The thing about writing a Waiver Wire column for the final week of the season is it allows you to narrow your focus. Normally in this space, I'm prioritizing the rest of the season over the upcoming lineup lock, but in this instance, they're one and the same. Anyone who can't help you right now is no longer worth mentioning.
Of course, since I have separate columns where I recommend 10 sleeper pitchers and 10 sleeper hitters for the upcoming scoring period, it would be kind of redundant to do the same thing here. You can just click on the links if you're looking to meet one of those specific needs. So then, I'm going to narrow my focus even more here by highlighting some of the most available of those groups, as well as a couple relievers who didn't qualify for either list.
The following players are all rostered in less than 60 percent of CBS Sports leagues.
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NYY N.Y. Yankees • #77 • Age: 26
With three more home runs last week, far better plate discipline than in past seasons and the assurance of continued playing time, Clint Frazier looks like a must for a seven-game week against pitchers like Tanner Roark, Chase Anderson, Robbie Ray, Trevor Rogers and Jose Urena.
Brady Singer SP
KC Kansas City • #51 • Age: 24
Brady Singer has abandoned his changeup and focused on tunneling his fastball and slider in his past two starts, and they apparently look almost identical on their way to the plate given that he's been near unhittable with that approach. He's the most attractive of the two-start pickups this week, going against the Cardinals and Tigers.
Ryan Braun RF
MIL Milwaukee • #8 • Age: 36
Ryan Braun still sits a fair amount, but with eight games on the schedule, he's a pretty good bet to start six or seven, especially since he's been on a roll lately. The Statcast data suggest he may be due for even more, too, judging by his .306 xBA and .561 xSLG.
Chris Taylor SS
LAD L.A. Dodgers • #3 • Age: 30
Eligible at second base, shortstop and outfield, Chris Taylor is easy to fit in a Fantasy lineup now that he's back to playing every day, and with improved plate discipline and a better batted-ball profile for batting average, he's making an impact. He has only six games this week, but the matchups are strong.
Brandon Belt 1B
SF San Francisco • #9 • Age: 32
For having cooled off over the past two weeks, Brandon Belt still boasts an OPS near 1.000. He also has a .386 batting average and 1.279 OPS at Oracle Park, which hasn't been nearly as punishing for hitters thanks to reduced air flow in from right field, and that's where the Giants are playing six of their eight games this week. Lefties are still his kryptonite, but there's only one of those on the schedule.
MIL Milwaukee • #38 • Age: 26
No doubt, some 5x5 players are already well acquainted with Devin Williams, but for those who aren't, this rookie reliever with the bananas changeup is good for 2-3 strikeouts basically every time he pitches. It likely means 8-9 in an eight-game week for the Brewers -- and with a better ERA and WHIP than a starter could give you.
Tarik Skubal SP
DET Detroit • #29 • Age: 23
The rookie had to lean mostly on his fastball when he first got called up but has been getting better results with his changeup lately, most notably in his most recent start against the Royals. He gets those Royals again this week -- as well as a second start against the Twins -- making Tarik Skubal worth a roll of the dice if you need some extra volume.
CHC Chi. Cubs • #22 • Age: 31
Statcast loves what Jason Heyward is doing at the plate this season, giving his new line-drive approach an expected batting average of .325. His actual batting average has been even better than that on the road (.358, with a 1.236 OPS) and against righties (.337, 1.041), which aligns perfectly with his matchups this week. He's playing all seven games on the road and six against righties.
MIA Miami • #26 • Age: 29
The oft-injured 29-year-old is coming off a big week, but Statcast suggests Garrett Cooper's new and improved plate discipline and usual line-drive approach are deserving of even better production, putting his expected batting average at .345 and expecting slugging percentage at .635. Maybe you see if he can come closer to meeting them with seven more games on tap for the Marlins.
ARI Arizona • #58 • Age: 28
If saves are still a need for you heading into the final week, Stefan Crichton is still going mostly unclaimed even with four saves in the past 10 days. True, he's not exactly a closer-caliber reliever, and the last-place Diamondbacks have only six games on the schedule. But if they get a save chance, you know it's going to him, which is more than be said for some bullpens.