What’s up, Razzballers? Hope playoff baseball is treating you well, and if you’re in any playoff pools like I am, hope they’re treating you well, as well!

Well. What a wild season of fantasy baseball we had, eh? I’m not a super high-stakes type of fantasy baller – I did two Yahoo public leagues mainly because drafts are so easy to join and get through quickly (I won both!), my home keeper auction league (which moved to roto for this year and I got 2nd after being two-time defending champ *sad emoji*), and then the RazzSlam. I got really lucky in the Slam, not suffering a lot of COVID-ness or injury. Finished second in my league and #46 overall. Not too shabby for my first industry league endeavor! Just want to thank Grey, Donkey and others, but mostly of all, you. You’ve made me feel so welcome. Hey, watch me make like a tree’s sap and get sappy!

Anywayyyyy, I bring up my own leagues because a large part of my success came down to waiver wire wizardry. Well, RazzSlam not so much (waivers are limited there), but my final rosters in the other three leagues looked a lot different from Opening Day. That’s always the case in fantasy sports, of course, but this year especially so in baseball.

I thought a fun exercise would be to go back and honor those who were league winners for a lot of you. What better way to honor real players than with fake All-Star selections?! I’m gonna take a standard lineup of C/1B/2B/3B/SS/OF/OF/OF/UT/UT/SP/SP/RP/RP/P/P/P/P and fill it with the best that the 2020 waiver wire had to offer. In most leagues, most of these guys were drafted late or not at all. Of course in deeper leagues maybe all of them were drafted at some point, but in standard 12-team leagues, almost all of these guys came off the wire.

Without further ado, let’s do it to it!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Folks, this is all she wrote. The fantasy baseball season is entering its final week. What a wild ride it’s been, eh? In a way, it doesn’t even feel like it actually happened. I mean, normally, by Week 9 we’re talking about who’s for real and who isn’t for real, which slumping superstar is primed to bounce back and carry your team the rest of the way, whatever. But now we’re already bidding farewell.

I think for my next piece I’m going to put together a 2020 Waiver Wire All-Star team. Take a standard Yahoo lineup format and fill it with waiver gems. So be on the lookout for that!

For this week, it’s gonna stay in line with how last week looked. More names to look at (with some repeats from previous weeks) and my quick thoughts on each.

It’s been a pleasure writing these up for you every week! Hope they’ve been helpful to some of you. My apologies if not. I blame 2020, in that case.

Let’s do it to it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, folks, this is just about it. I’ve only got like one more of these to write after this one. Ain’t that somethin’? What a year, man. In Yahoo standard leagues, the playoffs start tomorrow. Unlike real baseball, it’s a narrow field in the realm of Yahoo. Semifinals for Week 8, and the grand finale for Week 9. Then donezo!

This week’s waiver piece is going to be much more to the point with not-so-deep dives as in the past. I got a teething toddler who isn’t sleeping well (she goes like 10-11 hours straight normally!), and it’s also her birthday Monday. The big T-W-O. Doing this and that to celebrate all weekend since I have to work late on her actual birthday. Fun stuff. So the writing time is at a premium this time around.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Aaaaaand just like that, the fantasy baseball playoffs are right around the corner for most of us. I don’t know about y’all, but 2020 has been the single longest decade of my entire life. Yet here we are, on the down slope of the baseball season, despite every week having COVID cases pop up here and there. Pretty ding dang surprised we still have baseball, to be fully honest with yinz. Buckle your seat belts, ladies n gents, cuz we gotta a whole lotta baseball coming up. Double-headers galore.

The latter part of a season is always a little cray cray. GMs get desperate, take some risks, snatch up some keepers for cheap, that sorta thing. With all these double-headers, there will be lots of bats and arms getting chances they otherwise wouldn’t have gotten. We’ve already seen quite a bit of that throughout the year, and it’s only gonna keep on keepin’ on.

Format is a little different this week. I like tinkering. Doing away with my “39% or less owned” rule, too, cuz I feel like it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello, again. We’re officially into the second half of the 2020 fantasy baseball season. Where teams like the Tigers, Mariners, and Marlins are churning out league-winning type value guys and the Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees, and Mets disappoint for various reasons, be it performance or health or whatever. With double-headers stacking up like a good plate of pancakes, we’re seeing prospects squeeze into lineups and rotations and bullpens. Managers have to get creative, and that can wreak havoc in the fantasy realm. Or maybe it’s just managers tinkering more than they need to. All I want is my guy Garrett Hampson to hit leadoff every single day and steal a lot bases, Bud Black! That’s all I want, and it’s all you should want, too! All I want is Dominic Smith to head higher in the order, Luis Rojas!

Whatever. Anyway, let’s delve into the hotties I like (and actually a couple I don’t as much) heading into Week 6.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello, again. Weird to think we don’t have too much of a fantasy baseball season left. We’re basically at the halfway point before fantasy playoffs start, more or less. Real baseball keeps chugging along despite more positive COVID tests. Each week I’m mentioning a new team it feels like, and this week it’s the Mets. The entire weekend Subway Series was cancelled, but maybe the Mets will be back in action early next week. The Reds didn’t take long getting back into action, so maybe it’ll work out similarly. Who knows! I’m just glad there’s still baseball and my Cardinals are playing again cuz my St. Louis Blues made an early exit in their quest to defend the Stanley Cup. Really bummed me out.

Anyway, you aren’t here to read my sad sack malarkey about a sport you probably haven’t even heard of. You’re here for fantasy baseball waiver targets. Cuz it’s almost crunch time. A hot bat/arm can carry you a long way down the stretch. I’ve picked some names you might want to take a look-see at. May the odds be ever in your favor.

I’m trying out a new format this week. Hoping that it makes reading a little more streamlined and easier for you to see the standout points I want to make on each player. But really I wanted to get in on that fancy baseball bullet point action.

Note: Stats accurate as of 8/22/2020, before games began. Remember, only players available in the 30th percentiles (39% or below) of either Yahoo or ESPN leagues are eligible. Thought being that most of who you read about below will be there for you to add. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello again, students! You’re just in time for Lesson Three in  JKJ’s School of Waiver Wire Wizardry. This weekend has already been tainted by another positive COVID test just as the Cardinals got back in action. The Reds and Pirates game Saturday was cancelled due to a Reds player testing positive Friday. Things were looking up! And then this. Just a reminder that COVID is bigger than baseball, and most especially fantasy baseball. It’s not going away any time soon by the look of it, so please continue to practice safety measures to keep you and others around you safe! This is a class after all, so a teacher has to get on their soapbox every once in a while. Fun fact: I’m a real-life teacher, too. High school English. Not my first go-around getting on a soapbox. Sorry not sorry.

Anyhoodles, let’s dive right in to the hotties you need to pay attention to for Week 4.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome back to JKJ’s School of Waiver Wire Wizardry. It’s time for Lesson Two, where I hope to improve upon my decently successful Lesson One.

James Karinchak doesn’t have the closer gig like I and many others thought he would, so that’s a big time bummer, not only as-an-analyst-wise, but also multiple-Karinchak-owner-wise. Still worth a stash because Brad Hand really isn’t all that great anymore, and Karinchak is a good ratios and strikeout guy, and holds if your league counts ’em. Hand’s K-rate is still very healthy, but man he’s given up a lot of barreled balls already and the xERA is over 4. I really think it’s only a matter of time.

Colin Moran predictably has gone cold. Teoscar Hernandez a little bit as well but the BA is still healthy (for now). JaCoby Jones has been holding up nicely, at least. Oh, and that Trent Grisham guy is raking. He’s looking like a budding superstar, with the rare power and speed combo we just don’t see much in baseball anymore. I tossed in a quick note about Donovan Solano at the end, and he’s been smacking base hit after base hit since. Planned to cover him this week but his ownership rates ballooned.

Nothing to write home about with my other picks from last week. Let’s see if I do better this time around.

Remember, students, 2020 is a weird one. The hotties need to be given a shot. Don’t be the guy who looks back at the missed opportunities that could have given you your asterisk-laden fantasy baseball title! Just kidding, for the record. No asterisks this year. We’re all in this same crazy boat together.

Note: Only players in the 30th percentiles (39% or below) on either Yahoo! or ESPN are considered. All stats as of 8/7/2020. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to JKJ’s School of Waiver Wire Wizardry. This is Lesson One. Please, take your seat. Feel free to drink adult beverages in class. I encourage it.

It’s been a good while since I’ve blessed your brains and your eyeballs with my writing. And I’ll be honest, in the meantime I wasn’t fully confident we’d have baseball at all. But yay! I was wrong! For now…several teams didn’t play at all this weekend, and I just can’t see this being the last time something like this happens. Maybe I’ll be wrong again. Hope so. First the Marlins, now the Cardinals, maybe still the Phillies, but it seems they may have dodged a giant bullet. Time will tell.

For now, though, we still have baseball, which means we still have fantasy baseball, which means you lucky folks get to read the first of my brand-spankin’ new weekly column here at the Razzball on fantasy baseball waiver targets.

Gonna keep it pretty straightforward. No particular order. Bats in one section, arms in the other. I’m only interested in players owned in the 30-range percentiles or less in either Yahoo! or ESPN leagues, but I’ll list both platforms just cuz I’m nice. That way, there’s a better shot the guys you’re reading about are actually out there for you to get. Ownership rates are always a-changin’, of course, so keep that in mind. I mean, duh, but friendly reminders never hurt. Also, keep in mind this doesn’t include Saturday’s stats since I’m writing before games have started.

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Hello, again. Thanks for stopping by. I’m noticing talk ramping up around the fantasy baseball world on how to approach pitching with the short season coming up. It’s looking more and more like we’re going to get the shortest end of the stick the owners want us to get, if we get anything at all. I’m honestly not overly optimistic we get baseball in 2020, but I’m going to operate under the assumption we will get 48-ish games at least. So, if that’s the case, that sure ain’t a lotta starts per starting pitcher. I mean it’s like 10 tops, assuming the typical five-man rotation. So, what, 70-80 IP maximum? In a perfect world it’d be 90 with 10 complete games, so let’s shave a few off for safe measure.

It seems a bit counter-intuitive to suggest fading the top guys, at first glance. “But, like, JKJ, if there aren’t as many starts, don’t you want the best of the best to increase your chances of those being good starts?” you may ask. While I see the logic and merit in that mindset, I think you could get similar returns from non-top-tier guys in a drastically shortened season. It’s really their longevity and big innings that put them ahead of the pack.

Please, blog, may I have some more?