|Name||Position||Team||ESPN Own %|
|Kolten Wong||2B||Milwaukee Brewers||49.4|
|Anthony Santander||OF||Baltimore Orioles||43|
|Tyler O'Neil||OF||St. Louis Cardinals||59.4|
|Daulton Varsho||OF, C||Arizona Diamondbacks||29.3|
|Andrew Benintendi||OF||Kansas City Royals||63.2|
1. Kolten Wong | 2B | Milwaukee Brewers
After eight years with the Cardinals, Wong is putting up arguably his best season offensively in his first year with Milwaukee. Through 364 plate appearances, Wong is slashing .287/.352/.471 with 54 runs, 11 home runs, 38 RBIs, nine stolen bases, and a 60-to-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Those 364 plate appearances haven’t come without some rockiness, though, as he has missed time in almost every month this year. He’s healthy now though and has been hitting well. Since going 2-for-5 on August 11th, Wong is slashing .327/.431/.653 with 10 runs, three home runs, 12 RBIs, one stolen base, and a 7-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He doesn’t have particularly great batted ball statistics, but his contact ability has always created a solid floor for his offensive production. Pick him up and throw him into your lineup while he’s red hot.
2. Anthony Santander | OF | Baltimore Orioles
I feel a little late to the Anthony Santander 2021 redemption party, but he’s still owned in less than half of ESPN leagues despite his monster month of August. I remember picking him up in May and feeling rather optimistic, only to give in and finally drop him a month later or so. Well, had I held on just a bit longer, it would have paid off. In August, in 78 plate appearances, he has a .360/.385/.747 slash line with 14 runs, eight home runs, 13 RBIs, and a 17-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Yes, the strikeouts and walks are still a major concern and it likely means he will not be able to maintain this production. Regardless, his batted ball statistics look spectacular and we’re seeing the production come with that right now. He’s a great addition for your outfield for the remainder of the season.
3. Tyler O’Neil | OF | St. Louis Cardinals
Two buckets. If that’s not his nickname, it probably should be. Seriously, if you haven’t seen him, look him up. His arm muscles are so big that it looks like he’s always carrying two big buckets of water. After a promising start to 2021, O’Neil was smash-added and eventually he cooled off a bit and his ownership percentage has dropped down quite a bit. For reference, he had an .805 OPS in April, a 1.020 OPS in May, and a .817 OPS in June before dropping down to .669 in July. Sadly for O’Neil, when you’re not an established name, an entire month of dropping off a cliff will land you on the waiver wire. However, he’s hitting .317 with a .961 OPS in the month of August. If he’s still sitting on your waiver wire, there’s a lot of production to be gained down the stretch from O’Neil.
4. Daulton Varsho | OF, C | Arizona Diamondbacks
A few weeks ago Varsho made the list, and it’s worth adding him on here again for good measure. For those of us fantasy players that have been playing the waiver wire for catchers all year, it’s been a bit frustrating going back and forth between Varsho and Carson Kelly. However, despite Carson Kelly being healthy, Varsho’s ability to play the outfield has allowed Arizona to keep him in the lineup nearly every day. Since August 13th, Varsho is slashing .344/.417/.875 with six runs, four home runs, eight RBIs, and an 8-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Considering his current hot streak and dual-eligibility, Varsho needs to be rostered right now.
5. Andrew Benintendi | OF | Kansas City Royals
Surprise, another outfielder. There was a time when the thought of Andrew Benintendi being a waiver-wire pickup in late August would have sounded absurd. Here we are, however. Benintendi, how with Kansas City, is owned in just shy of 2/3rds of all leagues. It’s understandable, however, considering how inconsistent he has been. Here are his OPS numbers each month of the season: .624, .821, .930, .569, and .697. However, since August 15th, his OPS is up to .878. Over that stretch, he has eight runs, one home run, four RBIs, and a 6-to-0 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He’s not putting up gaudy numbers, but the potential is there and he’s worth taking a chance on.