September 01, 2011

This week on the waiver wire, we're catering to owners chasing playoff spots or trying to move up in the standings in the final weekend of the fantasy regular season. You've got nothing to lose this week, nothing for which you should hold back. If your playoff life is on the line or a regular-season championship hangs in the balance, now is the time to go all in (unless, of course, you are chasing a championship, but have a free agent budget that carries over to the playoffs).

Remember Game 7 of the 2003 NLCS when Dusty Baker refused to put Matt Clement in the game even though the Cubs' season was slipping away and Clement was on three days' rest? Remember how he opted for Kyle Farnsworth instead, who surrendered two runs in the seventh that essentially sealed the game? You don't want to be 2003 Dusty Baker. Trust me.

Mike Minor, Braves -- Minor has picked up wins in four of his last five starts, allowing 11 runs on 31 hits while striking out 34 in 29.1 innings. He takes the mound Saturday at home against the punchless Dodgers. He remains widely available for what could be a very strong start at a crucial time in the fantasy calendar. He's the best stream option this weekend.

Randy Wells, Cubs -- Wells is coming off quite possibly the best start of his career, a two-hit shutout of the Giants on Monday. He'll face the Pirates on Sunday, an offense only marginally better than San Francisco's. Wells was very useful through six turns in August, going 4-0 while surrendering just 15 runs in 35.2 innings. Unless you're in a league filled with Cubs fans, he's probably available.

Joe Saunders, Diamondbacks -- Speaking of the Giants, they host the division-leading Diamondbacks this weekend as Arizona looks to open up a serious lead with one month left in the season. Saunders gets the call for the Snakes on Friday, and as Wells proved earlier this week, it doesn't take an overwhelming repertoire to dominate San Francisco. Much in the same way you could just pick up the defense playing Carolina last NFL season and feel confident, streaming pitchers against the Giants is almost sure to yield rewards. Saunders is your only chance to do so this weekend, as Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson take the mound Saturday and Sunday.

Bobby Parnell, Mets -- He's securely in the closer's chair in Queens, having closed out games in his last three appearances, including two saves. There isn't much more to say here. He's getting the opportunities for the Mets, and he's one of the few widely available closers on the wire. If you're trolling for saves, he's your best bet in this final weekend of the regular season.

Dayan Viciedo, White Sox -- The White Sox finally called up Viciedo, who hit .296/.364/.491 with 20 homers at Triple-A Charlotte this season. Even while he was posting numbers all season, the White Sox felt comfortable running Juan Pierre, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios out there every day. The fact this team is six games out of the weakest division in the majors is almost criminal, but that's not the point of this column. Viciedo should play every day while Carlos Quentin is out and you can bet he'll be in the Opening Day lineup next year.

Wells, Cubs -- The same logic applies, and you can get him in NL leagues, too.

Andres Torres, Giants -- Torres was activated earlier this week and has resumed everyday duties in center for a team desperate for some life in its offense.

Santiago Casilla, Giants -- Casilla will likely continue to pick up save opportunities in the short term while Brian Wilson and Sergio Romo are on the shelf.

Matt Moore, Rays -- The minors' best pitching prospect figures to get a call now that it's September. In 26 starts between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham, Moore is 11-3 with a 1.93 ERA and 200 strikeouts in 149 innings.

Zach Britton, Orioles -- Britton has looked like the pitcher he was in April and May in his last two starts, allowing one run on 10 hits in 12 innings, beating the Twins and Yankees.

Chat with me 140 characters at a time on Twitter, @MBeller

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