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In one of the most famous “Seinfeld” episodes called “The Implant,”  Jerry insists that his new girlfriend has implants, but she keeps insisting that they are real.

The mystery and the lengths that the episode takes you on are hysterical. After figuring out what Jerry and his friends are doing,  his new girlfriend becomes understandably upset and leaves Jerry by telling him one of the most famous lines in modern TV history:

“Oh, by the way. They’re real, and they’re spectacular.”

This week’s waiver wire is full of questions on players and if they are for real. Is Michael Conforto for real? Has he finally proven to be an everyday player even when Yoenis Cespedes comes back? Is Eduardo Rodriguez for real? Has he proven enough to remain in the starting rotation when David Price comes back?

The answers to those questions and a whole lot more player information and analysis coming up on who to pick up in the Week 6 Waiver Wire.

Week 6 Waiver Wire

Catcher

Alex Avila, Detroit Tigers

 

Alex Avila has been swinging a hot bat so far this season. Avila is slashing .391/.491/.696 with four home runs and 12 RBI in 18 games this season. The Tigers are finding ways to get his bat in the lineup daily. Either at his natural position at catcher or playing first base, especially when Miguel Cabrera was out of the lineup.

Alex Avila signed a one-year deal with the Tigers this off-season to be the primary backup to starter James McCann after hitting just .213 with seven home runs and 11 RBI in 57 games for the White Sox last season.

His amazing hot start should give way to regression fairly soon, he batted a combined .210 from 2014-16. While he could post double-digit homers, he doesn’t offer much value outside deep AL-Only leagues and two-catcher formats as long as James McCann is handling primary catching duties.

On-Deck (Players you should consider)

  • Manny Pina/Jeff Bandy, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Tom Murphy, Colorado Rockies

 

First Base

Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates

Josh Bell showed promise as a rookie last season, and especially by walking more times than he struck out (21:19) BB:K.

After undergoing knee surgery during spring training, Bell had a difficult time staying above the Mendoza line during the first few weeks of the season while hitting only 205/.271/.318 in the first 15 games this season.

In the last 15 games, he is hitting .285 along with four home runs and seven RBI. The power surge is nice to see from a player who wasn’t often a big home run guy in the Minors.

The switch-hitting first baseman is currently hitting in the bottom third of the order, which has limited him to only eight RBI in 27 games. With Pittsburgh looking for offense, expect Bell to work his way into a more productive spot in the lineup.

Josh Bell is still only an option in deeper leagues due to his inability to sustain his power numbers.

On-Deck (Players you should consider)

  • Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Yonder Alonso, Oakland A’s

 

Second Base

Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates

 

Josh Harrison is flourishing in the everyday lineup. He is slashing .308/.385/.527 while hitting five home runs and knocking in 11 runs. In addition, he has also scored 12 runs and stolen two bases.

Since moving to the leadoff spot a week ago, Harrison is batting .345 with four homers and eight RBI in 32 plate appearances. His early power surge has been surprising, with his five home runs already exceeding his full-season totals from 2015 (four) and ’16 (four). While the power will likely taper, he figures to run more often. Harrison has swiped two bases in four attempts.

With the Pirates looking for all the offense they can get right now, expect the super-utility man to remain in a prominent spot in the batting order. For his career, Harrison is hitting .310/.345/.454 from the first spot.

Josh Harrison can provide owners in deep leagues with speed and a high batting average which makes the versatile middle infielder/outfielder roster-worthy in all formats.

On-Deck (Players you should consider)

  • Kolten Wong, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Jed Lowrie, Oakland A’s

 

Third Base

Hernan Perez, Milwaukee Brewers

Hernan Perez figured to play a super-utility role for the Brewers this season. He played every position except pitcher and catcher last season. He slashed .272/.302/.428 with 13 home runs and 34 stolen bases in 123 games.

Perez still figures to see several starts per week as others need days off. He gets a boost in Fantasy value from his eligibility at multiple positions.

After struggling mightily to open the year, Perez’s OPS surged from .580 to .990 after his last four games. This same spurt of offensive brilliance rocketed Perez’ batting average a whopping 81 points (.179 to .260), and should also see his current ownership rise.
Hernan Perez is now a speed and a power asset with his position versatility, so there’s little reason he should be sitting out there in most leagues.

On-Deck (Players you should consider)

  • Jose Reyes, New York Mets
  • Martin Prado, Miami Marlins

 

Shortstop

Didi Gregorius, New York Yankees

 

Didi Gregorius began the year on the disabled list recovering from a shoulder strain that he suffered at the World Baseball Classic. Gregorius returned last weekend and the 27-year-old has shown no signs of rust as of yet after missing the first month of the season.

He is hitting .333 with two doubles and five RBI. He seems poised to pick up where he left off from last year’s breakout campaign in which he hit .276 with 20 home runs and posted career highs in all five Fantasy categories.

Didi Gregorious should resume everyday shortstop duties for the Yankees moving forward, sending Ronald Torreyes to the bench. With a power-friendly home park — even more so for lefty-swinging batters — the prime-aged shortstop could challenge for to be a solid starter at his position this season in all formats.

On-Deck (Players you should consider)

  • Tim Beckham, Tampa Bay Rays
  • Christian Arroyo, San Francisco Giants

 

Outfield

Michael Conforto, New York Mets

This is the most obvious selection this week.

Conforto took over an everyday role in the Mets’ outfield with Yeonis Cespedes (hamstring) on the DL. With Jay Bruce spending time at first base in place of Lucas Duda (elbow), Conforto has already been making the most of his opportunities.

Michael Conforto should be owned in all formats and will contribute in all categories except steals.

Scott Schebler, Cincinnati Reds

 

After flashing some upside in 2016, Schebler is one of the hottest hitters in baseball at the moment and now has a .820 OPS with eight home runs and 18 RBI in 27 games this season.

He is sitting on waivers in most mixed leagues due to an unimpressive .224 batting average.

Schebler is hitting better at power-friendly Great American Ball Park, especially with the Reds scoring in bunches. There is some appeal as he will connect for a 25-homer season.

He is worth starting in deep leagues and NL-Only leagues when he plays at hitting-friendly ballparks.

Michael Taylor, Washington Nationals

 

With the unfortunate news of OF Adam Eaton suffering a torn ACL last weekend and being lost for the season, the Nationals are looking to Michael Taylor to prove his worth at the major league level.

To say the least, Michael Taylor has been less than impressive in his first four seasons in the big leagues. He possesses an interesting combination of power and speed but can’t grab hold of a starting job when given the opportunity.

In order for Taylor to continue to get playing time, he will need to show some resemblance of his 2015 production at the plate, when he hit 14 home runs with 63 RBI.

He initially struggled after being placed in the starting role. However, he has been electric in the last 22 PAs over five games. He is slashing .474/.545/.632 with a double, triple along with three walks and two stolen bases.

Without a doubt, Michael Taylor is useful in NL-Only and deep mixed leagues in the short-term. In the midst of chasing the playoffs, do they make a trade to upgrade their outfield??? My recommendation would be to play Taylor while he is hot, but once there are signs of a slump, trade him away to the highest bidder.

On-Deck (Players you should consider)

      • Shin-Soo Choo, Texas Rangers
      • Kevin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays
      • Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Starting Pitcher

Eduardo Rodriguez, Boston Red Sox

 

Eduardo Rodriguez started 20 games for the Red Sox last year, turning in a 3-7 record with a 4.71 ERA in 107 innings. The young southpaw possesses some breakout potential this year. He’s looked quite strong for the most part this spring. He ended camp with a 3.68 ERA through 22 innings. His consistency remains a question mark here.

The 24-year-old left-hander owns a 2.70 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 31/14 K/BB ratio through his first 23 1/3 innings on the season.

If he continues to pitch like this, he will stay in the rotation even when David Price (elbow) is healthy enough to return.

Rodriguez came into the season with sleeper hype and is delivering on it so far. He should be owned and started in AL-Only formats, and owned and streamed in deeper mixed leagues.

Jesse Hahn, Oakland A’s

Jesse Hahn had a shot to open the season in the rotation, but he posted an 8.80 ERA over 15 1/3 innings in the Cactus League. That wasn’t going to cut it, especially after last year’s disastrous 6.02 ERA over 46.1 innings with the big club.

The Oakland A’s tabbed Hahn to replace Raul Alcantara in the starting rotation and he had a fairly successful return to the rotation. Invhis first start, he allowed three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven over six innings.

Since rejoining the rotation, he has logged four straight quality starts. He has a dazzling 2.25 ERA this season along with a 1.03 WHIP. Hahn has gone at least six innings in all five of his starts and has surrendered just one home run over his 32 innings.

With Sean Manaea still on the mend, Hahn will continue to start and he bears adding in deeper formats and monitoring in shallower ones.

Alex Wood, Los Angeles Dodgers

 

He was competing for the final rotation spot out of spring training before being relegated to the bullpen, but with Rich Hill (finger) on the 10-day DL, he got his chance to start after all. Alex Wood made 14 appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, accumulating a 3.73 ERA across 60.1 innings (10 starts).

He has 23 strikeouts over 19.5 innings pitched in his last four starts, while walking only three batters. He has posted a 2-0 record with a 3.28 ERA along with a 1.09 WHIP in 24.2 innings pitched.

With Rich Hill’s (finger) uncertain status and Kenta Maeda struggling, Alex Wood seems to be in line to remain in the starting rotation.

Alex Wood is a must-add in NL-Only leagues and definitely worth at least a look as a streamer in deeper mixed leagues.

Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants

Matt Cain won the fifth starter’s job out of Spring Training and is off to a hot start so far this season.

The veteran right-hander has posted a 1-1 record with a 2.30 ERA along with a 1.17 WHIP. He has only allowed three earned runs over his last four starts.

Unfortunately, his latest track record shows that this current hot pitching probably will not last much longer. In fact, Cain registered a 7.82 ERA and 1.66 WHIP over 25 1/3 innings in the Cactus League. Additionally, he posted a horrendous 5.70 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP over the past two seasons.

Matt Cain is only useful as a possible streamer NL-Only option. IF he has another nice start, try to trade him immediately to someone desperate for pitching. This current production will NOT last.

Derek Holland, Chicago White Sox

 

The Chicago White Sox signed veteran left-hander Derek Holland this off-season to a one-year contract as a stopgap for the rebuilding White Sox, who will look to probably flip him if he happens to have a resurgence.

Well, the resurgence is here. In six starts, Holland has posted a 3-2 record with a 2.02 ERA along with a 1.04 WHIP and has registered a 30/12 K/BB ratio. He has posted quality starts in five of his six outings so far this season.

Derek Holland has earned a spot on all Fantasy rosters and should remain in Fantasy lineups. He is a very solid pitcher that does have injury concerns but there is no guarantee that happens. You should ride the wave and make sure Holland is still not available in your league. If so, what are you waiting for, go pick him up!

Warming Up (Players to consider)

  • Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Hyun-Hin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • J.C. Ramirez, Los Angeles Angels
  • Charlie Morton, Houston Astros
  • Jordan Montgomery, New York Yankees

 

Relief Pitcher

 Bud Norris, Los Angeles Angels

 

Bud Norris has stepped up in a huge way since Cam Bedrosian (groin) went down. In his seven save opportunities, he has recorded five saves while striking out 20 batters over 14 innings.

He earned a roster spot as a non-roster invitee by posting a 2.70 ERA and 18/4 K/BB ratio over 13 1/3 innings this spring. The Angels planned to use him as a multi-inning reliever and to provide some rotation depth.

While pitching the ninth inning is new territory for Bud Norris, he should continue serving as the Angels’ closer for the foreseeable future. Cam Bedrosian has yet to begin a throwing program and with Norris pitching so well, there is no need to rush him back.

Bud Norris should be owned and started in all leagues, especially in the short-term. With the uncertain timetable on Bedrosian’s return, he is someone that definitely should be owned.

Brandon Maurer, San Diego Padres

 

Brandon Maurer had a rough start to the season, but he has seen his ERA and WHIP drop as the season has wore on, currently sitting at a 2.19 ERA and 0.73 WHIP.

The 26-year-old closer has had a couple of stumbles this season but has notched four saves in as many opportunities. He recorded multiple strikeouts in three of his last four trips to the mound.

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 Maurer isn’t the dominant force that Fantasy owners are generally looking for in the ninth inning. However, he looks to have plenty of job security at the moment. The Padres aren’t expected to get him a ton of save opportunities, but when they do win, it will likely be in a close game.
Brandon Maurer should definitely be deployed in NL-Only formats and is a lower tier interest in deeper mixed-league formats.

 Warming Up (Players to consider)

  • Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Justin Wilson, Detroit Tigers

Dennis Sosic

Dennis Sosic

Dennis Sosic is from Cleveland, Ohio and a HUGE sports fan including NFL and college football (GO BUCKEYES), MLB (GO TRIBE), NBA (GO CAVS), and MMA.He is an avid Cleveland and Ohio State fan. He has been called a Sports Geek by friends and foes alike and that fits him perfectly.Dennis has been competing in fantasy sports for over 20 years, specifically football and baseball.Also, he is the commish for leagues in each sport. Dennis is also an avid DFS player in football and baseball.He is the guy that normally calls out what the game announcer says, before he/she says it. Hopefully, I can help others and learn even more in my pursuit of fantasy sports championships.Coming soon...twitter!
Dennis Sosic

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