DraftStreet has blessed us with a 4 p.m. EST start for the bulk of daily leagues today, which is great considering that only one game starts at 1 p.m. and only a handful start at 7 p.m. or later. We’ve got nearly a full slate of games to pick from, which means…disagreement, of course.
The more options available to us, the more strategies one could employ to try and achieve success. You’re always trying to maximize points, but those in a double-up pay-out format may be aiming for 40 points while those in a winner-take-all are looking for the big upside plays.
We’ve been over this kind of stuff before, but it warrants repeating that you will eventually find your own risk profile and your own preference for ceiling versus floor.
Myself, I like to go mix stars and scrubs, so to speak. In this space, I’ll usually try and identify at least two players below the “average player cost,” which sits at $8,333. Grabbing three or four players, especially a starting pitcher, below that threshold can let you stack up on big-name players. That’s not to say big name players with bad match-ups are always going to be better than lesser players with good match-ups, but in general they’re better plays because they’re better players, if you can afford them by finding discounts elsewhere.
For example, Miguel Cabrera averages 5.15 fantasy points per game, good for about 12% of what you need to “double-up” in such a format. But he almost always costs $12k, so you’re spending 12% of your budget as well. There’s no gain here in terms of net value. But, and I’ll graph the spread for an article soon, I’d hazard a guess that Miggy has more “boom” days than almost anyone else, and on those days he’s well worth the cost.
The Daily Five
Ubaldo Jimenez – $11,744
This pick has nothing to do with the preamble, but Jimenez is the non-elite pitcher best set up to deliver returns tomorrow. Despite the 4.58 ERA, he’s returning nearly five fantasy points per outing and has 77 strikeouts on the year. Add in the White Sox’ inability to hit, Friday not withstanding, plus a 66-degree game-time temperature with a wind blowing anything a lefty pulls foul, and Jimenez has a good chance of continuing his streak of strong starts he began in late May.
Kyle Gibson – $9,252
Debuts are fun, live a little! Plus, Gibson, a touted prospect, has been killing it at Triple-A and the Royals offense is sub-par, especially in the power department. The temperatures are mild in Minnesota right now, and there’s a strong wind threatening to blow anything to left into foul territory, giving Gibson a bit of extra wiggle room for mistakes. I really like his chances of out-earning his “fourth cheapest starter” price for today.
Jason Castro – $7,011
The ultimate “flag player” for me, Castro is a righty-smashing lefty facing Joe Blanton in 100-degree heat. Even with some wind blowing in, Castro should be able to find a Fat Joe mistake, blast it into oblivion and then just Lean Back as he trots around the bases. It’s tough to pencil a guy in for a homer on a second straight day but…come on, it’s Blanton, and Castro comes cheap-ish.
Mike Napoli – $6,833
I’m still a believer in Esmil Rogers long-term, but he had a blip with leaving the ball up in his last outing. If he does that against any Red Sox on Saturday, with a wind blowing out over the Green Monster, he’s in trouble. Napoli could be a no-start risk given he’s due for a precautionary MRI at some point soon, but if he goes he’s the type of mistake-killer that could net you a home run for a decent price.
Xavier Paul – $5,935
Look at the cash we have left over to swing for your typical studs in this construction! Paul is a righty-smashing lefty, in the hot Texas sun, facing righty Nick Tepsech, with the jet stream at work blowing balls out to right field. You’re free to take Votto and Bruce with your left over budget, but Paul is the bargain option.
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