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Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire/FAAB: Week Three

John discusses his favorite fantasy baseball waiver wire/FAAB pickups for this week!

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - SEPTEMBER 20: Nelson Velazquez #17 of the Kansas City Royals is congratulated by Maikel Garcia #11 and Bobby Witt Jr. #7 after hitting a three-run home run during the 1st inning of the game against the Cleveland Guardians at Kauffman Stadium on September 20, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

OF Nelson Velazquez, Kansas City Royals (69%)

Velazquez was a popular name coming into 2024 because of the incredible 17 home runs he hit in just 162 at bats last year as well as the elite 21.4% barrel rate and exit velocities that allowed it to happen. While he hasn’t been barrelling the ball quite as consistently yet this year (6.7% barrel rate so far) he is actually hitting the ball even harder on average and currently holds a very encouraging .333/.385/.521 slash with 2 homers and a steal to begin this season. His 35% strikeout rate is scary but Velazquez is worth rostering anyway for his monster power upside.

2B/SS Jose Caballero, Tampa Bay Rays (66%)

In my first waiver article I mentioned that Caballero had been working with the hitting coach to add some power to his game this year. Well, even though his exit velocity has not changed much he has upped his HardHit rate to 30% (it was 23% last year) and already has a homer after hitting only 4 bombs all season in 2023. He also stole 26 bases last year and already has 5 thefts so far this season. His ownership has consequently spiked from 30% in week 1 to 66% today, so this is likely the last chance to grab him in some leagues.


RP Michael Kopech, Chicago White Sox (62%)

Kopech does appear to be the closer for the White Sox and has earned 2 saves without blowing a save. While he is still walking too many hitters (6.48 BB/9) he is also striking out a ton (12.96 K/9) in the early going. Averaging 98.5 mph on his fastball and generating a swinging strike rate over 16%, Kopech certainly has the stuff to be a prototypical closer. It’s clear Chicago would love for him to blossom into just that, but if he doesn’t find a way to lock in on the strike zone more consistently he will almost certainly pay for it. Either way, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives right now and he’s well worth an add to most rosters.

OF Edward Olivares, Pittsburgh Pirates (40%)

Olivares holds an impressive .308/.357/.564 slash line with 3 home runs already for his new team. He is barreling the ball exceptionally and could be playing his way into a full time role for the Pirates if he can keep it up. He makes for an excellent pickup in deeper fantasy leagues for this reason.

1B/OF Gavin Sheets, Chicago White Sox (29%)

With Luis Robert on the IL for at least the next 6 weeks, Sheets is receiving a lot more playing time for the White Sox. In fact, he has had the third most at bats (29) over the past 14 days for the team and carries a dominant .290/.405/.613 slash so far this season. The biggest knock on Sheets is the fact that he has historically not been able to hit against lefties and thus only plays against right handed pitching. Everything else, however, is very positive. His plate discipline, his batted ball data, and his 56% HardHit rate this year all point to the continuation of good things for this hitter. He is worth the add in deeper leagues at least until Robert returns.

Honorable Mentions:

OF Brandon Marsh, Philadelphia Phillies (70%)

Excellent start but isn’t walking and is striking out almost 40% of the time.

OF Brenton Doyle, Colorado Rockies (44%)

Great start but peripherals indicate it could be short lived.

C Ivan Herrera, St Louis Cardinals (37%)

Only worth grabbing in 2 catcher leagues now with both Contreras and Nootbar back.

2B Luis Garcia Jr., Washington Nationals (31%)

Might be starting to grow into some power with a 53.3% HardHit rate.