Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Pickups who could help you rocket up the standings

We have just under three weeks remaining in the fantasy regular season, but there are still plenty of players on the waiver wire who could help fantasy teams skyrocket up the standings or secure playoff wins in head-to-head leagues. Let’s get down to business.

Garrett Cooper (1B/OF, Miami Marlins, 12 percent rostered)

Cooper is not an exciting option, but he should produce some counting stats this weekend when Miami faces a Nats pitching staff that ranks 29th in the Majors with a 5.06 ERA. And those who are looking for a favorable matchup at a different position can consider Cooper’s teammate Joey Wendle (2B/3B/SS), who should thrive against three Washington righties.

Brendan Donovan (1B/2B/3B/SS/OF, St. Louis Cardinals, 32%)

Donovan is the perfect weekend rental for any fantasy team, as he qualifies at nearly every position. He and his Cardinals teammates have a great chance to lead the Majors in runs scored during the coming days, as they will play four games this weekend against a Reds pitching staff that ranks 28th in the Majors in ERA.

David Villar (1B/2B/3B, San Francisco Giants, 6%)

Villar has been arguably San Francisco’s best hitter of late, which bodes well for his potential to find his name on the lineup card in the coming days. And his timing is perfect, as Villar will open next week with a four-game series at offense-inducing Coors Field. Fantasy managers in deeper leagues should try to have some shares of the Giants' offense during that series.

Josh Jung (3B, Texas Rangers, 22%)

The top-hitting prospect in the Rangers farm system, Jung hasn’t garnered much fantasy attention since making his Major League debut on September 9. The 24-year-old homered in that contest, and he ripped another round-tripper a few days later. His 13:0 BB:K ratio is a bit concerning, but Jung has plenty of upside and is eligible at a position of need for many managers.

Elvis Andrus (SS, Chicago White Sox, 46%)

Andrus is playing his best baseball in a long time, having hit .350 with a 1.067 OPS in September. The contending White Sox are giving the veteran leadoff opportunities, and he ranks third in baseball with 12 runs scored this month. I can’t see Andrus finding his way into these articles next year, but he belongs on many rosters at the moment.

Elvis Andrus #1 of the Chicago White Sox has boosted his fantasy value recently
Elvis Andrus is making his fantasy presence felt recently. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) (Nick Cammett via Getty Images)

Bubba Thompson (OF, Texas Rangers, 29%)

Thompson is racking up steals at an amazing rate. In fact, the Rangers speedster leads the Majors with seven swipes during September. Thompson will contribute little in other areas, but he is arguably the top option on this list for those who have steals as their No. 1 priority.

Nick Pivetta (SP, Boston Red Sox, 35%)

Pivetta hasn’t been great this year (4.31 ERA, 1.33 WHIP), but with options dwindling in the pitcher pool, he is among the best streaming targets this weekend for those who need to make a late push in points leagues. He should deliver respectable results when he works on Sunday against a Royals lineup that ranks 25th with a .680 OPS.

Trevor Rogers (SP, Miami Marlins, 64%)

Rogers is rostered in more leagues than the players who typically occupy this space, but I included him because he has been dropped in some of the most active leagues. The right-hander has turned around a dismal season since returning to the rotation on August 31 by allowing six runs in 18.1 innings. He could be stellar on Saturday when he faces a mediocre Nats lineup on a last-place team.

Jose Quintana (SP, St. Louis Cardinals, 44%)

Quintana was in this space last week, and he came through with a solid start in a favorable matchup. Such is the case again tomorrow when the left-hander works at home against an unimpressive Reds lineup. Quintana should not be considered a WHIP asset, but he has logged a solid 3.34 ERA this year that includes a 2.93 mark with the Cardinals.

Adrian Sampson (SP/RP, Chicago Cubs, 4%)

Sampson has posted solid ratios this year (3.48 ERA, 1.27 WHIP), albeit with a mediocre 58:23 K:BB ratio across 82.2 innings. But the right-hander has high-end potential next week for a pair of outstanding matchups against the lowly Marlins and Pirates.

Nick Lodolo (SP, Cincinnati Reds, 52%)

Among pitchers who are available in shallow leagues, Lodolo is by far the best waiver wire option who has two scheduled starts next week. The rookie has been awesome in six starts in the past month, posting a 2.72 ERA, a 0.81 WHIP and a 49:6 K:BB ratio. He could rack up 20 whiffs in his matchups with Boston and Milwaukee.

Jose Leclerc (RP, Texas Rangers, 25%)

Full-time closers are hard to find on the waiver wire right now, but Leclerc may be a fit for those who need saves. The right-hander has collected three saves since September 6, seemingly taking over the ninth-inning role from Jonathan Hernandez, who struggled with his consistency. With a career 3.16 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP, Leclerc might be just good enough to hold the job.

Pete Fairbanks (RP, Tampa Bay Rays, 47%)

Fairbanks is the leading man in Tampa’s vast closer committee, having picked up three saves since September 5. The right-hander with a 1.35 ERA, a 0.70 WHIP and a 30:2 K:BB ratio across 20 innings is also a great fit for those who want to improve their ratios.