As you head into the 2020 fantasy baseball season, I have a tip for you. It’s not a sleeper, or breakout player. Every analyst or pundit has a sleeper, or breakout player for you. Their picks are like penny stock tips – a few hit and most miss.
My key to success in season-long leagues is to work the waiver wire. Every day, and twice on Sunday. Your willingness to work the waiver wire on a daily basis is your No. 1 key to success. I wouldn’t have won four league championships without doing this.
Case in points. Yesterday afternoon, Willie Calhoun got hit in the face by a 95 mph fastball from Dodger left-hander Julio Urias. The pitch broke his jaw, and Calhoun will be sidelined for awhile. My guess is it might be two months, or more.
Some managers would scratch their head for a few days (or weeks). Suddenly, it’s May, and Calhoun is still taking up space on the bench. Then, perhaps he gets to finally play, and he’s putting his foot in the bucket every time a pitch is thrown.
My response to the injury was to immediately waive Calhoun and pick up teammate Nick Solak. Solak is being largely ignored in fantasy drafts, with an ADP currently at 299. But he finished last season with 32 combined homers, 91 RBIs and a .290 batting average.
When he was promoted by the Rangers in mid-August following the injury to Nomar Mazara, Solak produced and even hit in the cleanup spot for awhile in September. Solak was patient at the plate and not prone to striking out a lot like many rookies.
No one doubts that Solak can hit, but the Rangers didn’t have a place for him in their lineup until Calhoun went down. Solak is only DH eligible right now in most leagues, but that will change. In fact, he may be eligible at multiple positions by April, or May.
If you play fantasy football, you know that you don’t always get the players you claim. In fact, if you’re in a competitive league, you will frequently miss out on the players you want because of the shorter season and smaller pool of players.
Your waiver wire experience in fantasy baseball will be very different than in football. The season is longer, and the pool of players is much larger. You will get the player you claim on the waiver wire unless somebody drops Mike Trout.