Pickups of the Day: Donnie Barrels

·3 min read

On the heels of a full slate of Opening Day action, fantasy managers turn their attention to the waiver wire in search of the next hidden gem that can turn an also-ran into a contender. Our brand-new Pickups of the Day column is designed to help fantasy managers find a handful of widely-available targets. It could be a prospect stash, an injury replacement, a pitcher with a favorable matchup or week, a player who is due some better luck, or any other number of scenarios. If there's value to be found on the waiver wire, we will uncover it and bring it your way. Here are a trio of players trending upwards at the outset of the regular season.

Pickups of the Day

Brendan Donovan, 1B/2B/3B/SS, Cardinals

Available in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues

Donovan's unexpected spring training power surge carried over into Opening Day as he connected for a two-run homer off Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah and finished with three batted balls with an exit velocity in excess of 99 mph in his season debut. The versatile 26-year-old, who is eligible at all four infield spots in fantasy leagues, appears to be the Cardinals' preferred leadoff hitter at the outset of the regular season, which puts him in a prime position to blossom into a plus contributor in the runs scored department. He doesn't project as a potential superstar, but he can make an impact for fantasy managers if he's able to reach double-digit homers and stolen bases this season out of the Cardinals' leadoff spot. He's at least worthy of a speculative bench spot in shallow mixed leagues moving forward.

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Hayden Wesneski, SP, Cubs

Available in 48 percent of Yahoo leagues

Wesneski didn't look overmatched last year in his major league debut, posting a stellar 2.18 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 33/7 K/BB ratio across 33 innings (six appearances, four starts). The 25-year-old righty put together an outstanding performance this spring in the Cactus League, allowing just six runs (four earned) on 13 hits with a 22/6 K/BB ratio across 17 innings (five starts) to secure the fifth spot in the Cubs' season-opening rotation. He's in line for a tasty matchup early next week against the Reds to open the regular season and is worthy of a speculative roster spot in all fantasy formats. He misses plenty of bats and should get an extended opportunity this season for Chicago.

Reynaldo Lopez, RP, White Sox

Available in 82 percent of Yahoo leagues

López allowed one run in the ninth inning on Thursday to record his first career save in the White Sox' season-opening victory over the Astros. Perhaps the most amazing part of his outing was that he didn't even realize that the game was over and started walking back towards the dugout after closing out the frame. The hard-throwing 29-year-old righty got the call to protect a two-run lead in the ninth inning after Kendall Graveman tossed a scoreless eighth inning to preserve a tie ballgame. He looked extremely sharp, consistently pounding the strike zone, and his only mistake was serving up a colossal solo homer to Yordan Alvarez, which tends to happen when you're facing him in clutch situations. With Liam Hendriks unlikely to return as Chicago's closer for at least a few weeks, if not longer, it seems like new manager Pedro Grifol is going to give López an opportunity to handle closing situations. There's a lot to like about how he responded in his first opportunity and he's worthy of a speculative roster spot in all fantasy formats.

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