Usually we reserve our daily fantasy baseball value plays column for Tuesday, but DraftKings has an insane GPP tournament with $100k sitting atop the mountain.
Your odds aren’t amazing in a 115,000-player field, but the entry is just $4 and if you take first, you don’t just want part of $100 grand. You win that exact amount of cash.
Pretty tempting, indeed. If you’re going to win the big bucks, of course, you’ll need to figure out a few things: who to stack, which pitchers to pair together and what value to use to piece your winning roster together.
You may want to go chalk in some areas and fully contrarian in others, but one way or another, you want to dance that fine line between taking advantage of the obvious matchups and also exploiting the not so obvious matchup that few will gamble on.
We’ve got you on the value end of things, so if you want to use an elite arm or get a bunch of big bats, here’s some cheaper options that just might help you win it all tonight:
SP: Wei-Yin Chen – Marlins ($8k)
Max Scherzer is over $13k and Zach Greinke is over $11k, so you’re saving a ton here by rolling with Chen. He actually might be good to pair with either of those elite arms and he’d save you cash to spend on hitting.
Chen really isn’t an elite arm himself, but he’s just passable with similar home/away splits and 16+ fantasy points in four of his last six starts. He did bomb last time out, but he’s recovered and put up at least 16 fantasy points in every outing this year following a clunker.
The best part is he’s not just a quality pitcher providing value, but he’s also operating in a pitcher’s park in San Diego and draws one of the least problematic offenses in the Padres. If he bottoms out, it’d be fairly surprising.
If you’re not into Chen and need/want to save even more money and want to go super contrarian, consider James Shields tonight. He is ridiculously cheap at $4.8k and pretty much let’s you do whatever you want. He is in a hitter’s park and was brutal in his Chicago debut, but he had been largely stable on the year. A bounce back game against a good Tigers offense isn’t a great bet, but it’s not impossible, either.
C: James McCann – Tigers ($2.8k)
On the flip side, stacking against Shields seems like a pretty good play. The venue helps and Shields gives up jacks like no one’s business, so there is loads of upside with Detroit bats.
McCann is quite erratic and is basically an all or nothing play here, but he has averaged over 11 fantasy points per game against the White Sox in three games this year. He’s also cheap and if there were a perfect spot to use him, this is it.
1B: Justin Smoak – Blue Jays ($3.1k)
Toronto looks like another good stack against Jerad Eickhoff, who is really all kinds of awful (0-5 with a 6.41 ERA) on the road this year. Being in Toronto against a hot Jays offense can’t go well.
Smoak doesn’t always start, but he should be active as he would have an edge against a right-handed pitcher. The Angels’ C.J. Cron is another cheap play to consider here, as he’s hit safely in 8 of his last 10 contests and could be knocked in more than once in a nice date with Ricky Nolasco.
2B: Ben Zobrist – Cubs ($3.3k)
This is one of my favorite contrarian plays on the night, as a lot of people will be paying up for Max, which probably means very little Cubs stacking. And rightfully so. However, Zobrist has fared well against Scherzer in the past and with Max being good for some homers, I think Zobes could get a piece of one here.
This isn’t a safe play, but Zobrist has had positive results in the matchup, has the ability to go deep and is pretty cheap based on his talent and upside. He’s a worthwhile try if you’re not rostering Scherzer.
3B: Trevor Plouffe – Twins ($3.3k)
I certainly do not love Plouffe, but he’s a good price, usually has a little power to his game and has a good history against Jered Weaver.
We all know Weaver hasn’t been his old self in a while, either, so it could be tempting to chase the combination of value, matchup and upside here. There’s not much more to it, though, so unless you have a good feeling about Plouffe, third base might be the position to spend on.
SS: Marcus Semien – Athletics ($3.7k)
Oakland is a somewhat under the radar stack against inexperienced Rangers pitcher Cesar Ramos tonight, but it’ll just be tough to be too enamored with them considering they’re an awful offense.
That being said, perhaps outside of a full stack it may be wise to use one or two of them. Semien is probably my favorite, as he’s a decent price, is at a position without many guys worth paying up for and has a killer matchup. Semien also provides some nice pop (14 jacks on the year) and has even hit safely in 8 of his last 10 games. Power and reliability? Gasp!
OF: Michael Saunders – Blue Jays ($3.9k)
We don’t need to get too cute here, as Saunders is a positive matchup against a right-handed pitcher here and Eickhoff also struggles against left-handed hitters. Toronto as a whole looks good at home tonight, while Saunders is absolutely wrecking right now with 10+ fantasy points in five of his last six games. All signs point to another solid outing for him tonight.
That leaves you with one more pitcher and two more outfielders to grab if you decided to roll with all of our value plays, but as you know, it may be best to take some of our advice and mix it with your own research and gut feel.
One way or another, we hope our insight helps you win big on Monday night. Good luck!
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