There are plenty of waiver wire columns out there that provide an exhaustive list of the most added players in fantasy leagues. This isn’t one of them. Here, we’ll run down a few of the most interesting players for fantasy owners, with perspective on who deserves your attention, who deserves your patience, and who deserves to go straight to bed without dessert.
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3 TO CATCH
Players to be picked up; available in most standard leagues
Andre Ethier | Los Angeles Dodgers | OF
Finally given another chance at regular playing time, Andre Ethier is having an excellent season, slashing .304/.397/.518 with five homers. Over the last 30 days (which generally corresponds with the time Either’s been an everyday player), the only outfielders to outpace his .410 wOBA are Bryce Harper, Nelson Cruz, Michael Brantley, and Ryan Braun. His walk rate sits at a career-best 12.2% and his 16.0% strikeout rate is his best since 2008. Ethier continues to spray the ball to all fields, but he’s severely cut his groundball rate and increased his ISO to .220, his best mark since 2009, when he popped 31 home runs. He hasn’t quite reached the 300-plus foot average fly ball distance he posted that season, but his 2015 mark of just over 280 feet is a positive trend; he’s been mired in the 270’s in recent seasons, per Baseball Heat Maps.
I can’t say that Either’s going to return to his prime levels, but everything he’s done this season is within the bounds of what he’s accomplished before. Nothing seems overly lucky or fluky; it has all the trimmings of a legitimate rebound. As long as he’s playing, I think he can keep up something close to this level of production. The power will come and go, but if you’re in need of batting average or OBP, he’s a fantastic addition.