Week 22 Deep League Waiver Wire – 8/26

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 JoJo Romero, Noelvi Marte, Edouard Julien, and Michael King 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.


JoJo Romero – 7%


There’s a new name in contention for both saves and high-leverage looks in St. Louis down the stretch. With Ryan Helsley on the injured list and Jordan Hicks now in Toronto as a member of the Blue Jays, Romero has stepped into the ninth-inning mix alongside Giovanny Gallegos.

Romero has largely been somewhere between good and very good for the Cardinals this season, logging a 3.55 ERA and a 2.33 FIP in 25 appearances spanning 33 innings. He’s struck out 37 batters in that span while allowing just nine walks and a home run.

It’s not the largest sample size in the world, but it’s moved well past the point of being a flash in the pan success-wise.

And much of Romero’s success so far has been down to an excellent changeup and slider pairing. Of course, the reliever’s pitch arsenal is fronted by his sinker, and he’ll still utilize a four-seamer, but the changeup and slider have been particularly effective so far, both in limiting bats and quality contact.

(Side note: Romero has also thrown exactly one cutter this season, per Statcast. It registered a swing and miss the only time it was thrown.)

And while the bat-missing ability is certainly a positive on its own, it’s the pairing of it and Romero’s overall usage as of late that makes him a priority add in most fantasy leagues, deep leagues or not.

Since Hicks was traded to Toronto, Romero is tied with Drew VerHagen, Gallegos and Andre Pallante for the team lead with two high-leverage appearances apiece. Both of Romero’s high-leverage outings came in the ninth inning. No other Cardinals reliever has had a high-leverage, ninth-inning outing since Hicks was dealt.

In fact, since the Hicks trade on August 30, Romero has three of St. Louis’ four saves.

Of course, this being the 56-72 Cardinals with a -56 run differential, there probably won’t be an overabundance of save opportunities down the stretch. Furthermore, the ninth-inning opportunities for Romero could dry up once Helsely returns.

But, in roto leagues, or for those in need of saves in crucial head-to-head matchups in the short term, Romero is an ideal waiver-wire addition.


Noelvi Marte – 11%


Marte, a former top prospect and one of the key players in last year’s Luis Castillo deal, deserves to be added in most fantasy leagues based on his upside at the plate alone.

FanGraphs gave him the following current and future grades.

Noelvi Marte’s Current and Future Grades, Per FanGraphs

Many a top prospect has made an instant impact this season, and Marte could be no different, especially considering he also gets to play home games at Great American Ballpark, which might be the exact definition of an extremelyhitter-friendly, launchpad of a stadium.

Hitting behind some combination of Elly De La Cruz (11 home runs, 21 stolen bases), Spencer Steer (18 home runs, .356 on-base percentage, 116 wRC+), and Matt McLain (15 home runs, .872 OPS) certainly doesn’t hurt either.

But on top of all that, and something that elevates Marte from someone you should maybe, probably add to more of a must-add is, the fact that he’s stealing bases at a high rate so far.

The former Mariners prospect, who finished with 18 stolen bases in 89 games split between Double-A and Triple-A this season, already has three stolen bases in only five Major League games.

It’s the most minuscule, tiny, blip on the radar of a sample size, but it’s a potentially significant development moving forward if it continues given Marte’s impact upside at the plate. The infielder is well worth an add, even just as someone to keep on fantasy benches, to see if the stolen bases keep flowing with regularity.


Edouard Julien – 18%


Edouard Julien really needs to be rostered in a lot more leagues. Like a lot more. Whether it’s in more standard-scoring fantasy leagues, or leagues where on-base percentage is part of the scoring, Julien needs to be rostered by more teams.

First and foremost, let’s look at some blind resumes.

Second baseman A is Julien, who’s also added 10 home runs and three stolen bases in what’s been a breakout season at the plate for the Twins infielder. Second Baseman B? That’d be Jose Altuve.

Jose Altuve is rostered in 95% of Yahoo leagues.

Eduard Julien (as referenced above) is rostered in 18% of Yahoo leagues.

Keying in on Julien’s .346 xwOBA, it’s the fifth-best among second basemen with at least 250 plate appearances, after only Mookie Betts, Nolan Gorman, Gleyber Torres, and Brendan Donovan. It’s also exactly the same, although in 288 fewer plate appearances, as Julio Rodríguez’s this season.

And if you’re ok with comparing hitters with a bit of a gap in plate appearances, here’s another blind resume test. You can probably guess which player is Julien.

Player B is Michael Harris II.

Player C is Corbin Carroll.

Harris II and Carroll’s respective roster rates in Yahoo leagues? 99% and 95%.

Just as with Altuve there’s a difference in strikeout rate. And given the smaller comparative, sample size, Jullien’s counting stats aren’t quite where Harris II and Carroll’s are. Still, he’s making contact at a very much above-average rate and looks like a top-1o option at his position. Both at this moment in time and for the rest of the season.


Michael King – 15%


The Yankees have utilized Michael King in a variety of different roles this season, both as a short stint, high-leverage reliever late in games, as well as someone who can throw multiple innings.

Overall, the veteran has pitched to a 3.13 ERA, a 3.51 FIP, 82 strikeouts, 25 walks, and seven home runs allowed in 69 innings. He’s also tacked on eight holds and six saves.

And while just two of those saves have come since June 15, King’s recent usage by the Yankees makes him an intriguing addition for fantasy managers looking to keep their weekly ERA and WHIP numbers down.

The right-hander has recorded more than three outs in all but one of his past seven appearances, serving as an opener in two of those instances. Potential starting pitcher eligibility aside (which would be a nice bonus), King logging more innings is certainly a positive moving forward.

Michael King Since August 3

From August 5 through August 12 specifically, King struck out 10 of the 24 batters he faced in 5.2 innings while scattering seven hits, two earned runs, and a home run. He also finished with two holds during the stretch. That production came in eight days instead of a week, but if King is able to replicate those types of numbers with that type of workload, he’s very much someone to consider adding.

Not only is he chipping in with holds, but his overall numbers in that stretch would be excellent from a rotation option or a streaming starter in a vacuum. The fact that King has the potential to provide that while adding holds from a reliever spot in your starting lineup only boosts his value even more so, particularly in saves+holds leagues.


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.

One response to “Week 22 Deep League Waiver Wire – 8/26”

  1. Mike Honcho says:

    In a 12 teamers, do you like E. Julien over Gimenez, J.Rojas, Edman, or M.Garcia at MI?

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