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Waiver Wire Friday: Lightning Round

With the all-star break finally wrapping up later today, it’s time to get focus back on the stretch run for your fantasy baseball season. These next couple of week are critical as the trade deadline approaches and the overwhelming distraction that is fantasy football looms. I’ll admit it, you’re getting a shortened version of Waiver Wire Friday this week because I’ve been taking advantage of some time away from the MLB to start prepping a great deal of football content that will hit these pages in the coming weeks. We also laid out our Second Half Breakouts earlier today to identify a couple of players who we expect to outperform their pre-break numbers.

Still, frantic owners will be forced to the wire as the next impact injury is no-doubt right around the corner. So let’s take a very quick trip around the diamond to find the top talent avialable in >65% of Yahoo leagues. We’ll also throw out some names for those of you in deeper formats who you can snare in 85% of standard formats.

Catcher

Ryan Doumit (MIN) 33% owned: It’s really starting to sound like a broken record here, Doumit has some nice pop at the catcher spot and put up a solid .271 average in his last 22 games before the break.

Wilson Ramos (WAS) 11% owned: In nine games since returning from injury, Ramos is batting .375/.394/.625 with two homers and 11 RBI.

Nick Hundley (SD) 2% owned: Grandal’s unfortunate injury paves the way for Hundley who has hit in 8 of his last 12 starts including a three-hit effort to close the first half.

First Base

Matt Adams (STL) 11% owned: Though it looks like Matt Holliday will be ready to return soon, Adams is a setback away from being a must own in even 10-team leagues.

Yonder Alonso (SD) 9% owned: The underrated Alonso returned under-the-radar just ahead of the break. Expect a solid average with a bit of pop.

Luke Scott (TB) 5% owned: The uber streaky Mutton Chop is has been swinging a hot stick for over a month: .367/.432/.696 with 5 home runs since June 13 (24 games).

Darin Ruf (PHI) 5% owned: Ruf’s got some pop and he’ll also have opportunity for as long as Ryan Howard (knee surgery, out 6-8 weeks) is disabled.

Third Base

Chris Johnson (ATL) 39% owned: Batting .370 over his last 19 games and .330 on the year, Johnson doesn’t bring a ton of power or speed, but he’s useful.

Trevor Plouffe (MIN) 18% owned: He made our list of breakout players for the second half… invest.

Middle Infield

Kelly Johnson (TB) 34% owned: One of our early season favorites on Waiver Wire Firday, Johnson’s been so bad that we get to mention him again. Well, not so bad over the last two weeks, batting .292 witha pair of home runs and a .929 OPS.

Brad Miller (SAE) 4% owned: Yep, it’s slim picking… and we simply cannot recommend Yunel Escobar.

Outfield

Rajai Davis (TOR) 32% owned: The return of Brett Lawrie figures to indirectly complicate his playing time, but those are impact legs.

Marlon Byrd (NYM) 24% owned: The Mets’ say he’s untouchable, but in 76% of fantasy leagues, he’s available for free… and having one hell of a season.

Michael Saunders (SEA) 6% owned: Look past his nightmarish stretch of baseball ans see a guy who is batting .297 over his last two weeks with 20/20 upside.

Jose Tabata (PIT) 1% owned: Remember me?

Pitcher

Jeremy Hefner (NYM) 33% owned: I hate to keep recommending Mets, but Hef has been stellar and the team is playing better than most expected.

Cory Kluber (CLE) 23% owned: It’s time to buy, the breakout is coming here.

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