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In yesterday's waiver wire piece, some commenters asked for more love for the less-obvious candidates on the wire, so I thought we should mix it up today.
Scott White focused on players owned in between 71 and 62 percent of leagues Thursday, which is helpful for those of you looking to make an addition in, say, a 12-team H2H league or 10-team Roto league. However, we know there are more of you out there looking for help, so I'll take it on myself to throw a bone to those of you on the hunt for fringier options.
Whether it is for the end of your bench as a stash or for those of you in league-specific formats, here are some of the less obvious options for you to take a look at as you try to improve your roster:
Kennys Vargas, DH, Twins (46 percent owned)
Vargas was supposed to be able to hit, at the very least, but he hasn't done that yet this season. Through eight games, Vargas is hitting just .250/.300/.393, and that is after he clubbed his first home run of the season Thursday. If he doesn't hit, Vargas isn't going to have much utility for Fantasy players, as a DH-only player. However, there is some reason to be hopeful that he can turn it around, as he has yet to hit right-handed pitchers this season, going just 1 for 16 against them. He hit .309/.338/.561 against them last season after posting a .295/.369/.519 line over the last five seasons in the minors. If Vargas is going to hit in the majors, chances are he is at least going to do so from the left side of the plate first, since that's where he has hit better from throughout his professional career. If you were skeptical of Vargas' ability to hit entering the season, nothing we've seen so far should really change your opinion. However, if you were a believer but couldn't snag him in the later rounds on Draft Day, someone else's frustration could be your gain if he was recently dropped. He still has plenty of potential as a breakout candidate.
Alex Guerrero, 3B, Dodgers (29 percent owned)
The Dodgers aren't quite ready to install Guerrero into the starting lineup, despite the fact that he is hitting .417/.385/1.000 in his first 12 at-bats on the season. At this point, he is still serving as a bench guy, with the possibility to earn playing time at both third base and the outfield, so this is more of a speculative add if you've got a bench spot to spare. Guerrero showed considerable upside in the minors, hitting .333/.373/.621 in 308 plate appearances between three levels, but he is currently stuck behind incumbent Juan Uribe at third, not to mention the Dodger's outfield glut. Of course, Uribe is 36 and only under contract through the end of this season, so the Dodgers aren't exactly married to him at the hot corner. Uribe has been very solid over the past two seasons, but he also needed two DL trips last season, and is long enough in the tooth that you could see him falling off without much warning. Guerrero has an uphill battle for playing time, but his upside might make him worth waiting on if you have the roster spot.
J.T. Realmuto, C, Marlins (3 percent owned)
When the Marlins signed Jarrod Saltalamacchia last offseason, he was a 28-year-old switch-hitting catcher coming off a three-year stretch during which he hit .244/.306/.457 with 55 home runs for the Red Sox, so they probably didn't think they would need much help at catcher over the next few seasons. However, Saltalmacchia is hitting just .207 since going .196 since going on the DL last June with a concussion, and simply doesn't look like he'll be able to pull out of this slide. Enter Realmuto, the organization's top hitting prospect, who put up a .299/.369/.461 triple-slash line in 375 at-bats in Double-A last season. Realmuto has decent athleticism behind the plate, but hit just .248 in his previous two seasons before last year's breakout, so he might still need some seasoning before he can make a difference in the majors. He probably doesn't have any appeal in mixed leagues right now, but is worth a flier in NL-only leagues, because he really has a chance to take this job and run with it.