With an abbreviated schedule, fantasy managers will need to get aggressive on the waiver wire this year. Whether needing power, speed, strikeouts, or saves, here is a wide array of options who are available in more than half of Yahoo leagues.
Brandon Belt, SF (1B, 31 percent rostered)
For nearly a decade, fantasy analysts have wondered what Belt could do if traded to a team with a hitter-friendly home park. And with Oracle Park playing more favorably for batters this year, we are finally getting our answer. Belt is hitting .333 with five homers in 87 at-bats, and his success at home (1.429 OPS) is a major reason. He should be active in 12-team leagues.
With Mitch Moreland gone, Dalbec has taken over at first base in Boston. The 25-year-old will likely struggle to hit for average but has undeniable power, having produced 59 homers in the Minors across 2018-19. He is already an option in 15-team leagues but might be capped at that level for now.
La Stella remains an exciting option after being traded to Oakland at the deadline. The multi-position asset is continuing to hit from a premium lineup spot, which should enable him to reach base often and score plenty of runs. With 15 walks and seven strikeouts, this is a rock-solid skill set that belongs on the bench in 10-team leagues.
Nick Madrigal, CWS (2B/SS, 30 percent)
One of baseball’s fastest players, Madrigal has returned from the IL and currently owns a .405 OBP. Regularly getting on base should lead to multiple steals from the rookie in the coming days, and although his value is capped by batting at the bottom of the lineup, Madrigal is the perfect option for those who need swipes.
Brad Miller, STL (2B/3B/OF, 32 percent)
Miller punctuated his return to fantasy relevance when he went 4-for-6 with two homers and seven RBIs on Tuesday. With multi-position eligibility and a red-hot bat (1.131 OPS), the 30-year-old is exactly the type of short-term asset smart managers will chase during September.
For the “everyone in this article is rostered in my league” crowd, I give you Haggerty. The 26-year-old has become a sneaky steals source, regularly hitting high in the lineup and thus far producing four swipes in 50 plate appearances. With Seattle in full rebuild mode, they will likely run Haggerty out there in nearly every September game.
Ryan Mountcastle, BAL (SS/OF, 30 percent)
A coveted prospect, Mountcastle is off to a stellar debut (.937 OPS). He will start virtually every game the rest of the way, and his counting stats will get a boost from a Baltimore lineup that has been better than expected and will play all but two of their remaining games at hitter-friendly parks. Multi-position eligibility is the icing on the cake.
The Mike Clevinger trade freed Naylor from an outfield logjam in San Diego, as he will now play regularly on a Cleveland club that is desperate for productive outfielders. The 23-year-old profiles as a low-ceiling, high-floor player who will collect his share of homers and chip in the occasional steal while not sinking your batting average. I recommend him in 15-team leagues.
Senzel will soon return from the IL after combating what is widely assumed to be a case of COVID-19. The injury-prone outfielder is a desirable option for the upcoming short time frame, as he has the diverse skill set to make an impact in homers and steals. He should be rostered in 12-team leagues and considered in 10-team formats.
Gonsolin is arguably the “must-add” pitcher for September. The right-hander has been consistently outstanding in his Major League career, posting a 2.18 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP across 57.2 innings. And with Ross Stripling off the roster, the Dodgers have committed to using Gonsolin in their rotation the rest of the way. Gonsolin was limited to 62 pitches last time out, but he has exceeded 80 pitches twice this year and should be back at that level by his next start.
Josh Fleming, TB (SP, 17 percent)
Fleming is the low-ceiling, high-floor starter in this article. The rookie is not going to make a huge dent in the strikeouts category, but his control skills are impeccable and he is well-supported by a Tampa team that possesses a productive lineup and effective bullpen. I’m expecting helpful ratios across five innings with solid win potential.
Dane Dunning, CWS (SP, 23 percent)
Like Fleming, Dunning has been very effective in his initial two big-league starts (2.89 ERA, 0.75 WHIP). But unlike his Tampa counterpart, the White Sox freshman is showing impressive swing-and-miss skills (13.5 K/9 rate). Every aspect of Dunning’s Minor League career suggests that he has the skills to thrive in the Majors.
Greg Holland, KC (RP, 38 percent)
After trading Trevor Rosenthal last week, the Royals have opted to use Holland in the closer’s role. Although the Royals have some younger relievers with more upside, the 34-year-old has been effective this year (2.84 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) and has a long track record of success in the ninth inning. He should be rostered by any fantasy manager who needs September saves.
Anthony Misiewicz, SEA (RP, 0 percent)
Admittedly, I’m going out on a bit of a limb here. But the Mariners need a closer after trading Taylor Williams and Misiewicz is by far their option in an unstable relief corps. The lefty has overcome a .367 BABIP to post respectable ratios (4.26 ERA, 1.18 WHIP), and his 17:3 K:BB ratio across 12.2 innings shows that he might have closer-worthy skills. He’s worth a speculative add in deep leagues.