Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Week 5

Add these players from waivers for your fantasy matchup

The fantasy season is entering Week 5, and it’s becoming more apparent which drafted players will impact their respective leagues in the upcoming season.

On Wednesday, baseball season will enter the month of May, which is typically a time for fantasy teams to look to make significant roster shakeups from the roster they originally drafted. Whether it’s a team in last place that needs to make whole roster moves or a team that wants to tweak here or there, this week should see a lot of transactions in respective leagues (especially with clubs making their roster changes as well).

Your waiver wire claims are likely already processed in weekly FAAB leagues. Our FAAB Insights articles are excellent sources for finding targets ahead of weekly waiver deadlines. This weekly article targets leagues that utilize daily waivers.

Here are some enticing players available in 60% or fewer Yahoo leagues that managers should consider acquiring this week.



Connor Wong (C-BOS) 15% rostered

Over the past 14 days, Wong has been hitting .350 with four home runs and seven RBI in 40 plate appearances. Even though his role was a bit hazy at the start of the year, the 27-year-old former Dodgers draft pick has solidified his role as the Red Sox’s regular catcher.

There is still some worry about Wong’s decision-making as a hitter in the long term. In terms of the present, though, he is displaying a strong power tool set, which is demonstrated by his power PLV rolling chart this year.

It doesn’t seem like the Red Sox have many catching options for now, especially with Reese McGuire serving as the primary backup. Thus, fantasy managers should ride this hot streak from Wong now while he’s available on waivers.


Honorable Mention: Patrick Bailey (11% rostered), Ryan Jeffers (15% rostered), and Jose Trevino (1% rostered)


Middle Infield

Luis García Jr., (2B-WAS) 20% rostered

García has recently emerged as the Nationals’ primary cleanup hitter, thanks to his .293 average this season.

In the last two weeks, however, García has cooled a bit at the plate, hitting only .256 with one home run in his previous 43 plate appearances. That said, García has been showing a better eye at the plate lately, as demonstrated by the slow rise in his decision value rolling chart.

García and managers who want to roster him in fantasy leagues will need to get on base beyond base hits. As of Sunday, he only has a BB/K ratio of 0.31, which is 14 points lower than his ratio in 2023. He has had the green light on the basepaths regarding stolen bases, as he has swiped four bags in the last 14 days.

Showing better plate decisions and drawing more walks will only help add to García’s stolen base numbers in the future.

Honorable Mention: Willi Castro (11% rostered), Luis Rengifo (43% rostered), and Ernie Clement (2% rostered)


Corner Infield

Gabriel Arias (1B/SS/3B-CLE) 7% rostered

Arias has only 60 plate appearances this year, but he seems to be already impacting the Guardians lineup.

In the last two weeks, Arias has been hitting .308, scoring six runs, a home run, five RBI, and two stolen bases in 39 plate appearances. That kind of multi-category impact and positional versatility could make Arias worth a flier for fantasy managers looking for utility help off the bench.

A nice trend for Arias is that the batted ball contact remains solid, especially on a sweet spot percentage end. After starting slow out of the gate, his sweet spot percentage ranks in the 79th percentile, according to Baseball Savant. His sweet-spot rolling chart also shows a positive trend of improvement not just from the beginning of 2024 but even last year.

Arias has tough competition from other multi-positional infielders on the Cleveland roster, such as Tyler Freeman and Bryan Rocchio. That said, the Guardians may have a dogfight in the AL Central with the Royals, Tigers, and Twins all nipping at their heels.

If Arias continues to hit, the Guardians will have trouble keeping him out of the lineup.

Honorable Mention: Mark Canha (42% rostered), Anthony Rizzo (41% rostered), and Tyler Nevin (1% rostered)



Richie Palacios (OF-TBR) 2% rostered

An injury to Josh Lowe opened up a spot in the Rays’ outfield, and Palacios took advantage. After languishing in the Guardians and Cardinals systems, Palacios has been given an everyday role in Tampa, and he’s been a significant boost to a struggling Rays squad that was swept by the White Sox over the weekend.

Palacios is hitting .311 for the season with three home runs and three stolen bases. In his last 14 days, he has hit .355 with two home runs and two stolen bases. Palacios has a BB/K ratio of 0.63, and though his decision value rolling chart has seen some regression lately, the trends show a hitter who is well above the league average regarding plate decisions.

Palacios is only rostered in 2% of leagues and is firmly entrenched as the Rays’ no. 2 hitter. He should be picked up in leagues now, especially for fantasy managers who need lineup help.


Honorable Mention: Ceddanne Rafaela (22% rostered), Alex Verdugo (42% rostered), and Mike Tauchman (7% rostered)


Starting Pitcher

Erick Fedde (SP-CWS) 23% rostered

As of this writing, Fedde may not be available in your leagues as his rostership percentage has jumped after a solid outing on Sunday in the White Sox’s 4-2 win over Tampa on Sunday.

Against the Rays, Fedde went 8.1 IP and allowed only two runs on seven hits with zero walks. He also struck out nine and posted a CSW% of 28% for the game. For the season, the former Nationals prospect has succeeded with his secondary offerings, which all rate highly in terms of PLV.

In six games this year, Fedde has two wins, a 2.60 ERA, and 39 K in 34.2 IP.

The White Sox will not get many wins this year. However, Fedde may be the “ace” of this rotation and offers enough in his ERA and K categories to make up what could be a lack of wins.


Honorable Mention: Cole Irvin (9% rostered), Emerson Hancock (6% rostered), and Slade Cecconi (4% rostered)


Relief Pitcher

Scott Barlow (RP-CLE) 5% rostered

Barlow is no longer a closer, as he was with the Royals for years, but he’s proven effective in a setup role in Cleveland.

In 14 IP, Barlow has struck out 18 batters while collecting two wins and a save. The right-hander has also been particularly valuable in leagues that utilize holds as a category, as he has already had seven this season.

The ERA is a little high at 3.21 but has declined steadily after a slow start. In terms of his pitch mix, Barlow seems to be back to his 2021 and 2022 self, when he was one of the more underrated relievers in baseball. His overall PLV is 5.25, which is solid, and he’s seeing excellent pitch quality on his breaking offerings, especially his slider.

Barlow may be behind Hunter Gaddis for secondary save opportunities behind Emmanuel Clase. That said, Barlow offers enough in strikeouts and win possibilities that he may be worth targeting by fantasy managers who desperately need bullpen help.


Honorable Mention: Bryan Hudson (1% rostered), Garrett Cleavinger (9% rostered), and Justin Slaten (8% rostered).


Photo by Adobe Stock | Adapted by Carlos Leano

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien is a high school educator and baseball blogger based in the Kansas City metro area. In addition to writing for Pitcher List, he writes about the Kansas City Royals at his own blog, the Royals Reporter, which can be found at royalsreporter.com.

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