Daily Fantasy Strategy – 8/25 – For Draftstreet

There are a few nuances in the DraftStreet scoring system that are worth remembering when setting a lineup – “best hitter” isn’t always the same as “best fantasy pick” for several reasons.

That is, you can’t just look at, say, OPS to gauge a player’s daily value. Instead, things like strikeouts (bad), stolen bases (good) and how they get their slugging points all have a major impact. If we compare the list of top OPS earners to the list of top DraftStreet earners, a few things stand out.

Player OPS Pts/G OPS Rank DS Rank
Elvis Andrus 0.627 2.96 148 68
Brandon Phillips 0.727 3.41 104 28
Coco Crisp 0.737 3.45 96 26
Everth Cabrera 0.736 3.39 97 29
Daniel Murphy 0.699 3.07 121 56
Jacoby Ellsbury 0.77 3.80 72 13
Ian Kinsler 0.759 3.55 79 23
Shane Victorino 0.749 3.38 83 31
Alex Rios 0.744 3.26 89 41
Desmond Jennings 0.733 3.09 100 55
Chris Carter 0.744 2.20 88 137
Jason Castro 0.84 2.83 31 83
Billy Butler 0.807 2.64 48 101
Brandon Moss 0.785 2.48 59 115
Brandon Belt 0.823 2.69 39 96
James Loney 0.786 2.51 57 114
Colby Rasmus 0.812 2.56 44 108
Justin Smoak 0.784 2.29 62 131
Adam Lind 0.827 2.53 37 111
Chris Johnson 0.836 2.51 33 113

That table shows the top 10 gainers and losers when you switch from OPS to daily points per game. Immediately you can see that it’s speedsters that get a boost since stolen bases are big for fantasy but don’t factor in to OPS. Most of these “gainers” are also low-strikeout players, too. At the bottom, it’s pretty clear that avoiding strikeouts matters a great deal to maximizing value.

Nothing ground-breaking here, but worth a reminder of what goes into fantasy value that doesn’t necessarily get captured when we think “best hitter.”

The Daily Five

Mark Buehrle – $11,565
Set it and forget it, just don’t watch this game. Buehrle’s been really solid for a while now and even struck out nine Astros the last time they squared off. There aren’t many pitcher bargains today, needless to say.

Rick Porcello – $9,887
The Mets have a 22% strikeout rate and a .300 wOBA against right-handers, while Porcello has vastly outpitched his ERA and is thus a bit underpriced. Porcello also sets up well for a win, in as much as you can chase wins in daily leagues. I know it’s four seasons in a row with that same ERA-FIP gap but I’m still somewhat of a believer that Porcello is a plus starter.

Mark DeRosa – $6,364
There’s a major wind blowing out to left field, giving right-handed Jays an added boost against Dallas Keuchel, who isn’t very good to begin with. Odd as it may seem to take DeRosa, he has a 116 wRC+ against lefties and has killed them for the last few years save for 2012. Brett Lawrie, Jose Reyes and Rajai Davis are all sitting there as well, though you’re paying a bit more of n expectant price.

Billy Butler -$5,700
Over the past two seasons, Dan Haren has given up a .353 wOBA to right-handed hitters. I don’t think he’s nearly that bad, but he’s also given up an above-average HR/FB rate in four of the past five years, and now his groundball rate has fallen below 40% two straight years (34% right now). Those factors, combined with a 12MPH wind blowing out to left field, make him a nice match-up for the Royals. So I’ve tabbed my arch nemesis, Butler, and I’m not happy about it.

Asdrubal Cabrera – $6,219
Big Pelf on the bump. That’s gotta be a slumpbuster, right? Cabrera is better than this.

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This post, covering one of the leading sites for daily fantasy, is sponsored and made possible by the generous support of Draftstreet. FanGraphs maintains complete editorial control of the postings, and brings you these posts in a continued desire to provide the best analytical information on the latest in baseball.




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Blake Murphy is a news editor at The Score, and is a freelance sportswriter covering baseball, basketball, hockey and more. Think Bo Jackson, without the being good at every sport part. Follow him on Twitter @BlakeMurphyODC.


12 Responses to “Daily Fantasy Strategy – 8/25 – For Draftstreet”

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  1. evo34 says:

    Um, you might be interested to know that the Astros played indoors today, as they do ~80% of their home games. Info. was confirmed at http://astros.mlblogs.com/ 5 hours before the game.

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    • Blake Murphy says:

      “Um” no need to be a dick. These things have to go up at 10am which means I usually write them the night before.

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      • evo34 says:

        If you’re writing a season-long column devoted to breaking down match up and park/weather effects on fantasy baseball, you’d think you’d actually know how certain stadiums work. The Astros roof had been closed for at least the past 10 games, and is virtually never opened in high 90s August weather. So no matter what time you wrote the article, basing decisions on wind effects in Houston is absurd.

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      • Blake Murphy says:

        ” an added boost”
        Meaning, Keuchel still sucks and it was still a favorable match-up. Also, MMP has been playing 2-4% above average anyway, or as much as 10% if you trust ESPN’s methodology (though part of this has to do with pitcher’s, I’m sure).

        Sure, the no-wind is a small oversight, but starting a guy who hits lefties well against a terrible lefty in a fine situation is hardly absurd.

        Nitpicking hours after the fact and being a dick about free advise kind of is though.

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  2. evo34 says:

    Free advise? Who’s the dick now?

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    • Blake Murphy says:

      SOMEONE MADE A TYPO ON THE INTERNET AND I CAUGHT IT GUYS!!! I CAUGHT IT, HEY EVERYBODY LOOK AT THIS GUYS TYPO!

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      • Blake Murphy says:

        of course i’d miss an apostrophe.

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      • evo34 says:

        And the original apology to me for being a dick.

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      • evo34 says:

        I could have sworn somebody told me to “just die” but I guess I was wrong.

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      • evo34 says:

        Awesome that the internet is still powered by people assuming others’ identities simply for the sake of trolling… Whoever wrote the “Free advise? Who’s the dick now?” comment and the 2 comments that followed was not me. Not that it matters.

        I couldn’t care less about typos, fwiw. But Blake, you really seem not to have a handle on what is predictive and what is not. Partial season park factors (from ESPN no less) are not predictive. It’s been a neutral park for the last 4 years, and nothing has changed physically this year (and as you now know, weather variability is a non-issue in Houston). Combine that with the fact that Toronto is a legitimate hitter’s park, and you should be able to see that the net park impact on a Blue Jays hitter visiting Houston is negative.

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      • Blake Murphy says:

        I doubt they’d let me write here if that were the case. You do a handful of these each week, some of them late at night or early AM, and stuff occasionally slips through the mental cracks, like the Hou park situation.

        Of course, even then it was STILL a strong match-up because MDR v LHP and Keuchel v being terrible. Didn’t blow anyone away (2 BB) tho.

        AND, you’ll notice I bought hard on Buehrle, so it’s not as if I was suggesting MMP would be a bandbox yesterday. All I had said was “added boost.”

        Basically….a whole hell of a lot to do about nothing.

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  3. S. Uristsa says:

    On the Interwebz (TM), nobody knows if you’re a dog. Everybody knows if you’re an ass.

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