Fantasy Baseball

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Waiver Wire

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Welcome Fantasy friends and foes to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Waiver Wire.

WOW, what a week to be a sports fan! USA winning medals in the Olympics. HUGE trades in the NBA and then the NBA Draft. Of course, we also had the MLB Trade Deadline. The Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals clean house while somehow the Los Angeles Dodgers get even better and acquire Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.

Great time to be a sports nut like me. Fantasy managers have to be nuts if they should start acting like the Cubs and Nationals. Take the Dodgers approach, and go for it all and get the players you want now.

I provided three hitters and three pitchers that Fantasy managers should go get now in the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Waiver Wire.

2021 Fantasy Baseball Week 18 Waiver Wire

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Hitters

Brian Anderson, 3B, Miami Marlins

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Since the end of May, Brian Anderson had been out with a left shoulder subluxation, but he returned off the injured list with a bang. Anderson is slashing .368/.478/.684 with a 1.162 OPS and two homers over five games since his return.

Anderson was hitting .250/.316/.371 with three homers, 11 RBI, 12 walks, and three steals across 35 games before his injury. Coming into the season, Anderson was viewed as a solid option at the corner infield spot in deeper leagues. However, he will be a solid contributor with pop in his bat with his recent return that could boost your power categories in deeper formats or NL-only leagues.

Austin Nola, C/1B/2B, San Diego Padres

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Austin Nola was a late-bloomer with not making his MLB debut until he was 29. However, he has been a fantasy revelation over the last two seasons and was ranked as a top 12 catcher coming into the season.

Nola has been out since late May with a knee sprain and missed time earlier this season with a fractured hand. He returned to the San Diego Padres lineup earlier this week and is expected to split time behind the dish with Victor Caratini.

Nola slashed .273/.353/.472 with a .825 OPS and seven homers, 28 RBI, and 18 walks across 48 games last season. He possesses valuable power for Fantasy managers and is worth considering in two-catcher leagues. His multi-position eligibility also provides roster flexibility.

Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers

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First baseman Rowdy Tellez was traded to the Brewers earlier this month from the Toronto Blue Jays, desperate for bullpen help. Tellez was struggling this season, slashing .209/.272/.338 with four homers, so maybe the change of address will help him back to his 2020 production. Last season, the left-handed-hitting slugger hit .283 with eight homers in just 35 games.

The Milwaukee Brewers were forced to running Tellez to start at first base immediately. With Travis Shaw and Daniel Vogelbach both on the injured list and Keston Hiura still struggling, the belief is that Tellez will get a regular opportunity with the Brewers.

Since joining the Brewers, Tellez has slashed .366/.449/.707 with four homers and 12 RBI across 15 games. However, a Trade Deadline deal brought in another bat that might stop the Tellez party. The Brewers acquired Eduardo Escobar from the Arizona Diamondbacks to help boost their lineup. However, this will not ultimately end the fantasy value of the Brewers’ first baseman.

The Brewers will platoon Tellez and start at first base against righties, with Escobar going to third base, his natural position. However, Tellez will be on the bench against southpaws, with Escobar getting the nod at first base.

Fantasy managers should still ride the hot bat of Tellez but be mindful of his daily pitching matchups. Tellez can be a valuable contributor in the power categories and should be owned in deeper formats and NL-only leagues.

Pitchers

Scott Barlow, RP, Kansas City Royals

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The former Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Scott Barlow delivers what Fantasy managers crave: strikeouts and saves.  Barlow has delivered 65 strikeouts in 50 innings this season. He has also produced six saves as the primary closer for the Kansas City Royals.

Barlow owns a 3-3 record with a 2.70 ERA and 2.46 FIP along with a 1.22 WHIP. Last season, Barlow led the majors with 32 game appearances and owned an 11.7 K/9.

Since their hot start this season, the Royals have slumped noticeably, so the save opportunities might not be plentiful. Regardless, Barlow can provide a legitimate boost in the strikeout and save categories. As a result, Barlow shall be owned in deeper leagues and AL-only formats.

Kyle Finnegan, RP, Washington Nationals

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Kyle Finnegan looks to be the next man up in the Washington Nationals bullpen to take over the closer role. After the trades of Brad Hand and Daniel Hudson, the right-hander is now the favorite for save opportunities.

He has converted his last two save chances. He owns a 1.76 ERA and 1.04 WHIP while striking out 15 hitters in 15.1 innings in his previous 15 appearances.

Unfortunately, with the Nationals cleaning house during the MLB Trade Deadline, the decimated Nationals won’t win many games the rest of this season. Therefore, the opportunities will be limited, but a save is a save, so Finnegan is worth adding in roto formats. Which Fantasy manager couldn’t use more saves right now?

Kyle Muller, SP, Atlanta Braves

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Kyle Muller is coming off an excellent outing on Saturday where he went five innings, striking out seven while allowing only one against the Milwaukee Brewers. Overall, the rookie southpaw is 2-3 with a 2.55 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. Hitters are only hitting .176 against Muller and producing a 9.5 SO/9 across 24.2 innings.

Muller was the top pitching prospect in the Atlanta Braves system and owned impressive strikeout numbers in the minors. He was shuttled between the minors and the Braves earlier this season due to the team not needing a starter before the All-Star break. However, Muller is here to stay in the Braves rotation.

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Possessing an above league average of 25.7 SO% and 24.5 S/Str %, Muller throws strikes, and hitters are not squaring him up to the delight of Braves fans and Fantasy managers. Muller is a starting pitcher that should be owned in more than 24% of Fantasy leagues. Fantasy managers should pick up Muller in all leagues as no worse than a streamer option.


Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Baseball content from our fantastic team of writers.

About Dennis Sosic

Dennis Sosic is from Cleveland, Ohio and a HUGE sports fan including NFL (GO BROWNS!) and college football (GO BUCKEYES!) MLB (GO TRIBE), NBA (GO CAVS!) and MMA. He has been called a Sports Geek by friends and foes alike and that fits him perfectly. He has been competing in fantasy sports, mainly fantasy football and baseball for over 20 years. Please do all of us a favor and follow Dennis @ CALL_ME_SOS.

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