    He has authored three seasons with double-digit homers and at least 15 stolen bases. His career per-162-game pace includes 10 homers and 17 steals.

    The production is there if you strike while the iron is hot, and his is sizzling. Over his past five outings, he has gone a ridiculous 11-of-21 (.524) with three doubles, two home runs and a stolen base.

    Wong has been leading off of late for the Brewers, who are slated to play a seven-game slate next week. Get him while the getting is (very) good.