2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Waiver Wire

by Connor Thomure
2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Waiver Wire

The 2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Waiver Wire is loaded with quality players who need to be added. Seven top players are listed and discussed as the top adds of the week.

This week we are adding a new section to the waiver list. Instead of limiting all our waiver options to those who are rostered in 40% of leagues or less, we are highlighting two players who are over that threshold but still should be rostered more. This week both are starting pitchers. While they aren't available in every league, these two players must be added wherever they are available.

Four of the seven players listed here are starting pitchers. With the recent rash of injuries to Shane Bieber, Gerrit Cole, Eury Perez, Spencer Strider, etc., we thought it best to shout out the best replacements still on the market. Each of these pitchers has their own concerns, which are discussed, but the good outweighs the bad for all of them.

For the All-Access members, you have an additional 28 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Waiver Wire adds to view. These players are broken down into categories for you to pick what helps you most.

Become a member today to unlock this and tons of other great content, including our weekly Pitching Planner, Hitting Planner, MLB DFS Projections, and MLB DFS Cheat Sheet. If you need help finding players to drop, check out the Drop List and Declining Veterans.

2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Waiver Wire

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Shallow League Options

Cody Bradford, SP, Texas Rangers

Starting off the 2024 Fantasy Baseball Week, 3 Waiver Wire is Cody Bradford. The left-hander broke out in a significant way this season by winning his first three games. Through 19.1 innings, he's allowed three earned runs and struck out 17 batters. He doesn't get as many whiffs as an elite strikeout pitcher, but his 27.2% Whiff rate is above league average, allowing him to get plenty of strikeouts.

Baseball Savant lists his Pitching Run Value in the 99th percentile, primarily due to his fastball and breaking run values, which rank in the 99th and 91st percentiles, respectively. His wOBA is astounding .169, ranking third behind Paul Blackburn and Ronel Blanco.

Rangers manager Bruce Bochy has already told reporters that Bradford will remain in the rotation even after Michael Lorenzen is activated off the injured list. Bradford's next start will be Monday, April 14, at the Detroit Tigers. This lines him up for a two-start week; the second game will be against the Atlanta Braves.

Jared Jones, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates

Rookie Jared Jones was one out away from posting a quality start in his Major League debut on March 30. Since then, he has posted two straight quality starts against the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies. Despite this, he has a record of one win and two losses. He's combined for 18 innings pitched, 15 hits allowed (four home runs), two bases on balls, and 25 strikeouts.

At just 22 years old, some could argue that Jones is the best pitcher under the age of 25. His biggest competition, at the moment, is Garrett Crochet. They both have outpaced Dodgers starting pitcher Bobby Miller in the season's early going. Miller was drafted right around the 100 ADP mark coming into the year.

Jones' 34.7% strikeout rate ranks fifth in MLB if the injured Shane Bieber is removed from the board. His base-on-ball rate is also an excellent 2.8%, tied for the 12th best in MLB with Bradford of the Rangers.

My biggest concern with Jones thus far is the hard-hit rate and the long ball. His barrel rate (15.9%) is the ninth worst in baseball and is just under Lance Lynn's (16.2%). Lynn allowed the most home runs in 2023 and could do it again in 2024. On the other hand, Jones is allowing more hard-hit balls than the veteran Lynn. Their hard-hit rates are 54.5% and 45.9%, respectively. Jone's four home runs tie him with 13 other pitchers for the second most in MLB thus far. This is a legitimate concern for the youngster, but the strikeout rate is too high to ignore.

Jones' next start will be on Tuesday, April 16, against the New York Mets on the road. He will not have a two-start week as the Pirates have an off day. However, this means he will be a two-start pitcher the week after.

Other Top Options

Colton Cowser, OF, Baltimore Orioles

Orioles rookie Colton Cowser is swinging a hot bat early this season and doing his best to force his way into the Orioles lineup and your Fantasy lineup. When writing this, he has hit six doubles and two home runs while scoring four runs and recording 11 batted in. The slugger also added a stolen base, although he's not much of a stolen base threat.

These aren't fluke numbers, either. Cowser's Baseball Savant page lights up bright red, and he ranks in the 90th percentile or higher in each of the following statistics: xwOBA (.435), xBA (.343), xSLG (.654), AVG Exit Velocity (93.6 MPH), Barrel Rate (16.7%), Hard-Hit Rate (61.1%), and Chase Rate (18.6%).

These are all great, but my favorite part is that eight of his 12 hits thus far have gone to opposite-field. If Cowser can continue driving the ball to both sides of the field and force the defense to play straight up, he is going to rake at the plate and stack up the base hits and extra-base hits.

Cowser is likely to sit versus left-handed pitchers, but with the majority of pitchers being right-handed, this won't affect his value too much.

Luis Gil, SP, New York Yankees

While Jones from the Pirates might be the best pitcher 25 or younger, Luis Gil is giving him a run for his money. The biggest thing holding him back, however, is the lack of innings early on. Gil has two starts on the season, both lasting less than five innings. Despite the lack of innings, Gil has struck out 14 batters in just nine innings.

In addition, his .081 expected batting average would rank as the best in MLB if he reached the qualifying mark of 10 innings (one inning shy). His actual batting average is an incredible .100, with a slim 3.00 ERA as the cherry on top.

Gil's biggest concern is his base-on-ball rate of 18.4%, which ranks in the seventh percentile. He's recorded seven bases on balls in just nine innings, which is a big reason he can't make it out of the fifth inning. Due to the high base-on-ball rate, he's thrown 179 pitches in these nine innings, forcing him to exit the game early. Despite this concern, Gil is still worthy of an add in the Fantasy Baseball Week 3 Waiver Wire.

Alex Kirilloff, 1B/OF, Minnesota Twins

Is this the year fans and Fantasy Baseball managers finally get to watch Alex Kirilloff breakout? Unfortunately, the answer isn't a straightforward yes or no. Because of his injury history, it's tough to say yes. But it's hard to say no because of his current play at the plate and former top-20 prospect pedigree. If you ask me, I say yes. It's time for Kiriloff's breakout to happen.

Through 10 games, Kiriloff has 11 base hits in 39 plate appearances, including two doubles, three triples, and one home run. He has scored five runs and driven in three RBI. Aside from the extra-base hits, his excellent 12.8% strikeout rate is the best part. This is 10.4% lower than his career average of 23.2%. While it's not likely to stay this low, if Kirilloff can keep it below 20%, he can easily earn an MLB All-Star Game nod this season and be a massive help to Fantasy teams.

Spencer Turnbull, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia newcomer Spencer Turnbull is making a name for himself in his new city. He started his season with 11 scoreless innings while striking out 13 batters. He also allowed just five hits and one base-on-ball. The big difference maker in Turnbull's game this season is the addition of a sweeper. He uses this new pitch 32.7% of the time, which seems to work well for him.

Turnbull is scheduled to start at home on Saturday, April 13, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. I expect him to continue his dominance for at least one more start.

The big question with Turnbull is what the Phillies will do with him once Taijuan Walker is ready to return to the big league rotation. Does Turnbull move to the bullpen, or is Cristopher Sanchez the one that moves? Or do the Phillies opt for a six-man rotation? This might keep some Fantasy managers from adding him, but I'm still in on Turnbull.

Michael Kopech, RP, Chicago White Sox

The brand-new closer for the Chicago White Sox is impressing early on and looks to be the next elite closer in MLB. Through five games, he has 7.1 innings and a 2.45 ERA while being a perfect 2-for-2 on save opportunities.

His command is the best it's ever been, leading him to an astronomically high 38.7% strikeout rate. He's relying on his fastball more this season than in seasons past, but I believe this is a good thing because his four-seamer is one of the most dominant pitches in baseball.

The downside to rostering Kopech is the team context. Being the closer on the White Sox will surely limit his save opportunities.

Best of the Rest

To unlock the Best of the Rest, which includes over 28 more Waiver Wire options, broken down by category need, become an All-Access Member. You will also gain access to the Most Accurate Fantasy Baseball Rankings, DFS Projections, custom league-specific advice on Discord and more!
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