We’re only a week into the season, so there’s a long way to go and there’s no reason to be concerned about star players like Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels or Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies batting under .200.

However, we’re always trying to tweak our rosters and may need an injury replacement. As a reminder, most of the players I mention throughout the year will be under 50 percent owned in Yahoo! Sports leagues. League size and the timeline for when waivers run in your league can make a difference if players are available or not. The following players should provide some help for fantasy owners.

Waiver-Wire Targets:

Cleveland Guardians Infielder Owen Miller and Outfielder Steven Kwan — The Guardians have been a nice surprise in the first week with their offense leading the way. Cleveland currently has three of the top five hitters in all of baseball in terms of batting average. We’ll spotlight both Miller and Kwan, as they have caught the fantasy baseball world by storm.

Miller is batting .524 with two home runs, six RBIs and eight runs scored. His teammate Kwan is batting .526 with an eye-popping on-base percentage of .655, seven runs scored and five RBIs. There’s no way either of these guys can keep up this pace, but we will ride the hot streaks for as long as they last and maybe we’ll have ourselves a good fantasy producer for the rest of the year.

If you’re deciding on which player to grab, I would go with the position you need more at this stage. If this is an on-base percentage league, Kwan is the player to add. It should be noted that depending on your league’s waiver system, Kwan may not be available at this point as he could have been a popular addition after the first weekend. He’s already passed the 50 percent threshold. However, since this is our first waiver-wire column of the season, I wanted to make sure he was included in case he is still on the waiver wire.

Colorado Rockies Infielder/Outfielder Connor Joe — A leadoff hitter who plays for the Rockies and is less than 50 percent owned? Sign me up. Joe is off to a strong start for Colorado, as he’s hitting .333 with two home runs, three RBIs, one stolen base and seven runs scored. Joe is filling up all the categories and is eligible at multiple positions. We love targeting hitters on the Rockies and we love leadoff hitters in fantasy baseball. Joe should continue to provide a strong batting average, and hitting leadoff should allow him to score a ton of runs as well.

Washington Nationals Reliever Tanner Rainey — The closer roulette is going to be extremely frustrating all season, but we need to attack when the opportunity presents itself. Rainey has made three appearances this season, with two of those coming in the ninth inning to lock down a win. Rainey converted both and has two saves. It appears he is the closer for the Nationals. Rainey has allowed a hit in each of his three appearances, so it would be nice to see him clean that up as he probably won’t have a long leash if he begins to struggle. If fantasy owners came out of the draft not attacking closers, this is a good opportunity to grab someone who is widely available.

San Diego Padres Infielder/Outfielder Jurickson Profar — The versatile player has started off playing extremely well, as he is batting .316 with two home runs, eight RBIs and two runs scored. Profar has never become the player many thought he would be as a top prospect, but he can provide a nice option for fantasy owners who need position flexibility. Profar also has the ability to steal some bases, adding to his fantasy value.

San Diego Padres Starting Pitcher MacKenzie Gore and Seattle Mariners Starting Pitcher Matt Brash — Gore will make his major league debut on April 14 and Brash dominated in his debut on April 12. Gore and Brash are both top-100 prospects, and as long as they don’t implode, they both should remain on the big league roster. Gore is being promoted due to Blake Snell going down with an injury but definitely can stick in the rotation if he pitches well. Gore and Brash provide elite strikeout upside, which is what we are chasing with wins hard to come by in fantasy baseball. If you’re trying to navigate early-season struggles or injuries in your pitching staff, these are fine targets as the upside is huge.

Phil Backert

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