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Top fantasy baseball relief pitcher waiver pickups for Week 16

Chris Landers goes over their top fantasy baseball starting pitcher waiver wire targets going into the week of Sunday, July 9, including Aroldis Chapman and Justin Lawrence.

Aroldis Chapman of the Texas Rangers pitches in the eighth inning against the Houston Astros sat Globe Life Field on July 03, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

We’re officially hit the All-Star break, which means it’s long past time to hold on to any illusions that you’re going to win your league with all of your brilliant draft picks intact. It’s time to throw out what you thought you knew around draft time and make adjustments. Time to decide whether you’re in it to win it this year, and what you might need to make that happen. Time to check narrative and sentiment at the door.

This is especially true for bullpens around, the league where injuries and ineffectiveness have laid waste to seemingly scores of top arms. That’s why we’re here to help, with four targets likely available in your league showing signs that they’re in for a big year.

Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 16 top relief pitcher pickups

Aroldis Chapman, RP, Texas Rangers

Roster percentage: 16.9%

Will Smith suffered another hiccup last week against the Houston Astros, and with Texas’ margin for error dwindling in the AL West, it’s not a stretch to think that one or two more blow-up outings could hand the closer’s gig over to Chapman. The Rangers acquired the hard-throwing lefty for a reason, after all, and he’s looked great since the trade, striking out four and allowing just one hit over three scoreless innings. When the chips are down, talent usually wins out, and Smith’s rope feels awfully short right now.

Trevor May, RP, Oakland Athletics

Roster percentage: 1.3%

Far be it from me to recommend anything related to the A’s pitching staff, but saves are saves, and May has been much better since returning from the IL last month. The veteran righty has a 3.09 ERA since the start of June, and he’s bagged three saves over the last two weeks. Again, Oakland obviously isn’t going to be racking up wins down the stretch, but any opportunities they do get should go to May, and he’s looking very capable of converting them — without any real threats to his job security.

Justin Lawrence, RP, Colorado Rockies

Roster percentage: 2.6%

Everyone kept waiting for Daniel Bard to reclaim his spot as the Rockies’ closer, but Lawrence has been dynamite of late, with a 0.93 ERA, one earned run allowed, three saves and a win over his last nine appearances. His command issues are cause for concern, but Bud Black has shown the willingness to stick with a guy despite the occasional rough outing, and Lawrence figures to remain in the ninth inning for the rest of the year unless something really drastic happens. If you’re desperate for saves, you could do worse.

Joel Payamps, RP, Milwaukee Brewers

Roster percentage: 4.1%

This one is more of a long shot, as Devin Williams isn’t in danger of losing his job any time soon. But the All-Star has been pretty lucky this year, with a 3.51 FIP that’s far higher than his sparkling 1.95 ERA. His command has regressed noticeably, he just blew a save against the Cubs this week and he comes with a laundry list of past health issues. Payamps, meanwhile, has been among the best relievers in baseball, unscored upon since June 8. There’s save upside here if something goes sideways with Williams, and in the meantime, he’ll smooth out your ratios.