After an exciting opening weekend of baseball, we have our first full week of fantasy action coming up. Week one runs through the end of next weekend in the majority of fantasy leagues, so we’ll take a look at waiver additions for the remainder of this opening fantasy week.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Picks: Week 1
Due to service time restrictions, teams are keeping their top prospects out for the first week of the season for an extra year of player control. This prospect list is lead by Toronto Blue Jays right-handed pitcher Nate Pearson. His ownership percentage has climbed up to 24% in ESPN leagues with fans anticipating his MLB debut. Per MLB Pipeline, Pearson is a top three pitching prospect with a powerful fastball consistently over 100 mph. It would be smart to jump on him now because he will likely be owned in all standard leagues in a week or two.
The Blue Jays have reported that Pearson will start on Wednesday against the Nationals.
This may seem like a risky move, but Dylan Cease is a pitcher with high upside for an improving Chicago White Sox team. Currently, Cease is only 13% owned. In 2019, his 9.99 K/9 was a historical best for a White Sox rookie. His 5.79 ERA and .326 BABIP will have to improve, but the 24-year-old had a long offseason to prepare.
It is important to keep in mind that he is a pitcher that will benefit from the regional schedule by facing worse offensive teams in the AL Central and NL Central. He faces the Cleveland Indians today but gets a nice matchup against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.
Aaron Hicks should already be owned in all standard leagues but remains on waivers in 49%. The New York Yankees outfielder has ingrained himself as an everyday player batting fifth or sixth on a top offense. He was on pace for 33 home runs in 2019 before his season ended with surgery. In addition to his power, he also offers speed upside.
In a position that is shallow in fantasy, Sean Murphy offers fantasy upside as an offensive catcher. Currently owned in only 20% of leagues, Murphy provides a future top fantasy catching option. He will likely be a top 10 fantasy catcher by the end of the season. This is his first full season in the MLB as the Oakland Athletics starting catcher where he gets to hit at the bottom of a very good lineup. He showed off his power potential by striking a 455-foot home run with an exit velocity of 109.3 mph on Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels.
Deeper League Option: Nico Hoerner
Only owned in 5% of ESPN leagues, Nico Hoerner is considered a deeper league option. This is likely due to him not having a solidified everyday role in the lineup. He is the Chicago Cubs top prospect and will be a future staple for this team. Hoerner will gradually earn more opportunities to show off his great OBP% and speed potential. He started two games opening weekend against the Milwaukee Brewers and hit .429 while contributing two runs and an RBI.
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