Welcome to my weekly waiver wire FAAB column! We are going to dive into the meaning of Oswaldo Cabrera drawing the Opening Day left field assignment over Aaron Hicks’ lifeless corpse and the amount of your waiver budget to possibly blow on Graham Ashcraft and his filthy Corbin Burnes-esque stuff.

For some basic understanding and housekeeping, I’m going to focus on both 10/12 and 15 team leagues by using CBS ownership rates to find under-owned guys that should theoretically be sitting on your wires. I’ve found that the CBS leagues fluctuate between 12 and 15 teams and typically skew towards sharper leagues as some historically old roto leagues still run there because the site used to host all of the Tout Wars leagues. If you are only focused on 10/12 team leagues, there are likely still guys in the 15 team categories that will warrant a look as they have been sorted roughly by ownership percentages.

Now my column won’t typically be covering 50-ish dudes every week, but the waiver wires are ripe for picking due to spring training injuries, pop-up performances, and unnecessary roster shuffles (thanks, Rockies front office!) combined with early drafting leagues still waking up from daylight savings time. I’m trying to focus on guys with roles and/or skills that could bear fruit in the long run. If anything, you can leverage this giant list of players to build out your watchlist early on.

The projected outlays for waiver budgets are based on roughly what it should take to win these guys. However, if you have a huge need and see a bat on this list that could start and put up 500+ plate appearances, you might want to shade further up. It’s early in the season, and you want to be the bird, not the worm. Some of these guys could be valuable pieces to keep your roster afloat all summer. For pitchers, this year will be up and down as we cover pop-up arms and those with soft schedules. Saves will be chaos this year as roughly 12 teams by my count have unsettled closer situations with either fluid committees or dudes holding onto their jobs by the thinnest of margins.

Let’s get to it! If there is anyone missing or personal roster decisions that you want feedback on, feel free to ask in the comments.


10/12 Team Adds

Logan O’Hoppe (LAA) (CBS Ownership: 34%) – Say hello to the new current starting catcher for the Angels! With Max Stassi starting on the IL, O’Hoppe gets full run at this job for a few weeks. He flashed plus power all last year in AAA and projects to be roughly a 100 wRC+ hitter by most systems. (3-5% FAAB)

Elias Diaz (COL) (CBS Ownership: 31%) – Listen, he’s the starting catcher in Colorado, need I say more really? The Rockies have a juicy weekend matchup from 4/6 – 4/9 hosting the Nationals and their AAAA pitching staff in Coors Field. In addition, you can consider picking up Diaz and platooning him all year in weekly leagues as the Rockies have a strange schedule that pretty much always has them in Denver for one full week and then on the road, so it’s easy to know when to sit/start Diaz and any other part-time Colorado hitter. (1-2% FAAB)

15 Team Adds

Blake Sabol (SFG) (CBS Ownership: 16%) – The Giants’ Rule 5 pick looks like he is sticking on the roster all year. And not only that, Sabol is going to be getting at bats at DH and the corner OF, setting up a situation where Sabol could rake in 500+ plate appearances as a catcher. He also stole ten bags between AA and AAA last year, so there’s a possibility he’s a non-zero in that category, which would be a boon at catcher. (3-5% FAAB)


10/12 Team Adds

Isaac Paredes (TBR, 1B/2B/3B) (CBS Ownership: 44%) – I’ll be honest, who knows how the Tampa lineups and playing time shake out for Paredes, but he should be earmarked for 450+ plate appearances with above average power. He only had a 6.4% barrel rate last year, and if that ticks up at all, you could be looking at 20-25 homers. Paredes is also great lineup glue as he should be eligible at 1B, 2B, and 3B in most leagues. (3% FAAB)

Darick Hall (PHI, 1B) (CBS Ownership: 41%) – Hall is slated to get full time at bats in the Philly lineup after Rhys Hoskins’ torn ACL. He needs to be plucked off the wire if you are looking for corner infield help. (3% FAAB)

Chris Taylor (LAD, 2B/SS/OF) (CBS Ownership: 28%) – Currently on the outside looking in for a full time job, Taylor likely will still draw 5 starts a week and be able to push double digits in steals and homers again this year. You can’t beat that if you are looking for a bench option to plug into MI or OF occasionally. (1-2% FAAB)

Elehuris Montero (COL, 3B) (CBS Ownership: 25%) – Montero should be getting near full time at bats between 3B and DH. See the note on the Rockies schedule with Diaz above; Montero can be leveraged for a Colorado platoon in which you are only playing him in Coors. (1-2% FAAB)

Spencer Steer (CIN, 3B) (CBS Ownership: 20%) – I wasn’t in on Steer too much this preseason as I thought the magma-hot Christian Encarnacion-Strand was going to win the Cincy third base job with his killer spring. But now that Steer has full playing time with the best HR home park factor, he makes a solid CI choice with 20-ish homers seeming like a lock. (3% FAAB)

Elvis Andrus (CHW, 2B/SS) (CBS Ownership: 18%) – Elvis’ ownership percentages are obviously stunted by signing late in the spring with the White Sox. He is their starting 2B and isn’t going to have to try too hard to get to 15/15 while playing full time on the Southside. Only has SS eligibility now, but will pick up 2B right away and feels like an easy MI lock for a team all year in a 12 team league. (3-5% FAAB)

Brice Turang (MIL, 2B) (CBS Ownership: 17%) – What’s your risk tolerance? Turang won the 2B job in Milwaukee this spring and put up a gaudy 13 homer and 34 stolen base line with a .286 average in AAA last year. All projections have him as a well below league average hitter as many scouts have doubts about him having the swing and power to handle the majors. There is certainly a timeline in which the lefty Turang pops 15 homers and swipes 30 bags while being in the ROY conversation, but is that our current reality? (3% FAAB)

15 Team Adds

Brian Anderson (MIL, 3B/OF) (CBS Ownership: 9%) – The boring version of Steer. Full playing time in a solid lineup with a great home park factors. The 3B/OF eligibility is great roster spackle, so Anderson feels like a must for all 15 teamers with some 12 team usage. (1-2% FAAB)

Mike Moustakas (COL, 3B) (CBS Ownership: 7%) – No clue what Colorado is doing bringing Moose in and blocking Montero and Nolan Jones from playing time, but Rockies gonna Rockie. An essential dart throw in case he finds his stroke in Coors Field and sticks at third. (3-5% FAAB)

Aledmys Diaz (OAK, 2B/OF) (CBS Ownership: 4%) – Diaz is such a terribly unsexy pick, but he’s slated to play full time SS and hit in the top of the lineup for the A’s. Yes, it’s the A’s, but that volume of playing time plus crazy eligibility (should be at least 2B and OF eligible to start, but on some formats, currently has 1B, 3B, and SS too) makes him a no brainer bench piece to keep you afloat through injuries. (3% FAAB)


10/12 Team Adds

Garrett Mitchell (MIL) (CBS Ownership: 55%) – The Brewers have shown full confidence in Mitchell as it appears the CF position is his all year. He won’t bring many homers to the table, but could easily push for 30 steals with full playing time. Grab him now because he’s already over 50% ownership and won’t be long for this weekly article. (3-5% FAAB)

Jurickson Profar (COL) (CBS Ownership: 46%) – Now that Profar’s visa issues are sorted out, he’s on his way to full time at the top of the Rockies lineup in a division he is already familiar with. An absolute must of a pickup, and his ownership needs to be pushed north of 80% with 20+ combined homers/steals and 70 runs and RBI with a .260 average being the absolute minimum. If you are in a 15 team league, and Profar is sitting on your wire, you have to be aggressive as he provides a great floor for your OF. (7-10% FAAB)

Oswaldo Cabrera (NYY) (CBS Ownership: 45%) – Cabrera looks to have a lock on the LF job in New York as the Yankees (and everyone else) seem to be tired of watching the artist formerly known as Aaron Hicks take any at bats. There’s huge upside for Where’s Oswaldo if he can hold down the job in the potent NYY lineup. (3-5% FAAB)

Seth Brown (OAK, 1B/OF) (CBS Ownership: 43%) – You can’t beat having a guy like Brown with 1B/OF eligibility on your roster that will hit 25 homers and drive in a good amount of RBI batting in the middle of the A’s lineup all year. He has legit light tower power and needs to be owned at least as a bench piece, if not starting CI or OF, in all leagues. (5% FAAB)

James Outman (LAD) (CBS Ownership: 39%) – Outman flew under the radar this draft season as he (very lightly) battled Jason Heyward for the Dodgers’ starting CF spot. Currently looks like he will be the strong side of a platoon with Trayce Thompson, so he is more useful in daily lineup leagues. All the projections have Outman hitting .230 or less, but he spent all of 2021 and 2022 hitting above .280 in AA and AAA, so there could be some upside in the batting average with potential mid-teens homers, a handful of steals, and good counting stats in a solid LAD lineup. (1-3% FAAB)

Brandon Marsh (PHI) (CBS Ownership: 21%) – Marsh is a favorite sleeper of mine this year. He currently has his name written into Phillies’ CF job in Sharpie just because of his defense alone and hit .288 in 41 games with Philly last year after being acquired. Seems set for 15/15 homers and steals with a good bit of upside due to his prospect pedigree. (1-3% FAAB)

TJ Friedl (CIN) (CBS Ownership: 16%) – Friedl is another favorite sleeper of mine as he appears to be cemented in an OF spot in Cincy and should hit in the top part of the order. Pretty much free double digit homers and stolen bases with a decent average will make Friedl a key last OF starter or bench piece in any 12 team league. (3% FAAB)

15 Team Adds

Nick Gordon (MIN, 2B/OF) (CBS Ownership: 14%) – Don’t let your memories of his brother, Dee, or fallen prospect status cloud your judgment here, Gordon can hit and quietly put up a 111 wRC+ last year in Minnesota. Gordon currently is handling the 2B job with Jorge Polanco out and should get plenty of run subbing in for the rest of the inevitably injured Twins (Buxton, Kirilloff, Larnach, and Correa?) all summer long to push putting up double digit homers and steals. (3% FAAB)

Trayce Thompson (LAD) (CBS Ownership: 13%) – Thompson played in 80 games last year, and I know it’s lazy, but if you double his 2022 line, he would have hit 26 bombs with 8 stolen bases, 72 runs, and 82 RBI. He also put up an eye-popping 16% barrel rate last year, so I don’t think the new power uptick is a fluke. Thompson also looked really good in the WBC this spring, and the Dodgers didn’t go after a CF in the open market for a reason. I really think that Thompson’s bat will secure a regular lineup spot in LA in due time. He’s an essential 15 team pick up and a hold and wait in 12 teamers. (1-3% FAAB)

Bubba Thompson (TEX) (CBS Ownership: 7%) – Supposedly Leody Taveras will only miss the first series or two because of a pulled oblique, but I sincerely doubt that is the full extent of his absence as oblique injuries are finicky. Thompson reminds me of prime Rajai Davis in which the path to playing time is murky, but somehow just gets enough to swipe 35-45 bags every year despite a subpar wRC+. Bubba was 18 for 21 on his SB attempts last year in just 181 plate appearances. He has huge boom or bust potential and will require good roster management to ensure you are maximizing all of his starts. (1-3% FAAB)

Will Benson (CIN) (CBS Ownership: 7%) – The story with Benson is similar to Friedl – he looks locked into a regular OF spot in Cincy, the best home park for hitters after Colorado. He will come with a lower spot in the batting order, lower batting average, and just less upside overall. But the hope here is that he can carry over his 153 wRC+ from AAA last year and cement himself into the Reds’ future plans. (1% FAAB)

Will Brennan (CLE) (CBS Ownership: 7%) – The other Willy B in an Ohio outfield this summer. And Brennan is the other Willy B right now as he is on the outside looking in at full playing time but should pick up some strong side platoon at bats as a lefty. Brennan’s upside is better than Benson’s as he has a much more highly regarding hit tool. If a full time spot opens up for Brennan, he could pop 10 homers/10 stolen bases with a .270 average and be a fantasy team savior. (1% FAAB)

Matt Vierling (DET) (CBS Ownership: 4%) – Vierling hits the ball hard, plays a variety of positions, is on a terrible team, and batted leadoff for the Tigers on Opening Day. He’s currently in a part-time role, but could turn into a great CI or OF option if injury or poor performance opens a full-time spot for him. (1% FAAB)


10/12 Team Adds

Jared Shuster (ATL) (CBS Ownership: 77%) – Shuster’s ownership rates have skyrocketed this week due to late drafts and his newly staked claim on the Braves’ fifth starter job. His K/9, ERA, and WHIP were pretty meh in AAA last year, but rolling the dice on the Braves imparting some of their special pitching magic plus his good chance at wins makes him viable in a 12 team league. (3-5% FAAB)

Edward Cabrera (MIA) (CBS Ownership: 73%) – Cabrera’s ownership rates are only below 70% because there was a bit of uncertainty about his rotation spot early in the draft season. You can’t watch his changeup and not immediately decide he needs to be on your team. (5% FAAB)

Spencer Turnbull (DET) (CBS Ownership: 66%) – Turnbull returned from his TJ surgery in 2022 and posted a 2.95 FIP in 50 IP. He was a big time breakout pick before succumbing to his elbow blowout, and no reason to not think the Tigers won’t ride his 30-year-old arm as hard as they can this year. Good strikeout volume play and can easily beat his Steamer projections of a 3.97 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. (5% FAAB)

Hayden Wesneski (CHC) (CBS Ownership: 61%) – I bet the Yankees really wish they had Wesneski back for this year. He carries an arsenal that scouts rate as having four above average pitches, including a nasty slider (123 Stuff+). This is a guy that could be sitting in the top 40 SP by year end easily. (5-7% FAAB)

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) (CBS Ownership: 58%) – Ashcraft has been a popular breakout pick because he throws absolute filth and has an arsenal that isn’t terribly different from Corbin Burnes’. Ashcraft had an incredible spring and is a must pick up if he is still sitting on your waiver wire. (7-10% FAAB)

Clarke Schmidt (NYY) (CBS Ownership: 58%) – All Schmidt has been waiting for the last five years as a Yankees prospect has been a legit shot, and he’s finally gotten it as the injury bug has run rampant through the Bronx rotation. He has a plus fastball and plus plus curve that should garner plenty of strikeouts and help suppress his homer rate in Yankee Stadium. (5% FAAB)

Ross Stripling (SHG) (CBS Ownership: 50%) – Oracle Park is one of the last remaining safe spots for pitchers. I’ll buy anyone with Stripling’s repertoire, craftiness, and talent pitching there. Going to be solid for wins and ratios, just doesn’t have the strikeout upside of some of the others on this list. (3-5% FAAB)

Justin Steele (CHC) (CBS Ownership: 48%) – Steele is just a two-pitch starter with his fastball and slider, but they are really good. He should continue to have an ERA in the mid-3s paired with a 9+ K/9, which should make him a starter in all leagues. But if you don’t want to use him every start, you at least can leverage as many starts as possible that he has against Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and other weak offenses all summer. (3-5% FAAB)

David Peterson (NYM) (CBS Ownership: 48%) – Peterson has taken claim to Jose Quintana’s rotation spot, which is a boon for the Mets, I think. He really should stick in the rotation all year because if/when Quintana makes it back, there will likely be another Mets pitcher occupying the IL (Verlander hit the IL as I was writing this). Peterson really turned a corner last year with a 10+ K/9 and 3.64 FIP in 105.2 innings. It’s really hard not to see him repeating those rates after a tweaked slider gave him a devasting out pitch. (5% FAAB)

Alex Wood (SFG) (CBS Ownership: 29%) – Over the past two seasons in San Francisco, Wood has accumulated a 4.44 ERA (but with a 3.62 FIP), 1.21 WHIP, and 9.5 K/9, which should make him useful in all 12 team leagues, especially for all home games against Colorado and other NL fodder. He will get hurt, and you can just cut him or park him on the IL when that day hits. (1-3% FAAB)

15 Team Adds

Kyle Bradish (BAL) (CBS Ownership: 24%) – Bradish throws a really nice cutter and pitched well down the stretch in 2022, probably winning a few people some leagues. He’s always had 10+ K/9 rates in the minors but struggled a bit with commanding the walks. He’s going to be a solid source of wins and strikeouts at the back of a fantasy rotation. (1-3% FAAB)

Shintaro Fujinami (OAK) (CBS Ownership: 23%) – Fujinami worked in a swingman role mostly in Japan, but the A’s had to guarantee him a starting role in order to sign him. His projections are all over the place because of the change in leagues and roles. It obviously is a letdown for wins leagues that Fujinami plays for the A’s, but he might become essential in a quality starts league. If the reports on his electric stuff bear out and combine with the thick marine layer sitting over the Coliseum, he could be sitting inside the top 40 SP by year end. (1-3% FAAB)

Domingo German (NYY) (CBS Ownership: 21%) – It’s a pretty simple formula, German currently sits in one of the Yankees starting rotation spots, which equals wins as long as you’re a league-average pitcher (which German is). (1-3% FAAB)

Jhony Brito (NYY) (CBS Ownership: 16%) – Brito is a bit of a wild card and is slated to start Sunday against the Giants. He boasts a mid-90s fastball and solid changeup. If he has a good debut in Yankee Stadium this weekend, his price is going through the roof. (1-3% FAAB)

Ryne Nelson (ARI) (CBS Ownership: 14%) – I think players in most home leagues have lost track that Chase Field plays shades pitcher friendly since they put in the humidor. Nelson rates really well by Eno Sarris’ Stuff+ metrics with a 108 Pitching+ overall and 120 and 126 (!) grades on his fastball and slider, respectively. Another plus in his favor is that the Dbacks decided to keep him in the rotation over Pfaadt to start the season. A lot of elements are combining here for a big breakout. (3-5% FAAB)

Jose Suarez (LAA) (CBS Ownership: 12%) – After a rough start to the season last year, Suarez bounced back with a 3.07 ERA, 2.96 FIP, and 8.4 K/9 from August 1 on. He’s always flashed loads of talent coming through the Angels system and finally seems to be putting everything together as a 25-year-old. (1-3% FAAB)


10/12 Team Adds

Brusdar Graterol (LAD) (CBS Ownership: 61%) – Your guess is as good as mine on who gets the most saves in the Dodgers bullpen this year. Evan Phillips? Daniel Hudson? Shelby Miller? Alex Reyes? Jimmy Nelson?!? Graterol isn’t a bad bet and will provide enough volume work to provide wins, strikeouts, and ratio help as a high volume reliever. (3% FAAB)

Giovanny Gallegos (STL) (CBS Ownership: 41%) – The Cardinals are supposedly not going to let Ryan Helsley pitch back-to-back outings this year. Gallegos can easily juice 10 saves out of the opportunities presented from Helsley getting the day or being used in a higher leverage situation while massaging your ratios better than a Theragun. (1-3% FAAB)

Michael Fulmer (CHC) (CBS Ownership: 39%) – I really just don’t believe that David Ross and the Cubs truly think that Brad Boxberger will secure the main closer role in Chicago (as evidenced by them calling on Fulmer to polish off the Opening Day win with a 4-run lead in the ninth). Fulmer has the closer mentality and beard to take the job and ride it all the way to the finish line. (5-10% FAAB)

15 Team Adds

Scott McGough (ARI) (CBS Ownership: 25%) – Scott McGough (Chicago Illinois, six oh six five two) is the leader in the clubhouse for the Arizona closer job after Mark Melancon went down this spring with a shoulder injury. Melancon was not anything special, and if McGough, who came over from the NPB and saved games for the Yakult Swallows over the past two seasons, pitches well, he has a good chance to hold the job all year. (3-5% FAAB)

Ben Joyce (LAA) (CBS Ownership: 10%) – The Angels bullpen (and franchise) gives off pure “Troy walking into blazing inferno with a pizza” gif vibes, which reared their ugly head immediately on Opening Day. I don’t trust any of Carlos Estevez and his cohorts to hold down games in arguably the Angels’ most important season in franchise history. If you have the space to stash Joyce and his 105-mph fastball, I think he will get a shot at saves pretty soon. (1% FAAB)

Joe Kelly (CHW) (CBS Ownership: 1%) – Are all of the relievers above gone in your league? Your desperate ass is stuck with the ultimate cowboy rodeo experience now. Kendall Graveman and Reynaldo Lopez are heavy favorites to pick up the bulk of saves in Chicago but have looked uncomfortable in the past in pure closer save situations. (1% FAAB)