On the Board
1. A rehash of basic FanDuel strategies
2. Notable Potables
3. Real, actual players for tonight, tomorrow
4. An operational note
1. Basic Strategies
There’s more than one way to skin the DFS cat, but there are a few strategies that rule the day.
The Heart of the Order: Yesterday we touched on the point values of specific outcomes. An uncounted stat that’s of incredible importance is plate appearances. You want to roster players who bat near the top of the lineup; the second to sixth hitters are usually the sweet spot. Additionally, you want to roster players who will play the entire game. If Matt Joyce is frequently pinch hit before his fourth plate appearance (he is), that hurts his DFS value. Similarly, if Carlos Beltran is regularly pulled for a defensive replacement in the seventh, then you might want to target somebody else.
Stacking: FanDuel lets you roster up to four players from a given team. To stack means to roster four players from the same lineup, usually batting consecutively against a bad starting pitcher. That way, when Ian Kinsler drives in Rajai Davis, you get two points instead of one. When Miguel Cabrera later homers in Kinsler, you get seven points for Miggy’s bomb plus an eighth point from Kinsler.
Cheapies: Sometimes, infrequent bench players, especially backup catchers, carry very low costs but aren’t much worse than the guy they’re replacing. Sunday games can get loaded up on these cheap players. Once and awhile, a young, unproven stud pitcher will have a very low price, letting you build a super expensive lineup.
2. A few notable players in FanDuel
I lied, I’m all out of potables (I recommend asking Eno for more). I believe I’ve already indicated the best stadiums to target for hitters.
A couple pitchers: Jorge de la Rosa is the cheapie at $5,100. He faces the Marlins, which is to say he has a superb match-up. Sonny Gray is $7,100. You know how I feel about him. I also like R.A. Dickey at the same $7,100. If you choose to go expensive, Chris Sale for $8,900 draws the pitiful Twins.
A few hitters: There are a bunch of probably starting catchers for under $3,000. John Jaso stands out at $2,700. I really really don’t want to be recommending Phillies hitters, but Ryan Howard is just $3,200 with the platoon advantage in home run happy Arlington, TX. Khris Davis will be batting in the middle of the lineup and temporarily costs $3,000. Stacking him with Braun ($4,500) might prove to be a challenge).
3. A few guys for traditional fantasy
Did I say I would give you advice for tonight? Come on guys, there’s one game, help yourselves to whatever’s out there. It’s probably Juan Uribe or bust.
More bread and salt for Dillon Gee, he has guest right for a third season with the Grind. The match-up against the Nationals is worrisome. But April 1 at CitiField might bring it back in his favor.
I like betting against the Phillies offense this season, but Texas will probably have some of the best hitting conditions tomorrow and Tanner Scheppers is very much an unknown factor in the rotation. Hopefully you have luxury to play wait and see since it’s the first real day of the season.
I’ll hold off on hitter recommendations until we get a better sense of regular lineups, platoons, and whatnot. I recall the first 10 days were hard to predict well last year, so I’ll play it safe.
4. A note on my plans
Players picked out as FanDuel targets will be for the same day i.e. if the article publishes on Monday then the recommendation is for Monday.
Players picked out as traditional fantasy targets will be for the next day. At least half of leagues operate that way. If you want same day recommendations, just scan back a day. I’ll help you out by providing a handy link.
The home team grid will be updated for same day. That will probably be confusing for traditional fantasy owners, but I’m not sure if there’s a better way.
SAME DAY UPDATES – Yeah, all caps. I’ll be using my Twitter account @BaseballATeam to highlight late breaking lineup changes. So follow me and tune in around 5:00 PM ET or once lineups are posted.