Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Week 5

Add these players from waivers for your week 5 fantasy baseball matchup

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 four who are available in 60% or fewer of ESPN leagues.



Gabriel Moreno (C – ARI) 9.7% Rostered

Gabriel Moreno is the rare catcher that can hit for average. He has a .290 AVG after 73 PAs this year and a .304 AVG in 146 PAs across parts of two seasons. Granted, he only has two home runs during that time, but hitting for average at a scarce position has great value, especially when the league is hitting .246 and catchers are hitting .239 this year.

That being said, Moreno has improved his hard contact data from last season. He has a 5.5% barrel rate and a respectable 40% HardHit rate. His launch angle is the exact same as last season, but with the added hard contact, it has resulted in more line drives and fewer groundballs.

This is a catcher to add from waivers now if you have yet to find that guy or if you need some help with your team’s batting average.

Honorable Mention: Blake Sabol (.6%), Shea Langeliers (10.7%), Yan Gomes (8.9%), Christian Bethancourt (11.1%)


Corner Infield

Brandon Drury (1B/3B/2B – LAA) 36% Rostered

It has taken a few weeks, but Brandon Drury has turned things up and you should consider adding him from waivers.

In his last 23 at-bats, he has 10 hits, including two doubles, a triple, and four homers. During that span, he has 12 RBI and seven runs scored.

Drury has an 8.1% barrel rate and a career-best 50% HardHit rate on the season. Many of his other background stats reflect what he did last year. His line drive rate, BABIP, and HR/FB rate are identical or nearly identical to last season. While he has taken a step back in many plate discipline stats resulting in a low .244 AVG, the uptick in FB% and an increase in launch angle and HardHit rate should sustain a boost in power.

Here is Drury’s PLV Power data from 2022 and 2023.

This season, his power is already better than what it was most of last season. He is a risk to strike out quite a bit but has a chance to hit 30 or more home runs. Drury is an excellent waiver wire target for this week.

Honorable Mention: Corey Julks (1.5%), Justyn-Henry Malloy (.2%), Ramón Urías (1.9%), Ezequiel Duran (.9%), Josh Jung (21.3%), Harold Ramírez (36.6%)


Middle Infield

Paul DeJong (SS – STL) 2.7% Rostered

Paul DeJong has played 190 games over the last two seasons, tallying 25 home runs with a .182 AVG over that span. While his current .348 AVG is unrealistic thanks in large part to a small sample size and a .400 BABIP, early returns show an improved hitter.

His chase rate is high at 36.4%, but he is swinging more than usual and making more overall contact than last year. That shift in approach, along with an uptick in barrel and HardHit rates have led to two home runs in 24 at-bats. Here is his most recent:

DeJong is a .234 hitter with a career .278 BABIP, so expect regression in the near future. But he is also a streaky player and is worth adding from waivers if you need a boost to your middle infield this week.

Honorable Mention: Taylor Walls (23.8%), Kiké Hernández (12.7%), Rodolfo Castro (4.6%), Geraldo Perdomo (8.1%)



LaMonte Wade Jr.(OF – SF) 1.4% Rostered

I wanted to recommend LaMonte Wade Jr. for this article last week, but he had a .191 AVG at the time, though signs pointed to the improvements that eventually followed.

He had a higher walk rate than strikeout rate (and still does), which along with a .233 BABIP at the time, did not align with a batting average below the Mendoza Line.

Wade is also hitting the ball extremely well, barreling that ball 14.3% of the time with a 40.8% HardHit rate. It finally started to earn him some home runs. He hit two between April 26 and 29 after hitting two over the previous 18 games. In fact, he is near the 90th percentile in power according to our PLV metric:

Wade has at least one hit in each of his last five games and has brought his AVG up to .242 with a .273 BABIP that is just 10 points higher than his career BABIP.

In 90 PAs, Wade is already halfway to his 2022 home run total of eight homers in 250 PAs. Wade is an improved player this season, and is an excellent off-the-radar waiver wire add, especially in points leagues or leagues that value walks or OBP.

Honorable Mention: Joey Gallo (16.7%), Connor Joe (14.9%)


Starting Pitcher

MacKenzie Gore (SP – WAS) 21.3% Rostered

MacKenzie Gore is finally playing up to his prospect pedigree and showing the Nationals and their fans that he was worth being the centerpiece of a massive trade involving Juan Soto. While Gore’s walk rate is an ugly 5.3 BB/9, he has an 11.6 K/9 rate and a 50.8% GB rate that both rank among the top 15 in the league. His .293 BABIP is relatively normal for a pitcher and a 12.5% HR/FB rate is about league average, meaning his 3.00 ERA reflects close to his true talent.

His xFIP is 3.49 and his xERA is 3.32, while his PLA is 3.84. He is primarily a fastball, curveball, and slider pitcher. None of his pitches have a batting average against higher than .235, and all four of his pitches have a whiff rate of over 25% and a putaway rate of over 17.5%. He grades overall as a slightly above-league-average pitcher according to our PLV data:

His curveball is his best pitch, with a 45.8% whiff rate, which is tied for highest on a curveball with Zac Gallen, and 17th highest in baseball on any pitch. Gore has thrown his curveball 96 times this season, with four hits against it. Here’s how it looked last week:

If he is available in your league, he is a must-add from waivers right now.

Honorable Mention: Eduardo Rodriguez (49.5%), Nathan Eovaldi (55.2%), Mitch Keller (33.9%), Drew Smyly (16.5%),  Tyler Wells (11.2%), Graham Ashcraft (41.4%), Anthony DeSclafani (55.9%), Alex Cobb (52.2%), Josiah Gray (11.5%), Joey Lucchesi (7.6%), Logan Allen (16.9%), Bailey Ober (6.4%), Kyle Gibson (27.7%)


Relief Pitcher

Alex Lange (RP – DET) 8.9% Rostered

Over the last week, 37 different relievers earned at least one save. Finding a consistent reliever on waivers is extremely difficult, and even though Detroit is one of the worst teams in baseball, Alex Lange seems locked into the closer role.

Lange’s arsenal features a nasty curveball, sinker, and changeup combo, plus a fastball that he rarely throws. Here’s a look at some of his work:

His changeup and fastball have yet to be hit, while his curveball has a batting average against of .185 and his sinker has a batting average against of .154. His curveball is so filthy, it nearly qualifies as a quality pitch according to our PLA data:

Lange has a 1.50 ERA with a 1.53 xERA and is inducing groundballs 53.3% of the time while stranding runners at an 83.3% rate. Now is the time to get in on Lange, so add him from the waiver wire as soon as you can.

Honorable Mention: Carlos Estévez (14%), Scott Barlow (41.1%), Brusdar Graterol (3.4%), Will Smith (4.9%), José Alvarado (53.1%), Bryan Abreu (14.6%), A.J. Puk (18.8%), Liam Hendriks (18.3%)

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.

2 responses to “Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Week 5”

  1. Joe Mulvey says:

    Taylor, would you let Tyler O’Neil go for Wade or Rooker?

    • Taylor says:

      Tough call. I think O’Neill has more in the tank, but it’s a tough situation. I’d maybe hold him for one more week before I pick anyone else up. I’d go Wade barely ahead of Rooker. I think Rooker regresses.

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