Deep League Waiver Wire Players To Add – Week 6

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.


Trevor Williams – 11%


Heading into the season, the Washington Nationals didn’t look like a club that would supply their starters with a ton of pitcher wins, especially not coming off a 2023 season in which they finished 20 games below .500 at 71-91.

Yet, the Nationals have been more competitive this year, at least comparatively, logging a 15-16 record through the end of play on Thursday. That has helped raise all tides in terms of the fantasy ceilings of their current rotation. Williams, MacKenzie Gore, Mitchell Parker, and Jake Irvin all have multiple pitching wins so far.

Williams in particular is worth a look for fantasy managers in search of quality streaming options in all formats, not just deeper leagues. In fact, he makes for a must-add in leagues with 14 or more teams.

Sporting a 2.27 ERA and a 2.88 FIP in his first six starts spanning 31.2 innings, Williams has also rattled off three pitcher wins so far.

Utilizing his sweeper to great effect this year, the offering has seen not only a significant increase in usage rate but whiff rate as well. It’s also limited batters to just a .247 xwOBA so far, the second-lowest number among his six-pitch arsenal after the sinker.

Trevor Williams‘ 2024 Pitch Usage
Trevor Williams‘ 2023 Pitch Usage

Speaking of which, the sinker has played a similarly crucial role in Williams’s success in that it’s helped him induce plenty of grounders. The starter’s 47.8% ground ball rate, if the season finished today, would be the highest metric he’s posted in that category since 2017.

Keeping the ball on the ground more has also helped Williams limit unideal contact. His fly ball rate is lower than it has been in two seasons, and his line drive rate has dipped below 20%. It’s never been below 25% in a season.

Trevor Williams‘ Career Batted Ball Rates


Mike Tauchman – 16%


Tauchman was covered in yesterday’s Fantasy Baseball Category Power Rankings, but it’s worth a slightly deeper dive into just how productive the Cubs outfielder has been this season.

Tauchman entered play Friday hitting .289 with a .422 on-base percentage, three home runs, and a stolen base. Recently promoted to hit second in the Cubs lineup, the veteran has scored 18 runs to go along with 10 RBI.

So the surface-level production checks out, but it’s what the 33-year-old is doing from a quality of contact (and plate discipline) standpoint that stands out – at least in conjunction with his surface-level numbers.

Because Tauchman is pulling off the rare feat of drawing a bunch of walks and not chasing too much outside the zone while still contributing an above-average barrel rate and a similarly strong xwOBA. He’s also, as an aside, not striking out all that much either, with just a 19.6 strikeout rate.

The former Yankee is one of just 10 players league-wide to rank in at least the 79th percentile or better in all of the following categories: walk rate, chase rate, barrel rate, and xwOBA. The rest of the 10 players read mostly as a who’s who of either first-round fantasy draft picks from the spring, or batters who’ve established themselves as impact fantasy options in and around the top 50 or 100 players overall.

The rest of the list in full: Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts, Kyle Tucker, Juan Soto, Riley Greene, Tyler O’Neill, Brandon Nimmo, Taylor Ward, and Tyler Stephenson.


Josh H. Smith – 25%


So far, of all the Texas infielders from a playing time standpoint, Smith seems to have benefited the most from Josh Jung landing on the injured list.

The 26-year-old is hitting .318 with a .423 on-base percentage in 104 plate appearances this season. And while he’s not doing much in the way of barrels (4.2% barrel rate) he’s posting a quality xwOBA (.362) with strikeout (16.3%) and walk rates (11.5%) that aren’t too far off.

What’s more, Smith is also eligible at third base, shortstop, and in the outfield, providing plenty of fantasy utility and versatility, either as a bench cog or a starter capable of rotating between multiple spots each week.

However, the biggest potential plus for fantasy managers is how Smith has taken advantage of situations with runners in scoring position. Hitting regularly in a Texas lineup that has scored the 11th-most runs in the league, nearly a fifth (28) of Smith’s total plate appearances have come with runners in scoring position.

He’s hitting .455 with a 1.162 OPS and a 238 wRC+ in those plate appearances. Among batters with at least 20 plate appearances with runners in scoring position, the batting average is tied with William Conteras and Alec Bohm for the sixth-best in the league. Among the same group, the OPS and wRC+ rank 15th and ninth respectively.


Andy Pages – 23%


Speaking of stepping into a productive lineup and, well, producing, that’s exactly what Andy Pages has done so far.

Playing against both right-handers and left-handers, something that can’t always be said of fellow outfielder James Outman, who the Dodgers haven’t started against left-handers as often latelly, Pages is batting .291 with a .317 on-base percentage and three home runs in 60 total plate appearances so far.

Andy Pages‘ 2024 Splits

Playing regularly in the Dodgers lineup has, rather unsurprisingly, helped the slugger log quality counting stat tallies, with 12 runs scored and 10 RBI so far.

Long known for his power as a prospect, the outfielder hasn’t disappointed in that regard, contributing a 9.1% barrel rate so far, to go along with a .255 ISO, a 47.7% hard-hit rate, a .362 xwOBA, and a .444 xwOBAcon.

Those numbers in a vacuum make the outfielder more than worth a look in leagues with 12 or more teams. However, when viewed in the context of that production coming in the league’s most productive offense, it makes Pages a borderline must-add in almost all fantasy formats.

Entering play Friday, Los Angeles had scored 177 runs, 13 more than the next closest team. Their collective .354 on-base percentage also paced the league by a considerable margin. The Milwaukee Brewers were next closest at .339.

There is the question of what happens to Pages’ playing time when Jason Heyward returns from the injured list, but for now, the combination of his production and the fantasy environment around him makes Andy Pages one of the best players available in the majority fantasy leagues.


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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