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It’s early. The regular season is only a week old, but savvy team managers are already looking for potential steals and sleeper candidates and there is no better time than in the first few weeks of the season. Here are some waiver wire pickups that are available in 50% or more in most leagues.

Jordan Schafer-OF-Astros

[caption id="attachment_3344" align="aligncenter" width="202" caption="OF #1 Jordan Schafer rounds third after homering on Sunday. Photo: kansascitystar.com"][/caption]

Right of the bat (if you pardon the pun), Schafer is a potential sleeper candidate. Schafer was one of four players dealt from the Atlanta Braves to the Houston Astros in the Michael Bourn deal last summer. If you missed out on top base stealers when you drafted, then you should think about bagging the 25 year old 3rd round pick of the Braves. Throw out his past numbers as he was merely a bench player until now.

With the starting gig in Houston he has amassed a .316 batting average, with 4 runs, 1 home run, 2 RBI’s and 3 stolen bases- which he nabbed in one game! Ironically, Schafer is the first Astro to accomplish that since Bourn did it in 2010. He’s only 10% owned in leagues so take a flier on him or do what we’ve done; pick him up!

Adam LaRoche-1B-Nationals

[caption id="attachment_3345" align="aligncenter" width="213" caption="#25 1B Adam LaRoche, can provide your team with some power numbers if he stays healthy. Photo: Chron.com"][/caption]

Admittedly, LaRoche has had his share of injuries throughout his career; none greater than last year when he missed almost 2/3 of the season. However, injuries notwithstanding, he can still hit for the fences. In ’08 through ’10 he hit 25 home runs in each year. He has hit 21+ homers in six consecutive years. A lifetime .268 hitter, LaRoche is off to a nice start this season with his .333 BA, 3 runs scored, 2 HR’s, and 6 RBI’s. The 32 year old is owned in 25% of leagues so if your lacking in HR’s LaRoche presents an option for you.

Hector Santiago-RP-White Sox

[caption id="attachment_3346" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="#53 New White Sox closer Hector Santiago is off to a great start with 2 saves in 2 games. Can it continue? Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images"][/caption]

Officially the White Sox closer, Santiago has moved up and over Matt Thornton and Addison Reed to grab the 9th inning duties. And he has been quite effective saving two games in as many opportunities. It’s early, but in 2 full innings he has given up 1 hit, a HR, no walks, and 2 K’s. The 24 year old  from Newark N.J. has only pitched in four career games so be cautious with him. He was only a 30th round pick in the 2006 draft by the White Sox and hasn’t got enough of a resume to convince us that he’s the real deal. He is owned in half of most leagues so if you are desperate for saves by all means grab him. Just be mindful and watch how he pans out.

Danny Duffy-SP-Royals

[caption id="attachment_3347" align="aligncenter" width="202" caption="#23 SP Danny Duffy pitched a 1 hit 6 inning shut out in his 1st start this season, striking out 8. Could be a sleeper this year. Photo: zimbio.com"][/caption]

We think you should put the youngster on your watch list, at least for the next game or two. He’s a 23 year old who had a rough rookie season when he was called up in September. His first outing this season vs the Athletics was stellar. He threw a a one hit shutout, striking out 8 in 6 innings. It was the Athletics so we won’t anoint him as a must add just yet, but he faces Cleveland on Sunday and then Toronto next weekend, both at home, so watch what he does before you make a move. As Duffy is only owned in 5% of leagues, time is on your side.

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