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.
Let’s start with the obvious here. Pitching was a mine field all this week. A lot of the high priced studs got lit up. I say a lot, but not all of them and that is the key point. Yes, one day this week we did have Nathan Karns and Tim Lincecum as the top options on the day. The other days though, we still had one of the guys near the top make people money as the best play. Despite the words I am hearing about punting pitching, it’s a fools errand. Sonny Gray was a top 5 starter the day he was on top of the leaderboards. Same goes for Dallas Keuchel, Jacob DeGrom, and Zack Greinke when they were on the winning roster. While we did have guys like Archer, Cole, Martinez, and Cueto get blown up, it was not a nobody at minimum price that you needed to win. The starting pitcher scores were still between 18 and 20.66 on the top rosters this week and there’s very few if any of those guys down near the bottom of the list that are capable of putting up a game like that.
As for the bats, we saw two trends continue again. For starters, Homeruns are still the way to win on FanDuel. Jacks from Freeman and Kelly (part of Braves stack we mentioned in the daily article) along with Marlon Byrd carried one roster, Another day it was Carlos Peguero’s 2 homer game along with bombs from Russ Martin and Anthony Rizzo that helped the winner, Harper’s multi-dong games were a thing of beauty to daily owners on those days and were paired with other guys with one jack to make the top of the lists, as did Stephen Vogt’s two homer game. The only other winner we did not mention here had a lineup with five dongs from guys like Vogt, Springer, Pederson, Cruz, and MArk Reynolds all on the same day. Fan Duel scoring is skewed towards power, so when choosing between two close option, the question to consider is, WHO HAS MORE HOMERUN POTENTIAL? That’s the guy you should roster.
The second thing we noticed is that stacking has given way to something the kids are calling PAIRING. Taking four hitters from two teams is not seen on any of the winning rosters we looked at ranging in buy ins from the Bunt, to the Squeeze, to the line Drive, and the Slam. Taking four guys from here and four guys from there was not on one top roster on any of the days we looked at. What we do see though is multiple pairs of two or three players from the same team well represented. Whether that was a few Brewers last night, a few Rangers when Pefuero double donged, a few Nats or Athletics on the double dong days for Vogt and Harper, or a few Twins players earlier this week when they put up some big run lines, pairing two or three players from multiple tams seems to be en Vogue. When pairing, it makes sense to take 2-3 guys batting close to each other in the order. With all these teams going R/L throughou t the lineups now, it also tended to be three guys who were not linked together in the order. Choo/Peguero/Beltre Gardner/Rodriguez/McCann, Kipnis/Brantley/Santana, and Wong/Reynolds/Peralta were the examples from this week. Instead of blindly stacking four guys in a row, a lot of the winners found the best values on that team and paired them up with two or three other guys from different teams in good spots. The idea of stacking is that you basically hope to guess two games right where teams have big scores. Therefore you get exposure to two high scoring games and hopefully the guys you take do the most damage. Pairing with two or three guys on three or four teams means you have to be right in all those spots, which is tough, but if you have the right guys it seems to be the way to take down a tourney with a few thousand entries on FanDuel recently.
As important as it was to avoid landmines on FD, it was more important on DraftKings. DK requires you to take two pitchers, and with all the blow ups this week, you basically cashed only if you were able to avoid those guys. With two pitchers needed, it was twice as likely you did not do it. With two pitchers, some of these guys were really highly owned too, so it sank half the rosters or more when they did blow up. The Pricing and scoring on DraftKings also makes the pitcher equation a whole lot different. While I advised against going cheap on FanDuel, you can get away with going for one cheaper pitcher on DraftKings and still win. Saturday night we had the Niese ($7300)/Rondon ($6700) pairing win some money. Wei-yin Chen was on two winning Moonshot lineups this week. That’s right, WEI-YIN CHEN is a two time pitcher on a moonshoot winning roster in a week. He was paired with Julio Teheran HERE and again with Sonny Gray HERE . If that is not proof enough that you can get away with saving on at least one guy, I do not know what else I can say. The other winning pairs included Kluber and Lackey, DeGrom and Lynn, and Pineada and Shelby Miller. Notice we have no top priced guys on this list again this week. Those guys are just not priced in a good spot for upside in your GPPs. It also helped they got blown up, but if you follow our blogs here, you will know we more often shy away from them as our top GPP picks.
As for bats, we had a Cubs Stack, a Dodgers Stack, and a Yankee stack all take down the Moonshot. We also had a few pairs lineups with Oakland, Cleveland, minnesota, and Texas bats scattered together in various combinations. We did also have two winners with lineups that looked more like cash games with multiple players from a few different teams and games. It was a crazy week with the pitching blowups, so I tend to discount the findings some. I still believe stacking and pairing works best for GPPs and did produce five of the seven winners.
So here’s the summary of what we saw.
On FanDuel you need to pay up for pitching, but not always the chalkiest guy. We did not have any real chalk winners this week outside of Greinke. The other guys were all top 6 options (except for Lincecum) and were lesser owned than the more expensive chalk. Pair the top pitcher on the day with a few guys with homerun upside and pair a few hitters from your favorite spots and you have the recipe for a winning roster.
While all types of bats and roster construction got it done on different nights this week at DraftKings, I still think the data to this part of the season supports stacking and pairing. Game Selection and who to target against seem to be the trick as the chalk stack rarely is the winning one. When it comes to pitching, do not be afraid to reach down for a cheaper option here. On FanDuel it is a fool’s errand, but on DK you can and do win without high priced studs. If you like a cheap flyer at SP one night, than DK is the place to test out that theory on them.