Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Week 18

Add these players from waivers for your week 18 fantasy baseball match

In weekly FAAB leagues, your waiver wire claims have likely already been processed. Our FAAB Insights articles are great sources for finding targets ahead of weekly waiver deadlines.

Here, you will find players you can pick up if you have daily waiver claims or if you are able to pick up players throughout the week.

These are players you should consider adding from the waiver wire for matchup number 18 who are available in 60% or fewer of ESPN leagues.



Ryan Jeffers (C – MIN) 1% Rostered

Ryan Jeffers has been hot over the last seven days, batting .500 with a run, an RBI, and two steals. On the season, he has five homers, 24 runs, 16 RBI, three steals, and a .280 AVG. Here he is coming in clutch for the Twins:

Jeffers has earned a ton of playing time lately with his hot bat. Arguably, his bat has been too hot – he has a .396 BABIP – but many aspects of his game look sustainable otherwise.

Jeffers has a career-best 10% walk rate and a 28% strikeout rate which is better than his career average. His line drive rate is a career-best 20%, but even that isn’t enough to keep his BABIP up 90 points higher than his career .303 BABIP. He will likely experience regression to his BABIP and AVG over the rest of the season, but he should avoid a total drop-off with his ability to drive the ball and avoid ground balls.

Jeffers also has excellent quality of contact. He has a 44.5% HardHit rate that would rank fourth among catchers if he qualified.

All of his improvements this season have led to an excellent Hitter Performance according to our PLV metric:

If you need help at catcher, consider adding Jeffers from the waiver wire.

Honorable Mention: Yainer Diaz (5%), Cal Raleigh (25%), Connor Wong (1%), Yan Gomes (5%), Danny Jansen (16%), Yasmani Grandal (6%), David Fry (0%), Henry Davis (23%), Luis Campusano (1%), Riley Adams (0%)


Corner Infield

Jeimer Candelario (3B – WAS) 19% Rostered

Jeimer Candelario continues to have a career year. He has 16 home runs, 57 runs, 53 RBI, five steals, and a .258 AVG. He projects to surpass his previous career highs in all roto categories except for batting average.

Candelario has lowered his strikeout rate to a career-best 21%, largely thanks to a career-best 78.9% contact rate. He has done especially well on pitches outside of the strike zone, making contact with 66.4% of them for the second-best rate of his career.

Candelario’s 21% LD rate and 43% pull rate are essentially identical to his career averages, as is his .295 BABIP. These factors make his .258 AVG look legit.

His Hitter Performance has been exceptional, especially lately:

Candelario could be on the move to a new lineup, so fantasy managers should keep an eye on where he ends up. It could affect his playing time, and depending on where he lands, the park could impact his offensive output as well.

Regardless, Candelario is an excellent add from the waiver wire for anyone looking for corner infield help.

Honorable Mention: Triston Casas (40%), Wilmer Flores (24%), Mike Moustakas (2%), Spencer Torkelson (16%), Carlos Santana (20%), Joey Meneses (21%)


Middle Infield

Luis García WAS (2B/SS – WAS) 11% Rostered

Luis García is on his way to a sneaky good season. He has six homers, 46 runs, 42 RBI, eight steals, and a .268 AVG and is pacing for double-digit homers and steals for the first time in his career. He could also end up with a .270 AVG or better.

Garcia has career bests in a 5.3% walk rate and a 12.4% strikeout rate. That K% ranks 10th best in baseball, tied with Nico Hoerner. Garcia improved his plate discipline this season – his 33% chase rate and 85% contact rate are career bests by far. His Contact Ability has been among the league’s best all season:

Garcia does have some flaws. He puts the ball on the ground too much and doesn’t drive or pull the ball well, which explains a BABIP 20 points lower than his career BABIP. But that comes with some good as well.

His barrel rate and HardHit rates are below league average but are the second-best and best of his career respectively. He also has the highest flyball rate of his career, but the lowest HR/FB rate of his career. That could mean more home runs are on the way.

Garcia is a great off-the-radar fantasy target from the waiver wire, especially in deep leagues and even more so in points leagues.

Honorable Mention: Nolan Gorman (42%), CJ Abrams (28%), Zack Gelof (3%), Edouard Julien (11%), Jon Berti (4%), Orlando Arcia (28%), Trevor Story (15%)



Sal Frelick (OF – MIL) 15% Rostered

Sal Frelick has a home run, eight runs, four RBI, and a .368 AVG across 27 PAs in his first eight games. Frelick’s calling card throughout the minors was his ability to steal and hit for average. He only has 15 homers in the minors since 2021, so the fact that he already has one in the majors is a great sign. The steals will likely follow soon.

Frelick left just one minor league stint with an AVG below .291 and never had a strikeout rate above 18.5%. So far, in the majors, he has twice as many walks as strikeouts. Of course, that can sustain a high AVG, but his .353 BABIP is likely to drop as his sample size grows. Even still, he sustained high BABIPs and AVGs throughout the minors and possesses the skill to continue to do so in the majors.

Frelick drove and pulled the ball well in the minors, and while his 11% LD rate is extremely low (it should experience some positive regression), his 44% pull rate is excellent. Those should keep his BABIP and AVG up close to where he had them in the minors.

As long as he continues to maintain his excellent eye at the plate, he could help fantasy teams in batting average, steals, and runs. He makes for a great target off the waiver wire where available.

Honorable Mention: Chas McCormick (30%), Lars Nootbaar (20%), Mike Tauchman (2%), Max Kepler (4%), Alex Kirilloff (9%), Willi Castro (2%), Andrew Benintendi (18%), Will Benson (6%), Randal Grichuk (5%), Riley Greene (20%), Mickey Moniak (23%), Jake Fraley (37%), Jarren Duran (24%), Matt Wallner (1%)


Starting Pitcher

J.P. France (SP) – HOU) 18% Rostered

J.P. France has been underrostered and overlooked for much of the season in fantasy leagues. It is time he gets a boost to his rostership. Despite owning just a 6 K/9 rate, other aspects of his game make him an enticing fantasy option.

In 84.2 IP, France has a 58:24 K:BB rate with six wins and nine quality starts, making him valuable in nearly every fantasy scoring format. He is under the threshold to qualify, but his 81% LOB rate would rank eighth and his 44.7% GB rate would be top-25 if he qualified.

France has a five-pitch mix, featuring a fastball, cutter, changeup, sweeper, and curveball. His offspeed and breaking pitches have been especially filthy this season. France’s changeup and sweeper each have a whiff rate just above 30%. But his curveball has been dominant. It has a 52% whiff rate and a 28% putaway rate. Only Blake Snell and Eury Pérez have higher whiff and pull rates on their curveballs among pitchers who have thrown a curve in at least 10 PAs. Here is a look at France’s curve in action:

According to our PLA data, though France’s cutter has been his best pitch, grading as a Quality Pitch:

The fact that it has not performed as well as it should, coupled with the fact that his K/9 rate is far below what he did throughout the minors, could spell some positive regression to his strikeout totals over the rest of the season.

France should be a waiver wire target priority for the rest of the season.

Honorable Mention: Michael Lorenzen (21%), Kenta Maeda (18%), Kyle Bradish (40%), Seth Lugo (20%), Kyle Hendricks (13%), Josiah Gray (17%), Christopher Sanchez (7%), Bobby Miller (38%), Grayson Rodriguez (16%), Aaron Civale (33%), JP Sears (11%), Logan Allen (23%), Hyun Jin Ryu (5%)


Relief Pitcher

Adam Ottavino (RP – NYM) 5% Rostered

Adam Ottavino likely just became the de facto closer in New York after the Mets traded away David Robertson. He has six saves on the season already.

Ottavino is the most likely candidate to pick up saves, considering his experience and his stuff. Ottavino has an absurd 82% LOB and 57% GB rate. He averaged an 11.4 K/9 rate since 2015, but it is down to just 8.2 this season.

Ottavino’s sweeper/slider has been off the charts this season. According to our PLV data, it grades as his best pitch by far and a Quality Pitch as well:

It has a .195 batting average against, a .135 xBAA, a 23% whiff rate, and a 17% putaway rate. His changeup, cutter, and fastball have also looked great, possessing 28%, 36%, and 50% whiff rates respectively. His lower-than-usual strikeout rate this season could be in line for some positive regression considering how many whiffs his pitches have induced.

Unless Ottavino is also on the move in the coming days, he should be on fantasy managers’ radars as a potential target for saves.

Honorable Mention: Kyle Finnegan (10%), Alex Lange (20%), Adbert Alzolay (11%), Justin Lawrence (3%)

Taylor Tarter

Taylor is a fantasy baseball champion that has been playing for over a decade. Tune into his podcast, Fastball Fantasy Baseball, every Wednesday for in depth analysis making sabermetrics friendly to the everyday fantasy player.

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