The Duel

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups for the Weekend of Week 21

Dan Israeli
Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Dodgers
Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/Getty Images

For many fantasy baseball leagues, the playoffs are a week or two away, if they haven't started already.

With that said, waiver wire pickups are all about providing instant production, and are no longer about stashing upside for later in the season. Depending on the position you are targeting, the goal is to catch a hitter with a hot bat or a starter with streamable matchups.

Here are five pickups worth noting for the upcoming weekend.

5. Dexter Fowler, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

For those playing in OBP or points leagues, Dexter Fowler has been leading off for the Cardinals as of late and getting on base at a prolific pace. He owns a .380 OBP for the month of August, along with six doubles, three homers and 19 RBI. He's sporting an impressive 17:20 walk-to-strikeout ratio on the month, and will provide plenty of value as long as he is hitting at the top of the order and getting on base as much as he has. Fowler is currently owned in just 10 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues.

4. Jon Berti, 2B/3B/SS, Miami Marlins

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Multi-position eligibility is key in the fantasy playoffs, as it's important to have a guy you can plug into more than one roster spot, when you are down one of your starters. Jon Berti is eligible at three infield positions and has been a spark plug atop the Marlins offense. In August, he is sporting a .304/.385/.500 batting line, with 21 runs, seven doubles and seven stolen bases. Those numbers can help plenty of teams, especially the steals, which are hard to come by at this point of the season. Finding a stolen base specialist who can hit like Berti is icing on the cake. He is just 28 percent owned in Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues.

3. Brock Burke, SP, Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers v Chicago White Sox
Texas Rangers v Chicago White Sox / David Banks/Getty Images

Brock Burke makes for one of the more attractive streaming options this weekend, and possibly beyond if he can turn in his third consecutive quality start. The lefty rookie owns a 0.75 ERA and 0.92 WHIP through his first two major league starts, and draws a favorable matchup on Saturday against a whiff-prone Mariners lineup. Burke is a former third round pick in 2014, so he has enough pedigree to buy into his hot start on the major league level. If he can finish the season on a strong note, he can become a nice rotation piece for many fantasy champions come September. Burke is currently 16 percent owned in Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues.

2. Willie Calhoun, OF, Texas Rangers

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Another Ranger worth picking up is Willie Calhoun, who is quietly having a breakout season in his third year in the bigs. While he missed some time earlier this summer due to injury, Calhoun is now up to 15 homers in just 203 at-bats this season, good for a .562 slugging percentage. Calhoun has hit eight of those homers in August and is currently batting cleanup for the Rangers. Plus, he gets to play his home games in the friendly confines of Globe Life Park.

1. Dustin May, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

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It was originally assumed that the player known as Gingergaard, Dustin May, would stick in the bullpen for the Dodgers' stretch run. However, the prospect was summoned to start against the Padres this week, giving up two runs in 5 1/3 innings. He took the loss in the game, but May has impressed overall on the season with a 4.07 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. He is currently scheduled to pitch again this week against the D-Backs, and if there is any chance that he can stick in the rotation for the remainder of the season, May can offer tremendous upside for title contending fantasy teams. He is owned in just 32 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues.

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