Fantasy Baseball 2021: Pickups and MLB Waiver-Wire Adds for Week 22
The Kansas City Royals offense had the attention of fantasy baseball players all season long with the success of Salvador Perez.
In recent weeks, Nicky Lopez joined Perez and Whit Merrifield among the players to target for fantasy baseball rosters.
Lopez carved out a role beneath Merrifield and above Perez in the Kansas City lineup. He has become an even more intriguing waiver-wire addition in the past few days. He produced consecutive three-hit games against the Seattle Mariners.
The Kansas City infielder is one of a few players worth a look because of a hot streak. Any player who catches fire in the next week should be considered to give you the best possible edge in upcoming playoff matchups.
Nicky Lopez, 2B/SS, Kansas City
For most of the season, Lopez was inserted into the Kansas City lineup for his defense.
Lopez has served as a nice bridge between the often-injured Adalberto Mondesi and the likely 2022 arrival of top prospect Bobby Witt Jr.
Lopez has made more of an impact at the plate in August, as he has a .299 monthly batting average with 29 hits, 12 runs and 11 RBI.
Since August 21, Lopez has produced four multi-hit games. That allowed him to stay between Merrifield and Perez in the No. 2 spot of the Royals order.
Lopez is a much more viable waiver-wire candidate in that position because of the abilities of his team's No. 1 and No. 3 hitters.
Merrifield can be an on-base machine at his best, and he is typically aggressive on the bases. That leads to more run-producing opportunities for Lopez with the leadoff man in scoring position.
Perez can't stop hitting home runs, which has led to Lopez scoring more runs of late.
Lopez has played most of the season at shortstop, but he carries eligibility at second base for Yahoo fantasy leagues. The versatility, combined with his higher spot in the order, makes him an intriguing player to mix and match with the middle infielders already on your roster.
Bailey Ober, SP, Minnesota
Bailey Ober is the best unknown pitcher you need to pick up off the waiver wire.
The Minnesota Twins right-hander is rostered in few Yahoo leagues and could be a nice addition to the back end of your starting rotation.
Ober threw five scoreless innings against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday. He also tied his season high of seven strikeouts in that outing.
In four August starts, Ober conceded five earned runs over 21.1 innings. He has 21 strikeouts and walked only three batters.
Ober could be one of the top two-start hurlers in the next week. He should start on regular rest against the Detroit Tigers on Monday. The Tampa Bay Rays await on the weekend.
Detroit and Tampa Bay each rank inside the top five in most strikeouts by team, and they are two of five teams with more than 1,200 strikeouts.
Ober has done enough in August to prove he is consistent enough to trust in fantasy lineups. His two potential matchups in the next week mean he should receive many waiver-wire looks.
Andy Ibanez, 1B/2B/3B, Texas
Andy Ibanez gives off the perfect feel for a late August waiver-wide gem.
Ibanez does not have much attention directed toward him because the Texas Rangers are out of the playoff race, but he has quietly put together a nice past 10 days. He recorded seven straight multi-hit games against the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and Cleveland.
That hot streak, combined with his positional versatility, make him an ideal under-the-radar grab who could help in one or two stat categories.
Ibanez is eligible at first base, second base and third base in Yahoo leagues. If you have an infield spot on your roster, he could be a solid plug-and-play option while he stays hot.
Texas has a favorable upcoming schedule against the Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Angels and Arizona Diamondbacks. The matchups against weaker pitching staffs could aid Ibanez's hot streak and make him a nice depth piece.