Each Sunday we are going to bring you our SLUMP BUSTER article, where we will be outlining what it took to win some of the tournaments we see around the industry. We will go over what type of pitchers we see on the winning rosters to give you an idea of who you should look to target. We will also take a look at the hitters and roster construction technique’s our winners have used to take down the big prizes.
Far too often player’s neglect to put the same amount of time in analyzing their lineup choices after the fact as they do in selecting players before lineup lock. Looking back on your choices and figuring out what worked is the best way to improve your own game and become more profitable. Here’s a site by site breakdown of what we saw:
Pitching is very important in daily fantasy, but the way you select pitchers for cash and GPPs should be totally different. If you look at the winners of the moonshot each night, you will notice a real lack of top price starter pairings. Here were the winning combos of pitchers: Greinke (17%) and Karns (5%), Cole (9%) and DeGrom (55%), Harvey (65%) and Miguel Gonzalez (2%), McHugh (11%) and T. Wood (3%), Archer (23%) and Fister (45%), Scherzer (25%) and Kelly (15%), Sale (26%) and Hughes (7%), King Felix (34%) and Hughes (6%). While every winner had one higher priced guy, they also had one guy who was lower owned and in a tier below the studs.
It seems to me that the winning combinations tend to consist of one high priced stud and one guy who is off the board. Greinke, Felix, Scherzer, De Grom, Harvey, and Sale are all guys many of us were on and used, but the guys who really helped were the Miguel Gonzalez, Gerrit Cole, T. Wood, Chris Archer, Phil Hughes and Joe Kelly types who were usually 10% or less and came up with big performances at discounted prices. For roster building purposes this tells me if you can identify your favorite stud pitcher, then it may not be a horrible idea to multi enter a few lineups with him as the keystone and then mix and match other options in the SP2 spot and move a hitter or two around accordingly.
As for the bats, in the eight slates we looked at, four of them had a stack of four or more batters. Only one had a six man stack though and the others were all four man. We had three more winners who did not stack, but had pairs and triplets of teammates mixed together. The last roster was a mismash of guys in good spots. Seemed like a cash game roster thrown in that paid off.
What this tells me is that for a single entry guy, you need to take some more risk in your roster. Rolling out the cash game play is very unlikely to get you to the top. I say this because rosters that are heavy on two or three games do not make a ton of sense for cash games. While you may be targeting weak pitchers, if one or two of them pitch well, then you sink those rosters and burn that money. Yet for GPP upside, isn’t it better to hope for one or two guys to blow up and give up fantasy points, instead of the eight guys you choose all performing well? There’s more risk, but more upside to stacked and paired rosters, which is why when they hit we tend to see them up top in GPPs. This is why Multi entry guys spread out their plays and while that Single vs. Multi entry argument is one for another day, there’s a lot of merit to it in MLB DFS.
When it comes to FanDuel pitching, you still want to roster the top scorer on the day. That also likely means paying up for him. Pitching points are skewed on FanDuel and the Bartolo Colon start is a good example. Colon pitched well and got 15 points at a savings of $2-3000 off of the studs, yet guys like the Kershaw’s, Scherzer’s, and Harvey’s made people money on top of winning rosters. It’s great to be able to save on Pitching for bats, but it has not been the road to the promised land. With only one pitcher, it still seems the way to win on FanDuel is nail that top scoring guy on the day. That top scoring guy is usually one of the more expensive guys too, so that’s why it makes sense on FanDuel to continue to pay for pitching in GPPs and cash games.
As for the bats, we have a different way of going about it. Lately the homeruns, or more precisely the multiple homerun games, seem to be what carries the top rosters. FanDuel pricing does not lend itself easily to building balanced teams. The winning rosters in the large pool tournaments last week seemed to follow a min/max stars/scrubs type strategy. This may be due to the high price of guys like Adam Jones, Adrian Gonzalez, and Nelson Cruz. Those guys were not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but when they get multiple hits, multiple homeruns, and round it out with RBI and Runs scored, you can not fade them and still win. In order to fit those guys, we have seen a lot of the $2200-$2400 guys paired with them. Most of the winning rosters that paid up for pitching and one of these studs had at least one guy under $2500 if not more. These guys tended to be pretty highly owned too for a guy under $2500, so the most likely cheap plays in good line up spots paired with the best studs in good spots seems to be working. Keep in mind the sample size here is still only a week and last week’s winning construction was geared more towards two to three man stacks, so nothing here is gospel yet, but as always we will keep looking at it weekly to see what patterns emerge that we can take advantage of.