Kiner-Falefa among waiver wire pickups worth targeting this week


Texas Rangers' Isiah Kiner-Falefa, centre, celebrates after hitting a triple. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

It’s the middle of August and thankfully it seems like Major League Baseball has settled down somewhat from COVID-19 delays. This season, more than ever, fantasy baseball owners need to be aware of player availability and not be afraid to cut bait with someone they drafted.

Every Tuesday during this MLB campaign I’ll take a look at some of the best waiver wire options that are generally owned in less than 50 per cent of fantasy leagues. Plus a bonus Blue Jay. Enjoy!

Catcher / 3B – Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Texas Rangers

Sportsnet Fantasy Baseball Pool Cost – 1 point
Yahoo! Leagues – 42% owned

I was hunting for a new catcher in one of my leagues since the abominable performance of Mitch Garver became unbearable on my roster. As I’ve said before, in this 60-game sprint there’s no time for loyalty so Garver is out, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa is in!

The Rangers backstop is the best catcher-eligible player available on waivers, and he can help with third-base depth in your lineup, too. Kiner-Falefa’s been climbing the Texas batting order as well as hitting for a red-hot batting average and contributing four stolen bases.

A Couple of Closers
It’s often difficult to find a true closer once the season begins. The known commodities have already been drafted and many clubs go the bullpen committee route. Well I’ve scoured the waiver wire and found a pair of arms you can scoop up to boost that save category.

Trevor Rosenthal (35% owned) of the Royals and Rafael Montero (39% owned) from Texas both collected two saves over the weekend. They are locked in as their respective teams’ closers and face favourable opponents during the next several days.

Don’t wait long to grab one though. Rosenthal and Montero are the most added pitchers in fantasy baseball since Saturday.

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1B – Mitch Moreland, Boston Red Sox

Sportsnet Fantasy Baseball Pool Cost – 2 points
Yahoo! Leagues – 21% owned

The Red Sox may not be playing great, but their first baseman sure is. Mitch Moreland has been a force since the start of the month, which has elevated him into a top-45 ranking in all of fantasy baseball. Hitting for power and average, plus smacking in runs makes Moreland a perfect roster addition for those needing help at the one bag.

2B / SS / 3B / OF – Dylan Moore, Seattle Mariners

Sportsnet Fantasy Baseball Pool Cost – 1 point
Yahoo! Leagues – 35% owned

I love positional versatility and Dylan Moore is lineup flexibility personified. This type of utility man is great to cover days off, injuries or postponed matchups for other players on your squad.

Moore contributes stolen bases to go along with a healthy average and some bonus power. Just make sure you keep an eye on him in leagues that allow daily roster adjustments as Moore tends to get scratched every fourth or fifth game.

Ben Nicholson-Smith is Sportsnet’s baseball editor. Arden Zwelling is a senior writer. Together, they bring you the most in-depth Blue Jays podcast in the league, covering off all the latest news with opinion and analysis, as well as interviews with other insiders and team members.

Blue Jays Player to Add

OF – Teoscar Hernandez, Toronto Blue Jays

Sportsnet Fantasy Baseball Pool Cost – 2 points
Yahoo! Leagues – 59% owned

Teoscar Hernandez lands in my Blue Jays player to add slot once again this week. Despite a surprise sit and questionable placement in the batting order, Hernandez has still been a more than serviceable fantasy outfielder since Toronto’s restart last Tuesday.

The Dominican Republic native is streaky by nature, and has seen his ownership percentage drop a few points overall. Now is the time to claim him off waivers and then wait for the veteran’s next boom period.

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