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Deep League Waiver Targets for Week 2 of Fantasy Baseball

Welcome to the first edition of the weekly deep league waiver wire targets for the 2024 fantasy baseball season. In this recurring article we’ll help fantasy managers in 15-team mixed, 12-team AL or NL only, or even deeper leagues find key roster additions from limited pickings on the waivers. Even though there’s only been a week of games so far, we’ve identified a surprising numbers of viable waiver targets.

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Deep League Waiver Targets for Week 2

15-Team Mixed League Targets

1. Graham Pauley, 3B, Padres

Graham Pauley has been in the fantasy conversation in dynasty leagues for a while now as a rapidly emerging top prospect in the Padres system. Pauley added to his hype with a strong spring training showing where he batted .306 over 43 at-bats. Yet, despite the high upside, Pauley went largely undrafted in most deep leagues due to being sent down to the minor leagues at the end of the Padres’ camp. Now, Pauley is already up in the show and quickly making noise by homering in his first major league at-bat. For the near term, Pauley looks set to get regular playing time while Machado continues at DH, making him a high-priority waiver addition in all leagues.

2. Connor Joe, OF, Pirates

Not too long ago Connor Joe was a fantasy baseball darling, breaking out for a top-100 overall finish on the player rater in 2021 while on the Rockies. After his breakout season Joe ended up on the Pirates where his production surprisingly plummeted quite significantly over the last two seasons. Yet, with his strong start to this season, Joe is flashing the skills from 2021 again with consistent contact and run production. While still only batting leadoff in the lineup against left-handed pitchers, Joe is a perfect waiver addition in daily leagues that reward on-base percentage.

3. Ezequiel Duran, 2B/3B/OF, Rangers

With the unfortunate news of Josh Jung’s fractured wrist this week there was one silver lining, a viable fill-in replacement with Ezequiel Duran. Over the last couple of seasons, Duran has held a super-utility role for the Rangers, with frequent periods of regular playing time due to starting player injuries. In fact, Duran amassed 403 at-bats last year alone which gave him enough fantasy value to be heavily rostered in most 12-team leagues. Now, with Jung likely out for two months, Duran becomes an immediate waiver add in all leagues.

AL-Only League Targets

1. Justin Foscue, 1B, Rangers

Another beneficiary from the Jung injury is the highly touted prospected, Justin Foscue. After a strong showing in spring training, while filling in for Jung and Seager, Foscue was sent down to AAA to begin the season. Now, just a week later, he finds himself poised to make his MLB debut. How regular his playing time will be is uncertain but he’s worth a speculative add in AL-only leagues.

2. Tyler Freeman, OF, Guardians

While Tyler Freeman hasn’t had much prospect hype over the years, he sneakily has performed like a top prospect. While it didn’t come as a major surprise that he made the Opening Day lineup, given the thin outfield talent on the Guardians, not many expected Freeman to make the impact he has already done. So far, Freeman has delivered hits in key moments along with exceptional outfield defense. The combination could secure his role in center field for the foreseeable future.

NL-Only League Targets

1. Jake McCarthy, OF, Diamondbacks

Some may be shocked to see Jake McCarthy listed as such a deep league waiver addition, given the notoriety from his breakout season a couple of years ago. Yet, the inflated BABIP that year eventually regressed last season and with it, his production plummeted. Viewed primarily as a steals source in fantasy, McCarthy’s inability to get on base last year limited his steals total significantly. Yet, with the injury to Alek Thomas this week, McCarthy was quickly recalled to fill in his spot. In deep leagues, he’s worth an immediate add to stash in hopes of a return to his 2022 form as a top 100 overall fantasy player.

2. Trey Lipscomb, 3B, Nationals

Ironically the biggest breakout performance so far the first week of the season of the players listed in this article is listed last. While Lipscomb has impressively produced strong fantasy stats in the first week, with five hits in his first 11 at-bats, the lack of track record makes the sustainability doubtful. With just over one full season in the minors so far the sample size is still rather limited to project Lipscomb as a viable fantasy contributor for the duration of this season. However, for those with fungible or open bench spots, he makes for a great short-term addition.

We hope this deep league waiver wire list provides you with meaningful opportunities to improve your roster heading into week three of the 2024 fantasy baseball season and beyond. Keep checking back for ongoing updates as new player promotions, role changes, and unfortunate injuries create new waiver wire target opportunities. In the meantime, best of luck in your waiver bidding and upcoming weekly matchups.

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  1. rick blaine says

    23 games in single A last year for lipscomb? that was 2022. in 2023 he played full season between A+ and AA

    1. Todd Hedberg says

      Thank you for bringing that to attention. Definite oversight on my part. That will be corrected. Thank you again

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