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Deep League Waiver Wire Players To Add – Week 10

These four players can bring added value in deeper leagues.

Each week we’ll look at a handful of different players whom fantasy managers should consider picking up in deeper fantasy baseball leagues. Many of these players will have the most value in larger leagues where waiver wire options aren’t as plentiful. Still, they could also occasionally be useful additions in other, more standard-sized leagues depending on your options at their position.

All roster percentages mentioned in this column are via FantasyPros as of Friday afternoon.

All 2024 stats are as of the beginning of play on Friday.

 

Adam Duvall – 7%

 

Prior to Ronald Acuña Jr. landing on the injured list, Duvall was serving in an outfield platoon with fellow Atlanta slugger Jarred Kelenic. Now, with Acuna Jr. injured, both could start regularly moving forward.

Duvall is batting just .196 so far, with a .282 on-base percentage and five home runs in 110 plate appearances this season. It certainly hasn’t been an ideal start statistically speaking, but it’s worth noting that better, more productive times might be ahead for the veteran outfielder. He’s posted just a .295 wOBA so far, but his .336 xwOBA is decidedly more encouraging. The veteran is also striking out 25.5% of the time, which, if the season ended today, would be the lowest strikeout rate of his career.

Whether or not Duval maintains a regular role moving forward for the rest of the season certainly remains to be seen. But if he can, and if the positive regression kicks in, he stands out as a must-add in almost all fantasy formats, because if given consistent playing time, all Duvall does is hit home runs.

He connected on 21 in 353 plate appearances with Boston last season, turned in 12 in 315 plate appearances with Atlanta the year before, and has topped 31 home runs in each of the three major league seasons in which he’s registered more than 500 plate appearances.

Despite hitting just .196 so far, Duvall’s barrel rate is right in line with what he’s done for the bulk of his career.

Adam Duvall Since 2015

 

Brandon Marsh – 23%

 

For a batter with a 32.4% career strikeout rate, Marsh has routinely operated with exceedingly high BABIP tallies. In 2021 with the Angels, it was .403 in 260 plate appearances. The 2022 season saw Marsh’s BABIP finish at .360 in 461 plate appearances. Last year, it was all the way up at .397 despite a career-high 472 plate appearances.

This is all to say that while Marsh’s .337 seems fairly reasonable, there may be some positive regression on the horizon. Just how much? That remains to be seen, but even a slight bump in production across the board would elevate Marsh from a borderline top-100 overall fantasy player to one firmly in one of the top 100 spots league-wide.

So far this season, Marsh is batting .260 with a .331 on-base percentage. Reasonably solid enough, but if the BABIP tide helps raise the batting average and on-base percentage boats, it would only make Marsh’s power (six home runs) and speed (eight stolen bases) production look all the more better.

There’s also the fact that the 26-year-old outfielder is sporting a .331 wOBA. Like the batting average and on-base percentage, it’s solid enough. However, he’s also logging a .357 xwOBA on the campaign and is posting his best numbers in years in terms of both xwOBAcon and hard-hit rate. And oh yeah, he’s dropped his strikeout rate to 28.6% this season.

 

Brandon Marsh Since 2021

 

Robert Gasser – 19%

 

When half of your starts come at American Family Field, a ballpark that, per Statcast, has the fifth-highest home run park factor in the league the last three seasons, it’s borderline imperative to limit mistakes.

Which, through his first four career starts, is exactly what Robert Gasser has done.

In 23 innings at the major league level this season, Gasser has given up just one walk, no home runs, and three earned runs.

His strikeout total, 13, has been on the lower side of things, but that’s perfectly acceptable for a hurler who is limiting batters to a 1.1% walk rate, a 1.3% barrel rate, and a 21.3% hard-hit rate.

It might be unreasonable to expect those trio of stats to stay that low all season. However, starters who can limit walks, barrels, and quality contact at such an elite (or even above-average) rate can be extremely valuable in fantasy, even with lower strikeout numbers (think George Kirby), particularly in Roto formats to help lower season-long ERA and WHIP stats with each start.

As an added bonus, Gasser has already won two of his four starts (as well as logging a pair of quality starts) so there’s the potential for him to provide quality production in other categories besides just ERA and WHIP.

Either way, it’s been a definitively promising start to his career, and if these types of metrics continue (reasonably speaking) for Gasser, he’ll be one of the fantasy breakout starters this year. Add him now before that happens.

 

Andrew McCutchen – 4%

 

With a 26.4% strikeout rate, a .234 average, a 30.1% whiff rate, and an 11.4% walk rate, Andrew McCutchen probably has a higher fantasy ceiling in leagues where on-base percentage. Still, he’s very much worth adding to fantasy rosters, regardless of the scoring format.

The veteran outfielder is sporting a .337 on-base percentage, eight home runs, and a stolen base to go along with the .234 average in 193 plate appearances.

A fixture atop the Pirates lineup since early May, the extra plate appearances certainly don’t hurt from a fantasy upside standpoint, but it’s the power potential (combined with the potential for runs scored as a leadoff hitter) that makes McCutchen someone who needs to be starting on more fantasy rosters.

First and foremost, McCutchen is posting a .367 xwOBA and a .457 xwOBAcon this season. Both would be the highest marks he’s achieved in those categories since the 2015 season. The xwOBAcon in particular is noteworthy considering the gap between it and where McCutchen’s most recent xwOBAcon numbers have been.

 

Andrew McCutchen Since 2015

 

Still, there are only 35 qualified batters with an xwOBA north of .360 this season. McCutchen is one of them. He’s also one of just nine of those hitters who also has a barrel rate above 15% this year. The other eight were either early-round fantasy selections or players who saw their rostered rate skyrocket after a torrid start to the season. In short, even in the most shallow of leagues, you’re not finding these players available via waivers.

Really, the strikeouts are about the only thing even halfway concerning with McCutchen’s stats so far, and considering the amount of elite quality contact (oh yeah, there’s also an 18.1% chase rate that sits in the 97th percentile league-wide) they aren’t that much of an issue.

 

Photo by Adobe Stock | Adapted by Carlos Leano.

Ben Rosener

Ben Rosener is baseball and fantasy baseball writer whose work has previously appeared on the digital pages of Motor City Bengals, Bleacher Report, USA Today, FanSided.com and World Soccer Talk among others. He also writes about fantasy baseball for RotoBaller and the Detroit Tigers for his own Patreon page, Getting You Through the Tigers Rebuild (@Tigers_Rebuild on Twitter). He only refers to himself in the third person for bios.

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