Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups for Playoffs and Championship Week

Dan Israeli
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs / Quinn Harris/Getty Images

With fantasy baseball championship week upon us, it will be imperative for those still alive to make every move necessary in order to secure victory. Depending on the offensive position you need the most help in, or if it's a valuable starting pitcher you desire, we're here to help.

The following five players are all available in more than 50 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues, and could very well be the difference between winning and losing your championship this coming week.

5. Brett Gardner, OF, New York Yankees

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Brett Gardner has been one of several Yankees to pick up the pieces amid a wave of injuries, as the veteran outfielder is having a career year with 25 homers. He's been on a real power tear in September, with seven homers and a .739 slugging percentage this month. Gardner is capable of providing power and perhaps even a steal (he has 10 on the season) for the upcoming week. Gardner, who is owned in 26 percent of Yahoo! leagues, will play all six of his games at home, another perk for his potential fantasy owners.

4. Jason Heyward, OF, Chicago Cubs

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Jason Heyward, who is having a strong September for the playoff-hopeful Cubs, is hitting .297/.422/.622 with three homers and a steal in his last 37 at-bats coming into play Sunday. The former top prospect turned steady vet has shown impressive patience at the plate in September, with an eight-to-nine walk-to-strikeout ratio, meaning he could serve as an even bigger asset in leagues with on-base percentage as a category. Heyward is home all week, facing Cincinnati and St. Louis, and is available in 70 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

3. Sean Murphy, C, Oakland Athletics

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For those in need of catcher help this week, Sean Murphy is arguably the top option out there. The Oakland backstop prospect made his MLB debut this month, and is up to four homers in just 22 at-bats, coming into Sunday, with an impressive .409/.458/1.091 line. Murphy has also pounded three doubles and is looking like a September call-up that can end the season hot, after finishing with a stellar .293/.384/.580 batting line across three Minor League stops this year. He's owned in just 19 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues.

2. John Means, SP, Baltimore Orioles

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For those in shallow leagues in need of a two-start pitcher that can lead them to a championship, John Means is your man. Owned in 48 percent of Yahoo! leagues, the Orioles lefty has impressed this season with a 3.47 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. He draws a dream two-start week – at the Tigers (dead last in runs, most strikeouts in MLB) and home for the Mariners (third in strikeouts). Means has pitched well all season and could be a great source of strikeouts and possibly even a win or two this week.

1. Gavin Lux, 2B/SS, Los Angeles Dodgers

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Finally, for those looking for an upside play, Gavin Lux of the Los Angeles Dodgers is there for the taking, available in 68 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Likely dropped by many owners, after a slow start following his big league debut, Lux has picked things up as of late. He had two homers and a steal this past week, displaying a small glimpse of the speed-power combo that has made him one of the top offensive prospects in the game. Lux has been getting regular playing time at both middle infield spots, and will get home matchups against Tampa Bay and Colorado this upcoming week. For those needy at either 2B or SS, Lux makes for a high-upside pickup during championship week.

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