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 freelance sportswriter based out of Toronto. Formerly of the Score, he's the managing editor at Raptors Republic and frequently pops up at Sportsnet, Vice, and around here. Follow him on Twitter @BlakeMurphyODC.

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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.