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Daily Fantasy Strategy – 9/24/13 – For Draftstreet

It’s almost over now. With just a week or so left of regular-season baseball, the time is now to use your late-season knowledge to win as much as you can in daily fantasy. Can you take advantage of too many fantasy mavens focusing on Peyton Manning and LeSean McCoy* instead of Yu Darvish and Jose Bautista?

* – For Canadians, feel free to replace Manning and McCoy with Phil Kessel and Erik Karlsson.

As always in fantasy, knowledge is power — but even more so as we hoof it to the finish line. The best thing to do is stay up to speed on which players are now going to be out for the rest of the season. Let’s go over a few missing persons and their potential replacements as the season comes to a close.

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OUT – Manny Machado / IN – Danny Valencia

Machado’s heartbreaking leg injury robbed us of a complete season from one of the game’s finest young stars. But while Machado had tapered off as 2013 wound down, Valencia will at least have a chance to audition for a greater role in 2014, either with the Orioles or some other club. Danny, formerly of the Twins and Red Sox, has actually hit very well in limited action this season, racking up a 142 wRC+ and eight homers in just 156 PA. If he can continue to provide power, he could wind up on another team (maybe the Marlins?) with an increased role next season.

OUT – Roy Halladay / IN – maybe Ethan Martin?

Another disappointment was Roy Halladay’s three-batter performance during his attempted return from injury woes. Though Halladay has been a complete disappointment as he’s fought against injury in 2013, there was still some hope, fleeting as it was, that he could have captured some of the old magic against the Marlins and Braves to end the worst season of his career. Instead, now the Phillies have to fill this last hole in the rotation, in the penultimate game of the season. I guess the team will slot in Ethan Martin, a pitcher I thought was a dark horse to have fantasy impact this season. Martin certainly DID have a fantasy impact — it was a bad one. Let’s just say I wish I had that sleeper pick back.

OUT – C.C. Sabathia / IN – Phil Hughes

Oh man. Sabathia hasn’t been very good this season, but Hughes has been downright awful. Sabathia might have been a matchup pick against the Rays (but probably not), but you’d have to be really out of it to take Phil Hughes, especially in Yankee Stadium, where Hughes has been terrible. It’s a downgrade, and the smart thing might be to take the Tampa Bats against Hughes on Wednesday.

The Daily Five

Yu Darvish – $19,844

Okay, Yu is crazy expensive. But keep his previous performances against the Astros in mind when you consider dropping $20k on him today. 43 strikeouts in 29 and 2/3 innings. Nine runs allowed in that same span.

Wade Miley – $11,316

Okay, the Padres are actually a pretty good team against left-handed pitching (.317 wOBA), and Wade Miley isn’t exactly a world-beater … but Miley hasn’t been awful over his last month. And he will get a little bit of a bump from pitching in San Diego today. When the options for starters today aren’t so great, Miley could work and drag ‘Zona to a win.

Chris Davis – $9,024

Does anyone else think this number’s a bit low for Crush? He went yard against Tampa yesterday, and he’s getting the platoon advantage at home? Is Todd Redmond really scaring people off Davis? Because while Redmond’s been sharp, I don’t see him being reason enough to avoid the major-league HR leader.

Billy Hamilton – $8,459

This one is a risk — wait and hold out as long as you can to see if Hamilton will start for the Reds today against Jon Niese and the Mets. Hamilton’s been magical during his recent run: six hits and two walks in 12 plate appearances, combined with eight stolen bases in eight attempts over his last four games. Hamilton should be good for a stolen base, at the very least, if he draws a start. It’s just a matter of waiting for that lineup card to post.

Yan Gomes – $6,800

The best-hitting catcher on the Indians (134 wRC+ to Carlos Santana‘s 132 wRC+ — but who’s counting?) is a value today, getting the platoon advantage against Hector Santiago of the White Sox. Santiago hasn’t been strong in his last few outings, and was skipped his last time through the rotation, so perhaps he’ll be off his game today

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