We’re only two weeks into the fantasy baseball season, and injuries are starting to take their toll.
A growing number of big names have landed on the disabled list early in 2017, forcing fantasy owners to find replacements to keep their lineups afloat.
The good news: We’re here to help. This week’s crop of waiver wire additions features a few players who can hold down your lineup while your stars are on the mend, as well as a pair of young pitchers who could give your rotation a nice boost.
Here are our five top waiver wire options for Week 3.
Cesar Hernandez, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies (38 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues)
We’ll forgive you if Hernandez flew under your radar on the lowly Phillies. But it’s time to take notice of Philly’s new leadoff hitter, who enters Monday with an impressive .346/.393/.615 slash line to go along with a league-best 13 runs scored. Hernandez has tallied a hit in all but one of his first 12 games, and while his numbers eventually will regress, he’s still a great short-term option for fantasy owners seeking middle infield replacements for injured guys like Jean Segura and Trea Turner.
Brad Brach, RP, Baltimore Orioles (52 percent owned)
Zach Britton’s trip to the 10-day disabled list means you need an emergency source of saves. So, why not just scoop up Britton’s temporary replacement? Brach appears to be in line to get save opportunities while Britton is on the shelf, and considering the right-hander has allowed just one hit over six innings pitched with 10 strikeouts this season, he’s a pretty safe bet to convert on those chances. Darren O’Day could challenge Brach for the closer job, but the latter is the guy you want to add to shore up your relief unit.
Luis Severino, SP, New York Yankees (43 percent owned)
The 23-year-old fireballer has the pedigree of one of New York’s top prospects but experienced an especially rough 2016 campaign. Severino put it all together Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays, though, allowing just two runs over seven innings while whiffing 11 and walking one. Is that a sign of brighter things to come? It might be too early to tell, but a Tuesday start against a relatively toothless Chicago White Sox lineup makes Severino worthy of a spot start in your lineup.
Eugenio Suarez, 3B, Cincinnati Reds (71 percent owned)
We realize a guy who’s 71 percent owned isn’t a typical “waiver wire” candidate, but the recent injury to All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson gives Suarez even more value entering Week 3. The 25-year-old third baseman has played a big role in Cincinnati’s surprising hot start, posting a .364 batting average with three homers and 10 RBIs out of the No. 5 hole. That kind of production has been hard to come by at the hot corner so far this season, so Suarez is a great plug-and-play option if he’s still available in your league.
Amir Garrett, SP, Reds (50 percent owned)
Much in the mold of Severino, Garrett is a young arm with a high ceiling who’s started strong in 2017. The 24-year-old boasts a 2-0 record with a 1.42 ERA and nine strikeouts through his first two starts and posted impressive numbers last season during his rise through Cincinnati’s minor league ranks. It’s hard to put a whole lot of trust in such a small sample size, but Garrett’s 0.711 WHIP suggests he’s doing something right. He’s worth taking a flyer on in mixed leagues.
Thumbnail photo via Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports Images