Fantasy baseball owners added one of the top players this week with the return of Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto, but lost another with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich landing on the injured list for the second time this season due to a back injury.

Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton is day-to-day after leaving his game May 6 with a hip strain. Buxton is an early favorite to win American League Most Valuable Player, as he is currently hitting .370 with nine home runs, 17 RBIs, 19 runs scored and five stolen bases. This would be a big blow if this injury lingers more than the team expects.

I’ve seen enough injuries and postponements, but we know it’s just the start of a long, grueling season. Fantasy owners must remain focused and find players who will help keep them competitive until their injured players return.

Waiver-Wire Targets:

Kansas City Royals Infielder/Outfielder Hunter Dozier — Fantasy owners hoping to ride a hot streak can target this Royals hitter. Dozier has collected seven hits during his last five games, including three home runs and six RBIs. We’re targeting Dozier based off his last week, not what he has done this season as he is only hitting .184. Dozier being eligible at multiple positions is another attractive attribute. This hot streak may end in a week, but we can hope this allows a bridge if Buxton is out for a few days or to cover the loss of Yelich.

Arizona Diamondbacks Infielder/Outfielder Josh Rojas — This is another hitter for whom we need to focus on his recent stats and not his season stats. The Diamondbacks hitter has a batting average of .239 this season but has collected nine hits over his last six games. Rojas has also hit four home runs during this span. Like Dozier, Rojas is eligible at multiple positions which should help increase roster flexibility to cover the numerous injuries in fantasy baseball.

Tampa Bay Rays Starting Pitcher Shane McClanahan — The hard-throwing left-hander was mentioned last week, but the fantasy baseball world hasn’t caught on yet. McClanahan has pitched four innings and struck out five in each of his first two starts. The youngster didn’t allow a run in his latest start but will gets a tough test against the Oakland A’s in his third start. I don’t know if he will pitch deep into games for a while, but the strikeouts are legit and he’s worth a roster spot.

Chicago White Sox Starting Pitcher Dylan Cease — Two dominant performances in a row has to get the attention of fantasy owners. Cease hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last two starts while striking out 20. The right-hander has a 2.37 ERA for the season along with two wins. Cease hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his six starts while striking out at least five in five of those starts. This is another pitcher who should continue to help in the strikeout department.

Phil Backert

See all posts by Phil Backert. Follow Phil Backert on Twitter at @PhilBackert