It pays to be ahead of the curve in fantasy baseball.
Just ask owners who were lucky enough to snag Aaron Judge before he started launching balls into the stratosphere, or those who rode the wave on Jason Vargas’ hot start on the mound. So, who will be next to deliver the fantasy goods? We have a few candidates in mind.
Here’s who we like as our top five waiver wire pickups for Week 11.
Lewis Brinson, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (27 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues)
The Brewers have some pretty talented players in their pipeline, and Brinson is the latest to get his shot on the big stage. Ranked the 13th prospect in baseball by MLB.com, Brinson made his major league debut Sunday and should see a good amount of action given Keon Broxton’s struggles of late. The upside is tremendous, so he’s definitely worth a look in mixed leagues.
Alex Avila, C, Detroit Tigers (50 percent owned)
Catcher is one of the most frustrating positions in fantasy baseball, but Avila is here to help. While the seasoned veteran doesn’t play every day, he’s been extremely productive when he does, hitting .322 with nine homers and 25 RBIs in just 40 games played. If you can spare the roster spot, Avila is a great plug-and-play guy behind your starting catcher who can give you production when you need it.
Joe Ross, SP, Washington Nationals (40 percent owned)
Ross has all the talent in the world, which has made his inconsistent start to the 2017 season all the more frustrating. But that talent was on full display in his last start, a 12-strikeout gem against a powerful Baltimore Orioles lineup. The 24-year-old likely will have more ups and downs, but the ups can reap some serious benefits. He’s worthy of a roster spot.
Seth Lugo, SP/RP, New York Mets (15 percent owned)
We know what you’re thinking: Can we really trust a Mets starting pitcher? Yet it’s hard not to like Lugo after his strong season debut Sunday, in which he limited the Atlanta Braves to one run over seven innings with six punch-outs. The 27-year-old posted a 2.68 ERA over eight starts last season, too, so there’s a decent track record here.
Neil Walker, 2B, New York Mets (42 percent owned)
Walker won’t blow you out of the water, but he’s putting together another productive season for the Mets with eight home runs and 32 RBIs through 57 games. He’s also on pace to approach or pass his career high in runs scored, a product of hitting cleanup in New York’s lineup. That’s pretty good value for a second baseman.
Thumbnail photo via Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports Images