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.
There’s no getting around the fact that Melvin Upton has been a massive bust since signing a five-year, $72.25 million contract with the Braves a few years ago. It’s caused many fantasy owners to write him off for good, but the 31-year-old has actually playing surprisingly well dating back to the second half last season. He batted .278/.342/.458 after the All-Star break last year and is off to a .288/.383/.481 start this season with two homers and five steals. While the Padres’ lineup is arguably the worst in baseball, Upton has been hitting in the cleanup spot of late. Don’t let the veteran outfielder’s previous failures keep you from capitalizing on his recent success.