We are into the ninth full week of the 2023 MLB fantasy season, and that means a fresh look at our top waiver wire targets. Let’s go over favorites for this week, including a scorching hot Rockies slugger and a former finalist for the NL Rookie of the Year award.
Cardinals INF/OF Brendan Donovan finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting last season after he hit .281 and provided St. Louis with stellar defense in the field. The 26-year-old provided the Cardinals with some pop early on, but then fell into a slump. But over the past week, Donovan looked more like the hitter from last season. From May 21-27, Donovan went 7-19 (.368) with a pair of home runs, two stolen bases, and seven runs scored.
Donovan already surpassed his stolen base from 2022 and tied his career-high in home runs (5) over the past week. While he may not be a hitter that gets a start every day in fantasy, his ability to get on-base and swipe bags makes Donovan someone to watch.
Twins infielder Edouard Julien came awfully close to cracking this list last week. The 24-year-old struggled to hit in his first run in the Majors this past April, but returned to the Twins lineup on May 20 after Jorge Polanco hit the IL. Julien’s looked more like the player we thought he could become in his second stint, as the former Auburn standout hit .294/.409/.765 with two home runs, four runs scored, and four runs batted in over the last week.
The Twins have platooned Julien in either the top or the middle of the lineup since his return. With his power and on-base prowess, Julien could be nice sleeper option at second over the coming weeks.
The Tigers acquired Central Michigan product Zach McKinstry this past March via a trade with the Cubs, and the 28-year-old’s been hot as of late. From May 21-27, McKinstry hit .381/.576/.571 with one home run, three runs batted in, three stolen bases, and seven runs scored. That latter figure was good for a tie for seventh among hitters with at least 15 plate appearances over that stretch.
The 28-year-old’s been a key piece of the top of the lineup in Detroit. If he can continue to get on base and swipe a bag every now and then, McKinstry — who owns eligibility at multiple positions — can be a nice bench option.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you about Rockies 2B/3B Ryan McMahon. In our target list from last week, we mentioned that McMahon — a slow starter over the last two seasons — looked like an ideal buy-low candidate. Fast forward one week later, and McMahon is back on track. The 28-year-old torched the Mets over three games this past weekend, as he went 6-12 (.500) with three home runs and eight RBI in Colorado’s series victory.
McMahon went 28 games without a home run between April 19-May 25, but that was going to change at some point. With McMahon on a hot streak, it might be a good idea to stash him.
Two weeks ago, we recommended fantasy players pick up Giants OF Michael Conforto — and we hoped you listened to us. Between May 14-27, Conforto went 16-46 (.348) with five home runs and 14 runs batted in, the latter of which was tied with Corey Seager for third in the Majors over that stretch. Conforto is likely gone in most leagues, but Marcell Ozuna might be available. Ozuna, who entered the month of May hitting just .085, cracked nine home runs and 20 RBI for the Braves.
It’s hard to believe — given how bad his first five weeks of the season went — that Ozuna is on this list. However, improved take rates have us interested in the 32-year-old outfielder.