Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Waiver Wire: Don’t Panik!


It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Baseball is back. Many might say that it still feels a little like winter in most of the country and it seems spring is never coming, but baseball is back. It was a pretty exciting first week of the season. To think we are supposed to get more snow in the northeast part of the country this weekend. Did I mention that baseball is back?

If your team seems to be struggling already, don’t worry. Remember that baseball is a marathon and not a sprint. Some teams I have that are doing well I am not too happy with, but I am going to stay cool and let things play out first. Here are a few players though who make my stamp of approval to be picked up this early in the season.

2018 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Waiver Wire

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Nick Markakis, OF, Atlanta Braves  (15% owned in Yahoo)

The opening of the season has been nice for Markakis. Entering Wednesday night, he is hitting .333 with an OBP of .440. He has scored four runs, hit one home run and hit six RBI. Markakis is one of the oldie but goodie type of players.

I have always had a soft spot for Nick Markakis. He is not a flashy player, but seems to get the job done. Right now he is slated to bat in the middle of the Braves order and start in right field. Markakis holds high NL-value to start the season. You do always have to consider that Markakis is aging and Acuna is looming in the minors I am sure to start for the Braves soon.

FAAB Bid: 2%

Joe Panik, 2B, San Francisco Giants (33% owned)

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It is hard to believe that Panik isn’t owned in more leagues. In a second base position where there is a lot of pop in many of their bats; Panik seems to be fitting in so far in 2018. Yes, has never hit more than 10 home runs in one season, but now has three home runs on the short season. This leads to Panik holding great value for a second baseman.

Over the weekend the Giants played the Dodgers in a big rivalry that has been going back for a long time now. Panik was the big bat in the middle of the competition. He had a big homer against Kershaw and Jansen, the top pitcher and closer respectively. Panik is poised for a big 2018. If you need a second baseman gobble him up now because he might not be on the waiver wire for long.

FAAB Bid: 5%


Tyler Mahle, SP, Cincinnati Reds (21% owned)

Entering 2018 and all during spring training, Mahle featured two pitches that were electrifying to get batters out. He was able to start off the season right by defeating the Chicago Cubs.  Mahle may need to get a decent third pitch in order to stay afloat in the majors, but is off to a great start so far.

The Cubs are not off to a great start this season, but Mahle was able to handle the often dominant offense to just one hit and zero runs. He struck out seven batters and went six innings to secure a victory for the Reds. Let’s just say he has a great first name and he will look to continue his hot start against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

FAAB Bid: 3-5%

Jakob Junis, SP, Kansas City Royals (26% owned)

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On Tuesday night, Junis shined in his season debut against the Detroit Tigers. He gave up zero runs in seven-plus innings while only allowing three hits, striking out six and walking only one batter. Junis had a streak of retiring 11 batters in a row that ended when he gave up a leadoff single in the eighth inning. He seemed to have his slider working and frustrating batters by working around the plate.

To end the 2017 season, Junis was a nice pickup and play here and there, but I would say he is able to be picked up and plugged with confidence. It seems like the 2018 Royals are going to have only a few bright spots this year and Junis is hopefully going to be one of them.

FAAB Bid: 5-8%

Deep Dives

These are players who are better suited to be owned in 14-plus team leagues or deeper roster leagues. They have their warts, but will be able to provide some

*FAAB percentages are for deeper leagues.

Christian Villanueva, 3B, San Diego Padres (17% owned)

Meet your starting third baseman for the Padres. Sure there will be some issues with playing time, especially at first as he will split time with Chase Headley and Cory Spangenberg. However, he already has the lion-share of starts and I imagine it will only swing more in his favor soon.

This was proven by his three home run game against the Rockies. Look the Padres, despite the moves they made this offseason are not going anywhere. They know what they have in Headley and Spangenberg. Mine as well give Villanueva a shot and I think he can perform.

FAAB Bid: 5%

Kyle Gibson, SP, Minnesota Twins (17% owned)

Gibson the last two seasons has had an ERA over five, so why am I suggesting him here? It was just three years ago that he finished with an ERA under four.

Perhaps he can regain some of that magic and at this point in the season in deep leagues, you need to take risks on players like this to gain an advantage.

The first outing was both good and bad. The good, throwing six shutout innings with six strikeouts against the Orioles. The bad, five walks. Those walks will catch up to him, but he has never had a walk rate that high before so don’t expect that to continue.

Fact is he is a decent back end of a rotation pitcher for deep leagues, plays on a good team so there should be plenty of run support which means wins for your team.

FAAB Bid: 3-4%

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About Tyler Gettmann

You can follow me on Twitter @RedSox_SF49ers for more fantasy news and advice. Also be sure to like us on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram for all updates from Fantasy Six Pack.

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