Deep League Waiver Wire Players To Add – Week 3

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.


Colton Cowser – 15%


Much of the Baltimore Orioles‘ recent games can be summed up by the following:

Come for the fact that Jackson Holliday is starting and on the Major League roster, stay for Colton Cowser demolishing pitching.

Ok, so it’s not that simple, and Holliday has only played two games, but Cowser has been on a tear lately.

For the season he’s batting .458 with a .462 on-base percentage, but since April 2, the outfielder has 10 hits, a walk, four doubles, and a pair of home runs in 23 plate appearances while adding 11 RBI, four runs scored, and a stolen base.

Unsurprisingly, all that production has also come with a 68.8% hard-hit rate and a pair of barrels, good for a 12.5% barrel rate on 16 batted ball events.

Baltimore home park is always going to be a slight deterrent for fantasy production, just look at Ryan Mountcastle’s splits against left-handed pitching. But if Cowser’s breakout season is well and truly here, and there’s been nothing in the season’s first few weeks to think it isn’t, then Camden Yards shouldn’t be much of a problem.

The outfielder’s rostered rate should realistically be at least three times this number at the moment. Make a move to add him on waivers now before that happens.


Ty France – 13%


Ty France has always been a productive hitter where batting average was concerned. He’s hit at least .270 in three of the last four seasons, including in 2021 when he batted .291 with a .368 on-base percentage and a .327 BABIP in 650 plate appearances.

However, he’s never quite been able to turn in similarly strong home run tallies to match, topping out with a career-high 20 home runs (613 plate appearances) in 2022, and finishing with 12 in 665 plate appearances last season.

So taking all that in mind, the infielder’s .316 batting average in his first 40 plate appearances probably isn’t too earth-shattering.

What has been a bit more surprising has been France’s lack of power production, at least based on what he’s done so far from a quality of contact standpoint.

Because the power production is coming.

Ty France’s Expected Metrics This Season

And the veteran is doing all that while sporting just a .386 slugging percentage.

France’s power production probably won’t suddenly match that of Matt Olson or Pete Alonso, but it should see a significant increase if this kind of contact continues. And when it does, the 29-year-old’s fantasy ceiling should rise considerably, especially with Jorge Polanco and Mitch Garver off to uneven starts at the plate.

Case in point, France started the year hitting in the bottom half of the lineup, more recently, he’s moved up to hitting fourth and third respectively in the last few days.

Ty France In 2024


Ian Hamilton – 8%


For fantasy managers in saves+holds leagues, or really any type of league where holds are part of the scoring, the ebb and flow of real-life bullpen usage can sometimes render the reliever portion of the roster in a constant state of flux. Sometimes a reliever is in a high-leverage role for a period due to form or injury, sometimes they are removed from that rule due to form or injury. So it goes.

And while that type of caveat is certainly something to keep in mind here, there’s also the possibility that a reliever off to a strong start establishes themselves as a key bullpen option for the remainder of the season.

That certainly appears to be the case with Ian Hamilton in New York with the Yankees.

Hamilton enjoyed a quality season for the Yankees last season, pitching to a 2.64 ERA, a 2.82 FIP, 69 strikeouts, and 26 walks in 39 appearances spanning 58 innings. He added a pair of saves, three pitcher wins and five holds for the American League East club. However, the reliever was sixth in the New York bullpen in high-leverage appearances with 13, and well off team leader Clay Holmes‘ total of 33.

Yankees 2023 High-Leverage Appearance Leaders Among Relievers

However, with Peralta, King and Abreu currently in San Diego with the Padres, Marinaccio in the minors, and Cordero and Abreu no longer in the organization, Hamilton has solidified his spot as one of Aaron Boone’s most trusted relievers in the season’s early weeks.

Holmes once again leads the way in terms of high-leverage appearances, this year with five, but Hamilton is second with four. Caleb Ferguson and Jonathan Loáisiga (currently on the injured list) have three. No other reliever has more than one.

In fact, four of Hamilton’s five total appearances have been of the high-leverage variety. Overall, he’s pitched to a 3.24 ERA and a 2.26 FIP in five appearances and 8.1 innings of work. At this rate, the 29-year-old should easily top his hold total from last year by the end of the month, or even by the end of next week. At the moment he’s already logged three holds.

The 28-year-old is also just one of four pitchers in the league to rank in the 90th percentile or better in chase rate and ground ball rate so far.

Add (and start) Hamilton with confidence in leagues where holds are part of the scoring. If this kind of usage continues, he should have no problem finishing the year as a top-25 or better reliever in those types of leagues.


Jeff Hoffman – 5%


Hoffman probably has a bit higher of a floor, and ceiling, fantasy-wise than Hamilton moving forward. That’s mainly due to the fact that he could see some ninth-inning work with at least a bit of regularity this season.

The 31-year-old has already logged six appearances for the Phillies, soaking up 6.1 innings and logging a 2.84 ERA and a 2.43 FIP. He’s also collected a hold, a pitcher win, and a save, all coming (in order) in his last three outings entering play on Friday.

The last one is particularly crucial given where the Philadelphia bullpen is at.

Craig Kimbrel is no longer in town, he’s currently with the Baltimore Orioles after departing Philadelphia as a free agent. The veteran’s departure left José Alvarado, Hoffman, Gregory Soto, and Seranthony Domínguez in line for ninth-inning work this season.

Phillies Relievers In 2023

*Only includes stats as a reliever last season as Strahm spent time in the rotation.

Furthermore, both Alvarado and Dominguez have gotten off to uneven starts this year, which could lead to more ninth-inning work for Hoffman, both in the short term and in the long term.

The former Reds reliever is already leading the Phillies bullpen in high-leverage appearances.

Phillies 2024 High-Leverage Appearances Leaders Among Relievers

Pare down those parameters to only high-leverage ninth-inning appearances, and the list looks a bit different.

Phillies 2024 Ninth Inning, High Leverage Appearances Leaders Among Relievers

Right now, Hoffman should continue to, at worst, function as a quality saves+holds league option. But for fantasy managers, regardless of format, looking to stash a potential league-winning catcher who could take over in the ninth inning soon, Jeff Hoffman makes for the ideal add.


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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