Every week from now until the end of the season, we will be looking at players who are rostered in fewer than 15% of leagues (according to Fantasy Pros as of Sunday afternoon). Normally, these would be players to consider mostly in deeper leagues, but in 2020 we know nothing is normal so there is a good chance you will have to look deep into the waiver wire in your leagues to fill your lineups on a weekly basis. I’ll do my best to highlight players from multiple positions as well each week.
We are now a week and a half into the season (except of course for the growing list of teams that had their games postponed this week), so there is more to look at. Taking a look back at last week’s list, we can graduate Jackie Bradley Jr. and Jose Peraza, who are now above the 15% threshold. Leury Garcia is moving to a utility role now that Nick Madrigal is on the roster (Madrigal is rostered in 22% of leagues at the moment), Tyler Heineman has continued to produce with a 130 wRC+ while Kole Calhoun has stalled a bit after his solid opening series (.167 AVG and 85 wRC+ as of Sunday).
Freddy Galvis, SS, CIN (14%)
There are players you think will be fantasy relevant when you start a season, and then there are players you never expect. I can honestly say I did not expect to be writing about Freddy Galvis this early in the season but he has shown some life with a 142 wRC+ and .308 ISO to go along with 2 home runs, 6 runs, and 5 RBI through 8 games. He has shown patience at the plate as his walk rate is almost double his career average, so I have to wonder if that might regress a bit, but he is certainly showing patience as he has only a 21.4% O-Swing% (a major decrease from past seasons). Galvis has primarily been a glove-first shortstop over his career but he might be worth a look.
Brandon Nimmo, OF, NYM (10%)
I know I highlighted Brandon Nimmo last week as well, and I’m a little surprised that he is still this widely available. he has appeared in every Mets game so far this season and sports a .265/.432/.412 triple slash along with a 151 wRC+. Now that the Mets are without Yoenis Cespedes for the season after he opted out, that would only mean more assurances that Nimmo is in the lineup more (although I don’t think he is a regular DH candidate). His seven runs place him in the top 25 of the league so far, and while he only has one home run so far, I think he’s still a steady candidate to provide you with runs in that lineup.
Brian Goodwin, OF, LAA (8%)
Brian Goodwin is currently on a tear, sporting a .400/.464/.800 triple slash with a 249 wRC+, .387 xwOBA, and .487 xwoBACON. His barrel percentage is in the 98th percentile of the league as well, which all shows his quality of contact supports those numbers. Goodwin has always been a solid bat, with hot and cold streaks mixed in (his 2019 season was a great example of this). I like the fact that his barrel percentage is up there, as that could speak to another solid stretch from him. I think in a season like this it’s all about grabbing a player who is hot and hoping it lasts for a month or so.
Nico Hoerner, 2B/3B, CHC (7%)
Hoerner is probably not a candidate for power if that is what you are looking for, but in his first “full” season in the majors (he did play in 20 games last season) the Cubs top prospect has shown an ability to get on base (.333 OBP), hit for average (.292 AVG), score runs, and drive them in (5 runs and RBI). His plate discipline numbers are what stand out the most to me as he is above average in several metrics (O-Swing%, Contact% and SwStr%). I think if he continues to show this type of patience to go along with a solid contact rate he should be a solid contributor if you need average and runs.
Tyler O’Neill, OF, STL (4%)
Here’s another guy who is tearing the cover off the ball right now, as Tyler O’Neill has a 21.4%(!) barrel rate to go along with a 57.1% hard-hit rate and a minuscule 5.9% K%. Obviously, there are concerns with the Cardinals COVID situation, so we certainly hope he is able to return this week along with his whole team, but he is definitely a player to monitor as he’s available in just about all leagues at this point. I think he is a player that should be able to deliver power numbers if that is something your roster is lacking.
Rio Ruiz, 1B/3B, BAL (3%)
The schedule disruptions for the Orioles did not seem to have an impact on Rio Ruiz, who continued his solid start and sports a .318/.385/.727 triple slash which is supported by an impressive barrel percentage of 18.8% that has him in the 97th percentile of the league. His SwStr rate is not great (11.2%) and his contact rate (76.9%) is a tad below average, but he is getting the most out of the contact he is making right now. He was held out of the lineup Sunday with shoulder soreness, so that is some to monitor but here’s hoping he doesn’t miss time so he can get back to that hot start.
Max Stassi, C, LAA (3%)
Last week I highlighted Tyler Heineman, who has been consistent over the first fantasy week of the season, but I wanted to take a look at Max Stassi, who has a .313/.389/.688 triple slash with a 199 wRC+ to go along with 2 homers, 3 runs, and 5 RBI. He’s also sporting a healthy 11.1% walk rate. The unfortunate thing with Stassi is that while he has impressed offensively so far, he is in a timeshare with Jason Castro behind the plate for the Halos.