Week 16 Deep League Waiver Wire – 7/15

These four players can bring added value in deeper leagues.

Each week we’ll look at a handful of different players who fantasy managers in deeper leagues should consider picking up. 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. This week it’s Ben Lively, Zack Gelof, Tanner Scott, and Edouard Julien who are worth your time as potential additions in deep leagues.

All roster percentages mentioned in this column are via Yahoo fantasy leagues as of Friday afternoon.


Ben Lively – 15%


As with most Cincinnati starting pitchers, Lively isn’t always the most recommended start when the Reds are at home.

However, on the road, or against weaker lineups at home, the 31-year-old makes for a solid option.

Potentially in part due to recently returning from the injured list, Lively has dropped to being rostered in just 15% of Yahoo leagues.

However, when he’s been on the mound, he’s enjoyed a solid season for the Reds so far, pitching to a 3.83 ERA and a 4.85 FIP in 51.2 innings, adding 50 strikeouts compared to 15 walks and 10 home runs allowed in the process.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, seven of the 10 home runs Lively has allowed have come at home, as have 10 of the 15 walks he’s given up.

More than anything, though, the hard-throwing right-hander’s season-long metrics have been negatively impacted by a two-start stretch in early June.

Lively allowed six hits, five earned runs, three walks, and a pair of home runs at home against the Milwaukee Brewers on June 4. Five days later he was tagged for 10 hits, seven earned runs, three home runs, and a walk in 6.2 innings on the road against the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-hander did strike out 13 batters total over the two starts, speaking to his bat-missing upside, but the two starts certainly weren’t ideal for his surface-level metrics.

Ben Lively In 2023

Overall, Lively has given up two runs or fewer in eight of his 10 appearances this season. Or, basically all of his outings that didn’t come as part of that two-start stretch.

Two of his first three scheduled starts in the second half come against the Brewers, a team that finished the first half with fewer runs scored than 21 other clubs. And while Lively did struggle against Milwaukee in early June, he did limit the same Brewers team to four hits, two walks, and an earned run in 5.2 frames, while striking out five batters, in his last start before the All-Star break – logging a 31% CSW rate in the process.


Zack Gelof – 6%


Called up from the minors on Friday along with fellow prospect Tyler Soderstorm, Gelof looks set to make his Major League debut for the Oakland A’s.

The 23-year-old enjoyed a quality season in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League prior to getting called up, batting .304 with a .401 on-base percentage, 12 home runs, and 20 stolen bases in 308 plate appearances. Gelof was also sporting a 13.3% walk rate at the time.

With the ability to get on base and contribute with both home runs and stolen bases, Gelof certainly has fantasy upside, even in an Oakland lineup that’s scored the fewest runs in the league.

However, as one of the organization’s top overall prospects – FanGraphs Tess Taruskin ranked him as the club’s fifth-best prospect late last month – Gelof should see plenty of playing time in Oakland.

And that’s really the clincher here in terms of his fantasy value and why he needs to be added. Opportunity can be king in the right scenarios in terms of boosting the fantasy value of a player, and that’s certainly the case here with Gelof.

Entering play Friday, just two Oakland hitters, with a minimum of 100 plate appearances, owned a wRC+ north of 100.

Of course, this is all entirely speculative, but it’s possible Gelof could find himself hitting near the top of the A’s lineup in short order given how much the American League West club has struggled this season. If that’s the case, he’ll more than likely finish the season rostered in upwards of 50% or 60% of leagues. Add him now before his rostered rate skyrockets.


Tanner Scott – 17%


Scott was mentioned in this column earlier this season as an elite bat-missing option locked into a high-leverage role in Miami.

At the time, the left-hander had logged a 3.00 ERA and a 2.95 FIP in 30 innings to go along with 42 strikeouts, 15 walks allowed, 10 holds, and a pair of saves.

He’s done nothing but (continue to) thrive since then.

In his last 13 appearances, the veteran has struck out 22 of the 54 batters he’s faced in 13.1 innings, scattering just 12 hits and a pair of walks while logging a 2.70 ERA and a 0.66 FIP.

Perhaps most crucially for fantasy managers, Scott has logged eight holds during that span. Thanks in part to that stretch, the Marlins reliever is tied for the second-most holds in the sport since the start of June.

Holds Leaders Since June 1

Still rostered in only 17% of Yahoo leagues, and with Andrew Nardi now on the 15-day injured list, Scott is a must-add in saves+holds leagues and makes for an intriguing addition in more standard-scoring leagues as well as an ancillary save option.

Marlins 2023 Saves Leaders


Edouard Julien – 4%


Edouard Julien is more of a short-term streaming option at second base, but he’s a quality option nonetheless.

With Jorge Polanco on the injured list, Julien has stepped in at second base and seen significant playing time for the Minnesota Twins. For the season, the 24-year-old rookie is batting .271 with a .349 on-base percentage, seven home runs, and a stolen base in 153 plate appearances.

When Polanco returned from a previous stint on the injured list earlier this season, Julien was optioned to Triple-A, so it’s possible (at least speculatively speaking) that the same thing could happen again.

However, in the meantime, the 24-year-old is worth a look for fantasy managers in search of power production.

Because while his .271 batting average might be a tad bit unsustainable, what with a .372 BABIP, a .216 xBA, and a .314 xwOBA, the power production doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere as long as Julien is getting regular starts.

The infielder is sporting a 15.4% barrel rate as of the beginning of play on Friday, and the upcoming schedule certainly shouldn’t hurt where home run potential is concerned. Starting with a three-game series against Oakland on Friday, the Twins will play six of their first 10 games against the A’s and Chicago White Sox, two of the most homer-prone teams in the league.

Highest HR/9 Rates

Graphic adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on Twitter)

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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