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Top fantasy baseball outfield waiver pickups for Week 8

Chris Landers goes over their top fantasy baseball outfielders to target on the waiver wire going into the week of Monday, May 15, including JJ Bleday and Lane Thomas.

Oakland Athletics right fielder JJ Bleday hits a single against the Seattle Mariners during the sixth inning at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Have a hole in your outfield amid the chaos that is the 2023 MLB season so far? Is your fantasy baseball team weak in a stat or two and in need of a boost? No matter what you’re looking for, we have the outfielder to target on the waiver wire, from power to speed to upside to a little bit of everything.

Fantasy baseball waiver wire: Week 8 outfield targets

JJ Bleday, OF, Oakland Athletics

Roster percentage: 3.4%

Yes, they are still playing baseball in Oakland, and the A’s lineup has been surprisingly feisty of late. Leading that charge has been Bleday, a former top-five pick who came to Oakland via trade and struggled in his first taste of the Majors last season. Since getting the call a couple weeks ago, though, he’s started to show that potential at the plate, slugging .649 with three homers in his first 11 games. His strikeout rate — long his bugaboo even through the Minors — is down and he’s making quality contact, and if this breakout is for real his ceiling is massive.

Lane Thomas, OF, Washington Nationals

Roster percentage: 6.0%

Every fantasy roster needs glue guys, players who will steadily contribute across the board without carrying tons of upside. Enter Thomas, who has four homers, three steals and a .277 average while often hitting leadoff for the Nats. He’s long flashed 20/10 potential, and now he has the playing time — and the health — to prove it.

Leody Taveras, OF, Texas Rangers

Roster percentage: 1.5%

Taveras, meanwhile, has one name to his game: speed. The former top prospect has long been an elite athlete — he’s among the game’s best defensive center fielders — but hasn’t been able to make contact often enough to put it to use. He’s hitting .308 so far this season for the Rangers, laying claim to an everyday role in baseball’s best offense, and he has true 40-steal upside if he plays every day and the bat holds up.

Gavin Sheets, OF, Chicago White Sox

Roster percentage: 0.7%

The 6’5 Sheets has long had prodigious power, and now — with regular playing time amid Chicago’s myriad injuries — Sheets has slashed his strikeout rate, upped his walk rate and is slugging .591 over the past week. He particularly crushes right-handed pitching, so he’s ideal for the strong side of a platoon.