Fred Zinkie

Hot wire: 10 men to pluck off fantasy waivers

Hot wire: 10 men to pluck off fantasy waivers

Could your fantasy team use more power? What about steals? Runs, RBIs or wins?

Regardless of your holes, the fantasy waiver wire has a plug or long-term fix to pick up today. Check the following 10 men -- all sitting in waivers in many leagues, and all ready to help you win.

Justin Bour, first baseman, Marlins
Bour is off to a slow start this season, with the lowest batting average (.233) and OPS (.716) of his four-year career. But owners who dig a little deep will note that he is on pace to produce more than 20 homers and 85 RBIs, and his low batting mark is being influenced by a mediocre .262 BABIP. Given his solid .267 xBA so far this year, the the 28-year-old should still be regarded as a reliable corner infielder in many mixed formats.
Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Zinkie's fantasy tip of the day

Hernan Perez, 2B/3B/OF, Brewers
Perez has shown off his defensive versatility this year, making multiple appearances at third base, shortstop and all three outfield positions. Owners in need of speed and flexibility should by happy to add the utility man, who has hit .276 with 12 homers and 26 steals across 358 plate appearances since the 2016 All-Star break.
Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Josh Harrison, 2B/3B, Pirates
Harrison has emerged as the Bucs' leadoff man, posting a .310/.384/.529 slash line this season. A closer look at his 2017 results provides further optimism in the form of an improved strikeout rate (11.7 percent) and a .319 BABIP that resembles his lifetime .320 mark. Owners should not have regression concerns about the 29-year-old, who should be a continued source of batting average, steals and runs scored.
Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Seth Smith, outfielder, Orioles
Smith is off to a slow start, hitting .222 with two homers across 45 at-bats. But given his solid .284 xBA this season and spot atop Baltimore's powerful lineup, he nonetheless represents a strong buy-low option at this point.
Consider in: 15-team mixed leagues

Fantasy hot-button topic

Delino DeShields, outfielder, Rangers
Even after a strong Spring Training showing (.442 OBP, 14 steals), DeShields spent most of his time on the bench during the early weeks of the regular season. But after receiving little production in left field from Jurickson Profar and Ryan Rua, manager Jeff Banister has given DeShields a chance to get at-bats ... out of the leadoff spot, no less. With the opportunity and the skills needed to excel, DeShields could be a solid source of steals and runs in the coming weeks.
Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Aaron Altherr, outfielder, Phillies
Altherr was given an increased role after Howie Kendrick went on the disabled list April 18 and has run with the chance, hitting .359 with 11 runs scored and a pair of runs and steals. At the very least, Altherr is a short-term power-speed option for owners dealing with outfield injuries. But if he continues to thrive, the 26-year-old could hold onto regular playing time and remain a five-category contributor all season.
Consider in: 15-team mixed leagues

Zinkie on fantasy takeaways

Eduardo Rodriguez, starter, Red Sox
With a 2.70 ERA and a 12.0 K/9 rate across his first 23 1/3 innings this season, E-Rod has certaintly built off his strong second half of 2016 (3.24 ERA, 1.13 WHIP). The left-hander is struggling enough with his control (5.4 BB/9 rate) to stay on waivers in shallow leagues, but his swing-and-miss skills and talented supporting cast make him a fine boom-or-bust option in many formats.
Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Dan Straily, starter, Marlins
Straily has emerged as a poor man's version of Blue Jays righty Marco Estrada from a fantasy standpoint, relying on a high fly-ball rate to log a solid 3.81 ERA and 1.18 WHIP since the outset of 2016. The right-handed Straily has had undeniable battles with the long ball (career 1.4 HR/9 rate), but his pitcher-friendly home venue should be enough of a friend to keep him in standard-league lineups.
Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Archie Bradley, SP/RP, D-backs
With a 1.13 ERA, a 0.75 WHIP and a 10.7 K/9 rate across 16 innings, Bradley has been Arizona's most reliable reliever this year. Given this performance so far, don't be shocked to see him take the D-backs' ninth-inning role from current closer Fernando Rodney, the owner of a 11.45 ERA and 2.09 WHIP this year.
Consider in: 12-team mixed leagues

Bud Norris, reliever, Angels
While Norris is an unlikely candidate for long-term success in the ninth inning (lifetime 4.49 ERA, 1.40 WHIP), the 32-year-old owns a 3.00 ERA this season and has gone 5-for-6 in save chances since Cam Bedrosian landed on the disabled list with a right groin strain April 22. With Bedrosian not yet throwing, owners seeking a short-term saves source can likely count on Norris to hold the closer's role for at least two more weeks.
Consider in: 10-team mixed leagues

Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.