Deep League Waiver Wire Players To Add – Week 9

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.


Jake Meyers – 8%


From George Springer and Alex Bregman to Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker, the Houston Astros have had a long line of breakout hitters in the Majors. It’s what’s helped keep the team competitive for so long.

Jake Meyers looks like he might be the next name on that list.

Or, at the very least, he’s producing like it.

It’s still early in the grand scheme of things, but the 27-year-old is hitting .302 with a .373 on-base percentage, five home runs, and a pair of stolen bases in 119 plate appearances.

That’s all well and good and certainly points to a breakout season being on the cards, but it’s the underlying metrics that really draw the eye here. Meyers is sporting a .388 xwOBA on the season, with a 522 xSLG and a 9.4% barrel rate.

And while his chase rate has actually gone up since last year from 26.8% to 29.2% (not exactly ideal), Meyers has gone from getting beat by four-seamers and sliders to crushing both pitches. He’s also cut down on his grounders significantly while hitting more line drives more often.



With the exception of the chase rate, that’s a non-small number of the boxes checked in terms of looking for the legitimacy of breakout candidates from one year to another.

That Meyers is hitting towards the bottom half of Houston’s lineup could be better purely from a plate appearance and opportunity standpoint, but the flip side to that coin is that he’s getting all of his plate appearances after some combination of Jose Altuve, Tucker, Alvarez, Bregman, Jeremy Peña, and Jon Singleton.

Regardless of lineup placement, however, Meyers’ quality of contact and regular role in Houston make him a must-add in all fantasy formats, not just deeper leagues.


Tommy Pham – 12%


Last season, Pham was much more effective and impactful than his initial .256 average and .328 on-base percentage might suggest, what with a .361 xwOBA and a 10.7% barrel rate that was his best since the 2016 campaign.

The outfielder also added 16 home runs and 22 RBI in 481 plate appearances in one of his better career fantasy seasons.

All told, the veteran ranked in the 84th percentile or better in chase rate, hard-hit rate, xwOBA, and xBA.

Fast forward to 2024, and with the exception of a slight drop off in barrels and hard-hit rate, Pham is posting eerily similar numbers.

Tommy Pham Since 2023


The White Sox outfielder has also continued to add production in terms of both stolen bases and home runs, logging three of each so far. What’s more, he’s entrenched himself as Chicago’s leadoff hitter so far, which should only help him see more and more opportunities to rack up fantasy counting stats as the season progresses, despite the team struggling to score at times this season.

And while the White Sox being a better run-scoring team would obviously help Pham’s fantasy upside, if the outfielder is traded this summer to a team with a better record, it’d only raise his fantasy ceiling even more so. Of course, that’s all entirely speculative, but if the 15-36 White Sox continue to trade away veteran players, trading Pham would make sense.


Michael Lorenzen – 4%


At 24-27 entering play on Friday, the Texas Rangers aren’t providing too much in the way of pitcher-win potential for some of their starters, similar to what they did last year, which puts a bit of a damper on Lorenzen’s fantasy upside.

Still, the veteran right-hander is worth a look as a streaming option, particularly in deeper leagues where he might eclipse that designation due to the dearth of options on the waiver wire.

There’s no hiding from, or talking around Lorenzen’s 4.74 FIP. It’s not great and he’s struggled with walks at times, walking at least three batters in five of his seven starts this season.

But, utilized in the right matchups, he makes for a quality short-term addition to a fantasy pitching staff.

Despite the walks, Lorenzen has allowed three runs or fewer in five of his seven outings in 2024, including three such outings in which he allowed one run or fewer.

Additionally, assuming the Rangers’ rotation continues as is with no interruptions or replacements, Lorenzen’s next three starts will come at Minnesota (on Saturday), at Miami, and at home to San Francisco.

It might be a bit late in the game to add Lorenzen to start against the Twins, but otherwise, it makes for a promising streaming schedule.

The Marlins have scored the fifth-most runs in the league, while also walking at the league’s lowest collective rate at 6.4%. In terms of the San Francisco matchup, Lorenzen has been much more effective at home this season, which should help him against a team that’s been middle of the pack in terms of runs scored this year.


Michael Lorenzen 2024 Splits


Jorge Mateo – 2%


Mateo has always brought fantasy upside to the table in stolen bases, posting at least 32 stolen bases in each of the last two seasons. The elite production in that statistical category helped paper over lower batting average and home run totals.

While stealing 32 bases last year, Mateo hit .217 with a .260 on-base percentage and seven home runs in 350 plate appearances.

In 2022 he hit .221 with a .267 on-base percentage and 13 home runs in 533 plate appearances to go along with 35 stolen bases.

And while not much has changed from a quality of contact standpoint, Mateo has gotten a bit more fortunate with his BABIP lately, leading to an uptick in both batting average and on-base percentage.


Jorge Mateo Since 2022


It’s a tide that raises all statistical boats, BABIP. And while it might be somewhat short-lived due to the markedly similar (to seasons’ past) quality of contact metrics, Mateo is well worth a look as a streaming option for fantasy managers in deeper leagues in search of stolen base and runs scored production.

Mateo has stolen nine bases in 33 games and 99 plate appearances so far, adding 18 runs scored in a high-powered Baltimore lineup.

Jackson Holiday or, eventually, Coby Mayo could force Mateo into a bench role. The BABIP might taper off before then. But for now, he presents a unique fantasy ceiling with his stolen base potential in one of baseball’s elite offenses.


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.

One response to “Deep League Waiver Wire Players To Add – Week 9”

  1. Mike Honcho says:

    Do you like Meyers over DeLuca, J. Bell, or B.Marsh in a 12 teamer?

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