2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 5 Waiver Wire

by Connor Thomure
2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 5 Waiver Wire

The 2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 5 Waiver Wire includes two shallow league options for Fantasy Baseball managers to add or pick up in 10-12 team leagues. After them are five additional players considered top Waiver Wire options in the deeper 12-team leagues and 14-team leagues.

The shallow league options have roster percentages below 60%, whereas the other top options have roster percentages below 40%. No matter what their roster percentage is, these players have been some of the best in baseball over the last 14 days, and one in particular is being compared to two of the greats in MLB, Mike Trout and Kyle Tucker. Just because he is earning this comparison doesn't mean he is the best or is the only one worth adding. The players listed and discussed below have various positions and skills, including one considered a utility player with multi-positional eligibility.

In the Best of the Rest section, 31 players are further discussed. The 15 batters are broken down into categories with which they will help Fantasy Baseball managers the most. On the other hand, the pitchers are separated into starting pitchers and relief pitchers. Each pitcher will have a stat line next to their name, which includes innings pitched, strikeouts, earned run average (ERA), and their record. The relief pitchers have saves and holds substituted for the record.

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2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 5 Waiver Wire

Shallow League Options

Travis d'Arnaud, C, Atlanta Braves

How could we start the Fantasy Baseball Week 5 Waiver Wire with anybody else but Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud? Over the last 14 days, his wOBA (.572) has ranked second in Major League Baseball, behind Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Daulton Varsho (.581). This is being pushed by his stunning display in the last seven days, where he hit five home runs in six games. Three came on April 19 versus the Texas Rangers including a seventh inning grand slam to break the tie. All in all, over the last 14 days, the catcher scored seven runs and 11 runs batted in.

Before this fantastic stretch of baseball, d'Arnaud wasn't doing so great. He slashed .200/.250/.311 with five runs and four runs batted in across 14 games and 48 plate appearances. This led to an awful .252 wOBA, and at the time, Fantasy Baseball managers would not touch him with a 10-foot stick.

Obviously, if a Fantasy manager already rosters a star catcher such as William Contreras or Will Smith, then they don't need to add the Braves catcher from the Waiver Wire. But if they are relying on Gabriel Moreno or Bo Naylor to come around or if they need a replacement for the injured Francisco Alvarez, then d'Arnuad is a perfect Waiver Wire addition.

d'Arnaud will likely lose his spot in the Atlanta Braves starting lineup sometime in May when starting catcher Sean Murphy returns. However, this leaves plenty of games for him to provide value in Fantasy Baseball in the short term. Don't pick up d'Arnuad expecting him to be a year-long addition; ride the hot bat with this one.

Eugenio Suarez, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks

Eugenio Suarez is probably the most interesting player on the 2024 Week 5 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire. The Arizona Diamondbacks' third baseman is posting a .288 wOBA and 80 wRC+. On the other hand, his runs scored (16) and run batted in (16) both rank in the top 30 of MLB batters. So why are his wOBA and wRC+ so low? It's because he only has seven extra-base hits on the year (five doubles and two home runs).

Suarez is bound to bat every day in the heart of the Arizona Diamondbacks' starting lineup. The Diamondbacks lineup ranks second in runs scored this season, behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. As long as Suarez is in this lineup, he will continue to score. It won't be rainbows and butterflies every day of the week, but sunshine will find its way into Fantasy Baseball rosters that have Suarez.

Other Top Options

Reese Olson, SP, Detroit Tigers

Reese Olson is coming off his best start of the season. On Friday, April 26, Olson faced the Kansas City Royals. He allowed just three runs in seven innings while striking out eight batters. Olson came away with the loss after Royals starting pitcher Seth Lugo earned the win by throwing seven shutout innings. Despite the one earned run and loss, Olson was as dominant as ever.

Olson sits at 28.1 innings pitched on the season. This start pushes the right-hander's season-long ERA to 3.18 with a 2.79 FIP and 4.20 xFIP. He is striking out an average of 8.26 batters per nine innings and allowing 3.49 bases on balls per nine innings. The strikeout to base on ball rate (10.4%), is below league average, but Olson is producing lots of chases (33.5%) and whiffs (29.7%) and could lead to an increase in his strikeout rate.

On Wednesday, Olson will step on the mound when the Detroit Tigers face off versus the St. Louis Cardinals in Detroit at Comerica Park. The Cardinals have scored the fifth fewest runs in baseball and posted the fifth-worst OPS. They have the 16th most strikeouts (216) and 12th most bases on balls (90). Overall, it is a favorable matchup for Olson.

Josh Smith, 3B/SS/OF, Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers utility man Josh Smith is enjoying an excellent time at the plate in April. This month, he has recorded a hit in 20 of his 24 appearances, leading to a .293/.391/.427 slash line. Unfortunately, the downfall for Smith is the run production. Despite an impressive on-base percentage, Smith only has 12 runs and 12 runs batted in in 26 games—both rank outside the top 65 of qualified MLB batters.

The former top-100 prospect is mixing in time between third base and shortstop, but he also has experience in the outfield. This flexibility will allow Smith to have an everyday role despite the presence of Corey Seager at shortstop, which is Smith's natural position.

With all of the hype surrounding the rest of the Texas Rangers starting lineup (Evan Carter, Adolis Garcia Wyatt Langford, Nathaniel Lowe, and Marcus Semien), Smith is quietly flying under the radar. His roster percentage (Yahoo) is a meager 14%. I know his run production is still behind, but an everyday role in this stacked Rangers lineup will begin to lead to plenty of runs for Smith sooner rather than later.

Bryce Elder, SP, Atlanta Braves

A recent minor-league callup is Bryce Elder to the Atlanta Braves. When news broke that Elder earned a promotion and would make his 2024 season debut, Fantasy Baseball managers rushed to add him from the Waiver Wire. However, his roster percentage still sits at 35%, leaving plenty of 12-team leagues with him on the Waiver Wire.

The ones who were lucky enough to add Elder were happy to see his great performance against the divisional rival Miami Marlins. He tossed 6.2 shutout innings and struck out four batters. Elder did allow eight hits, but he managed to leave 100% of them on base. He posted a 2.39 FIP and 3.22 xFIP in the contest.

Elder is due to pitch again on Sunday, April 28, at home versus the Cleveland Guardians. The Guardians are a much more formidable opponent than the Marlins, but Elder has already shown in the past that he can be a successful big leaguer. His 3.56 career ERA across 235.1 innings is mightily impressive.

After this, the road gets even more challenging when Elder faces the Los Angeles Dodgers this upcoming weekend. Fantasy managers should run Elder out there for the first game, and unless he blows up, keep him in the lineup for the Dodgers game.

Brenton Doyle, OF, Colorado Rockies

Over the last 14 days, Brenton Doyle ranks sixth in wOBA (.427) among batters with a roster percentage below 40%. In this span, his slugging percentage (.556) ranks ninth, and his on-base percentage (.417) ranks eighth. He also recorded nine runs and three runs batted in. The speedy outfielder recorded all four stolen bases in this 14-day window.

This isn't just a simple hot stretch, either. Doyle is having a great season for the Colorado Rockies. His wOBA for the year sits at .394 over 94 plate appearances and he ranks 20th in this statistic between Kyle Tucker and Mike Trout. His 16 runs batted in are tied with fellow Waiver Wire mate Suarez for 27th in MLB. Doyle is slashing an impressive .330/.371/.527 line. The .527 slugging percentage ranks 21st in MLB, just behind St. Louis Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras (.529). Doyle also ranks 35th in on-base percentage and 13th in batting average.

The biggest downfall and a big limiter to Doyle's Fantasy Baseball value is his lack of runs batted in. He currently sits at eight through 25 games. For two main reasons, Fantasy managers shouldn't let this bother them too much. Firstly, Doyle primarily batted at the bottom of the Colorado Rockies lineup to start the year. Then he shifted and moved up to seventh in the order and most recently batted second in the Rockies game on Thursday. It's only a matter of time before the outfielder earns a role at the top of the lineup.

Secondly, Doyle shows that he can be a great hitter anywhere and isn't a product of Coors Field. Many Rockies batters struggle with this, but Doyle is arguably doing better while playing in away games.

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Simeon Woods Richardson, SP, Minnesota Twins

Simeon Woods Richardson was promoted to the big leagues and made his second MLB start of the season on Thursday against the Chicago White Sox. He struck out six batters and allowed two earned runs across five innings. It is another impressive outing for the former top-100 prospect, who has 11 strikeouts, two bases on balls in 11 innings, and a minuscule three earned runs.

Woods Richardson will make another start against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday in Chicago. Fantasy Baseball managers should expect nothing less than a repeat performance from the Minnesota Twins starting pitcher.

It won't be a two-start week from the pitcher, but if things go well and Woods Richardson earns another start, he will be a Fantasy Baseball Week 6 Two-Start Pitcher. These games would come at home on Monday versus the Seattle Mariners, then on the road against his former organization, the Toronto Blue Jays. Neither is a daunting matchup, and Woods Richardson should hold his value through them.

Best of the Rest

This week, the Best of the Rest contains 31 players. The hitters are separated by category so that Fantasy managers know what they are getting into with each player. On the other hand, the pitchers are divided into starters and relievers. The Favorite of the Week section is back, where I highlight my favorite hitter and pitcher who did not make it as a top option for the 2024 Fantasy Baseball Week 5 Waiver Wire.

To unlock the Best of the Rest, which includes over 30 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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