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:
FanDuel pitching still requires you to have the top scoring guys. Most of the time those guys are towards the top end of the pricing spectrum as well. Anthony Descalfani had a huge 17 FD point performance and was quite possibly the exception to this rule, but guys like Felix, Cueto, Gerritt Cole and Lance Lynn were a top the other winning rosters and all were $8500 or more and in the top seven price wise on their respective slates. You can save money by punting pitching, but rarely does it work out as your overall score requires you to get a big number from your starter and very few cheap guys can get you to that peak. My recommendation has been to pay up for your favorite stud pitcher and nothing I see this week makes me think that is wrong.
As for hitter’s, we had some mini stacks of guys from Oakland, San Diego, and Cleveland come through. We also had some pairs of hitters from LA dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, and Padres/Rockies pay off. Overall though I do not think stacking has worked as well on FD as it has on DK. On FanDuel, we mostly want large upside from our hitters and due to scoring that means HOMERUNS. No one won a tourney on FD this week with less than two homeruns from their team and some winners had four, five, and even six of them. It’s not as easy to have one AB get you to value on FD as it is on DK. A guy can walk, steal, and score or double in a run and be driven in with a walk and make value on DK. If a guy does go 1-5 on FD with something like that, the negative points from those outs eat away at his positives. Even a guy who goes 1-5 with a HR better be somewhat cheap or he barely provides a boost to your overall score on FD. Those negative points create a whole other layer of things to consider when playing on FD over DK. My recommendation here is still the same as well, look for power over speed on FD. Guys who can drive in runs with good 2/3/4 spots in the order are who I like most. Added bonus is given for a fly ball pitcher on the mound, or a hitter in a good HR park on FD. You need a few bombs to really win a big prize and again here, the double dong is almost necessary to take you over the top. Without it, you need great contributions from your entire roster if you want to catch the guy who did have the double.
As always we are going to start by taking a look at pitching. It was pretty formful this week as we had 5 of the seven moonshot slates we looked at which were won by a combination of pitchers that did not include the top priced guys. The two exceptions were Felix Hernandez and Clayton Kershaw. When studs pitch like studs, as both did this week, you can not fade them and win. A 44 spot by Felix was huge for those who rostered him. Kershaw actually had a sub par game when he put up 25, but he was linked with Johnny Cueto who had 31 at only $9500, which was more of the reason for that roster winning. The other days we had winning combinations of Shane Greene/Michael Pineda, Trevor Bauer/Anthony Descalfani, Archer/Liriano (not the top priced guys, but both studs), Sanchez/Wacha, Buchholz/Ventura, and then Cuto/Kershaw and Felix/Scott Kazmir. On some of those other days we had top priced and highly owned studs like Chris Sale not live up to the hype. Matt Harvey threw a sub par game one day and sank a few rosters as well. On the season so far we have about 70% of the winning rosters who faded the high priced chalk. It is still more likely those high cost guys fail to reach the value you need, but when they do reach it, you can not win if you faded them. Still, based on the percentages alone, the preferred way to attack a large field GPP is trying to fade the chalk and find lower priced and lower owned pitchers who can throw a good game. When I say this though, we are not talking about $5000 punts here. We are simple saying guys who may be between the 3rd and 10th most expensive options, so do not go dumpster diving, but do not auto play the top two on the list either. Especially when they are $10K and up. Felix was really the one guy in that range all week who returned value. The sweet spot for pitching on DK seems to be the $8000-9500 range, so concentrate your efforts there.
As for bats, we again had a lot of stacking and pairing going on, but less than last week on top rosters. Four of the seven big winners did stack some bats, and one other had two mini stacks of hitters. The other two were a mix and match of guys from multiple teams with one or two pairs of hitters included. This was a little bit of an outlier week though, because we had some obvious chalk plays at minimum prices who people used to fit a few big bats in around them. Jimmy Paredes week was glorious and he was on fire to reward his backers. Those 50-65% of us who took the free square at $2000 were handsomely rewarded as he went nuts in five of those seven games for double digit fantasy points and was highly owned in the last four of them. Having a $2000 guy who went for 10+ points allowed you to pay up for more studs than usual and is a good reason we saw multiple winning scores crack the 200 point mark this week on DK, which is not an easy feat to pull off. Still, stacking is proving to be a common way to get to the top, but it does require picking the right stack, the right pitchers, and the right other bats to round it out.