Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 7/27/12

Daniel Murphy has had a great July. (Photo by Keith Allison via CC BY-SA 2.0)

Welcome back to the Waiver Wire Watch! As the trade deadline approaches, teams are usually in a panic to upgrade their rosters.  However, chances are good that there are still a few guys available in your fantasy league that can help to upgrade your roster without much effort.  Here are a few under-the-radar players that can help your fantasy squad. 

Format for waiver wire watch:

  • 50-75% Owned- Player qualifies for 10-team league
  • 25-49% Owned- Player qualifies for 12-team league
  • Less than 25% Owned- Player qualifies for 14-team league

Again, these percentages are found on Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball.

10-team league hitter to watch 

Daniel Murphy, 1B/2B/3B, NYM

Daniel Murphy has been on another level this July, which makes him a pretty intriguing pickup option.  Murphy is eligible for multiple positions in most leagues, giving any team flexibility.  He has a .306 AVG this season overall, but he has a .444 AVG so far in July.

In addition, he has a .464 OBP and .667 SLG for the month as well.  It would obviously be foolish to expect Murphy to continue this pace for a prolonged period of time; however, this shows he can put up great numbers with consistency.

10-team league pitcher to watch

Doug Fister, SP, DET

After a brutal June and beginning of July, Doug Fister has regained form in his past couple starts.  In his last two starts Fister pitched a combined total of 15 innings while striking out 18, only allowing 2 ER in the process.  He was also the winning pitcher in both games.  When Fister gets locked in, he is as consistent as anyone.  This was proven by his numbers down the stretch last season with the Tigers.  History could very well repeat itself this year.

12-team league hitter to watch

Cody Ross, OF, BOS

Cody Ross has been an absolutely huge under-the-radar pickup for the Red Sox this season.  He can also be a productive under-the-radar pickup for fantasy owners.  He has really benefited from playing in Fenway Park this season, as 11 of his 16 HR on the season have come at home.  Also, his 50 RBI on the season rank him in the top 10 AL outfielders as well.

If SLG is taken into account in your league, Ross could be a huge find.  He has a .556 SLG (likely another perk of playing in Fenway Park), which is right up there with the league leaders.  He is certainly someone to keep an eye on.

12-team league pitcher to watch

Ben Sheets, SP, ATL

Welcome back to the big leagues, Ben Sheets.  After a two-year hiatus, Sheets has come back and looked like the Ben Sheets of old in his first two starts with the Braves.  Sheets pitched six innings in both of his starts and is yet to give up an earned run.  He also has only allowed 7 hits in his 12 innings of work and has struck out 11.  Two starts is a small sample size for any pitcher, but the key is that Sheets is back and healthy.  He may not be in his prime anymore, but he can still be an above-average pitcher as evidenced by his two starts.

14-team league hitter to watch

Lorenzo Cain, OF, KC

After injuring his hip flexor in early April, Lorenzo Cain missed almost the entire first half of the season.  Since returning in mid-July though, he has been on fire.  Since returning from the DL, Cain has an AVG of .378 with 2 HR and 11 RBI in 11 games.  He is also sporting a .622 OBP since his return as well.  Cain has been a highly touted prospect for a large part of his career, so he is worth keeping an eye on.  If he continues to prove he can be a consistent producer at the Major League level, then he will be worth a shot.

14-team league pitcher to watch

Clayton Richard, SP, SD

Clayton Richard is actually putting together a very solid season for the Padres this year, but he has gone unnoticed for the most part.  Believe it or not, Clayton Richard is actually leading the NL in IP this season with 140.1 IP.  Think of all the big name pitchers in the NL, and then imagine that Richard has been more of a workhorse any of them this season.  He also has a respectable 1.21 WHIP on the season as well.  It is extremely rare to have the NL leader of major pitching statistic still available in the most fantasy leagues at this point in the season.  Take advantage while you can.

** All statistics used are as of Monday, July 23, 2012.

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