Greetings!  The second half of July is often one of the most exciting times of the year In my NL and AL only leagues, as we all wait for the trade deadline hoping for someone new and exciting to come into the league to spend our FAAB dollars on.  Not much exciting is happening yet, though, and once again I find myself staring at a barren waiver wire as I look to reinforce my teams.  For now, here’s another small handful of names who might pique the interest of those of us in NL only, AL only, and other deep leagues.

David Bednar.  Last month I mocked myself on the Razzball podcast for my unwavering allegiance to Bednar, but now I’m going to double down and make him this week’s lede.  I was surprised to see that he’s only 5% owned in CBS leagues – even if he doesn’t manage to find his way into any saves for the Pirates this season, he’s been pitching really, really well.  After back to back 2-run appearances in mid-June, he’s allowed only a single run since, and now has 43 Ks in 36 innings on the year.  Kyle Crick has been flat out bad, so as we all remain on Richard Rodriguez trade watch and wait to see if the Pirates win any more games by three runs or fewer in 2021, I’m grabbing Bednar where I can.

Matt Moore.  The fact that Matt Moore, he of the 5.25 ERA and 1.61 WHIP, was picked up in more than one of my leagues recently shows just how hard many of us are getting hit with starting pitching injuries.  His next start for the Phillies comes at Yankee Stadium, which doesn’t feel like a good matchup even when things aren’t going so well in New York.  Perhaps he’ll be able to build on the momentum of his last start when he struck out 9 Marlins without a walk in 4.1 innings, but I’m not touching him at this point.  Then again, I actually have Chad Kuhl active in a league where I’m having trouble with several of those aforementioned injuries, so I guess we all have some ugly deep league decisions to make at this time of year.

Touki Toussaint.  He’s back off the 60-day IL and pitching for the Braves, and his CBS ownership has doubled from 3% to 6% in the last week.  I think it’s anyone’s guess what we’ll get from him in terms of both quality and quantity, but it’s hard to be even a little optimistic.  He’s coming off of a shoulder injury, and his 2020 was atrocious even by ‘weirdest season ever’ standards (8.88 ERA/1.77 WHIP in 24.1 innings).  He’s a pitcher who was once a hyped prospect pitching for a major league baseball team, though, and as mentioned above, those have been getting harder and harder to find.

Ronald Torreyes.  Torreyes has been the beneficiary of more playing time since Alec Bohm hit the COVID IL,  and while he’s never proven he’s much more than a stopgap option in either real or fantasy baseball, he’s been hitting relatively well for a 1% owned player who qualifies at 3B and SS.  He’s the classic (very) deep league player who may not give you a sudden burst of power or speed, but with semi-regular at bats should be better than nothing and shouldn’t really hurt you in average.

AL

Oscar Mercado.  I can’t remember if it was a year ago or three years ago that I was excited about drafting Mercado as a sleeper, as some of my fantasy disappointments of the last few years feel particularly jumbled together after our crazy 2020, but I do know that it didn’t work out.  Mercado has cooled off over the last few days (and isn’t in the Indians’ starting lineup on Monday), but it seems worth noting that he’s been playing quite a bit and has put a few nice games together.  He stole a base two games in a row earlier this month, and the only way he’s likely to have much value even in deeper leagues is if he keeps playing and starts running more regularly.

Domingo Leyba.  This is the blurb where I reference the depth of my AL-only keeper league by mentioning that I put in a FAAB bid on Leyba over the weekend to plug a hole in my lineup, and actually got outbid.  I’m not sure that I’m missing out on much, and Leyba isn’t even playing Monday, but he has made a handful of starts at both second and third recently for the Orioles.  Sure, he’s only hitting .147 with a homer and 6 RBI in 27 games, but deep league playing time is deep league playing time.

Adam Engel.  Well, I warned you that there wasn’t much available out there in the 0 – 10% owned range, and Engel is one of those guys who seems to turn up as a uninspiring deep league waiver option year after year.  He’s recently returned from the IL and has been hitting fairly well for the White Sox, including a couple of homers, 7 RBI, and a steal over the last week and a half or so.  He’s not an exciting add, but could help you with a few counting stats if your timing is right (plus he doesn’t have to worry about that pesky Adam Eaton taking at bats from him any longer).

Michael Wacha.  I rostered Wacha in a couple leagues earlier this season, but I finally had to dump him in even my deepest AL-only league because I was too frustrated with his inconsistency.  You never know exactly how the Rays will use him (he’s started in three of his last four appearances), and in two of his last four outings he’s given up four or five runs.  In the other two, however, he pitched a total of eleven innings, gave up only one run, and had a very helpful thirteen Ks.  He can definitely provide some deep league help when things are going well, but be ready for a roller coaster ride.