April 9: Chris Johnson

D.J. Short

Welcome to Pickup of the Day, where every weekday we'll pick an under-the-radar player whose immediate value is on the rise. The idea here is to identify a starter who can give you some solid innings off the scrap heap, a talented backup who's been given a chance because of a starter's injury, an unheralded regular with a favorable matchup, or a potential breakout player who's starting to put it together. Unlike regular waiver-wire advice, Pickup of the Day is geared more towards interim success, but hopefully we'll have the intuition to help you snag a waiver-wire gem a few times this season.

While I'd prefer to see the Braves give the catcher-eligible Evan Gattis an opportunity at first base while Freddie Freeman is on the disabled list with an oblique injury, it appears that Chris Johnson will get the majority of the playing time there. And that's not necessarily a bad thing for fantasy owners, as Johnson is a .277 career hitter and smacked 15 home runs in 136 games last season between the Astros and Diamondbacks. The 28-year-old isn't without his flaws -- including a measly 4.8 percent career walk rate -- but he should offer a decent batting average and occasional pop. He should be owned in all NL-only formats and could even help in deeper mixed leagues with a CI (corner infielder) and or multiple utility spots.

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