Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Pair of Cardinals lead this week's hitter pickups

Dan Titus reveals the top widely available hitters worth adding off the fantasy baseball waiver wire in Week 11.

Alec Burleson, 1B/OF, St. Louis Cardinals (46% rostered)

Burleson's power was on full display last week, as he belted three homers with five runs, five RBs and a .913 OPS.

Burleson rarely strikes out and makes solid contact, as evidenced by his .284 expected batting average (xBA). With Lars Nootbar (oblique) without a timetable for return and Tommy Edman (wrist surgery) still behind in his recovery, Burleson will continue to rake batting in the two spot for the Cardinals. Dalton Del Don said Burleson's age-25 breakout feels legit, and I agree.

Masyn Winn, SS, St. Louis Cardinals (36% rostered)

I'm surprised Winn is still under 40% rostered. He's been batting at the top of the Cards' order for a few weeks. The second-year shortstop hits the ball consistently, slashing a respectable .306/.355/.435 through 216 plate appearances — far better than when he was called up last year. His xBA ranks in the 89th percentile, but I'm more optimistic about what he can do on the base paths.

He's 88th percentile in sprint speed but only has eight steals (in 11 attempts) through Monday. He converted 92-of-104 steal attempts in the minors across three seasons (88% success rate), so the base running upside is there. While Winn does lead the Cardinals in steals, they're bottom-five in the league in stolen bases, so it's not something St. Louis prioritizes. Still, there's potential for more, as he is one of the fastest players on the roster and can generate runs using his speed whenever he's on base.

Jesse Winker - OF, Washington Nationals (42% rostered)

Winker has been swinging one of the hottest bats in MLB over the past two weeks. He's batting .378 over that span, but fantasy managers are also getting an uncharacteristic boost in stolen bases.

He's converted 6-of-9 steal attempts in the past 14 days, vaulting him into one of the most popular pickups in Yahoo fantasy leagues.

The 30-year-old offers little in terms of power, but he's good at getting on base, and he'll up your batting average while he's hot.

Tyler Stephenson, C, Cincinnati Reds (26% rostered)

Tyler Stephenson is heating up at the right time if you're hunting for a reliable catcher. The everyday backstop has at least one hit in eight of his last 10 games and slashed .346/.393/.538 with an OPS of .931 over the past week. The power numbers also look promising as he makes good contact relative to his barrel and hard-hit percentages.

There's no reason he should be one of the lowest-rostered catchers in the game after ranking as the fourth-best at his position over the last 30 days. The Reds are one of the best hitting teams in baseball right now, and Stephenson is within the top 12 catchers in fantasy.

Gavin Sheets - 1B/OF, Chicago White Sox (10% rostered)

Rarely will you ever hear me hype a player for the White Sox. They're terrible, but even the bad teams have their moments. I wrote of Andrew Vaughn, and the same went for Sheets until I looked at his advanced metrics. The dude is in the 90th percentile in xwOBA, xBA, xSLG, xOBP and BB% — all indicators of a player hitting the ball well with some power behind it.

Sheets was awful in May, but he rebounded nicely in June, hitting three homers with six runs and eight RBI in 26 ABs thus far.

Can he fall off? Sure. He's already reached the projections of several sites, but right now, he's batting clean-up and producing enough to be rostered in more leagues.

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